Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the Gardens

July has finally come to visit for a while and brings with it the strong sunshine that plants need to grow. Many of the plants in the garden have put on fruit in the past week and I'd like to show you some of it!
"It's Raining!!"
The Lord sent us some desperately needed rain last night!! What a delight it was to sit at the dinner table and see it suddenly start!! The Lord is good!

"Black Turtle Beans"
The beans have been flowering for several weeks now, and we have just begun to find these seed pods. I'm not sure why we weren't seeing the pods before as they must have been growing for at least a week before we saw them!
Does anyone know how to tell when dry beans are ready to pick? Green beans are one thing, dried beans another.

"Sweet Corn"
I also found little ears of corn!!! I can't wait till they are ready to eat!! The fourth of July just wasn't complete without corn on the cob!

"The Melon Patch"
Last year the boys picked a watermelon out of the garden each afternoon and stuck it in the fridge for their after dinner, or before dinner, treat! I'm sure the same will happen this year!

Now, lets move onto my garden where I've been encountering some interesting things.

I've noticed that my cosmos plants have had the tops bitten off of them, but I didn't think anything of it as they are planted around a bird feeder and assumed the birds were doing it. Then I took a closer look.....

Ants have been eating away at the tops of the cosmos plants. They've eaten holes into the sides and in general made a mess of the plants. I also had aphids on several plants so I started spraying them with a soapy water combination to kill everything. I have yet to find the nest that the ants are coming from so I'll just keep the soapy water water handy until I find and destroy the nest.
Momma thinks that the ants are sucking water from the cosmos plants since they are probably the easiest to bore into. With the lack of rain this really makes sense.

Other than the ants in my garden things are going well! As you can see the Gerber Daises and blanket flowers are loving life! I've planted quite a few caladium bulbs in the shady area and am eagerly anticipating their coming up!
I've had to pull up all of my Foxglove as it was dying so I have quite a few bare spots that need filling in. I also cut all of the iris' back since they were turning and dingy shade of brown. So, things look a little bare at this point in time!

The Humming Bird vine is a beautiful green!! I've been unwinding different tendrils to encourage growth all over the trellis.

The Butterfly Garden is doing well too. It seems that the butterflies are beginning to discover this spot as I've seen several different types on the butterfly bush recently. It's hard to catch them still long enough to get a picture!
There is also a hummingbird feeder hanging off of a shepherds hook and I have a pair of hummers visiting frequently!!! They been enjoying the butterfly bush, Hyssop, and verbena as well!!

The bees have claimed the Hyssop as their personal domain!! It's always covered in bees!!

Out at the compost bin the volunteer tomato plants seem to be thriving and make us all laugh as we walk past.
Have a terrific day!


Paula said...

Dear Ashley,

I enjoyed my visit in the vegetable garden and in your beautiful garden! Those melons look wonderful! For dried beans I leave them on the vine until the outside is dried up and brown looking, not too long mind you or the pod will come open and the seeds drop. That is fine if you want it to reseed, but if you want to save seed get them before that happens. When the outer shell is looking dry I give the bean a gentle squeeze and if it is good and hard I know they are ready. I picked too big of a pod the other day, so I left the beans out to see if they would harden up but they shriveled up instead. So make sure you let them get completely hard on the vine, in the pod. I store mine in glass jars.

You have done such a wonderful job in your garden. I just love the design and all your flowers. So glad you are having butterflies and hummingbirds. We are enjoying them as well. You must enjoy being in your garden as it is a lovely place!

We also have tomato plants that have just shown up. Isn't it wonderful!


Maiden4life said...

Dear Ashley,
How are you?
Everything in you garden looks wonderful!!! About the ants,if you find them, try sprinkling some corn starch on the nest it might work because the ants will eat the corn starch and well, corn starch swells up so it is supposed to kill the ants.( I heard this from a friend but don't know if it works:)tell me if it does)

Your friend

~*~>Jessica<~*~ said...

Hello Ashley!

Oh dear, I haven't been to your blog in a while! I enjoyed looking at all of your pictures from the many posts I have missed :)

Hmm, blackberries look yummy! I am very much looking forward to doing some preserving! Still waiting to see what sort of bounty I can get out of my cucumbers for pickles and relishes. We didn't know what to do with all of the zucchini (goodness, I hope I spelled that right!), but Mom and I are thinking "relish" this year. I planted some "big max" pumpkins, and one of the plants is huge! The kids are hoping for a big one this Fall!

Since we can only fit so much in our garden, we normally take a trip to a farm up north to pick vegetables and fruit, which is always fun! No raspberries last year though, which was disppointing, I love raspberry jam.

We had a very quiet Fourth of July here too. We palyed volleyball in the backyard and grilled some steaks. That was a real treat that we haven't had in a while!

I don't know if you saw, but I posted on my blog that I will be blogging on our Notes From Home blog now. It's too much for Mom to post there by herself, so I decided to take over for her. Hope you visit me there!

Hope you are well!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden! I am sorry that your cosmos are going thru such a rough time. I have cosmos popping up everywhere, they have become a weed :) I hope that the insecticidal soap is helping.



Ashley said...

Mrs. Paula- Thank you for the advice on the dried beans. It was a big help! Volunteer plants are always a delight! It means that you have extra produce to share (or can!) with others!
Thank you!

Bethany-I will definately try the corstarch idea if and when I ever find the ant nest. I'm not one to go hunt up the chemicals when I find a ant nest.... I usually take "delight" in spraying them with the most powerful setting the nozzle on the hose has... not exactly the most economical way for people who are on city water!

Jessica-Welcome back!! I had seen that you were now blogging at Notes From Home so I've been checking that.
It sure sounds like you are going to have your hands full with canning! We have yet to start any but we have a TON of green tomatos that we know are all going to ripen at the same time!!!

Mari-Sadly I've had to pull all the ant infested cosmos up and I'm just hoping that they don't find the plants that are left. I was really hoping for some blooms this year!
Thank you for your comment!