Friday, July 31, 2009

When Will I learn?

Flash Flood Watch in effect....apparently even mentioning a few hours of sun or heat tempts fate. I waddle over another philosophical gardening hurdle. I settle in. Let's not call it resignation let's call it achieving a sort of zen. Yeah, that sounds good. Zen.
video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apres Moi, Le Deluge

16 year old Shamus getting stoned in what's left of the catnip patch
wood finds it's place
daylilies finally have a bit of sun


Ceci n'est pas une pipe - it's my homemade cuke holder upper, don't think I'll be marketing this design right away
And hall of loojaws, those are my peaches! Now mind you two Reliance were put in this Spring and only this one has fruit, and no, these peaches will never be as sweet, large and juicy and those south of here but I am tickled just to have any. Coincidentally I visited a long established orchard a couple days ago not too far from me and they were selling these very same peaches and I checked out their mature trees. Seeing is believing.

The good news is that though we have our daily rains we finally have some heat to go with it AND there seem to be longer stretches between each downpour.

So here I sit, chased in by freshening winds turning the leaves inside out and the increasingly greying skies BUT at least it's not cold! I hear rumbling too, just a matter of time so blog quickly before the power goes out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Ain't No Sunshine When...."

this sums it up
blueberries looking great but require sunshine for true sweetness
do I have to say anything?
black pearl peppers from seed I saved last year
a soggy view

I suppose a good portion of blogging might be about kvetching and bemoaning one's situation because, after all, it is essentially keeping a journal. The difference of course is that it's 'out there' in the ether. Those blogs I most enjoy reading are, not surprisingly, those that impart some info. The well written and witty part is just about as important.
It's been about a week since I tried to jot something down but I have indeed been thinking about what to say without whining and have come up with squat. This is the longest stretch, in my recollection, that such a weather pattern has stalled above me and it has taken it's toll. Mom told us that if we have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all, and yeah, I get that.....but.......
So we play games with ourselves, in many ways my head is already jumping forward to tasks non gardening, even wintery. And I cannot describe this season as a total bust as it is not yet over. So, I'll hold my breath, keep my pinkies crossed and stack wood.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Default Cukes and Fresh Seeds!

I once talked to a guy from a big seed company who divulged their less than stellar practice of mixing old seed with new to stretch seed and achieve an 'acceptable' germination percentage. I've often noted and actually come to expect shoddy germination rates from many seed companies but that certainly cannot be said of the lovely seed I received from Mike. This is day 3ish above ground for these guys. I started them inside mostly because the torrential, constant downpours we've been having would wash out any outside sown seed. At least this way they have a fighting chance and judging by their vigor it's looking good.

Okay, this is my default cucumber. I have 2 hanging cuke containers and 3 hanging tomato containers in the shack as my back up and considering what's been going on I'm glad I did. The outside cuke disaster is killing me especially as I made two trellises out of old metal bed frames with wild expectations of bumper crops. Harump!
A love-in-a-puffy-mistball nigella

Today, like yesterday, threatened repeatedly to crack open and pour but I chose to ignore and forge ahead with much needed weeding and cutting back and prepping ground for my my next round of seedlings. I'm glancing at the sky right now and ominous does not begin to describe so I'm glad I got 'er done.
Feelin' good now old girl? Check.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

afternoon wander

these are the magnificent leeks I thought were goners a few months ago
single 'black' somnifera poppy
Mom tells me the name of this rose is Dorothy Perkins, it's a reliable old climber
Macy's Pride, I sniffed this at New England Grows a few years ago and was sold. Not only terrific fragrance but seems to withstand the cold as well as my negligence.

a surprisingly pristine daisy
oh man, these tomatoes WILL ripen!
another poppy
oh yes my friends, that is actually a green bean!
can't resist showing the sky...I check it a million times a day to reassure myself there is actually some blue going on up there. The sweetpeas have loved every moment of our unseasonable season.
hyacinth beans
cheerful, undemanding daylilies.


Today I did no work in the gardens but did manage a little walkabout to graze on gooseberries and even some ripening raspberries. Tomorrow I'll carve out some time for garden chores but that's tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kangaroo Apple




Happily I can report somehow managing to rid myself of several vices over the decades but one addiction remains strong and growing; trying new plants. I seek them out. I even work seasonally where I do the lions share of plant ordering and have great range to try new stuff in the form of seed,plug,bareroot, what have you. That being said I can't get everything so when I do get time to hit a few of my favorite nurseries I scan continually for, well, something NEW!
This Solanum laciniatum is from New Zealand, gets about 5' tall and the fruits promise to turn orange. It says it then can be processed and made into jam. Ha! I planted this guy a couple months ago, when it was much smaller, in a pot, thinking ahead to when I might have to drag it back into the shack to escape frost. I may sink the pot in the ground in full sun now that it's showing some production. In any event I'll definitely be saving the seeds of this monster so if any of my 3 readers have any interest let me know.

Did you notice I mentioned the sun? It's been a very tentative week...cool, some sun, plenty of clouds and still lots of rain. The bugs still feast on with great drama and no signs of stopping. Sheesh.

I also managed to sow in some very special seeds from the West. I am so excited to extend my season especially from seeds grown for we who are zonally challenged in cold mountains. Many, many thanks to my pal Mike from Subsistence Pattern.

This coming week I'll be turning my attention to beans and tomatoes, perhaps i can coax them on a bit. Hmmmmmm.

Monday, July 6, 2009

a patch of blue


Something new. The first day in a long time without rain. Of course the day is not over yet but the blue up there keeps trying to share the sky with the seemingly permanent residents known as clouds-that-threaten. But hey, we'll take what we can get. And what we are getting here is an unwinable scenario. They'll be no 'catching up' this year. Our best hope is to just hold ground.
Anyway, the rain and the rot and the slugs and the cold and the vigorous weed growth keep me humble. These past few weeks have found me 'thinking'...rut ro that's trouble! I've made the not so momentous decision to work on those gardening things I can and limit the energy spent bemoaning that which I have zippo control over..For that matter, what do we have any control over? Another post.
I've sprayed the fruits with kaolin finally as today was the first that could be described as dry enough to apply anything..and just in time as I squished my first four mature JBs. I was reading a post somewhere where someone was saying that the whole Japanese beetle season for them was 2 weeks from beginning to end..hmmm..not the case here.
I believe, since I'm still digging them up daily at every possible size, that they like it here, enjoy it so much they stick around the better part of two months. They are not fly by night residents, their attendance can be relied upon.

Otherwise, still plugging along: weeding, staking, propping, cutting, spitting, muttering, apologizing, smirking and wondering.