Flowers

Imaginary Grace: garden update, part one of two

Hah, it's been two months since I shared here. First, May was just horrid. It was no May at all, just cold and weird. That didn't ruin the garden, but it had an effect on a few things. The summer squashes aren't having a good year. But there's still time. Growth is stunted or strange in a few other places, too. But there's still time. 

And then, well, June has been busy doing double duty. I've taken hundreds of pictures to share here, but time passes and it all changes! Here is some of what I was looking at this morning.

My carrot forest! Best carrot year ever. Carrotsandcosmos

Volunteer tomatoes in the snap beans. There are six of them, and this is where I wanted to plant tomatoes next year, so...but also, all that area was cleared away and there haven't been tomatoes there since 2014, so I guess some birds were very busy. Surprises

I planted twenty asparagus bean seeds. Seventeen of them seem to be thriving. Animals got to two, and another never appeared. Longbeans

This is my happy spot right now. Happyspot

More tomatoes. I have them everywhere. Last year was such a poor year for them, I am overcompensating. Tomatoannex

The deck garden. Deckgarden

Ss100

And some of the flowers in the 16x4 area next to the neighbor's yard, currently named "Defense Against the Dark Arts." You may imagine why, as you choose. Marigolds

Dahliaforgetmenot

Summer

Pinkcosmos


Gentle End of Summer

Summer wasn't much of one, at least not in the usual way. We had subtropical rain throughout the second half of June and all of July, and August was never hot. Early September was hot like July. Now, though, Summer is bowing out gently and gracefully, and though the light is shorter and sharper, I still feel hugged by nature during my daily wander through the messy garden remains.

Dsc_3851_21573289965_o


Dsc_3851_21573289965_o


Dsc_3851_21573289965_o


Dsc_3851_21573289965_o


Dsc_3851_21573289965_o


Wrapping up the garden on the last warm day for now...

I rarely used this blog page this summer because it was a very odd and disappointing garden season. I understand this was so for many people. My soil isn't tired, the weather was a little strange, but not terribly so. I don't know. Next year I am planting more varieties of flowers among the vegetables to see if that will help. The flower gardens were actually pretty great this year.

But you see, then in early September, everything took off. If summer began then, I'd have had a normal tomato and pepper crop, and probably more other things, as well. Because of course, there's only so much to be expected from autumn tomatoes and peppers. I've had more in the past month than all summer long, but not like it could have been had they gotten going two months earlier. Of course, the leeks and chard grew like mad this whole time; if you can't get those to grow and produce, you have to choose a new hobby.
20131015_122906
20131015_122906

The photos here are from one of the garden patches and a few things on the deck.

The two pumpkin vines grew and grew, produced two fruits, and one survived. It dropped off the vine in early September, though, with a diameter about half normal size for its variety. Only a couple summer squashes appeared from three plants; none matured. There were three undersized eggplants. Two Brussels sprouts plants grew tremendously, but only one has sprouts on it and they are probably not going to mature. The winter squash had only a few blossoms and no fruit. And the cucumbers had a short early season, not as prolific as last year, but not bad.

Of all the varieties of peppers, I got two-three each until recently. Four of them began producing last month, and I've had several bell peppers and Marconis to enjoy, but I've been picking them under-sized. I don't even remember the pepper variety that is in the bowl with the bells; they aren't full-sized, but also, it's the first I have seen of them all year, and I'd never planted whatever they are before.
20131015_122754

Three strange and sudden occurrences; the tabasco pepper plant began producing about a month ago. Now, that just doesn't like to be too hot, but we really didn't have a huge heat wave this year. There is a second wave of blossoms on it, but later this week they will probably drop off when the nights turn cold. I'll have to pick the peppers undersized and unripened, and drop them in a jar of vinegar.

As well, two tiny mysterious tomato plants appeared among the leeks. It's a mystery because only one of their varieties were planted in that area the year before; the Jetstar, which produced half a dozen tomatoes in the past month, two of which ripened nicely. But also a yellow Brandywine appeared, and though it is tiny (Brandywine plants trend huge,) it produced three beautiful full-sized tomatoes which ripened on the vine, and there are two more still out there.

The Purple Cherokee, Early Girl, and Mister Stripeys all have a couple tomatoes each on them, after producing almost nothing all summer. (Actually, there were a few purples, but a chipmunk kept taking one bite out of each.) I did have quite a few of two varieties of cherry tomatoes to enjoy, but that was all. Today I picked three Early Girls and a Mister Stripey that looked mature enough to ripen on a window sill, and I'll pick the rest as soon as there is a frost advisory.
20131015_124818
20131015_124818
20131015_124818
20131015_124818

Also today as I was clearing away some vines, I found that a small Thai basil plant had grown, apparently from seeding itself last year. That's pretty crazy, man. Growing basil from seed on purpose is hard to do. I think I will pot it and see if I can keep it alive. I potted my Greek Columnar basil already, and I'm pretty sure that will be okay through the winter. It's kind of an amazing variety.
20131015_124941
20131015_124941

Marigolds seeded themselves everywhere. That'll probably be fun next Spring.
20131015_124338
20131015_124338
20131015_124338
20131015_124338
20131015_124338
20131015_124338