Garden Update: Curcubits, Kale, Cosmos and Flowers Galore!

This has been the week of curcubits (pumpkins, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini and serpentine gourd):

The Fairy Tale Pumpkin is turning orange!

The Fairy Tale Pumpkin is turning orange!


Concrete cantaloupe: oops! I didn't see this guy until he'd already wedged himself firmly into the concrete. Some friends suggested we cut a sliver when ripe and then shimmy it out. Tomorrow's fun project. (And yes, that is a perfectly captured fly on the gnome's cheek. LOL, such photographic skill!)

Concrete cantaloupe: oops! I didn’t see this guy until he’d already wedged himself firmly into the concrete. Some friends suggested we cut a sliver when ripe and then shimmy it out. Tomorrow’s fun project. (And yes, that is a perfectly captured fly on the gnome’s cheek. LOL, such photographic skill!)


One morning's partial harvest. We have cantaloupes busting out all over the place. They've been eaten, given away, pickled, frozen, made into cinnamon-camu berry smoothies. All we can say is yum!

One morning’s partial harvest. We have cantaloupes busting out all over the place. They’ve been eaten, given away, pickled, frozen, made into cinnamon-camu berry smoothies. All we can say is yum!


These serpentine gourds taste like a milder version of zucchini. Some have grown nearly 4 feet long! Just a couple shown here with kale for chocolate kale chips. I dried the gourds into savory chips while dehydrating the kale.

These serpentine gourds taste like a milder version of zucchini. Some have grown nearly 4 feet long! Just a couple shown here with kale for chocolate kale chips. I dried the gourds into savory chips while dehydrating the kale.


First ripe watermelon: a Russian variety called Small Shining Light. At first I thought it was just OK. Then I refrigerated it. OMG! Heaven! Also delicious blended with the rind into a refreshing smoothie.

First ripe watermelon: a Russian variety called Small Shining Light. At first I thought it was just OK. Then I refrigerated it. OMG! Heaven! Also delicious blended with the rind into a refreshing smoothie.


This shows the back beds AFTER removing all the cantaloupe vines, which had acquired powdery mildew. The fruits were fine, and truthfully, we were running out of room for the vines anyway.

This shows the back beds AFTER removing all the cantaloupe vines, which had acquired powdery mildew. The fruits were fine, and truthfully, we were running out of room for the vines anyway.


More post-cantaloupe raised beds. You can see fall starting to show a bit, and the cleared areas already have fall crops sown or await garlic planting in a few weeks.

More post-cantaloupe raised beds. You can see fall starting to show a bit, and the cleared areas already have fall crops sown or await garlic planting in a few weeks.


I've been harvesting like crazy from the front yard cottage garden, but you can't even tell.

I’ve been harvesting like crazy from the front yard cottage garden, but you can’t even tell.


The tree collards keep replenishing as soon as I harvest loads of leaves for dehydrating.

The tree collards keep replenishing as soon as I harvest loads of leaves for dehydrating.


Another angle of the front beds. The nasturtiums, kale and sedum are loving the pre-autumnal weather.

Another angle of the front beds. The nasturtiums, kale and sedum are loving the pre-autumnal weather.


So glad I planted multiple varieties of sunflowers. These autumn harvest sunnies bloomed just when the others tanked.

So glad I planted multiple varieties of sunflowers. These autumn harvest sunnies bloomed just when the others tanked.


I don't know if this is normally their season, but the garlic chives decided to bloom.

I don’t know if this is normally their season, but the garlic chives decided to bloom.


I grow two giant pokes as ornamentals and winter bird feeders, along with cosmos and grape in the summer. Yesterday involved major pruning to relocate the gate.

I grow two giant pokes as ornamentals and winter bird feeders, along with cosmos and grape in the summer. Yesterday involved major pruning to relocate the gate.


In addition to the giant poke, the Garden Tower remains a conversation piece. This one has been harvested and replanted in some spots for fall.

In addition to the giant poke, the Garden Tower remains a conversation piece. This one has been harvested and replanted in some spots for fall.

