Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finding Joy during a Summer of Failure - part 3

Or: The Shape of Things to Come

Seems that in my intent to 'let my gardens be', I've removed a whole lot of work from my garden chores list. Feels strange to have time to play outside & yet not have anything pressing that needs my attention. And I'm OK with that, even if I can see that this area would look a little bit better if I just did that, or that area really needs a bit more of that...

I'm trying to focus on what is really happening in my space & also taking the time to walk around the community to see what's happening in the wilds of the back roads.

I enjoy taking the time to find the critters & this one is a new one for me. I call it a 'bee' but there are quite a few varieties out here. It's not a mason bee nor a bumble bee. Could this be a honey bee??

My raspberries are finally starting to ripen. It's a bit of a game to actually find them as I pruned back this year's fruiting canes this spring to a manageable height & this year's new canes are towering over them by a few feet. At least the birds don't see them!!

Have to really look for the beans too. I unfortunately planted them in my potato bed, so they are being shadowed by the potato leaves & then in between the beans I had put little calendula seedlings, which are now rather large. This is one lush bed of green leaves... At least the beans look much better than last year's attempt - all those where stunted & the beans spiralled into crazy fish-hook shapes & really weren't fit to be eaten. I might have to dig up some more potatoes for dinner & think about transplanting the calendula to another flower bed.

 A ground cherry in the making. I can't say too much about these as I've never grown them before, am not sure what I'm doing & since they are in a bed far-far away from my daily circuit, I don't tend to them often. The plants are stubby but sturdy & there are actually few weeds in the bed, so I'm content to let them do their thing & see what happens.

Castor bean. Not sure if this is supposed to be so short (I thought it would be 5 or 6 feet tall & slightly wider than it's current size of barely over 1 foot) but the colour & shape of the leaves are stunning. Am hoping for flowers at some stage.

Another one of those plants who's seeds were a gift & I've not yet figured out how it fits in my space. But it's good to see the deer are ignoring them & I do enjoy the contrast.

Back in the greenhouse, the peppers are still in recovery-mode from my attempt to rescue them from the aphid invasion. There is new growth both at the top & the bottom of the plants & many have put out a 2nd batch of flowers, which seem much more healthy than the first batch. I've also got quite a few peppers developing - some straight & long  & some curved & crooked.

I finally got into action with the mulch & have put some grass clippings around the base of the plants to help with moisture retention. The leaf virus/bacteria/disease seems to have tapered off as well. Now - just to wait for the fruit to grow a bit & start to change colour - that's the exciting part & hope to catch some of the changes on my camera.

There on the left are just a few of the heirloom yellow pear tomatoes. Love the tear-drop shape!

These on the right are one of my other cherry tomato varieties - either the early bush Taxi or the vine Moneymaker. Personally, I think they are vine tomatoes because these plants plus the pear tomatoes are growing well over 10 feet tall - and that's in a greenhouse that's barely 7 1/2 feet high.

I've had to do some serious leaf-removal as these lush, green monsters were shading themselves out & I also couldn't see how the plants were doing on the far side of the bed. I felt bad removing so much green matter, but I'm sure the tomatoes will appreciate the better air flow, more sun light & put that energy back into making tomatoes.

I think I need to go talk with them today & will bring along my twine & scissors as I'm sure there are vines that need tying or trimming. Maybe I fed them too much compost tea & that's why all the lush green-ness!!

And lastly, the nasturtiums I planted along with my peppers are doing fabulous. The ones out in the yard in raised beds or flower pots aren't quite as nice as these - very odd year for nasturtiums I'm finding. Seems they are doing the trick of inviting pollinating insects into the greenhouse (helps I leave the door open most days), and it's nice to munch on flowers while talking to the 'maters & peppers.

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