Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pollinators at Work

The garden was buzzing this morning with three open zucchini flowers.  Two were female and one male. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Time for Thyme

Delicate flowers of the thyme plant
Spreading thyme in the garden
My drip irrigation is really making a difference in the garden this year.  This thyme plant has a circular soaker drip at the center of the plant.  It really is giving it vigor to spread beautifully.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunflower Ready to Show its Stuff

New Sunflower Head Growing on the Stalk
Sunflower is about ready to explode open. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Petalless Flowers of the Member of the Grass Family

Corn Silks Exposed and Waiting for Pollen to Fertilize the Ear of Corn
Tassels Heavy with Pollen

Delicate and silky but when magnified, the silks look anything but silky
 I have a total of six stalks of corn growing in the garden this year.  I know that hand-pollinating is a must for a crop this small because there's just not enough pollen floating down from the tassels to find the silks which lead to the corn kernels.

In searching for instructions to hand-pollinate, I learned a few facts about corn which I did not know.

First, corn is a member of the plant family Gramineae which has petalless flowers borne in spikelets, and fruit in the form of seedlike grain.  

Second, corn is a graass as is rice, wheat, barley, millet, oats, sugar cane, sorghum, rye and bamboo.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday to the Tomato Hornworm

When you see these near your tomato plants...beware

Droppings like the ones in the first photo, usually mean this monster is noshing his way through your favorite tomato plants

As the summer kitchen garden is starting to take shape, be vigilant about looking for droppings on the leaves and ground around your tomato plants.  This cleverly camouflaged guys can look like a rolled up leaf on the tomato plant and you'll miss spotting them.  If they are left unattended, you will come back to your garden to find entire leaves and stalks missing from your plant.  They even can take a few good whacks out of the tomatoes, too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Knee High By the Fourth of July

Despite the record breaking temperatures this past weekend, the corn is one of the vegetables in the garden which did not get any scorched leaves.

And for the record, this corn is shoulder height and it is only June 22.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Keeping Cool with Cucumbers

Oh, we're having a heat wave.  But you can possibly keep cool with these photos of cucumbers from my garden!
This cucumber looks ready to harvest.

Baby cucumber ready to grow.
Too hot.  Baked in the sun and heat.
I had to include this final cucumber.  Yesterday was so hot, some of the veggies were baked.  Sad face.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stairway Succulents

Portulacaria afra,  Graptosedum
This use of succulents cool down the hot, sun-soaked stairway. Repeating the same succulents in each pot ties the whole design together.

My New Summer Crop! #NoSlugs

Today's harvest in a water bath.  A few minutes soak/spin/ready for lunch.
I have never tried growing lettuce in the summer.  Always thought of it as a cool season crop.  BUT...with May Gray/June Gloom (heavy marine layer) which lasts until late morning and many times rolls back in in late afternoon, I thought I would give lettuce a try for early summer.

And it is working.  I have harvesting single salad servings each day.  Here's one reason I also am a new fan.  When I have grown lettuce in the winter, I find more slugs (eewww) and snails because of the cool/wet season.  Washing lettuce in the winter is much more labor intensive as you try to make sure all protein has been removed. (Even with vinaigrette, slugs are not that tasty.) This summer lettuce has had no slugs!  Yay!

Another reason lettuce is not a summer crop is that when it gets hit with the summer sun, it tends to bold (go to seed) quickly.  With the sun-less mornings, this has not been a problem...yet.  I know as soon as July hits, its good bye lettuce. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Can You Identify This Plant? Bullwinkle might Know.

This native American plant can boast that one of its kind was recorded as growing 30 feet 1 inch.

What we consider its flower are really thousands of individual flowers surrounded by petals called ray florets.

This plant is currently around 3 feet tall.  I expect it to reach heights of 6 to 7 feet.

During the opening of the show, Bullwinkle and Rocky popped up from the soil in front of this plant.

Do you know what it is?

Thanks to for some of these factoids.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Beans and Gloom

Despite June Gloom, the beans are robustly climbing their jute twine to the sky!.  Down low, some of the buds have come and gone and created their lovely offspring.

Zucchini Flowers Trumpeting Their Presence

Trumpeting Flowers of the Zucchini Plant

Pollinator on Board

Double flowers on one stem
The zucchini plants got it a little backwards this year.  All of the female flowers were blooming without a male flower in sight.  Today I went out for garden inspection and found the plant heavy with flowers, both male and female. 

Oh, and I don't think I will need to hand pollinate today because bees were buzzing from flower to flower taking care of business

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Inside Lettuce and Herb Garden

I'm not sure how they did it, but look at these three darling planters filled with herbs and lettuce.  The herbs aren't that surprising as an inside plant.  I haven't seen lettuce so robust as an inside plant, however.  The room these planters were located in was bright and did have a set of skylights.  The skylights weren't really near these plants. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

Two Succulents Creating a Companion Planting


Sticks and stones, thunder and lightning, bees and honey...some things just go together.  I saw this planting of two succulents and thought a perfect match had been made.



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