Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tour of a Tired Garden

I was going to title this "Tour of a Dead and Dying Garden" but when I started taking pictures, I realized the garden wasn't dead, just a little tired.

The canning and preserving onslaught has dwindled at last. Whew. Maybe (just possibly) another picking of raspberries. A lot of blueberries out there right now wanting to be harvested, but it's raining so they will have to hang on a bit.

I was very surprised this morning to see more green beans to be picked. When I harvested on Friday, I saw no more blossoms and just a few one to two inch long beans. It's been so cool that I didn't think they'd grow anymore. The bean plants still look good though.

Here's a shot of the first cucumber bed I planted. Its' still producing but starting to look a smidge tired.

Of the four cuc beds, this one went in last and, I think you can see, is still blossoming like crazy. Main problem is it outgrew it's bed (no foolin') and we can no longer shut the cold frame top to protect it from the much cooler temps we're now experiencing. Whoops. Who goofed there?

I had two trellises of Sweet Peas this year and they both gave us uncounted bouquets to have in the house and give away. You can see by this picture that the vines are pretty much done now. The bush zinnias at the base are still lovely. I'm gonna put in more of those next year.

Our experimental tomatoes in plastic wrapped cages are going great guns. I've severely pruned them at least three times but you can see how lush they still are. The cages are three feet high and most of the plants are way above that. Lots of green tomatoes. Only two (that's right, TWO) that have started to color up. Sigh.

An action shot of me gathering zucchini. Even in our now cool weather, they just keep on producing. Ya just can't keep a good zucchini down.

I threw the geese some too big zucchini Roy chunked apart with a shovel. They came running over, took a couple of big bites and said, "This doesn't taste anything like watermelon," and left.

I'm getting so much pleasure looking at our sunflowers. If we had just had a decent June, I think the heads would have matured for us. I'm 5'3" so the tallest must be about 8 feet tall. I planted a mixture of three different heights and they all did well.

Our poor, dilapidated potato rows. The plants have almost all died down and we could dig the potatoes but we're gonna give them a few more weeks for the skins to thicken a bit more. Sure am anxious to see what kind of a crop we get though.

I picked a really nice batch of pickling cucs off these slightly beat-up looking vines last Friday. And they have scads of blossoms yet. But how much more producing they will do . . . ? Depends on how much warm weather they require. I have all the pickles made that we need. Now my dear daughter has gone into production with any I have to share with her. She inherited the pickling gene from me. We both love to make pickles. She's much more adventuresome than I am and is doing some experimenting this year.

Here's a portion of the strawberry patch. We always cut our strawberry plants down to ground level when they finish bearing. A little late we were this year; they got mowed only about two weeks ago. But look at the growth they've made already. They'll be in great shape to go into winter.

My new-this-year pumpkin patch. Again, if June hadn't been so cold and wet . . . The plants are looking fantastic. Just don't know if the fruits will have time to mature.

Yes, there are pumpkins in there. Albeit a mite on the green side, wouldn't you say? Hey, there's always orange spray paint. And I won't hesitate to use it.

I have two beds of lettuce that are still doing great thanks to coverings of shade cloth in the past hot weather when lettuce usually gives up the ghost and calls it quits. This was the first year we used shade cloth and it proved well worth the investment.

My good ol' rhubarb plant. So many luscious pies and desserts this summer. And several bags of frozen rhubarb in the freezer for more treats this winter. It's been resting since I stopped cutting mid-summer and now it's looking a bit saggy and draggy. I think it's contemplating snow and hibernation.

Our day time temperatures haven't gotten out of the cool range this past week and at night it's been getting down into the 40s. Absolutely delightful weather for being outside, even if the sweatshirts have come out of the dresser drawers, and sleeping at night requires a few minutes of cuddling to get warm. Up here, we could get our first killing frost anytime in September (or August!) so anything we still get from the garden now is a bonus.

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