The garden says it’s time for another installment, because the morning glories have finally begun to bloom!
We have purple *and* solid white blooms now.
This is perhaps the most exciting development for David and me, since every morning for over a month we have not so patiently watched the morning glories climb the trellises outside our downstairs southern window:
If you’ve ever wondered about the innate intelligence of plants, I suggest growing morning glories. Those vines seem to know exactly where the next attachment point exists, even if it’s over a foot away. Although we’ve been waiting with baited breath for the blooms to arrive, we’ve really enjoyed our morning ritual of seeing what those vines have done overnight. I saved these seeds from our place in Madison, where they came in all purple. I’m excited to see if the differences in soil wind up giving us a variety of colors instead of just the purple, which, admittedly, I love. Still, it was exciting to see a pure white bloom this morning, too.
In other news, we now have a sunflower, with many more promising to burst forth soon:
Lemon Queen Sunflowers
This is an heirloom “Lemon Queen” variety, whose packet indicated 4-5 feet tall. Ummmm, despite the fact that I only provided about 6 inches of soil on top of the landscape cloth out front, these guys are now closer to eight feet and climbing! They must have thrust a tap root through the cloth. If you look closely, you can see that each stalk has multiple arms and heads. We will soon have sunflowers at all sorts of heights and locations — perfect for indoor cuttings. I planted this particular variety with an eye towards bringing the occasional sunflower to David’s mom, so that she can enjoy them inside her home.
In other flower and fruiting news, I’ve already harvested more tomatoes than we need, giving them away to neighbors, friends and David’s parents, and we’ve got calendula and zinnias happily growing with tomatoes, kale, oregano, chard and French sorrel:
One of the zinnias I grew from seed has finally made it to flowering:
You can see it above living happily with another variety of zinnias, salvia from my friend, Martha, dill, marigolds, Swiss chard, thyme, red geraniums, and green onions. This heirloom variety offers multiple colors “too many to list,” but I love that it came in fuschia, like so many of the plants people have given me. We now have hot pink/fuschia yarrow, echinacea and campion roses — all free, all fun — and now fuschia zinnias, as well.
The garden is growing so fast that I recently had to booby trap it with outlying stakes and twine. My tomatoes were beginning to crush my dwarf Siberian kale whenever the wind blew. I think I fed my tomato seedlings too many coffee grounds, because they are incorrigible! I prune those leafy branches almost daily, and yet they’re still enormous and still produce tons of tomatoes.
Booby trapped tomatoes, grape vines and a cucumber blossom
In the world of squash and melons in crates, we’ve got some seemingly happy campers:
Jubilee watermelon with two teeny, tiny fruits
Pride of Wisconsin cantaloupe
Boston Marrow squash climbing the trellis
The acorn squash look less lively. As mentioned in a previous post, I had originally planted them two per crate. They looked great until they reached a certain size and then both began to suffer. I got the message to sacrifice one per crate for the greater good, but I waited too long. I now have only one left, but it seems to be making a valiant effort at recovery. In place of the other acorn squash crate, I’ve now moved the Moon and Stars watermelon/nettle crate to a trellis. I have zero idea if this will work! Those fruits supposedly grow to 15-40 pounds, and I doubt those spindly little vines can support them. I will make slings if/when I see fruit. This plant was a surprise, as I had given up on the Moon and Stars seeds sprouting and long since repurposed those crates for nettles. Lo and behold, a watermelon plant showed up, growing well even in the shade. I decided to give it a fighting chance in the sun, trellised above the poison ivy it would have otherwise twined itself around. We shall see!
We’ve also added a little water feature in our backyard — a handmade (by a neighbor a few streets up) leaf birdbath:
I haven’t actually seen any birds use it yet, but David assures me they’re sneaking baths when I’m not looking. Maybe so! In any case, it’s a non-toxic, sparkly addition to the rest of our flowers and faery bling, and it sure makes the stump look festive.
Not shown in today’s installment: newly transplanted Saint John’s Wort plants from a friend who needed them out of her asparagus bed, along with some newly transplanted catnip from the same garden. They’re adapting to their new home, but not exactly photo ready yet. The front yard herb garden is also growing like ka-razy, but I’ll save those photos until some of the lavender buds actually open.
Cheers and Happy Summer!