This summer and autumn we had great luck with our vegetables! In the older garden, we followed the advice of our friends Peter and Eric and put dried grass over the ground around our tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings. They grew tall and strong and gave us plenty of fruit!
Then, as an experiment, Yang created a new garden in the center of our yard where there was abundant sunlight and Yang laid down lots of cow manure and rich soil.I admit the area does look shaded here, but it’s mostly sunny. I also had him sow soy beans in the big patch we used to have for pumpkins in the old garden. I know that soy beans revitalize the soil, so I’m hoping a few seasons of them will enrich that plot so it can support pumpkins once more.
As a result, between the two gardens, we ended up with multiple servings of peppers, egg plant (still a few left), tomatoes, and soy beans! We also got several nice gourds and pumpkins from Yang’s garden as well. We might have had more, but we ended up planting late. Anyway, we can’t wait for next year to set up our new gardens, expanded and improved!
We also did much better than expected with our sunflowers, which generally had been brutally assaulted by squirrels, birds, and bugs. I bough one seedling for Yang’s garden that shot up to over seven feet! These seeds that I planted managed to dodge predators and provided a beautiful glow in the sunset. I’ll be experimenting with buying seedlings and planting my own seeds again next year. The birds have since finished off the seeds from these flowers.
I hope you enjoyed the show!
Summer is almost officially past, so I’m posting some images from my gardens. We have three kinds of morning glories flowering in our yard. We’d have four, if the large blue ones would flower, but they won’t. So, we have some deep purple, some magenta, and some orchid ones. I don’t know all the names of the types, but they are lovely. Every year, I collect the seeds from these flowers to replant them in the spring. Sometimes, we get some interesting hybrids. I managed to get pictures of one of my favorites. Sometimes the orchid morning glories will sport a broad, deep purple stripe, as you see here. The seeds will actually reflect the combined types. Orchid seeds are cream colored and purple or magenta ones are black. These hybrid seeds are usually cream with a black stripe. Sometimes, the orchid ones will also blend with the magenta to produce a pink flower. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the one pink flower I’ve seen so far, but I did tag the flower so that I can retrieve the seeds.
The birds have also been having a grand time in our yard. We’ve seen lots of cardinals, including the Daddy Cardinal taking the kids out for dinner. We also have Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, scads of Gold Finches and Purple Finches, Chickadees, Titmice, and Nuthatches. I even saw a hummingbird three times this year! One time was in early September! The young gentleman Coopers Hawks have since taken off and rarely visit now. We named them Shawn and Gus – I know you know that I AM telling the truth about that! In this picture, you can see one hawk in the foreground and if you look carefully, the other is in silhouette in the triangle of railings on the right.
The drought has certainly left my pumpkins gasping for life. I’ve seen so many pumpkin and gourd embryos wither and die. Still, some made it. Here is an odd shaped pumpkin, which some critter took a chunk out of. Still, the pumpkin lives and now resides on my sideboard in the dining room. The pumpkin below isn’t a rogue that needs to be caged to protect the other flora and fauna. The vine climbed over the garden fence and the pumpkin embryo became fertilized hanging over the outside of the garden. Since we found evidence of some creature trying to dig into the garden, we developed protective caging from milk cartons. The ploy worked, for this pumpkin matured and now resides in state on the what-not table in my parlor. You can also see a crown of thorns embryo ready to flower and be fertilized. The good news is that this little guy is happily growing away. Maybe I’ll have some more pictures of it later.
Here are some of our eggplants and peppers. These guys were delicious! Yang can cook! So, I guess the drought didn’t totally blacken my green thumb.