Saturday, September 5, 2009

September Garden Update

You know, I really did mean to update more often regarding the garden. Those of you that have access to my Facebook page have been kept a little more up to date photographically. But, time being what it is, eternally in short supply, here we are in the first week of September rehashing most of the growing season.

In my last update, June saw the recent creation of the new garden and many seedlings. July was a good growing month, despite all the rain and lack of sunshine. One of my favourite discoveries in July was my Himalayan Lilies... they were an intoxicating addition to the garden, if only for a short time. Red lily beetles became a real problem and I lost the battle with that one. If they (and the rest of my lilies) come up next year, I am well prepared to battle the little red buggers.

They've Finally Bloomed!
Himalayan Lilies

Once I got the twirly animal deterrants up, the corn had a chance to grow. In July, the garden made leaps and bounds with all the humidity.

Yummy greenery

What a Difference!
Corn as high as a preschoolers eye...

You can see my crazy dasies there in the foreground. I will either have to remove them all together or dial them back significantly next year as they threatened to take over the whole flower garden.

Crazy Daisies
Crazy Daisies

My pots on the front porch also took off in July. The nicotiana, slow to start, did catch up and offered up some breathtaking colours (and scents!).

Lime Nicotiana

August brought some sunshine and some sorrow. The sun finally did come out and we had many warm sunny days to advance our growing. By August 14, the corn was as high as an elephant's eye, we had eaten two "taster" cobs already, the cucumbers had produced half a dozen full size cucumbers (yum!) and the tomato plants needed more support as they were just laden with green tomatoes. You can also see the addition of the Echinacea, which as of this writing are still blooming, albeit near the end of their time.

Not to be outdone, are the tomato plants.
The corn is higher than the fence!

The sunflowers began to bloom shortly after this. They are simply gorgeous, although a shorter variety than I was anticipating. Next year I plan to plant a taller variety as a backdrop to some of the flower gardens. Who knows... maybe I'll surround the front porch in them. The bees will keep away unwanted salespeople while friends and family can use the side door. Ok... maybe not...

Jerusalem Gold Sunflower
Jerusalem Gold Sunflower

Near the end of August, I went outside to harvest a few cobs of corn for dinner and found all my hard work destroyed. It seems raccoons (or possibly squirrels) got to the corn first and stripped it clean. I was devestated as I had to pull out all the broken stalks and clean up the mess that they had made. I planted carrots in their stead and transplanted a few black cherry tomato plants that my Mother had sent home; hopefully there will be enough time for them before the first frost. I had to redo my chive/onion trick to keep the animals from digging up the carrot seeds. Needless to say, "varmint" may be on the menu soon.

Chewed Cob
The flies add that extra sense of pathos...

In the meantime, I've harvested quite a few cherry tomatoes, both Ildi and Tiny Tim. Aside from munching on them whenever I pass the bowl, I've made two small tomato vinegrette and feta salads with them. They are sweet and fantasitc. I also have two green peppers on my counter awating my tastebuds... I may just slice those up and eat them raw.

Next on the garden menu? Hopefully my beefsteak tomatoes will ripen in time for us to have a true Tomatopia (I love them fried for breakfast!). I have quite a few peppers on the vine and my Butternut squash vines seem to have finally taken off. Peeping under the leaves yesterday, I was delighted to see two tiny squash starting to grow! There are a few more cherry tomatoes left to go and the cucumbers may give up a few more before completely shutting down. I'm also looking for some morning glory blossoms... the vines have completely taken over the one side of the Zeebo, but alas, no blooms as of yet. My beans are also far from done yet, so I look forward to a few more of those.

There is still a lot of life in the garden yet before the first frost. Despite the little setbacks, I am still looking forward to what is yet to come.

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