01 August 2021

from garden to table

No cowpeas yet, but I'm still impressed at how healthy these plants look. Barely touched by the insects, while I'm picking leaf hoppers, stinkbugs and cucumber beetles off the green beans right next to them. Still no sign of little beans yet, but they've begun to send out thick runners. I put up a few poles but will need more- and taller!
One huge cucumber, and a short but very fat zucchini. 
Baked it with tomatoes from the garden! 
 Also made this lentil dish, finally cracking open one of my cookbooks. (The cucumber slices were added as an afterthought, not part of the recipe). Lentils cooked with (among many other things) peppers, bay leaf and ginger mint from the garden. Fresh basil garnish. So the meal had seven things I grew.
My kids were not too keen on the zucchini boats, but they liked the lentils! It was work to prepare but definitely worth repeating.

29 July 2021

for chicken soup

fresh out of the garden: carrots, lovage, leeks and tarragon.
I used the tarragon from the perennial herb bed- it was great. Thriving. The more tender mexican mint marigold in the pot is also doing well, but I don't like the flavor as much. 

On the cutting board the lovage, tarragon, leeks

28 July 2021

garden food

Cucumbers and tomatoes. The cukes are good again this year- nice and fresh, no bitterness at all.
Getting a nice amount of cherry tomatoes! and darker cherokee purples.
My basils are all thriving on the deck
Fresh caprese one of my favorite summer snacks
First decent picking of green beans
The cowpeas- on the right here- grow taller, stand upright without support (so far) and don't seem as bothered by the bugs. But they haven't flowered yet, much less grown any beans. If they do so later in the season, might be worth growing both every year after all (I was leaning towards just cowpeas in the future) to have continual crop.
I have a few new zucchini forming, Hope these don't turn to yellow mush like the last one did, before I can pick 'em.

27 July 2021

july flowers

Some just beginning, others are near their end. My purple clematis bloomed a third round- though the flowers are very few. I had to prop up this last one for a picture, as the rain beat it down last night.
A yellow counterpart- at least, its shape seems similar to me: zucchini flower. If my zucchinis continue to rot (cucumbers right next to them are prefectly fine!) maybe I'll start eating the flowers instead.

Rue, yellow floating above the blue, also a bit crinkled from the rain.
Small yellow on the ground: cucumber flower.
Even smaller: tiny white flowers on my winter savory.
Also quite small- tiny purple trumpet-shaped flowers on the dark glossy plant I bought on a whim. Never found the tag again and I can't remember its name!
Up on the deck, a volunteer nicotiana. It grew out of the drain hole in a pot, that had trellis for my sweet peas. So I left the pot there, because it was so amusing (and pretty).
Pink trio of geraniums are flowering again, though they keep loosing leaves. Turn yellow, then brown, then drop. Am I watering too much? or not enough- are they drying out between rain spells.
Cardinal climber has crawled all over the planter boxes on that end of the deck railing. Swarming my parsley!
Most of the flowers are up top, here. I've trimmed some of the trailing vine ends- they are still looking for height- hoping the plant will branch more further down and fill in the trellis. I love how it's grown all through the balusters:
Tithonias are all flowering on the second sunny slope. Doing much better in this new spot!
Beautiful from the sideyard: gladiolas. The one salmon pink spray is from the new group.
Arranged in the house.

26 July 2021

the smallest ones

I moved my shrimp jar back downstairs, and put the old one (left) next to the new one (right).
First jar is pretty much the same- 
Second one I planted with the corkscrew vals. Funny, I don't really like how these vals look in my main aquarium, but I find them interesting in the small jar. 
Above view:
Each jar now has just two amano shrimp.
Camera had trouble focusing on this one.
In my tenner, the few white cloud minnow fry are getting bigger- enough to look like regular fish, just so small. They're still a tad smaller than a single rotala leaf!
And very hard to get photos of.

25 July 2021

angels update 10

It seems this might resolve on its own, the mouth fungus. I've kept to my new cleaning schedule and maybe it's helping. Or having less stress, fewer aggressive fish in the tank is. Perhaps her immune system is finally fighting it off. Shirley's improved another margin.
The bruising under skin and odd behavior isn't any better, though. My family has started to notice: "Mom, why is your fish acting weird?" My husband has seen them wildly thrashing the pelvic fins, and today I was in the other room, replied "I don't know, what are they doing?" Ten-year-old told me that Miss Beautiful was at an odd angle, nose up, and the other fish was picking at her. Dread in my heart. This is just what I saw going on with my prior paradise fishes before they died . . . 

Well, for the little help it will give in keeping nitrates low, most of the pothos vines I cut have sprouted roots long enough to reach.
So I've put them on the back of the tank- the stem sits on the rim lip, and the roots just touch the water through gap behind the skirt.
One didn't grow much yet and is still in the cutting tray.

24 July 2021

two new

things growing for summer- I have ripe figs now! Small, but pretty good. Rose of sharon is blooming- at least, the oldest one. Younger and smaller haven't started yet.