Monday, June 20, 2011

Busy Summer

We're busier than usual right now. That seems to be a hazard of summer. Three days a week, Tor is working on riding:

Both his instructor and Coda are very patient, and he's happiest out there. We have big hopes - see those heels? Now if we could only chase down footwear and breeches I'd rest easy.

In the garden, we're starting to see the effects of a recent heat wave. Things are springing along, and I cooked my first planting of fall seeds. Should have just put them under lights downstairs.

These were all taken with a telephoto lens, so I had trouble getting a good overview. The back kale/lettuce/carrot bed features some bolting chard. We're eating kale all the time (I had a large handful in my smoothie for lunch today - mmmmmm) although I anticipate this planting of Lacinato following the chard into BoltLand soon, I'm really enjoying it.

Before the heat hit, the lettuce was just beautiful. I had already started giving heads away, and last night had an entire salad of bronze romaine.

Unfortunately, there seems to be some kind of blight on the tomatoes. I'm still thinking that there's something wrong with the Target-bought Romas, but currently I'm tearing off the diseased branches to see what happens. We also sprayed soap to see if getting the aphids off helps the tomatoes cheer up. The other varieties seem happier. Plus, there are volunteers everywhere. I let two Cherokee Purples go in the Seascape strawberry bed, just to see what's what, so there should at least be some this summer.

The Anna apple is gracious under its load. Today I disturbed a branch and ate the one that fell. It wasn't ripe, exactly, but it was edible. I'm greatly looking forward to these beauties.

Overview of the right hand side. I'm tickled about the Italian beans on the right side. We'll have soup! In front of the beans in the long vertical bed are the possibly-too-many-plants of squash. Why do nurserymen insist on planting multiple seeds and not thinning? Why don't I notice before transplanting? Peas in the pea bed are almost ready to gather for seed, and then I have to figure out what to put there. Behind the peas are the Tristar strawberries. They taste better, to me, than the Seascape, but they're still unhappier. Smaller plants, smaller berries. We'll see what amendment will do later, although it might be a climate thing. Seascape is supposed to do well here, with the implication that others might not, I suppose.

The front bed is sparsely planted, mostly flowers. We caught the rain perfectly for some seeds and missed the window for others. Again, maybe I'll troll the garden centers for sales once this week's heat breaks.

Left side. From back to front, empty bed, lettuce/kale, Ellie's corn and maybe more corn (must buy seeds. . .) bed, then the Seascape berries, the leeks and garlic and kohlrabi that I just pulled today along with half a dozen garlic heads, and the peppers. Each week as warmer weather has come along, I'm seeing more sprouts on overwintered Padron. Hopefully there will be much good eating. This winter, I think I'm going to try to root some cuttings and overwinter them under lights instead of outside. Much easier!

The lavender out front is doing pretty well, too. I wish I had more gals to enjoy it, but the other day I was out early enough to catch one bee working in lambent light:

Just realized I left a pump running. Ack.


Annie's Granny said...

I wasn't expecting a hot day today, as we haven't had any warmth here yet, so I think I managed to cook three pots of pickling cucumbers. I, too, should have known enough to start them on the window sill. I may have a pickle-less year. I might even have a summer squash-less year, as the few that germinated were promptly devoured by insects. I'm not planning on having a stellar gardening year. I guess we just have to deal with what Mother Nature hands us.

kitsapFG said...

I have several holes to fill in the garden this year too - as several items either did not germinate or did and then went down from the prolonged cool and damp we have had for a spring. I am slowly just filling those areas in with some fall crops.

Wish you lived closer I have breeches and boots for little ones to adults - all tucked neatly into my daughter's pony club tack box and rally kit/storage container. I loved the picture of the lesson. Brings back great memories. Up until three years ago, I have always had horses in my life, and my daughter participated in pony club up until we moved from Central Washington to our current home here in Western Washington. Here's a link showing her riding my favorite old gelding (who became her mount after I retired him from competition). He was 21 years old in that photo. Passed away at the ripe old age of 29 and was active up to the day he passed.

Stefaneener said...

AG, your non-stellar garden still makes me want to weep with joy, so enjoy. We'll just have to reseed those babies (that's what weekends are for). I still have pickles from last year, so that's good. Gardeners have a special relationship with nature, as we have to not only pay attention, but respond.

kitsapFG, I am trying to look at open space as "negative space" which makes the filled stuff show up nicely ; )
I also wish we lived closer. The picture is fantastic. We have always said that horses were out of our price range, and yet this family seems to be making sure that we can have some contact -- so incredible. I was the girl who loved horses, but never had one really. I hope this boy gets to keep following his dream.

Kristin said...

I'm always amazed at how much farther along your apples are compared to mine.

I think Tor has the perfect build to be a race jockey and he has the finesse and spirit to win!