Posts Tagged ‘Fairy Tale Pumpkin’

Seen Today in the Garden

The fairy tale pumpkins are just starting to grow, so imagine my surprise when my eyes fell upon this huge green striped cushaw squash!

green striped cushaw

I thought I’d show some different perspectives today, since I usually shoot from the front of the yard, facing back. Here’s the view through the back gate, in an archway of poke:

through the back gate

The back alley is also starting to fill in, although next year, the forsythias will be more than little twigs. Wildflowers, day lilies, and Maximiliam sunflowers bring welcome touches of color to an otherwise weedy spot. I’ve got cold hardy gladiolus and hollyhocks on the perpendicular side of the garage, facing the apartment’s parking lot.

back alley

I almost never take photos of the ugly view across the street, but these sunflowers have so kindly faced their most beautiful blooms at the best angle to distract from the ugliest view, while I await the growth of my serviceberry and rose hedges up front to shield this yuck. Vertical gardening projects abound in this yard, buffering views on three of four sides, but the front has resulted in a riot of color. The yarden has grown so lush that it actually feels like a complete non-sequitur to look from one side of the street to the other:

sunnies

Along with sunnies, we have plenty of bunnies, pictured here with black raspberries, patty pan squash, tomatoes, calendula and borage:

bunnies

The area behind our garage (the back garage by the alley actually belongs to our landlord) has turned into quite the companion planting party, with even an animal transplanted watermelon groundcover twining around a currant bush:

backyard

The backyard beds still look lush from behind. Sometime, we’ll have a gazillion parsnips since I let this one go to seed. I can’t bring myself to cut it down, since it looks like a tree and has cucumbers and pumpkin twined all around it.

back beds

The cardoon looks just as impressive as my friend Patricia promised me it would — very popular with the bees, too!

cardoon

These beds have overflowed, and you can’t even see the sweet potato vines starting to climb the trellis behind the deadheaded elecampane:

side backyard

Our Guarden Bed’s cold frame support needs repair before the other two hinge points break. I’ve got the parts, just haven’t had the time yet with David to implement the switch. Meanwhile, garlic chives have flowered, and a slow start “zinnia” turned into a sunflower, joining masses of cucumbers and fairy tale pumpkins.

Guarden bed and garlic chives

That’s all the photos for now. I was outside observing the yard next door while Gardener’s Supply has their Summer Clearance sale happening, just in case I need, you know, more garden stuff. 😉 Yesterday, I picked up an inspiring copy of “Foodscaping,” by Charlie Nardozzi, and I can’t wait to get that yard going!

Garden Update ~ Sunflowers, Sun Oven Brownies, and Sunny, Oh, My!

OK, let’s get this out of the way first: despite all the lovely photos I’m about to share, the coolest thing to come out of the yard this past week was … Sun Oven brownies! Gluten-free vegan, moist, filled with chia and black bean goodness, melt in your mouth delicious Sun Oven brownies, to be more specific.

sun oven brownies

Even better? I made them for our friend Sunny’s (of Sunny’s Korean Restaurant in Mishawaka) Fourth of July potluck, which was an amazing mix of people Sunny has met over the years, mostly through her restaurant. We love her, and apparently, a ton of other people feel exactly the same way. She has possibly moved more concrete and rocks by herself than I have in order to create a backyard garden sanctuary, but she’s got chickens, so she wins the prize. Or at least some eggs. 🙂 Anyway, we had a great time, and the brownies were a hit. They tasted way better than when I baked them indoors for the Faery Workshop. Note to self: the Sun Oven makes everything better!

Speaking of sun, today, our first sunflower of the year opened:

It's a little guy, only 2.5 feet tall right now.

It’s a little guy, only 2.5 feet tall right now.

Things are blooming like crazy:

coneflowers, liatris, cardoon, and yarrow

coneflowers, liatris, cardoon, and yarrow

Carrots gone wild. The level of “good bug” activity in this bed alone is off the charts. It’s like mini-Manhattan for umbrel lovers.

borage and black eyed Susans next to the elecampane I needed to tie to a trellis because it kept flopping its six foot tall self over the Susan's

borage and black eyed Susans next to the elecampane I needed to tie to a trellis because it kept flopping its six foot tall self over the Susan’s

hollyhocks and lilies still going strong

hollyhocks and lilies still going strong

zinnias started flowering last week, but the red ones just came out -- shown here rhubarb, parsley, tomato, collards and calendula

zinnias started flowering last week, but the red ones just came out — shown here rhubarb, parsley, tomato, collards and calendula

another zinnia getting cozy with kale, nastrutiums, borage, bell peppers, beets and basil

another zinnia getting cozy with kale, nastrutiums, borage, bell peppers, beets and basil

brassicas loving the bed now almost cleared of the earlier pea and fava bean cover crop

brassicas loving the bed now almost cleared of the earlier pea and fava bean cover crop

cukes going up AND down the trellis

cukes going up AND down the trellis

our first cucumber from a few days ago, pictured with lacinato kale, cilantro and peas. peas, peas, peas ... tasty, but tedious!

our first cucumber from a few days ago, pictured with lacinato kale, cilantro and peas. peas, peas, peas … tasty, but tedious!

potatoes still looking good in their bags -- one of this year's experiments

potatoes still looking good in their bags — one of this year’s experiments

south side of that same trellis

south side of that same trellis

basil, peppermint, and soaker hoses, because it finally stopped raining long enough to need to install such things

basil, peppermint, and soaker hoses, because it finally stopped raining long enough to need to install such things

fairy tale pumpkin going gangbusters

fairy tale pumpkin going gangbusters

Nasturtiums, malabar spinach and cushaw squash race to the trellis. Who will win?! Looks like the cushaw's bowing over and out (of the bed)

Nasturtiums, malabar spinach and cushaw squash race to the trellis. Who will win?! Looks like the cushaw’s bowing over and out (of the bed)

The front yard's so lush now. This view's from the driveway.

The front yard’s so lush now. This view’s from the driveway.

Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement regarding the blue house. More to come after my PA trip.

Cheers and happy harvesting!

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!