Dear Dee and Mary Ann and gardening friends everywhere,
Greetings from my summer garden. At least I think it is summer. It is summer, right? It’s been so cool here this past week that if we didn’t have calendars and someone just blind folded us and brought us here, we might be convinced it was early May or even late April. I joked that it was so cold that maybe we should have turned our calendars back to May instead of forward to July last Wednesday.
I’m not complaining too much, though, because it was good weather to work out in the garden without getting overheated, for the most part. The week before it was hot, up in the 90’s, and that was not good weather to work out in the garden.
The cool weather helped the garden, too, because we hadn’t gotten any rain for about two weeks. Those hot days in the 90’s left the garden kind of gasping but the cool weather helped it hold on until yesterday when we got some rain.
And it was a good .78 inches of rain, the kind of rain that lasts all day, gently falling and really soaking into the ground. The kind that every gardener dreams of; the kind that every planner of 4th of July events dreads. Yes, most of the 4th of July celebrations around here had to be postponed to today because of the rain.
Too bad! It’s all about the garden, isn’t it? Yes! It was worth it! Every plant looks happy now. Well, except for a few perennials that I didn’t provide any support for, like Blue Dogbane, that are now lying nearly prostrate on the ground. I’ll have to get out there and try to tie them up somehow if they don’t bounce back on their own. And while I’m out there, I’ll have to pull those weeds that are happy now, too.
But first things first, all other gardening must wait while I tend to the vegetable garden. It waits for no one when produce is ready to be harvested. This morning I picked a mess of green beans, mostly the varieties ‘Provider’ with a few ‘Bountiful’. The other two varieties, ‘Straight N Narrow’ and ‘Goldrush’ aren’t quite ready yet, but I see lots of little beans on the plants.
I’m very happy with this year’s green beans. Not only have the bunnies left them alone, but the plants are big and healthy and there isn’t a spot on the beans from Mexican bean beetles or anything else. What’s my secret? Oh, I have lots of secret ways in the garden, don’t most gardeners? But honestly, I really didn’t do anything special to these beans, so I guess this is just a lucky bean year.
I also picked the first little cucumbers today. I eat them as snacks, though they are the perfect size for pickling, if I had a notion to do some pickling. But I don’t, so I’ll just eat them along with my first little round squash. I picked three of those this morning, too, the variety ‘Eight Ball’, so it's time to figure out what to make with summer squash. I think I’ll start with some zucchini pie, though I’ve also been thinking that these 'Eight Ball' squash would make a great slaw type salad because they are firmer than most summer squash varieties and would hold up well to grating. Does anyone have any recipes?
I guess I could trade a good gardening secret for a good zucchini recipe, if anyone has one. Show me the recipe first, then I’ll share a gardening secret, if the recipe is worth it.
And with that, I’ll end with…
Flowers and veggies to all,
P.S. Did you see that earlier this week my night blooming cereus bloomed? That’s the earliest it has ever bloomed for me. I also picked a tomato on June 30th, from the plant I bought with blooms on it, so I refuse to count it as the first tomato of the season. It was an ‘Early Girl’, and tasted just “so-so”. I’ve bought better at the grocery store, sad to say. But my early sweet corn is tasseling so I should have some fresh sweet corn from my garden very soon, probably earlier than I’ve ever picked any. Here's a picture of the garden taken a few hours ago. Those big leaves around the edges are the sunflowers, which are now taller than me.
P.S.S. Dee, I promise that my next post will be about my trip to the nearby daylily garden and all the daylilies I bought. Here’s a picture of one of them, ‘Prince of Purple’ as a little teaser until I can post about it. There is much to report!