Sunday, June 2, 2013

Garden 2013

Okay, so let's face it. I'm not the greatest at keeping us with this blog, although I do really enjoy doing it. I think I just need to work it into my schedule, you know?

Either way I'm glad to be able to share with you the fruits of my garden labor for this season.

In my humble opinion, I think it looks slightly less like a jungle than last year.  Not that I really care. :)

These are actually leftover from last season. Since I'm in Zone 7a, violets and pansies can overwinter outside.  These are my Amber Kiss violets that I planted (from seed) last August/September or so.  However, the cold came pretty early last fall, so these actually didn't appear until early spring this year.     They look great, although it's starting to get too warm for them, so I don't think that they have much longer. Hence why they're starting to look a little droopy.

I am so glad that I started my plants indoors this year. (Post about starting seedlings indoors coming soon.) Everything is really healthy (so far, fingers crossed!) and they're definitely producing fruit much earlier. I have a few tomatoes growing on some of the plants and all of my tomatoes have started flowering. Tomatoes didn't start until at least July last year and then it was way too hot for them to do much of anything.

I think this is my Patio Princess. Everything got a little mixed up during the transplanting process. Next year's goal - plant markers.
The light's a little weird in this picture (and please, I don't edit the pictures, it's all I can do to get them on the blog), but I kind of like it.

Flowering tomatoes. I think this might be one of my Super Sauces. I think I have two. I had three or four, but one definitely died. A couple of tomatoes went to go live with my parents. I was a little overzealous when seed starting. 

I did direct sow the Nasturtium, which is starting up. Last year hardly any grew, but I learned that you need to soak the seed (or nick the seed coats) to get them to germinate because they have this really hard shell - almost like a dried chickpea. But just toss them in some water the night before you plan to plant them and they'll do just fine. Just don't leave them too long, so they don't rot.

Peppers are growing, too! I have big block ones and little teeny mini ones. I have no idea which one this is. Oops.

Lettuce growing right alongside the flowers. We're trying to gobble it up before it bolts, which with this heat wave could be soon. Lettuce, kale, and peas are really my only cool season veggies that did much of anything. I may stick to those from now on.

See? Flowers and veggies living in the front yard in harmony. Personally, I think they look quite nice. 

Yellow squash is starting to grow. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully no squash vine borer destroying the plants this year.

So, plants are both ladies and gentlemen, too. The top picture shows you a lady flower growing on the yellow squash (see how there's a baby yellow squash on the underside of the flower?). The bottom is a dude flower (no baby = boy). You need them both for the baby to actually do anything; otherwise it'll just fall off and die.

Also a good reason for planting both flowers and veggies. Having lots of flowers attracts pollinators (butterflies, ladybugs, bees, etc.) who then pollinate your lady flowers = veggies for you to eat. :)

Marigolds are doing really great, too.  See this one starting to open up? 
Marigolds are the queen of companion planting. They get along with pretty much every plant, but a lot of the bad bugs (i.e. the ones that destroy your plants) don't like them. They have a strong smell, so they're stinky to a lot of those pests.

A win all around - adds color to your garden, pretty, and purposeful.

I've loved snapdragons for a long time. As a kid I had two little windowboxes attached to our front porch. I think there were other flowers, but I specifically remember the snapdragons. I thought they were so cool and I completely manhandled the blossoms. You know how you can gently pull them apart and they can "talk?" 

You didn't? I bet you're going to try it the next time you get the chance.

These will bloom until around early July. Then I'll cut them back to about 6 inches and they should bloom again come fall.

This is my little friend from the Occoquan Craft Festival last fall. Isn't he cute?

I clearly need to trim the bushes. Please don't judge...too much.


More marigold. Different variety - this is either Crackerjack or Taishan Yellow. Time will tell.

Kale and lettuce growing alongside zinnia and marigold.

So far, so good. I've got a few more tomatoes and something else fun growing in the backyard, but I'll show those later. :)

Also, I definitely tried to get pictures of the cicadas because, well, they're just kind of cool. And while those buggers are EVERYWHERE, I couldn't find one to get a picture. 

Well, I did find one, but I scared him away.

I for sure could hear them, though and their weird almost mechanical sound.

Thanks for joining me, enjoy your Sunday!

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