a new friend

I must confess, I’ve let the weeds get away from me. I took a couple of weekends off, and now the the beds — especially the onion and kale bed — are overgrown with crab grass, clover, and other unwelcome additions. I found one unexpected visitor, however, that was quite exciting.

zipper spider! (argiope)
zipper spider! (argiope)

Also known as a “writing spider” these black-and-yellow arachnids are a good sign in the garden: they eat other bugs and are not dangerous to humans. I left that little patch completely undisturbed, and thanked the little dude for letting me take so many pictures.

check out the cool zig-zag web design
check out the cool zig-zag web design

Dispatches from the garden: July 5

One thing I haven’t had to worry about this year is watering the garden, which is a nice change after years and years of drought.

red cabbage [whorls]
When I have time to get out into the garden these days, I spend my time weeding and looking for pests. The eggplants are finally big enough to resist the flea beetles, but the brassicas are definitely being eaten by all manner of critters.

kale, radicchio, and nasturtiums

There are flowers, but, like every year, I wish there were more.

obligatory hydrangea bloom
day lily

My biggest experiment this year is coming along, though I fear that lack of sun and poor soil may be slowing growth in the Three Sisters’ Garden.

Three sisters: Corn, beans and squash

The corn is about 3 feet tall, and the pole beans are starting to climb the stalks.

Kentucky Wonder pole beans climbing the corn

The squash plants are still quite young, so they’re not shading the roots just yet, but I’m hoping that, as they mature, they’ll keep the weeds down. As it is, I’m engaged in a war with crab grass, and it’s winning.

Not pictured are my tomato plants, which aren’t doing as well as they have in past years. I suspect that a little crop rotation next year would help – even though I’ve done my best to amend the soil, they’re probably still lacking some basic nutrient – assuming it’s not plain old sunlight.







Before the rains came

Young kale plants
Young kale plants

I snapped these pictures before Tropical Storm Andrea dumped inches upon inches of rain on our area.


These foxgloves lost a lot of their petals in the last couple of days, and they need to be staked. I’m really hoping that they’ll re-seed themselves, because I love these plants.

San Marzano tomato blooms

The San Marzano (a gift from some green-thumbed friends) is the most mature of my tomato plants. It looks like fresh fruit may be just around the corner.

Spring fever


No time for blogging, it’s growing season! Carol over at May Dreams Gardens perfectly captures my current state of mind.

Gosh it’s hot suddenly I didn’t notice that the magnolia was budded out like that is that early or is that on time since when does grass grow that fast I really should have mowed the lawn yesterday but who knew it could grow that fast I had forgotten and oh my goodness that henbit is flowering I better pull it before it sets seed  hey are those dandelions in the lawn and what happened to all my crocus blooms they are gone already the forsythia is blooming isn’t there something I’m supposed to do when the forsythia bloom I really should cut back those spireas so they’ll bush up nice and it might help them recover from the drought geez it is getting kind of dry out here I should water all those violas I planted around the garden hold on violas I’m coming with some water I wonder if those bags of mulch will move themselves from the back patio to the front where I edged the beds maybe I should call someone to edge the backyard beds there are a lot more back there but I sure am glad I finally sowed seeds for lettuce and radishes I wonder if we’ll have more frost maybe this will be the year when we have the earliest last frost ever if I knew it was I could plant out the tomatoes except they are still just little seedlings right now this spring seems to be going by awfully fast wow those pink grape hyacinths sure are pretty.

Only on my end, replace magnolia with viburnum, radishes with carrots, and pink grape hyacinths with tulips.