Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home Harvest

Home harvest, September 7, 2011

Throughout the summer, I have periodically taken photos of my brownish-green-thumb approach to gardening, intending to do an update of previous gardening entries (like this one and this one from last year, or this one this spring), but something more interesting pops up for the blog and those photos and stories slink back into the dark recesses of my mind or my computer.

Anyone walking past the front of my house, where this year I just let the weeds go wild and choke out all other plants before eventually turning brown and dying (those beds get the hot sun all day, and the soil there is rock hard gravel and clay in which I cannot even dig a teeny tiny hole to insert the smallest bedding out plants!) would never in their wildest dreams think I am a gardener.

Shameful, simply shameful!

Hidden from public view, however, are flowers in pots on the patio and vegetables in pots in the back yard. I won't say my gardening was a howling success - I planted very late, the weather wasn't great this summer, I used the cheapest potting soil (big mistake - it came with its own weeds!), and anything that survives around here has to thrive on neglect. The critters lay first claim to my attention. My writing, photography, family, friends, and volunteer work have second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth (not necessarily in that order) claim. Watering and weeding and fertilizing plants is waaaaaaay down the list - marginally above ironing and vacuuming.

But these past couple of weeks of summer weather and cooler nights (with the moisture the dew provides, and the cooler mornings for weeding and tending) have finally turned a lackluster showing into something moderately rewarding. Food and flowers! Yay!

Home harvest, September 2, 2011

The potatoes have been plentiful all summer - I grope around just under the soil and harvest the nuggets, leaving the plant to continue producing more little gems.

Tomatoes have also been plentiful, and I've had some pretty nice cucumbers too - nothing like slices of tomato and cucumber fresh from the garden for a summer salad, or baby potatoes cooked with some fresh garden mint and tossed in a wee bit of melted butter and garden chives.

Tomatoes, September 7, 2011

Cukes and baby cukes

The snow peas produced very little earlier in the summer, but have suddenly taken on a life of their own and are now blooming like crazy and producing many pods. Similarly, the scarlet runners and bush beans got off to a slow start, but then produced generously. The runners are still flowering and new beans appear daily.

Snow peas, second blooming September 2011

Bush beans

Busy bee making more scarlet runners

I thought my spaghetti squash were going to be wasted space as all the flowers were male except one. Then suddenly last week, the female flowers started appearing. If we have a long fall my neighbours better lock their doors lest they come home to find the elves have delivered an armload of squash to their kitchen counters.

Cukes, Squashes and a few Beets

The promise of things to come

My delicata squash plant produced one squash early in the season, which has not grown in weeks and weeks. The foliage has all died off, but the squash is now beginning to turn golden and the green stripes are fading, so I think it is getting ready to be harvested. I have never had this squash before, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Delicata Squash
The brocolli and beets and peppers did ho-hum, and the carrots and spinach were a washout. But for dessert, my strawberry plant is still producing heartily, and there are always blackberries for the taking on every lane in town.

Strawberries still ripening, September 2011

And what is a garden without flowers? I must have the latest blooming sweet peas in town - they just keep producing and producing from the hanging basket in front of my west-facing kitchen window.

Sweet peas, September 2011

The patio, with its red geraniums, red and white petunias, and miscellaneous other flowers did quite well also and continues to bring me pleasure.

If I could only teach the dogs to weed and water, and set them to work on those front dried out weed beds, life would be roughly perfect!

In her dreams!

Only if she lets us plant cookie bushes!

Home harvest, August 2011
Note the absence of dog cookies.


Anonymous said...

Wow... you have succeeded in filling the horn of plenty this year! Everything looks spectacular, I'm so jealous. Now brownish greenthumb working there, it's all green.


EvenSong said...

I don't do gardens, remember? But I'm impressed with yours! And I think you're the first person I've heard of this year that has ANY luck with tomatoes, after our strange spring/summer/sprummer.
I love petunias!