Waiting

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Watched, watching, on edge,

Alert, still, a sentinel—

near garden clearing.

Waiting, expecting

today’s magic appearance—

 Carrot offering.

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©2016, ontheland.wordpress.com

This rabbit was on the edge of my garden and probably on edge, with me standing nearby —I wanted to move closer, but knew he would run when I moved.  TJ’s Household Haiku prompt ‘Edge’ gave me a way to tell this story with haiku. Some of my readers will recall that earlier this summer there was much munching in my garden—a widespread challenge due to the drought conditions, I am told by a local newspaper.  To this day I have been putting carrots out to curb their appetites.

End of June Vegetable Garden Visit

Welcome to the second 2016 visit to my vegetable garden—all photos were taken in the last days of June.  I can’t show every angle so I select shots that I think may be of interest.  June was a dry month and I thought growth was slow.  Yet when I compared pictures from this time last year, I discovered that some parts of the garden are farther along.  I need patience and gained perspective.

I start with the beans.  The tall bamboo poles (on my blog masthead) are a statement of growth.  I love how pole bean vines wind upwards.

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The zucchini plant is growing rapidly.  In the bottom left corner: yellow dill umbrella flowers and a single calendula flower bloom.  In the upper right corner: bean plants.

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Here is a closeup of a calendula flower between the garlic plants.  About five years ago, I planted dill and calendula—they have self-seeded ever since.

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The cucumber plants are growing:

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Peppers are starting to show.  They emerge from tiny star flowers.

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Pepper flower

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I harvested three beets today.

Peas emerge from delicate white flowers.  They are flourishing and will be finished soon.

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Vegetables that didn’t make it to this photo post are winter squash, onions, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli (a story in itself).  Thanks for visiting!

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com

 

 

Garlic scapes curl

This is my first year successfully growing garlic plants (second attempt) and I am excited.  When I say ‘successful’, I mean that I have large garlic plants growing out back–the ultimate success will be garlic bulbs at harvest time.

I have just learned that garlic plants send flower buds out on round stocks that curl and spiral. They’re called ‘scapes’.  They can be snapped off and eaten–in fact you want to remove them to promote the growth of the bulbous roots.  I have a small container of scapes in the fridge ready to be  used like garlic in summer salads and stir fries.

It struck me that these curling scapes might be of interest to those taking photos of curves for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.  My first picture shows what a scape looks like when snapped off the plant.  The second photo shows two scapes curling beside each other.

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Trimmed garlic scape
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Garlic scapes demonstrating synchronized curves

©2016, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

End of May garden visit

Welcome to my vegetable garden.  Last year I posted photos at the end of each month and found the process quite rewarding.  It’s amazing to see the changes every 30 days. For a slideshow method of viewing just click on a photo; captions pop up when  you hover over the bottom of a photo.  I close with a haiku after the photo gallery.

Bare teepee trellis,

hope soars above barren earth,

buried seeds awake.

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Grids and Garden Views: Weekly Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”

The photo challenge this week is to post one or more photos featuring images of grids.  I have  chosen four images. The first provides the strongest grid impact with a diagonal grid pattern in the foreground.  The second, features a less dramatic diagonal grid effect. The final pair of photos provides views of my vegetable garden in summer and fall through a green-coloured trellis netting, creating a rectangular grid pattern. 

Cave Seen Through a Fence

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Lookout Point

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July View of Vegetable Garden Through Pea Trellis Netting

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This July photo inspired me to take a second through-the-trellis shot today.  Notice the differences between the July and September views.  In July, pea vines are in the foreground on the trellis; and behind, the bean vines climb the bamboo teepee, and the yellow calendula flowers bloom on the right.  In the September view, there is nothing growing on the trellis and behind, dill flower heads are browning, the bean plants are well-weathered, calendula seed heads are drying, and there are an abundance of orange marigolds.

September 18 View of Vegetable Garden Through Trellis Netting

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To see more photographs featuring grid patterns, please follow the link provided in the first line of this post.

End of Summer Vegetable Garden Visit 2015

This is my vegetable garden’s 5th year–just as I thought I was catching on–mother nature supplied a new set of weather conditions. Every year I have tried to get seeds and transplants into the ground earlier, but this year I held back due to cold nights extending into June.  I am not a great weather historian and don’t keep daily notes, but after the cold I recall a long wet spell followed by full force heat.  And now, after a stretch of unusual coolness, we are in the middle of hot, foggy, humidity.

