Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvest Monday - Late July and An Apology


Wednesday, July 23rd.  Eggplants could have grown larger but I was impatient to make eggplant parmesan.  It was good.


Friday, July 25th.  First large tomato, a Tasti Lee Hybrid from Burpee.  We ate it on BLC's.  C for cucumber, I didn't have lettuce.


Saturday, July 26th.  Harvest after weeding on Saturday morning.  Here are separate shots of what's in the basket.


Two types of peppers.


Found another type of pepper, the Jimmy Nardello in the basket, so took another photo.
I used the peppers for stuffed peppers.  Even stuffed Cubanelle halves.


Cucumber and 2 small zucchinis.  The first harvest of the latter.


A mess of green beans and tomatoes.  Green ones came off branches I had to trim.

Below some of the green ones became fried green tomatoes.  I have discovered how good these are just this year.  Cornmeal, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar when browned in oil.


Monday, July 28th.  More tomatoes.


Here's the apology to the heron who I though had eaten all the goldfish.  The goldfish are still there.  Dan discovered them in the pond two days after my post about them being missing/eaten.  I don't know where they were hiding but they are still there.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Now You See Them - Now You Don't

Remember these critters?  The goldfish in my pond?  They were there on Sunday.  I saw them from the deck when we had a campfire and made s'mores.


Here they are earlier this spring on a rainy day.


And here more recently as fuzzy gold shapes in the water.


As of Tuesday, they were gone.



No goldfish to be seen.



I think the heron I saw last week that landed in my backyard momentarily until I startled it, returned and had its fill. 
 I wonder what the absence of the goldfish will do to our lack of mosquitoes?  On the other hand I won't need to run the hose to fill up the pond when we have had no rain for an extended time.  I wonder how long it will be before the heron returns for the frogs?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Harvest Monday - Mid July

Here's what's come out of my vegetable garden this past week.

Lettuce and cucumbers on the 14th.


Basil, peppers, cucumbers and the first green beans on the 18th.


Cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes on the 20th.


Now I don't usually pick green tomatoes and I didn't pick these.  I had one tomato plant fall over.  It didn't have its own cage and I thought the cages on either side would be support enough but that wasn't what it wanted.  These 4 green tomatoes came off when I propped it back up and provided support.
The orange tomato wasn't supposed to be picked either, but when I felt it off it came into my hand.  I think it's a Juliette. Hard to know for sure because I planted the Juliette between two paste variety tomatoes and they are looking the same as the Juliette. I don't think it's fully ripe.  There are others that color that I didn't make the mistake of touching.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fairy House Construction and Some Beautiful Blooms

Ever since I put in A's Garden (dedicated to my first granddaughter), I have had a spot to build a fairy house.  Today was the day to do it.  My inspiration for this came from this blog, but mine bears no resemblance to the ones that builder constructed.  This was my very first and likely to be, only attempt at building a fairy house.

Here's A's Garden.


Here's where the fairy house will be built.  This way I don't need to build many walls.


Dan had mortar for me to use and suggested soaking the stones first so they don't absorb all the moisture and dry out the mortar.  There's the door I purchased from The Little Hedge Row.


First I lifted the roof stone and inserted some stones on either side to increase the opening.



The red bucket has the stones soaking.  I used my kneeler pad to access the site.


Here's the side being constructed.


The front wall partially constructed.  I knew I would not be successful if I went with all small stones.



Construction continues.


Almost finished.  Now to find the right small stones to fit in the gaps.


Project completed.  The stone with the hole that had been on top is now a tower on the side.  I gathered stones to make a fence and there's even a stone sculpture by the door.


I had one gap above the door near the roof line so I inserted a piece of mica as a window.


Close up of the door and sculpture.


Close up of the window.


Close up of the tower.


The garden outside the fairy house door.


Completed!  Yeah!  Let's hope it holds up.


Here are the beautiful blooms I promised in the title:







Out front this hibiscus is now blooming.




Look at the size of these blossoms.



Last year I got no blooms because some insect was eating it.  This year I treated it with a systemic insecticide/fertilizer and it is gorgeous.


There are many more buds yet to open.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

July Blooms

The stargazer lilies opened this morning!  I've been patiently waiting for this day.  Soon their fragrance will fill the perennial garden.



But they are not the only bloomers at present here are some of the others who are adding colors other than green to my gardens.

In Mom's Garden (formerly the Front Garden):


black-eyed susan


hydrangea - a smaller version of itself after the hard winter


lamb's ear


crepe myrtle

In the Pond Garden:


phlox


daylily

In the Glen Garden:


hostas


astillbe (I think)

In the Perennial Garden:


shasta daisies


purple cone flower


another day lily variety


another day lily


another day lily


and this lovely day lily that has been blooming for weeks


knock out rose


liatris


As I was posting this, a heron landed in the backyard directly outside my window.  I grabbed my camera but my movement startled it and it flew off.  I wonder if its looking to come gold fishing in my pond?


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