Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Garden Update & Floral Photos

It's been a while since the last garden update, for a few reasons.  One, I've been sidetracked by other things, such as the daylily seeds/seedlings.  Two, it's so hooooot and huuuuumid (in my whiniest voice) that I just don't want to be out there more than I have to, so the vegetable beds have been a little neglected.  Three, in addition to the weather, the failure of some of our plants has been discouraging, which has led to even more avoidance.

Broccoli, snow peas, cucumbers, and lettuce, I've already written about.  (Not the right time of year, etc.)  I pulled out the mesclun, because (we think) the hot weather turned it bitter.  (Either that, or we just don't care for its flavor.)

(More) Things That Aren't Doing Very Well:
-- okra (haven't moved them, yet; still think they need more sun...)
--  squash and zucchini (vine borer, I think)
--  Swiss chard (something's eating it, but never took off to begin with...)
--  radishes (at least, something's eating the leaves...)

Things That ARE Doing Well:
--  tomatoes (so far... the "Sweet 100" are producing a lot right now)
--  bell peppers (harvested several nice-sized peppers already; chopped & frozen)
--  chives (practically a no-care plant)

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Next year, I'd like to try a different variety of squash I've been hearing and reading about.  They're supposed to be more resistant to vine borers, for one thing, but they also look and taste different, so it'd be interesting to give them a try.  I believe I'll have to order the seeds online, since they're not (yet) that commonly available, if I understand correctly.

We're considering moving the raised beds to a different location over the winter, too.  Inside the yard, this time, closer to the water source.  (Probably behind the garage.  Plenty of sun, out of sight most of the time, close to the spigot.)  I don't know if we'll actually carry through on that or not, but it's an option.

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A few photos from last week...

The albino daylily seedling:

Albino Daylily Seedling

One of my favorite blooms from the hydrangea, this year... (I like the magenta and purplish flowers, too, but I sometimes wish our hydrangea would bloom in that classic blue.)


Cleome.  I didn't realize (or had forgotten) that they have thorns.  A rainstorm had the biggest cleome leaning over, and when I grabbed onto it to stake it back upright-- ouch!


Passionflower.  (Taken at sunset, as were all these photos...  I rarely go outside that time of day, during the summer.  Mosquitoes, meal prep, etc... I miss the twilight, though.)




Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes.  (They're so pretty, with their gradient from green to red.)

Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes

No photos of it (and it's not much to look at, anyway), but the night-blooming jasmine has begun to bloom.  There aren't tons of flowers, and I couldn't smell it from very far away, but when I took a strong sniff right up close-- phew.  I'm beginning to suspect I'm one of those people who don't care for the scent.  I'll give it more time.  Maybe it's better when diffused on a breeze-- and if it only blooms at night in the summer, I won't be in a position to smell it very often, anyway, most likely.  Donald thought it was alright, but my first impression was of cheap perfume.  Nowhere near as nice as gardenia, banana shrub, roses, or honeysuckle.  On the other hand, it's not as bad as privet, but that's not saying much, because I loathe that smell.  A bit disappointing, but there was no way to know without trying it.

ETA:  I've just read that in India, at least some varieties of night-blooming jasmine are thought to attract snakes.  Something about the plant releasing a chemical that is similar to a snake pheromone.  (Of course, also in India, there's currently a teenage boy, born with a short tail, who's being worshiped as a reincarnated monkey god or something, so...)  I'm pretty sure it's just an old wives' tale, but if I start finding snakes next to the plant, it'll be dug up and burned/put into the trash.  In record time!  ;o)