Saturday, August 16, 2014

a ramble in the gardens

I haven't written much about my gardening endeavors this year,
not because it hasn't been an daily activity for several months...

Remember my seedlings? Much bigger now!

...but because everything has been sooooo slow.
Slow to grow, slow to flower.
Until this past week, the only vegetable I harvested was kale.
Thank you, kale! You have given me hope. And food.

A few days ago, I harvested the first straightneck summer squash
from the new and heavily mulched bed near the goat barn.
At first glance, I thought the camera was over-reacting, but no:
this extreme yellow is the genuine color of the squash:

Like last year, there are little garden beds in multiple places, 
and a slightly larger garden on the edge of the Upper West Side terrace.
The Upper West Side is a goat browse area,
but a small sunny section is fenced off for the garden.
(I have plans to make it bigger next year!)

There are winter squash growing up the 6-foot perimeter fence,
and you can perhaps make out the sweet corn and pole beans in the background:

I tried the corn/beans/squash "companion planting" thing.
So far, not impressed.
It all looks more "naturally competitive" than "companionable" to me:

During Wednesday's daylong deluge, some of the corn took quite a whalloping.
And now we're having very cool weather. Like October-cool.
Will the corn manage to produce ripe ears?
It's a rollercoaster ride, this gardening thing.

And here's a high point:

The very first Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Acorn Squash,
harvested the day after the storm!
This is one of three Sow True Seed heritage squash varieties I planted
as part of Tipper's Blind Pig and the Acorn "Squash Reporters @ Large" project.
For weeks I have been reading about other gardens and other squash,
and wondering if I would have anything to contribute before Winter.
Waiting, waiting, waiting...
Lots of plants. Lots of leaves. Lots of flowers.
Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Look, Tipper! I got one! 

(And many flowers on all three varieties. Fingers crossed!)

Meanwhile, there's one other precious harvest taking place
by the daily handful:

My lone surviving highbush blueberry
also had a slow, tough haul into Summer,
but is now doing very well indeed!
This is especially satisfying, because last year the bush was clearly
in trouble, striving to recover after a series of catastrophic events.
I did my best to help, but as you know...
well, I love plants, but I'm more useful with animals.

This blueberry bush is a survivor!

Doesn't it make your mouth water?
Mine, too!

All day long, I have thought today was Sunday.
Even when I was at the dump - which is only open on Saturday -
I told someone I'd see them "tomorrow," meaning Monday.
I wonder what day I will think it is tomorrow.

Whatever day you think it is, I hope you are having a good one!