Thursday, August 24, 2023

Just Call Me . . .

Yep, call me done in.  Pooped.  T-i-r-e-d.  It's that wonderful time of year when the garden is giving forth its bounty just about faster than I can get it harvested and processed.  But that's a good thing (puff-puff), and what we gardeners hope for all season long.  So I'm thankfully pushing along.
Actually, I'm doing a fair job of keeping up with everything (garden related at least).  Except for the weeds that have obviously seen this as their last chance to band together while I'm not looking (or have time to look) and are happily bursting forth.
Right now I have a second batch of Blueberry Jam on the stove after having done my first batch yesterday. 

I have to confess I cooked it too long yesterday and the consistency is thicker than we like.  Geez, after having made Blueberry Jam for umpteen years, you'd think I'd know what I was doing by now.
Also harvested and processed the last of the beets yesterday.  Last year, I kept all of our beets (unprocessed) in the root cellar which didn't turn out really well as it takes sooo long to cook beets that I always found something else to serve as a veggie with our meals that was quicker and easier.  (Emphasis on quicker.)  This year I'll be able to pull a packaged serving out of the freezer, pop the beets into boiling water for a couple of minutes and on the table they will go.

I've dehydrated some herbs already but methinks enough has grown back on the plants that another cutting can now be taken.  That's a shot of oregano above.
Blooms on the sunflowers are prolific and I have vases of them showing off their cheerful faces all over the house.  
I planted a packet of "mixed" this year and they are, indeed, mixed in size and color.

This is the tallest one so far.  I just measured and it's 8' tall and growing.

I'm particularly fond of this lemon colored one.  Not as tall as it's neighbor, but one of the bigger ones.  The plants range in size from about 3' to that big guy in the first picture.

Even the cosmos have decided to bloom, late though it seems to be.  I'm getting a good mixture of colors this year after having hardly anything other than pink, pink, and pink last year.  Same seeds planted this spring so I wonder what causes the wider selection of colors this year?  Is Mother Nature fooling with me?
The blueberry mixture is getting close to thickening so I'd better get it into the jars and water bath before it thickens too much again.  Fingers crossed I don't end up with blueberry syrup with this new batch.  "So what's wrong with blueberry syrup?" my husband would say.  If it happens, I'll just call it a win-win.
Now, as soon as the jam is done, I'm rewarding myself by spending the rest of the day in my quilting room.  Yahoo! 

Sunday, August 6, 2023

More Garden Progress and Pictures

I think the garden looks the best right about now.  It's lush and full and lovely, but won't stay this way for long.  It will be all too soon when it starts to look raggedy and blowsy (if that is a word).  All in all though, it's a natural progression as I harvest all the goodness the garden provides for us by giving it's all.

Even though we're once again very short on rain and considered in another drought period, things are looking good.

I finally have one single blossom from my two patches of cosmos flowers.  I've been questioning why these favorites of mine have not given me as many bouquets in the past few years as I'd like.  Did a little research and found cosmos don't like a very fertile soil.  I guess this falls under the "can't win" category in that the garden soil has apparently gotten just "too good" for them!  I still have hope, though, that I'll get more flowers if I'm just a little patient.  Hope so, anyway.

This trellis of sugar snap peas (or edible podded peas as they're sometimes labeled) is so lush and heavy that the whole shootin' match started to go south.  We propped it back up to a (almost) vertical position so now it's started to go west on me.  Next year I'll definitely thin the seed sprouts out so there aren't so many vines to grow on the eight foot trellis.

I placed pots of herbs in the bed under the hoop trellis where the Scarlet Runner Beans have done such a great job of completely covering the whole hoop.  So much so that for much of the day, the herbs were in too much shade.  The parsley is the one exception that can tolerate less sunshine.  So yesterday I repotted three of the herbs into bigger pots and then set them all in the bed where I harvested the beets a week or so ago.  The herbs should be happier in this new-to-them full sunshine spot.

I grow colored gourds to use in my fall decorating and the seeds I've been using produce not a lot of variety to my mind.  They've been mostly those green and yellow goose-shaped gourds and not much else.  So I planted a different variety this year which I now realize would have been happier on the ground rather thinking they would climb on a trellis as did the old variety.  I'm very curious to see the new gourds produced because the leaves on the ones this year are huge, and I'm having to tie the vines up to the trellis.  (Not my favorite task.)  Unfortunately, the vines are covering the lovely blue salvia plants I planted along the side of their raised bed.

Surprise, surprise!  I actually have enough dill growing that I'll have ample for making my dill pickles this year.  Maybe my threatening coaxing the plants did some good!