Fall is in the air, but I look forward to the September, October and November blooms: pineapple sage with its gorgeous red flowers, pink asters, another round of echinacea, sedum, unbelievably large marigolds … I don’t even know if I’ll have room for mums this year!

18 responses to this post.

  1. Great results, thanks for sharing them with us, your garden, and harvest, is beautiful! 🙂

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  2. Posted by Demitra M. N. on August 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

    The Green Goddess Gardener strikes again. Now, THat’s abundunce!

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  3. Posted by Raven on August 30, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Your garden turned out fabulous, Laura! I bet your neighbors are shocked and very excited to see what you have created in your yard. I also bet next spring you’ll be hosting workshops! Most excellent!

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  4. What a bounty! I love seeing your pictures on the garden progression. As well as all the yummieness you have from the garden. Thanks Laura!

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  5. Laura, I’m so impressed with your garden! You’re not a beginner anymore. Just beautiful!

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  6. Thank you!

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  7. Thanks, Nathan & Aline!

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  8. 😉 thanks, Demitra! It is actually almost too much to keep up with, but I’m not complaining. I just need my fermentation crocks to arrive soon! 🙂

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  9. Thanks, Raven! Maybe so. I keep meaning to get all the medicinal herbs planted, but to be honest, I’ve been too obsessed with trees this year to plant much besides lavender, chamomile and what turned out to be evening primrose. Maybe next year, though. 🙂

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  10. Thanks, Dawn! I wish you well in your own new gardening endeavors. Fall’s the time to prepare the beds for spring! xo

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  11. Thanks, Diana. Yes, it’s funny to think back to Spring Equinox 2011 when I dutifully went outside, threw some sunflower seeds in what later turned out to be a very shady spot and seriously expected to have an instant garden. LOL! I’ve come a long ways, although I still can’t believe how much of a learning curve remains. Seriously, you could study this stuff forever and still have vast amounts to learn!

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  12. Posted by Demitra M. N. on August 31, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Synchronicities abound! I didn’t know what a “fermentation crock” was so I googled it. Found out this was the item my mother had been telling me about a few days ago when I was preparing to pickle cabbage. She had given me the term in greek but since I had never heard of such a thing before, I hadn’t a clue where to even begin the greek/english translation. ..lol.. Well, THank YOU, Laura, for clearing THat up for me!

    Now, not that you need any help, because I can see you have more than a clue about what’s what, but while I was searching for info I found an interesting page with a step-by-step on how to turn a mason jar into a fermenting crock. If you are already aware of this type of conversion, maybe there’s another reader out there who is as “green” as am I… 😉 So for anyone who might benefit from this information, here’s the link:
    http://www.nwedible.com/2012/07/how-to-turn-a-mason-jar-into-a-fermenting-crock.html

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  13. Fun synchronicity! Yes, thanks, I use a Perfect Pickler with Mason Jars to make kraut and pickles. It works well, but I want gallon plus sized crocks so I can stir our long-fermented kraut in the basement for many months. Our fridge is getting VERY full of pickles and kraut in Mason jars. We need something to hold masses of cabbage and other veggies over the winter, lest our whole fridge turn into kraut! The crocks are pricey, but we tend to buy a lot of the fancy, live, fermented foods in winter. Those are pricey but almost free to make with garden produce. Spices and salt are the only cost besides time. 🙂

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  14. Posted by Demitra M. N. on August 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, it’s those big crock pots you can stir up that my mom was talking about. She was telling me what an important feature they were during her youth on the farm — pickling all kinds of vegetables, as well as fruits, so that they had enough to last them all thru the winter months.

    And boy, do I understand all about not having enough room in the fridge, what with my own pickling going on over here. 😉

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  15. Posted by Jane Derbenwick on September 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Laura, Your gardens look beautiful!! And I’m sure the produce is very tasty!

    Love, Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks, Mom! Craig and Adin will be here tomorrow to give you a report. 🙂 Love, Laura

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