Thursday, June 26, 2008

In the Garden again

After a hot start to the month, the weather cooled a little and was merely 10 degrees F too hot, rather than 25 or so!
I am still waiting for my tomatoes to ripen (it will be soon!!), and watching those pomegranates. They look promising, but at least one has been pulled off by the unknown fruit bandit.

There are pawpaws high up in a tree... I am still hoping to get those! I should draw them for posterity though...

And a fig on my new fig tree... amazing because I had not expected it! I DID draw that when I found it!

We got some potatoes this last weekend... delightful because I harvested them, added them to the ones I got at the market last Saturday and sauteed them with a little Olive oil and butter, lightly seasoning with Mrs. Dash.

The birds have been visiting the feeders... and the new fountain we got.
They treat it like a birdbath, which is good because that is what I wanted! It has such a nice soothing sound!

We caught sight of a bald cardinal at the feeder the other day. I suspect it is in the middle of a summer moult... cardinals seem brightest in the winter, and I often see them looking kind of threadbare in the summer!
My beebalm just bloomed, and I have hopes that the hummingbirds will come for a visit! I'll let you know when they do... and when the tomatoes are in ;)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

First Harvest

It's that time again! Lettuces have been picked, peas and radishes have produced, and the first tomatoes are on the vine!!

Last Thursday, we picked our English peas. Virginia is a pretty hot summer climate, so we really only get a couple of weeks tops of peas being produced in the springtime. This year, I got about a week's worth :o Never mind... I shared the joy of picking these with the kids:

And shelling them into these:

Which we ate raw because they are so SWEET! YUMMY! Their life is pretty much over now, what with the weather getting into the upper 80's and 90's (from around 28 through 34 degrees C). Peas find it hard to tolerate that range!

Our garden is abounding in roses, and has been the entire month :)

This is the Virginia rose, discovered in the 17th century by the colonists. It has a sweet, very light fragrance, and the bumblebees were going mad over it this morning!

These small things were popping up all over our circle recently... ladies and gentlemen, we have here a Shirley Poppy. They are relatives of the red corn poppy you see... same poppy, new cultivar. Quite beautiful!
I am hoping to see the monarch caterpillars soon. Our milkweed relative, Pleurisy root, is blooming.

This is a stunning, firey orange. I planted this from a root many years ago, and it still pops up every year. Sometimes the monarchs find it. Sometimes they dont!

This fellow, at about 1 3/4 inches long, was a scary find on the side of our house a few weeks back. The photo is not great because in direct sun I can barely see the screen to tell, but I can tell you that he is a "Big eyed Click Beetle".

They are not really eyes of course, just markings on the thorax. He was quite alarming at first, but when we found out that the adults apparently eat very little, we decided to like him :)

Finally, my pride and joy.

This absolutely stunning, intense orange bloom is a pomegranate. I got hold of a pomegranate bush some years back, at colonial Williamsburg. I wanted one because they had one... in spring it was covered with blooms this colour. In autumn it is covered with fruit this colour. I don't know if mine will make it to the fruit bearing stage... local wildlife will insist on denuding our trees of fruit, BUT I really liked it for the blooms anyway :) If I get a fruit, thats just an added bonus!
This is the very first year it has bloomed for me, so I am extra excited about it!

I added a few things to the garden recently... some basil and dill, and some parsley. Today I pulled up a 'weed' from our peonies, before realising it was a volunteer squash. I transplanted it in the hope it would survive ;)
My green beans just suddenly sprouted, and one or two navy beans did too. (Those were an experiment ;)).
Lots of things are growing, though not as many as I would have hoped, but you win some, you lose some! I had a terrible time with the pumpkins... all of which did not want to come up. I may try once more, and hope for the best!

Happy Gardening!