First, there’s kale. This one is close to the house, just inside the gate. Presumably so we don’t have to travel so far in the cold weather to harvest the leaves. When we finally have cold weather. Two hundred years from now. Or so it seems…
I took a solo walk around the gardens this morning. Bill had gone fishing, Julia was asleep and Alex was inside eating breakfast.
These are the pictures I took. (And wait til you see how the 3 sisters are doing!)
Just after the kale, there’s dill (front left) and red cabbage (lower right). Beyond them – an assortment of hot peppers.
Like this one:
I think that’s a White Tomasol. I’m pretty sure. It seems to be the right shape. Only Bill knows for sure.
Well…I’d know if I dug out his gardening ring binder and looked. But…nah. I’m content in my pretty sureness.
Yep. Zucchini. We’ve got five already on the counter, and more (and more) growing quickly outside. Two zucchini plants. One of them is producing longer fruit, the other is offering up kind of short and stubby zucchini, even though they are (I assume) from the same packet of seeds. Funny.
Bee diving into a pattypan blossom.
Bee hiding within pattypan blossom, giggling and whispering with the two other bees that were already in there.
We’re going to have a lot of pattypans. And a lot of zucchini.
Last year we only had four zucchini. We’d taken some advice offered as a way to avoid those beetles that lay eggs along the stems of squash plants and then the larvae burrow into the stems and kill the plants, branch by branch. The advice was to wait til after the first of July before planting our squash, because apparently when the beetles see that June is over, they stop laying eggs and fly off to Nova Scotia for the cooler weather. Or something like that.
Anyway, we planted in early July and okay, no beetles, but also, and worse, NO SQUASH. Well, not very much.
This year we decided to take our chances with beetles and their offspring because we KNOW that if we plant earlier we’ll get plenty of summer squash before anything bad happens. If it happens.
After I took the pictures of summer squash, I sat down and took these two pictures of the two “3 Sisters” gardens.
In case you’re wondering, yes, the corn was definitely knee-high by the fourth of July.
It’s not yet as high as an elephant’s eye, however.
Anyway, LOOK at those two fabulous raised beds! The corn is growing tall and strong, the squash is growing everywhere, and the beans are starting to twine and climb up the corn.
IT’S VERY EXCITING!!!
And – to add to all the squashy excitement sprawling and commando-crawling through our yard, we’ve got several rogue squash plants trying to take over.
The squashes they’re producing look like this:
The markings are similar to a butternut (see below)
But they’re round, like the Black Futzu variety we grew a couple of years ago.
We had some last year that appeared to be cross-bred butternut/futzu and they were more like really squat butternut. They still had a fatter end and a narrower end, but the difference in diameter was not as extreme as you usually see. The flesh in some was darker (like the futzu), too.
So who knows what these will be like.
Only time will tell.
Here’s one of the many butternut limbs making a break from the confines of that 4×4 raised bed.
I love tendrils. If I didn’t rein myself in, I’d probably take hundreds of pictures of tendrils and just gaze at the in fascination for hours at a time.
(It’s a little-known fact that butternut squash like to swim in backyard pools and will climb plastic just for a refreshing dip.)
(Back to the 3 Sisters)
Here are a few “group shots” of them doing EXACTLY what they’re supposed to do – coexisting peacefully, with the corn standing tall, the squash covering the ground, and the beans climbing the corn.
(That’s a red noodle bean vine.)
And these little guys are Jacob’s Cattle Beans! Aren’t they cute?
The beans inside will be white and brown – like cowhide. We’ll dry them and at some point use them for slow-cooked baked beans or something else equally fabulous.
And – the newest member of our winter squash family -
This is the biggest one so far. They are, I’ve heard, one of the very best eating pumpkins to grow. I’ve also heard that they can grow quite large, so we’ll be watching these with great anticipation. They also, when mature, will have an orange skin with brown warts.
I’m so excited!
Our Galeux D’Eysines plants seem quite strong and healthy and determined to go where they will.
These are them. Some of them. Breaking on through to the other side.
Une petite galeux d’eysines.
And, the corn. Not as exciting, perhaps, as the climbing beans and the roaming squash, but later this summer, when we see little pale yellow tufts of silk spilling from the husks of baby ears of corn, these plants will be very exciting indeed.
Okay, I think that’s enough of the sisters for today.
We’ve got plenty of other things growing, though I didn’t take pictures of everything.
But…there are these –
Itty bitty pickling cucumbers.
By the time they reach maturity, the dill heads you saw in the second picture will have finished flowering and will turn brown with seeds. Then comes fermented dill pickle season!
And last, but not least, a hydrangea.
Not destined for the dinner table.
Just beauty for beauty’s sake.
I hope you enjoyed today’s tour!