"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Potatoes, Tomatoes and Onions OH MY! A Gardener's Breakfast

Lots of photos today to keep my garden journal up to date.

My tomatoes have almost doubled in size since my last post.  The summer squash is growing incredibly fast this year; I have already picked three squash.  We had Calabacitas con maiz for dinner last night. YUM, thanks to my friend Sylvia for the recipe!

 Swiss Chard, Ponderosa Tomato, Yellow Crookneck Squash
 Southern Night Tomato in 2 cages, Gold Medal Tomato, Cocozelle Stripe Zucchini
 All Three Beds
Better view of Bed 1 here: 2 San Marzano's, Purple Russian, Paul Robeson black, Persimmon Orange
 Bed 1: San Marzano 2 plants, Ruby Red Swiss Chard along bricks in front.
San Marzano Reaching for the Sky! At 6 feet here.
 Bed 2: Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Big White Pink, Gold Medal, German Queen and Anna Russian Pink
Bed 3: Gold Medal, Crimson Carmello, Mortgage Lifter, Black Krim, Big White Pink Stripe, Garlic on this end. This cage is 7 feet tall, you can see the tomatoes are at about 5-6 feet now.
 Volunteer tomato I replanted in bed 4.  I think this is a San Marzano Plum tomato that came up on the front bank. 1 Eggplant and more potatoes, I think these are Yukon Golds.
 Newly planted tomatoes with bunny guards. I also made pots out of this chicken wire and buried to plant the seedlings in, all of our beds are first lined with chicken wire to keep the gophers out., 2 Ponderosa and 1 Cherokee Purple planted here. Still have about 20 more seedlings but I am pretty much out of space to plant. Loquat tree in background that we planted last October.
Miniature corn that Tony planted. We only have 6 plants but this one stalk has 5 cobs on it! At least we will have a few meals with our own organic non GM Corn!!
Another view of the summer squash on the front bank. These are over 3 feet already, if they grow as good as last year they will cover this entire area.
 Onions from last years seed.
More onion on the front bank just behind the summer squash and tomatoes. I also have hidden, two Eggplants that I need to relocate, I thought I would harvest the onions when they were small but they are getting huge here so I will leave them for drying in the fall.  No doubt the squash to the right will cover these but I don't think it will bother them too much but I do need to find the Eggplants before too long and move those.
 Adirondack Blue Potatoes under a Valencia orange tree.
 La Ratte Fingerling Potato under a Grapefruit tree.
 Purple Peruvian Potato under a Tangerine tree.
 Sangre Potato under a Navel orange tree. All of my seed potatoes were purchased from Ronniger PotatoFarm
 Scallop squash and a mystery squash. (see photo below) growing under a Tangerine tree.
My morning harvest.  Rocket Arugula, Easter Egg blend radishes, a mystery summer squash that came up on its own, an Heirloom Scallop squash, Ruby Red and Fordhook Swiss Chard, all from Botanical Interests Seeds (see the link on the side). Cilantro, Dill and Chives did not make the picture.
My Gardener's Breakfast this morning. Easter Egg and Black Spanish Radishes with a farmer's market cucumber (mine are still in the growing stages) Rocket Arugula, toast with Greek yogurt blended with fresh herbs from the herb garden. Your day can't begin any better than this!

My gardens sweet, enclosed with walles strong, embarked with benches to sytt and take my rest. The Knotts so enknotted, it cannot be exprest. With arbours and alys so pleasant and so dulce, the pestylant ayers with flavours to repulse.
Thomas Cavendish, 1532.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tomato Update, Shabby Window Project, and Flowers!

Planted by a Feathered Friend
A feathered friend planted all these Sunflowers for us.  They are taking up some of the space I would have used for vegetables but I love them so much and since they are a gift from one of our hardworking birds, we will leave them.  I am sure they will really enjoy the fruits of their labor when the seed heads start drying.
A few Black Radishes I picked this morning. Most are bolting to seed now so I don't think I will get many more like the large one.  We did have a good winter/spring crop tho and I am grateful for these to add to my sandwich tomorrow.
The tomatoes are growing super fast this year, I have 22 planted and still have some back-up seedlings to find space for.  You never know when a disease will hit and I don't want to be short of tomatoes.  I will include some pictures to keep my blog updated.  We also planted Orange Watermelon Seeds and  Charentais Cantaloupe Seeds, but they are so small I didn't take pictures.  We are also growing two types of Eggplant, a slender white and purple; these are behind the tomatoes along the driveway. I will get pictures of these later and add them.
Bed # 1 has 2 San Marzano, 1 Purple Russian, 1 Paul Robeson Black, and 1 Persimmon Orange.  Swiss Chard along the front row.
Bed # 2 has Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Big White Pink Stripe, Gold Medal, German Queen Pink and Anna Russian Pink
Bed # 3 has Gold Medal (replaced Flamme Orange) Crimson Carmello, Mortgage Lifter, Black Krim, and Big White Pink Stripe.
View of all 3 Tomato Beds
Bed along driveway.  This is Swiss Chard and a Ponderosa Tomato.  Onions in the background and an Iris on the left, which I need to relocate in the fall.
 Tony made 4 new Tomato Cages for me. I really like these because I will be able to relocate them on my own.  The larger ones in the raised beds are tough to store and I need help when putting them in the beds.  I hope he makes more of these for me.  They measure about 18 inch square and are 7 feet tall.
New Tomato Cage
A volunteer mystery tomato, probably a San Marzano but will be happy with whatever..  Garlic on the right of tomato. 
2 Southern Night Tomatoes and 1 Gold Medal Tomato
Cocozelle Zucchini
White Scallop Squash growing under Tangerine Tree
White Scallop Squash and 3 Colors of Patty Pan Squash
Onions we're growing from last years seeds.
Tony is growing 6 miniature corn plants. These are in Bed # 4 along with the onions.
Back up tomato plants

 I recovered my chair cushions and made a couple of small pillows to go along with them. I think they turned out nice.  Cheaper than buying new cushions!
Shabby Window Project
 I finally finished two of the windows I bought at an estate sale more than a year ago.  I hung one by the chairs (above) and this one by my purple table.
Violets are blooming
Front Bank with Nasturtiums, Calundula and Iris, among others!
Heartsease self seeded from last year
Sour Grape Penstemon
Penstemon, Scabiosa, small Hollyhock plant
Rose Campion and Violet Pathway

Cherry Parfait Rose on West side of house.
Marmalade Skies Rose on front bank
Tigress Rose on West wall of house.
Shabby Chair Project (the cactus to the left is a Crested Cactus from Tonys' collection. It is in bloom now)
 Now I must get going on my shabby chair project. I have stapled chicken wire to the chair and will line that with coconut fiber and plant succulents in it. I started to paint the chair a soft shade of  purple, but have decided to go with Behr brand (Home Depot) paint called Cilantro Cream.  I think it will look better with the succulents next to that color than with the purple.

"...the love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness."

-Gertrude Jekyll