I decided to break this into two parts since I have a lot to share.
I've been posting my garden photos at Google+ mostly for convenience. But I will share some here today. It has been suggested by three separate people that I start a gardening blog. For serious, you know. I don't claim to be more than a semi-expert amateur gardener; good with what I know, but there's so much I don't know. But I think it might be an appropriate challenge for me to take on, as I begin to think about my "late in life" career, beyond motherhood. Combining writing, gardening, and a bit of cooking (and a bit of philosophy) is a perfect match for me. Of course, there are thousands of blogs like that already, aren't there? So the trick would be some individual appeal in order to stand out from the crowd.
I've never thought of my blog as more than just a fun extension of me and my interests. Sometimes a crowd reads it; sometimes no one does, and I've been largely okay with that over the past 9+ years. But this new endeavor would be something for which I'd want to be taken seriously, even if it isn't all written seriously. So. Food for thought.
Here are some photos I took today of my deck plants and my sort of "experimental" garden patch. This fall I am going to add several inches of good garden soil to it, because I did that with the one on the other side, and things grew better over there, for the most part. These are pictures taken with my aging phone, and I'm on the computer with which I can't manipulate them well, but if I start a real gardening blog, I'll have to use the regular camera!
Here is my sophisticated water delivery system. It didn't rain for almost three months, so things were dicey here and there, but I tried to do this at least once a week over each area.
And late last month, we did finally get some measurable rainfall, which did some amazing things seen in some of the next photos. They say not to expect rain as a trend, though.
This is my sweet sad little eggplant plant. I planted it late because eggplants have been frustrating me. And for awhile, it was just too hot to feel like working at this. But I decided to put this one in, and I think it will probably produce two or three useable eggplants. :-)
This is a variety of pepper plants; all but the two poblanos in the back were grown from a mixed seed packet. So far there've been two Purple Beauty bells, a regular California Wonder bell, a Corno DiToro, and I'm not sure about the other two yet. They grew so slowly for so long, I never thought they were going to make it this far. But I coaxed them along, and now they're just lovely things, though smaller than they would be in a normal season. They will probably each yield no more than 6 peppers (the Purple Beauties have already yielded a few each,) but that's all right.
These are Rutgers tomatoes starting to ripen. These two tomato plants (the other is a German Johnson,) also grew very slowly. As I said, I think the soil on this side just didn't provide as much good stuff. It's very much all clay, which I worked and added garden soil and peat moss to.
I always like the Rutgers tomatoes; they're firm but still juicy. No, not an "heirloom," like the German Johnson, but a nicely designed tomato for home gardeners; reliable and tasty.
I planted 20 green bean seeds in spring, and only 2 grew! But they have hung in there long past their ordinary life span. I pick a few beans, they grow a few more. For a few weeks when it was extra hot, they almost stopped, but now have picked up again, producing even more than before!
I just planted 28 more seeds in my other vegetable patch; I'll take pictures as some of them start to pop out of the ground.