nasturtium & beans

nasturtium & beans

The weather remains so perfectly gorgeous I can’t offer up any sort of complaint about it at all other than we need some rain. We’ve not had any worthwhile rainfall for a couple weeks now and have had to resort to regular waterings of the garden. Our rain barrel is almost empty and this morning I had to let the hose run on the apple trees for a little while because even they were beginning to look unhappy. There has been rain in the forecast a few times but it seems that as soon as it gets to the city it just evaporates. There is significant rain promised for tonight and because we gave the garden a good watering this morning it is bound to happen. I should probably also wash the car for good measure.

I am still picking beans. We have beans coming out our ears. We even gave some to our neighbor of the cherry tree because his beans aren’t doing well. I read somewhere last year that as long as you keep picking beans and don’t let them go to seed, they will keep producing. It seems to be true. I am tempted to stop picking them but then I consider that if I do, I will regret it come December when we are eating the last frozen bunch from the freezer.

I am so very glad we were prudent enough to only plant two zucchini plants. Even with only two plants we are getting more

giant zucchini

giant zucchini

zucchini than I thought possible. No wonder I have heard stories about gardeners leaving baskets of zucchini on neighbor’s porches in the middle of the night because they don’t know what else to do with them and they can’t get rid of them fast enough. I pulled another huge zucchini out of the garden this morning. I put a ballpoint pen next to it for scale in the photo. Last week this squash was the size of a fat pencil so I didn’t think to bother checking it during the week. Mistake! Bookman is in the kitchen as I type shredding it up to freeze. We will use it later on this year to make some zucchini bread or muffins once the thought no longer makes us cringe and beg for the zucchini insanity to stop. Until then, there are more out in the garden I will be keeping an eye on. I found a zucchini fritter recipe earlier this week that Bookman is going to veganize. They are like potato latkes (yum!) except with zucchini instead of potatoes. Looking forward to trying them and if it is a success, of course we’ll share the recipe.

morning glory

morning glory

I’ve mentioned that we get free wood chips from the city, they have designated free chip piles in various locations. About a month ago we had a big storm and we lost about 3,000 trees across the city. Gardeners were looking forward to making lemonade from the disaster, expecting there would be lots and lots of wood chips. But the chips never materialized. Some gardeners got grumpy because really, the wood chips aren’t free. We pay for the service through our property taxes. Someone complained to the Park and Recreation Board. And then more people complained. And then there was a bit of a scandal.

Turns out in order to save money the city cut back on its chipper crews and sent most of the chipping to Koda Energy, a company that rents land from the city and burns the chips in a waste-to-energy plant. The city didn’t pay for the disposal nor did Koda Energy pay the city for the wood, it was a sort of equal exchange of services. Except that gardeners were left out of the equation. There ended up being so much uproar about it the city got Koda Energy to donate wood chips back to them through August second so the city could keep a limited number of wood chip piles stocked up.

Bookman and I figured we were not likely to see any more wood chips this summer and planned this morning to go buy some

sunflower

sunflower

bags so we could keep working on our garden path. But on the off chance that there might still be some, I sent Bookman to the pile by our lake and we hit the jackpot. Bookman made about four or five trips this morning filling trash cans and five-gallon buckets. Now we have a rather large pile of wood chips in our garden that should meet our needs for the path and then some. It’s nice to be lucky for a change. Our garden path is half done. I will be sure to take a photo and share our work when it is completed in a week or two. Or three. Maybe four.

sunchoke

sunchoke

Not much new blooming this week. The sunchoke, also called Jerusalem artichoke is blooming. It is in the sunflower family and makes edible tubers. I only planted one plant so will have to wait a year or two for it to spread a bit before I can harvest any of them. We were also delighted by a volunteer sunflower that has been growing in the compost pile. How the squirrels missed that one when they were running around the garden digging up all the ones we sprouted and planted on purpose I do not know. We also have morning glories blooming. These reseeded themselves from ones we had growing on the fence last year. Only last year they were blue and this year they are pink.

A few weeks ago I promised a photo of my coneflower bed in my boulevard garden once it hit full stride. Well that would be this week. In this bed are purple coneflowers, ratibida, prairie blazing star and sideoats grama, a prairie grass. There

coneflower bed

coneflower bed

used to be a huge bunch of the grass in the middle of the bed but it was so very happy there it was crowding everything else out. So we removed the bunch and now there are nice little patches mostly on the street-side edge of the bed that are pretty and interesting without being out of control. This bed will keep going for another couple of weeks before it begins to wind down. We leave the flowers up to die back through the fall because goldfinches like the coneflower seeds.

And now I am going to stop rambling on and go spend some time in this garden of mine. I have more beans to pick, some weeds to pull, and a garden path to work on.

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