Summer is certainly here and the plants around me show it. I’ve focused on what is happening in the garden, and the plants are doing well, but the garden is surrounded by established trees and other wild plants. There is a honeysuckle vine that is still blooming, a pecan tree with promises of nuts in the fall and every tree is a lush green despite the heat. The plants have a delicate balance with the weather. The heat is withering, and yet there are frequent thunderstorms with high winds which also bring rain. I believe the cucumbers will have the best luck with the weather. The sun gives them energy and the rain gives them water to expand. I only hope the tomatoes follow the cucumbers. There are five ripening on the vine and what a delight they will be.
It’s easy to forget about the brilliance of the summer sun when winter turns the sky grey. Summer and the dapples of light on the lawn or the wooden fence is a favorite sight. Today there are white puffy clouds and perhaps a thunderstorm later.
The first of the cucumbers were ready to pick! They’re a nice addition to 4th of July festivities. The rambling cucumber vine has grown rapidly and given us the means of a tasty salad. The bean plants are continuing to give a bountiful harvest. I found a tomato forming on the largest tomato plant and I hope that it has time to ripen. The potatoes are in bloom with lovely (but toxic) white flowers. There have been many struggles to get to this point and most of them have been my lack of gardening experience. I’m truly grateful for the ongoing harvest and look forward to keeping busy picking vegetables.
To keep busy and find a use for extra scraps, I decided to make some small things for picture dioramas. I also used the small shells in my collection. I found scrap paper in packing boxes and used it to make small books. I haven’t put anything inside, yet, but that is a project for another day.
I was pleased to find ears forming on one of the corn stocks, I expect the others to follow soon. The silk in already on the new ears and I hope there is enough pollen to make a decent cob. At least one cucumber plant is getting ready to bloom. It is growing in all directions and even shading nearby plants. I’ll fix that when the vine is long enough to train. There are flower buds on the potato plants and the largest tomato plant has flowers just about to open. Yesterday the temperature was into the 90’s (Fahrenheit) and the zucchinis looked droopy and actually after a few minutes in the heat I felt droopy too. After sunset, the zucchinis went back to their vibrant selves. Today there is rain, maybe a thunderstorm, but a good soaking for the garden and I won’t need to water for a while.
The corn stocks are growing. They are getting tassels on top. They aren’t very tall and there’s only four of them, but there will be corn. It’s a welcome sign of summer. As the sun shines on the garden, the vegetables will soak up the rays and grow. There’s been a recent rain with the accompanying thunderstorms and so far the corn have weathered it all. I think of the rain as a friendly helper in the garden and I look forward to the harvest. There were an abundance of blossoms on the bean plants already I’ve picked some of the beans.
I’ve included an image of one of the Roma tomato plants. I grew it from seed and hopefully it will produce tomatoes.
A drenching rain fell last week and I fretted over the fate of the garden. Would it be drowned? Would it be blown away in the fierce wind? Fortunately the garden was spared and the potatoes I had planted decided to sprout. I’m glad the wild wind spared the bean plants because they are beginning to bloom. Likewise the zucchini is preparing to blossom. I haven’t seen many bees, but I did spot a large bumblebee this morning. I told her there were bean blossoms to pollinate and asked her to send her friends. It can’t hurt to ask.
Although the above picture is cross-stitch, is isn’t counted cross-stitch because I didn’t work from a pattern. It is the result of left over embroidery floss, boredom and a great desire to connect to the divine through crafts. The project was inspired by mandalas and I tried to keep the pattern as symmetrical a possible. I noticed that the further I went from the center, the harder it was to determine where the next stitch should go. There are small flaws in these mandalas, but I accept them as an exit from the endless circles of the pattern.
I predict I’ll have ups and downs in the garden. This week I found that the potatoes had sprouted eyes, so before they grew ears, noses and mouths I decided to put them in the garden. I know they won’t be big potatoes when I harvest them, but the sad loss of half a bag of potatoes will mean extra at the end of summer. While digging out a place to plant my latest crop, I found a piece of rock. At first I thought it was just a broken chunk of brick from the ornamental trim surrounding the patio, but on closer inspection I saw that it was a gneiss. These rocks are metamorphic. A gneiss (pronounced nice) is composed of two types of feldspar, quartz, mica and hornblende. Now I could claim it was a piece of the Appalachians that had worked it’s way to the coastal plain, but the angular sides tell me it was probably a broken ornamental tile or piece of aggregate. If nothing else comes of the garden, at least I found an interesting rock and no one can stop me believing it’s a part of the Appalachians.
After seeing other posts about the color blue, I decided to make my own. This color is my favorite. When choosing clothes, I gravitate to the color blue. I associate it with tranquility and calm. This is a poem inspired by blue.
Of a Favorite Color Calming coolness comes Soothing to the eye and the mind Others feel sad, but I find gladness
Blue is my favorite, I garb myself in shades of calm My eyes rest in tranquile hues
Delighting in turquoise skies and azure lakes. Lost in sparkling saphire depths Found on a robin’s egg.
Bright as a beach in summer, Cool as an icicle in winter Always a pleasure for me.
The flowers are blooming. I wish I could take credit for the abundance of blossoms around me, but the roses belong to a neighbor, the Mediterranean lilac needs no tending and the honeysuckle grows like a weed where I live. I haven’t had much success in my vegetable garden due to several issues. There are four dogs that use the same space, the soil is very sandy, and there is more insect larva than there ought to be. I’m also a very novice gardener. Any past success with gardening was due to building on the work of others. This garden was mostly lawn before I carved out the area. I did leave plenty of lawn for the dogs, but they go where ever they want and eat seedlings if they find them tasty. The back yard is visited by raccoons and opossums too.
In the dead of winter, I missed the bright red roses, the sweet smelling honeysuckle and the shyly showy lilac. It is wonderful to see them again. The roses will bless the neighbor’s yard for a long while. They were still blooming in January before going dormant for a short while. Now I must gather my resources and use the little I have to make the most of the vegetable garden. At this point the most I can say is that I started, and I’m determined to finish.