View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer, where did you go?

I started writing this on the first of August, and got side tracked. Life has been so busy! Got back on track, even had some pictures, and then the old computer decided it no longer feels like recognizing its USB ports. I finally managed to get the SD card into the card reader, so here we go. Meanwhile it is mid August.
As usual there are unexpected successes and disappointments, and things I swear I will do better next year. 

Main regret: too many brassicas, not enough snap beans.
As you can see, we have beautiful Savoy cabbages, a first. As a matter of fact I am taking a break from chopping them up right now. Lesson learned last year, or rather in 2011: grab cabbage before they split or the slugs move in. However, I can't say the taste is particularly cosmic. Nice, but not as sweet as Spicer's. Which minerals are missing? 

Where were we......oh yes, the last post was during the wet June.
The shift to summer happened in the last week of June. It turned hot and dry and stayed that way. This seems to have become the new normal, but then who knows what is normal anymore? 
So in early July all the cool weather crops freaked out and bolted, while the heat lovers had been off to a slow start.

July was wonderful, though circumstances prevented me from enjoying it fully. We had some badly needed renovations done to the dwelling, which ended up taking the whole month. The general upheaval, described here took away from the garden. We had two good rains in July and finally one smallish one two days ago. I sure wish I could just turn on a drip system instead of dragging hoses around and watering painstakingly by hand. We have a shallow wel and not enough water to just turn on sprinklers.

The raspberries delivered their glut again, bless their hardy souls. We have boxes full in the freezer. I have started to tame the jungle. I have to wait till September at the earliest to start the transplanting project.  This is one crop that really wants to grow here.
The garlic is in, so beautiful it glows. Garlic loves the combination of wet June/hot July. I finally had the time and energy again to make braids, some for home and some to give away. It is nice to have something to give affluent city-dwelling friends. The biggest ones are being earmarked for seeds.
The biggest fail: somehow I did not plant enough snap beans. That is an unforgivable planning mistake. How did that happen? Good cabbage is available all year round and keeps well. Green beans on the other hand are one of those seasonal delicacies you really want to have fresh in the garden. 

I know what happened: failure of an early planting due to cold wet conditions, and puppies and kittens syndrome. You know, you can't stand to kill a plant. I started too many brassica plants and then felt I had to plant them somewhere. 
What else. I have tomatoes, but they are disappointing. Beautiful trusses at the bottom of the plant, some are ripening daily. But then that's it, little fruit higher up. Same with the lone eggplant, the peppers and the cucumber. There is some fruit, but I was expecting more. 
Carrots: I have some good roots in the 'fortress' to enjoy right now, but only about 10% of the original spring planting came through. I had planted them square foot style, small clusters of seeds at 10cm distance. Last year I thought the seeds had somehow failed, now I know it is SLUGS. They have developed a liking for baby carrots. You have to look really close to see the tiny stumps. I seeded again in early July in rows this time. They are doing very well but nowhere near ready.
On the plus side, I love the elegant shape of lacinato kale, and the leeks are doing great this year.
WHY can't I seem to take good garden pictures? The sunny border was at its nicest at the start of the construction period. Things went to pieces during the excess heat and drought of late July, and I am just start starting to salvage it. Things in containers help. So much to do! Where do the days go? In a few weeks I will do another Asparagus to Zucchini post, and next year........Next year I really plan to jot down daily notes. Yeah, right.......time to go pick a salad for dinner. The kids are in town, we are having spanakopitas with a Greek salad, all from the garden except for the feta. And the purple onion. And the olives. Oh well.....


  1. Overall you do seem to have a good year, in spite of the time the renovation took out of your garden work. The flower border looks wonderful, nothing amiss with that photo!

  2. Thanks. There is always something that does well. But then I see pictures of other people's gardens and they are so much better!

  3. your garden looks wonderful!! wow those savoy cabbages! the cabbages and beets have been our biggest disappointment (it took a long time for the beans to recover after the deer jumped our 8 foot fence and ignored the nite guard)

    1. I can't believe deer jump an 8 foot fence, that is disgusting. Venison! We need more venison!


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