Saturday, July 16, 2016

Garden Report

Potatoes are waning but they're still impinging on the herb bed. As the sun lowers and the potatoes die down, the herbs should reclaim their full sun. In the back left, really tall milkweed.

As the garlic comes out over the last few weeks, the fall brassicas have been filling in. These are brussel sprouts, the first planted, into the space previously occupied by garlic 'Xian.' I've never grown these before, but have planned it for years. Notable this season is a lack of cabbage moths -not complaining!

Eggplant fruit coming on now.

Green beans, from purple to roma, prolific and easy as ever.

All peppers are fruiting, some large. Only difficulty is that the plants can hardly hold their large fruit and that I shouldn't be so lazy as to try to break a pepper off the plant instead of going for the pruner. What happens? Well, I break the whole pepper plant in half.

In complete opposite of last year, all our tomatoes are suffering blight. Could have come in on our purchased compost, or maybe because we planted in last years potato and eggplant beds. Hard to avoid poor rotation in a compact garden. Next year I think these beds will be garlic and the garlic beds will be tomatoes. All that can be done now is watch the tomatoes try to outgrow the blight.

More brassica as the Porcelain garlic 'Music' has come out. As two more varieties of garlic are harvested over the weekend, even more brassica will go in. Above is kale started from seed in the greenhouse.

These giant pompoms, hydrangea actually, were moved from the south side of the house last year. We planted them in a great arc around the curving lawn-driveway. They are quite garish, but they keep the plow truck and other skiddish drivers from driving over the lawn and garden in summer and winter (thanks to the long lasting dried flower sepals), and maybe they keep the deer at bay. Maybe.

And we've finally started digging into the soil for new potatoes. Above: Kennebec russet, Pontiac, and Yukon Gold. Thanks to the quantity of compost and straw they came out with little soil and easy to clean.

I've been very busy with many things, from door and sill replacement, old deck removal, job searching and applications, studio building projects, contractors and everything I can't stand about some of them, photographing, studio painting, my class Landscape into Art which runs on the twenty third of July, a bit of socializing, gallery going, and even a music festival in a corn field last weekend. Blogging has had to take a back seat to all this (as well as taking quality photos for them), but rest assured -I was able to plant half of my milkweed over the septic drain field and beyond yesterday. Progress.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tropic of Tanager

During our garage sale, two weeks back, we were visited for nearly 15 minutes, resting on this oak branch, insect in beak, by the Scarlet Tanager. All the way from South America, on little wings, and insect fuel. A poem.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Land O'Milkweed

I will, one day, get to planting these. Just another day of siding, and another day of painting the siding, and then one more for the door, save at least another five for the deck, and just one or maybe two for the steps. Maybe then I'll get to planting these. But only after I dig around the outbuilding and install the groundhog barrier, and dig a trench for the drainage tile, lay the tile, and machine the fill until it slopes nicely, and once done I can excavate the gravel so it can be reapplied in layers, each compacted, so the concrete floor that also needs to be poured won't crack, which would be a shame because we cut two inch foam and placed it all around, or at least we will in August, but not before the exhibit is hung. I ought to make more work for that show, and I did say I would take my photos to the printer for printing, and there's framing, then, but after that I can plant these milkweed. Although it won't be in July, because the show, you know, but also the class I teach, in Vermont, and the lecture to give, and the prep for each. September is a good time to plant these, the fall -yes, but only after the electricity and heating is put into the outbuilding, because it wouldn't be sensible to frame for insulation in September if there is no heat to insulate, but after that I can get to planting these milkweed, well before it freezes. Could it wait just a bit more, because the brick walkway needs to be laid, especially before that freeze. Is it time to blow the leaves? Well that mustn't wait, and after all, with the cleared leaves there will be a clearing in which to plant these milkweed, so that will be a good time to get to these. Will there be a freeze? Oh, well I should get the garlic in, and wrap up the last of house painting, and who wants to work stiff-fingered in the cold? It'll best be done, as soon as can be, but first I need to put up the walls and install the lights, because what is a shop and studio without walls or lights? After that I can probably get to planting these milkweed. You know, it's been warmer, later, more often than not, so I'll get to these on a nice fall day, a warm afternoon, but only if there's nothing left to do that needed to be done, more so, anyway, than planting the milkweed.