Sunday, June 16, 2013

For Every Thing, Turn, Turn, Turn…

Before the rains started in a week or so ago, my peas looked like this:

garden 06b (1)


You’d think peas would welcome lots of rain, but a tropical storm is more than even they can use.  Follow that up with daytime highs in the upper 80s (30+ celsius), and they quickly gave up.  By yesterday they looked like this:

garden 06 (26b)


Never has my garden given me such clear signs that It’s Time.  I usually nurse the pea plants along, watering every morning even as the foliage fades to light green and the production dwindles.  Not this year.  Though a few plants still had nice green foliage, there wasn’t a flower to be seen, which means no pods anytime soon.  And now our temperatures are supposed to climb into the 90s, so their season is clearly over.

Which means that it’s over for the broccoli, too.  I cut the last main head this week, and have been gathering the secondary ones from the other plants, but they too were dwindling in production.  They never did all that well; we had a freak week of 90-degree temperatures in March which confused the heck out of ‘em.  Even though I didn’t get much from the broccoli, I still managed to freeze a few bags of my spring crop—which is the first time I’ve had enough to do so.

garden 06 (22)

I weighed them—18 ounces of each.  Not enough to see us through the winter—or even the summer—but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  Good thing I’m not farming to feed the family!

Anyway, my main point here is that for once, I pulled out the spring plants before they became sad and decrepit looking.  I still had a little bit of a hard time with the peas.  The nurturing side of me hated to tear up and kill these plants I’d babied along from seeds to sprouts.  But once I got started, it was nice to clear out all the dead and dying foliage, making room for the summer plants to spread out.


garden 06 (25)

Ha, I just noticed Rosie wandering around in the background.  She finds my obsession with the garden strange and boring.


And after:

garden 06 (28)


The bed looks pretty boring, now, without the structure of the trellis. Maybe I should put a bench in there.  Or a giant metal chicken one of my friends recently found on a road trip.


Miss Chef would probably make me sleep out there if she came home to this!

In truth, my plan is for the squash and beans to fill in that space, though I’m not sure they’ll go the direction I’d like them to.  Now I’m also interested to see what this guy will do.

garden 06 (30)

This is the third squash plant, the one I didn’t really want.  Since I hadn’t planned for it, I stuck it in the middle of the broccoli, which I knew would be pulled out at some point.  Apparently broccoli provides good cover shade, because look at the difference between that plant and this one:

garden 06 (29)

There’s an object lesson on “right plant, right place.”  I’ll be keeping an eye on the little one to see if it manages to thrive, now that it’s got its own space.  Something of an experiment, though I wouldn’t mind if it continued to struggle, to be honest.

The broccoli and pea plants are now stashed in our compost areas (broccoli stalks are very woody, so they went on the brushpile in the back).  But as I was gathering up the pea plants into a bundle to carry them off, I noticed a single plump pod.  “Oh,” I thought, “You weren’t quite done.”  And then I started pawing through the foliage and found a second and third.  And by the time all was said and done, I had one last, tiny, harvest.

garden 06 (32)


And now, it’s time for summer!

garden 06 (35)


flowers 06 (3)

Oh, and I’ve also finished up the quarter, with no class scheduled for the summer.  I have plans for travel in the next week or two, and then who knows what I’ll get up to?  Guess you’ll have to stay tuned.


I went ahead and harvested the two biggest squashes (still babies), and along with the first week’s worth of beans and some chicken from the farmers’ market, I grilled up a delicious, healthy meal for one.  (Miss Chef is traveling this week.)

food 06 (1)


food 06 (2)


food 06 (3)

Phew, I almost left you without making you hungry!


  1. Big storms are not garden's friends but you got some delicious looking produce to enjoy... And black-eyed Susans too-- love those.

    Love the rooster but the giraffes-- OMG! I'm so glad my neighbor doesn't have one of those looking at me over the fence. Ha!

    Enjoy the harvest. xo jj

    1. Yes, the garden is recovering nicely, once I gave up on the peas! I think those giraffes are 12 feet tall.

  2. Big shot. I give you flowers and you give us all food that is good for us. I know it's hard to get rid of some of the struggling plants, but sometimes it's necessary. You are SO right about the poke in the eye thing. I've tried it.

    1. Your flowers, my food...all we need is a post about candles and fine dinnerware, and we've got ourselves a romantic evening in. Your place or mine?

  3. That chicken looks good!

    I'm glad you don't have a yard full of metal sculptures! and... your neighbors thank you too.

  4. I rather like the metal sculptures ... not in my own yard, mind you, but maybe, say, three houses away - near enough to see, but far enough to ignore ...

    Your garden is way ahead of anything we have here in the land of frost and deer.

  5. So I was finally able to plant my tomato plants yesterday (we did have a frost warning last week) and also my zucchini seeds. This makes me only fractionally less envious of your lovely garden, because I will probably have frost again by the time mine reaches the state of yours!


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