Rattlesnake pole bean

Rattlesnake pole bean

There wasn’t much going on in the garden this week, at least not with the gardener. A bit of heat, a lot of humidity, a few nights of not good sleeping, and bad allergies have worn me out. I did manage to get out and do a little weeding during today’s chilly windy morning. It is still cool and windy out and we just had a brief rain shower. I was going to do a video this morning of all the flowers blooming in my front yard but it was too windy so it will just have to wait for another time. Next week maybe.

The corn is chest high now and blooming and I picked a few pole beans this morning. The beans are growing up the corn. They are an heirloom variety called rattlesnake, green with purple streaks. I haven’t cooked them yet so I don’t know if the purple will remain. I’ll let you know.

We picked the first zucchini of the year and a couple of fat pickling cucumbers. Bookman will turn the cucumbers into

Pumpkin blossom

Pumpkin blossom

refrigerator pickles. The zucchini, not sure yet. We knew they were coming eventually but we aren’t quite ready for them since we’ve been busy keeping up with the beans. And a second flush of peas is coming ripe. Summer has always been too hot by now that I have never gotten a second harvest of peas, but this year, in spite of a few really hot days, it has been incredibly mild. The peas this second time around are smaller than the first batch but no less tasty. I also pulled up the rest of the German garlic and for the most part it came up with decent bulbs, a little on the small side maybe, but big enough to use.

The anise hyssop is is full bloom now and covered with fuzzy purple flowers and pollinators of all kinds — several different kinds of bees including “my” bumblebees, flies (very important pollinators, these are not houseflies), and the occasional moth and red admiral butterfly. All these creatures are so loud, I can hear the plant buzzing when I walk by it. Since the bush beans are planted right next to it, picking beans is a nerve wracking experience because everyone has to come investigate me too. They just buzz by my head, realize I am not a flower to pollinate and go back to the hyssop, but while my head knows they are not after me, the little kid inside who is terrified of getting bit or stung has a hard time being nonchalant about it. It takes a conscious effort.

Mystery flower no more

Mystery flower no more

In the polyculture bed the mysterious weed I mentioned in my video tour has bloomed. Big white trumpet flower on an upright plant. It looks very much like a Datura of some kind, and what do you know? It is! An easy Google search revealed it to be Datura metel “Belle Blanche.” If I had a warmer climate it would turn into a shrub-like plant 4 feet (1.2m) across. The flowers are supposedly sweetly scented like honeysuckle, especially at night. I say supposedly because I generally don’t go around sniffing flowers due to my allergies and standing next to it while taking a photo I did not smell anything. Maybe Bookman will agree to brave the mosquitoes tonight and go take a whiff on my behalf. I have no idea how this made it into my garden, a squirrel or bird must have left a seed behind and it sprouted. It’s pretty so I will let it be for now, at least until it shows signs of turning into a 4-foot monster, then it will have to go.

Amy Pond is recovering from all of the raccoon attacks. The floating “cabbages” that go shredded have reproduced from

Blackberry flowers

Blackberry flowers

their broken pieces so now I have about six little ones floating in the water. There is at least one fish still in the pond, perhaps all three are still there but they have become very good at hiding. The solar pump Bookman ordered online arrived Friday and we put it together and installed it this morning. The pump is for a fountain so has a fountain stem through which it forces the water. We have it sitting just at the surface so the water comes out but doesn’t go far, just dribbles back and moves the surface of the pond a little. The solar panel is of excellent quality too, it even works when it is lightly overcast. Very pleased. So now should a raccoon decide to eat the remaining fish, we are still covered on the mosquito prevention front. Win!

The week ahead is looking fine. Bookman has a birthday on Wednesday and we have taken days off from work which means I only have to work Monday and Tuesday. The weather forecast is indicating comfortable humidity and temperatures around 80F (27C) during the day and cooling off to around 58F (14C) at night. If that comes true and my allergies don’t continue to trouble me, I should be a very active gardener during the week. Who knows what exciting stories I might have for you next Sunday?

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