Fortunately I grow for only two people.  So although the amount of some crops, such as zucchini and cucumber, was under average, I  have supplies in the refrigerator and have made a few batches of both sweet and savoury zucchini breads, with probably more to come.  I don’t do preserves so there is no disappointment there–I was thinking of exploring community donations, but that won’t happen this year.

The garden started to mature by late mid-August.  The pictures I show below were all taken after the 20th; probably half were snapped on the 31st.

Bell peppers
Bell peppers

The bell peppers plants were more leafy than usual this year and a bit nibbled by the baby grasshoppers–which by the way, have multiplied and matured,  and are currently hopping and flying all over the place.  It’s the year of the grasshopper.  These peppers can ripen into red peppers, but it may take a while.  I harvested a nice collection last year, but I am not sure I will this year.  If a green pepper shows any signs of ‘age’ or  potential decay, I harvest it;  I already have quite a few in the fridge.

The milkweed are maturing:

Common Milkweed
Common Milkweed

I planted two winter squash plants and only one good size squash has survived to date. Let’s hope I harvest it at the optimum moment.  This one is on a vine that snuck in with the cherry tomato plants.  I’m glad I let it roam.

Nutter Butter Squash
Nutter Butter Squash

On August 31, I discovered two renegade zucchini.  No matter how closely I keep watch, they sometimes escape my notice and explode in size.  The biggest one of the two late bloomers below, was 14 inches long and weighed 3.25 pounds.

As plants start to dry out and stop producing, new shoots and flowers continue to appear– makes me think of how even in physical old age we can blossom and show signs of youth and creativity. The flower below is on an ‘ancient’ bean plant.

Late Fortex Bean Flower
Late Fortex Bean Flower

Yellow dill flower heads brown and produce seeds that may be harvested or left to scatter in the wind.  Dill plants can grow quite tall.  This year they averaged 5′ with the tallest one soaring to just under 6′.

Mature Dill Seed Head
Mature Dill Seed Head
Tall  Maturing Dill Plants
Tall Maturing Dill Plants

Coriander’s small white flowers become green seed balls, which mature to a brown color.  The leaves harvested before this plant flowers are known as ‘cilantro’. I regret that the green balls are not in sharp focus–I tried.

Green Coriander Seeds
Green Coriander Seeds

Fortunately I am the only member of my household who can eat raw tomatoes–so the low crop of ripe cherry tomatoes is not a tragedy.  The peak was on August 24 when I harvested 91.  The picture below was taken a few days before the ‘peak’.  If we have some  warm sunny days in September, I may find more of these golden fruits.

Blondkopfchen Cherry Tomatoes
Blondkopfchen Cherry Tomatoes

French Marigolds in a Vegetable Garden: ‘From every Angle’ Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “From Every Angle.”

This week the WordPress weekly photo challenge invited us to photograph a stationary subject from different angles, for example from above, from below, from the left and from the right. As I browsed my camera shots  I realized that, though I often take multiple photos of a subject, my variations are usually subtle–aiming to display a variety of angles was to be an interesting exercise.

This evening I went out back and took some pictures of maturing wild ‘corn’ stalks and thistles–unfortunately I wasn’t very pleased with the results. I sauntered over to the vegetable garden to do my daily look around and selective watering.  While there, I realized that a particular patch of French Marigolds has become quite bushy. As  I have been harvesting vegetables and removing their remnants for the compost bin, the Marigolds have been blazing strong. Here are a few shots taken from different angles:

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French marigolds — Tagetes Patula

Why Marigolds in a Vegetable Garden?

French marigolds, the flowers shown in my gallery, are thought to be the most effective kind of marigold for a vegetable garden. (Hawthorn Farm seed packet and SFGate Homeguide.)

Marigolds add colour and beauty to a vegetable garden, and  have other roles as well.  They are planted as helpful companions to attract beneficial hoverflies and repel  pests.  For example, it is thought that marigolds repel cabbage worms from cruciferous crops and that their root secretions kill harmful nematodes (microscopic root worms).  For their nematode killing properties they are often planted near tomato plants.