July 24, 2014

I took a big chance. The kind of wild risk we gardeners take in the summer. I went on vacation and left my son in charge of watering the garden and grounds. How did he do? Not all that badly. There was a severe wind storm that knocked a few things over, but most everything was where it had been.

Of course, there were a few changes. It apparently reached 100 degrees while I was away — very hot weather for the Northwest. My snap peas, which had been fading, are officially done. My lettuce had all gone to seed, as expected under such conditions. But my warm-season crops really liked the heat. Corn, squashes, tomatoes, beans, etc. are tall and happy. So I guess I have to give the boy some credit.

PS — Even though the hottest half of the summer ought to be before us, there’s still a lot of life left in the garden.

For several years, we’ve noticed that the Stella cherry tree has been sending up sprouts from its roots. You can actually follow the roots along the surface by the sprouts every 6″ or so. My project for this week is to dig those suckers out. It’s a lot of work, and I’m worried about hurting my back, so I’m only doing about 1/2 hour in the cool of the mornings. My husband is helping out, too. I know we can reclaim our lawn from the innumerable cherry trees.

As I mentioned, my warm-season crops are doing very well. My first tomatoes and cucumbers are developing nicely.

I noticed the garlic was falling over, so I’ve pulled them out and they’re drying on my back porch rack. Also, the second wave of my lilies have come into bloom. These are the Asiatic ones, white with magenta freckles. They look and smell wonderful.

But, best of all, I’ve tasted my first blackberry of the year!

Indoor Forest
Although my son was diligent outside, the plants inside were significantly wilted when we got home. I lost my oregano transplant and am trying to save a baby Christmas Cactus. The cutting was given to me by the horticulture teacher at Shadle High School, from a beautiful old plant.

The Hen & Chicks plant had a whole bunch of “chicks” growing when I left. The stems are now drying out, so I’ll soon be able to place those out in my yard.

With the sunflowers now blooming, I’ve started to see and hear goldfinches in my yard. They love the sunflowers seeds and come to visit me every year. It’s a treat for me, as long as the cats both stay inside!

Until next week, I hope the summer has been good to your garden.


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