Gardening · Photography

Garden Pictures from This Morning


Most mornings when I’m not working really early Bill and I take our coffee and walk around the yard looking at the gardens.  It’s my favorite part of the day.  Here’s some of what we looked at this morning.

First up – tomatillos!  Yay!  It’ll be a while before the fruit is big enough to pick – you can’t even feel them inside their papery lantern-like cocoons, but just seeing them makes me happy. 


Here’s one of our treasured Galeux d’Eysines.  This one’s still in my modified bikini top but I’m thinking pretty soon I’ll need to change her into a larger size hammock.

I took this picture to show you those little brownish bumpy things near the stalk.  Eventually they will show up all over the pumpkin/squash, and they’re formed from sugars basically leaking out of the fruit. 


Here’s another of the Galeux – this one’s resting in the garden so it doesn’t need a sling or hammock or bikini top.  We think this is the biggest of the four.


Here’s one of our tiny pattypan squashes.  The variety we have this year is much smaller than the varieties we’ve grown in the past, and, while they’re certainly adorable, we’ve decided the plants take up way too much space for the tiny amount of food they produce.  Bill trimmed one back to let more light hit our leeks, and we picked a bunch of squash blossoms from it (and the other pattypan plant) to up the production a bit.  I think we might yank one of them at some point anyway.   


Yellow pear tomatoes.  They’ve just started to ripen – Bill harvested two last night.  We never buy seeds for these – they reseed themselves and show up all over the gardens every year.  They’re a helpful sort of tomato.


Public Service Announcement:  Plants don’t like pool chemicals.

Bill was trying to clear up the algae issue in the pool recently – the water looked like the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day – and as he was putting algae killer into the water a gust of wind blew some of the chemical onto the nearby butternuts.  Despite the ravaged leaves, the plants are doing fine.


Coriander!  We let our earliest cilantro go to seed every year and then harvest the seeds.  They’re starting to turn brown now, so probably in a week or two we’ll be cutting these down and picking the seeds.  It’s a tedious job, I suppose, one that Bill can’t stand to do, but I like it.  I’ve even written about it.  I find it relaxing – easy, mindless work I can do with my hands while my mind drifts here and there.  


One of our hybrids.  It’s looking more futsu-like now.


And here’s a little baby one from the same plant.  I thought it was rather cute, tucked beneath the huge protective leaves.


And – the corn!  It’s thriving!  A bunch of the plants are taller than I am, which is cool.  I like being shorter than the plants.  I like the view.


Elephant’s eye, anyone?


A few more corn pictures…




Last stop in the back yard – dill.  This is the first head that’s gone to seed, and within the next day or so I’ll make some fermented dilly beans.  Bill’s looking forward to them.

Then a quick stop in the front yard:


Things are not so pretty here.

Our blueberries have Mummy Berry Disease.  They started out gorgeous, but as soon as they begin to turn ripe they start to shrivel up and become hard as little rocks.  So we need to clear out all the mulch and dirt beneath these plants and get rid of it, then cover it all again (first we’ll be cutting away all the mummified berries to prevent more of the fungus from infiltrating our garden) with clean earth and mulch.  I think the new stuff has to be at least 4 inches deep.  Then, hopefully, next year we will not have this problem.

And that’s the end of our tour. 

I’ve got today off, so here’s what I’m doing:  Cooking down chicken stock so I can can it later today.  Making spanikopeta with our New Zealand spinach.  Finishing up the rectangular fruit tarts that the kids can just pop in the toaster.  I started them a while ago but they didn’t impress me so I didn’t finish.  The kids (and Bill), however, have asked me to reconsider, so I’ll bake the rest off today.  I already baked two loaves of bread.  I need to make either ricotta or mozzarella (haven’t decided yet) for stuffed squash blossoms later.  I’ve got several loads of laundry to do, too.  And one more post I’d like to write today.

It’s supposed to be hot and humid – upper eighties – so it’s a PERFECT day to have the oven running pretty much all day.  Oh, and Bill’s making a small (5 gallon) batch of beer, so he’s using one of the burners on the stove as well.  The only thing NOT cooking inside are the racks of ribs.  They’re outside in the smoker as I type this.

What are you up to today?

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