Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Visitor in the Garden

This stunning dragonfly stopped by the garden yesterday perching on a tomato cage for several minutes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer's Finally Here

After spending all Saturday puttering in the garden, there’s not much to do there today. After a long absence from the blogosphere, here’s an update.

The harvest to date includes a few generous handfuls of snap peas, a dozen or so radishes, one turnip, quite a bit of albeit earwig-chewed, Swiss chard and at least four servings of green beans, though not all four were picked and enjoyed on the same day. 

Harvest, May 11
Snap peas on the vine, May 24
Harvest, June 13
Harvest, June 18
First tomato, June 18
Acorn squash on the vine, June 18
Many of my ornamentals have begun flowering as well. I’ve got nasturtium, cosmos, coneflower and alyssum so far.  The single sunflower that has bloomed though, I can’t take credit for. I am pretty sure it was “planted” by an industrious pair of scrub jays putting away a little something for leaner times. Several I actually sowed myself should begin flowering any day.

Sunflower, June 18

So my late-start attempt at cool weather gardening has been productive thanks to atypically low spring temperatures. Here in the northern San Joaquin Valley, gardening can easily be a year-round endeavor but I rarely get the gardening bug before its time to plant the hot-weather favorites like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. And once they have exhausted themselves and started to wither, I too am drained from the due diligence needed to protect them from scorching temperatures. Truth be told, I typically start suffering garden fatigue in August.

The cooler weather lasting through June was an excellent opportunity to try growing some new things like the aforementioned snap peas. They did so well I was kicking myself for not planting more.
As for the heat-loving veggies that have been seemingly stagnate for what feels like months already, they are beginning to take off. I spotted the first tomato on a hybrid called Whopper last weekend and I’ve got one nubby little bell pepper. 

The acorn squash making its first appearance in my garden has been somewhat disappointing, forming at least a dozen fruit which start out beautifully but have each begun to wither and fall from the vine.