Letters to Gardening Friends, July 12, 2009

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and gardening friends everywhere,

I’m a little rushed for time today, so this letter will be brief. Basically, the vegetable garden news is a repeat from last week. We had rain again yesterday, .74 inches which is pretty darn close to the .78 inches we had last Saturday. And it was another lovely, soaking, all day rain, but with a few thunderstorms mixed in for good measure.

I’m still picking green beans, including now the yellow wax beans, along with ‘Provider’ and ‘Bountiful’. I haven’t picked any ‘Straight ‘n’ Narrow’ yet, but I think they are ready, too. I just didn’t want to mix them in with the other beans because they are much more narrow.

Here’s a picture of the harvest from yesterday, all picked early in the morning before it started to rain.

And here’s a picture of the harvest from today.
I’m almost, but not quite, embarrassed by the size of that one cucumber that I somehow missed picking the day before. I blame it on the garden fairies who are quite adept at hiding cucumbers and zucchini squash so you don’t see them until they are enormous. I almost tossed that big one into the compost bin, but I thought I’d try it to see if it was bitter before I did.

Here’s what my cucumber patch looks like now, a 4' x 8' raised bed with just four hills of the “bush” type cucumbers.
Oh, and I could have picked more green beans today, but I didn’t have time. I’ll pick them tomorrow because I’m off work for the week.

All this produce is good and bountiful and much appreciated, but it still seems like a prelude to the main attraction, the tomatoes. I have lots of green tomatoes of all sizes and varieties. I’m just waiting for them to ripen. Of course, you’ll be among the first to know when I pick the first ripe one. Everyone will know!

Flowers and veggies for all,


P.S. The sunflower pictured above is a variety called ‘Earthwalker’. There are some that are a maroon color along with these burnt orange colored ones. I'm not sure if I like them or not. I might prefer the typical golden yellow sunflowers.

P.S.S. This is a picture of the garden taken earlier today.
I apologize for the poor lighting, it was taken in full sun. I also took it from a different place than normal because the sunflowers are nearly eight feet tall and are blocking the view from my usual location.

Now, enough about my vegetable garden, what's going on in your gardens?


  1. Carol, wish I could grow a sunflower like that. Majestic color. And your wideshot vegetable bed looks glorious. Your baskets of harvest make me hungry.

  2. I'm glad you took the photo from a different angle - I got to see your owl. I'm assuming that's a tool and not a garden ornament, though it could double as one. Maybe that's why you haven't seen the rabbits this year.

  3. Bountiful! I have only picked lettuce, a couple of radishes and broccoli so far, oh and one garlic has been dug but the squash are close to ready and other veggies are gaining. Your garden rules.

  4. Carol, Your garden looks fantastic! I just picked my first green beans this morning, and was thrilled with that. I do think there must be garden fairies around; those green beans were just babies two days ago, and today they were 5 inches long! I'm sure that is what happened to your cucumber, too.

  5. Your garden looks great, mine is about a tenth of that size! But we still picked the start of the tomeatoes today & I've been picking Swiss Chard, zucchini & jalapenos for a couple weeks now. I saw aphids on the Swiss Chard today, so I guess I'll soap them tomorrow & hope for the best!

  6. Hi Carol, what a bountiful harvest! My pole beans haven't even flowered yet..sigh. I actually LOVE that different colored sunflower! Ever thought about making cuke juice? with those large ones that are not as good for eating...btw, I'm following you on Twitter under 'lynnsgarden'...

  7. I, for one, LOVE that Earthwalker sunflower. And I am insanely jealous of all those green beans and cucumbers. I didn't even plant cukes this year. Shame on me.

    HOWEVER, the ripe Sungold cherry tomatoes are so delish straight from the garden. I wish I could hand you one to taste!

  8. I was afraid to click on this post in case it made me all jealous - it did! Vegetable gardens here are so pitiful this year, and even in a good year they never seem to produce like this! Fresh green beans! Squash! What a bounty, Carol! (Philo likes cucumbers, but I only like them when they're pickles.)

    Even the sunflower is wonderful - such a great color.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Lovely harvest you have there. I have lettuce, swiss chard, tons of peas and a few sungold tomatoes.

  10. Your veggie garden is such a thing of beauty. Maybe I should visit Indianapolis to help you consume some of the veggie bounty!

  11. That purple bench is still looking good, Carol. It really sets off your basket of veggies.

  12. I was enjoying a small harvest of green beans for a couple days, then something, I'm thinking a rabbit, ate the plants and beans down to the stems. They also ate the seedlings that were coming up. I found a couple foot long wire basket in the garage that I put over a few plants, and they are the only ones growing. I guess I'll have to leave it on even when they are producing.

    I see a squirrel has picked a tomato already. I'm waiting for mine to ripen, too. I enjoyed seeing your garden and the bush type cucumbers. I planted some, too, and they should be producing in the next week or two, along with the summer squash I planted the same day.

    Nice harvest photos!


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