Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life and death in the garden

I thought it was time to do a  bit of a garden update.  It's kind of fun to go back and look at photos taken a month or two ago and see how much things REALLY have grown.

A few bug pictures to start

Ladybug (or ladybird if you are british) on the teasel

Teasel was used in the textile industry, and I use it in the flower bouquets

The genus name is derived from the word for thirst and refers to the cup-like formation made where sessile leaves merge at the stem. Rain water can collect in this receptacle; this may perform the function of preventing sap-sucking insects such as aphids from climbing the stem. The leaf shape is lanceolate, 20-40 cm long and 3-6 cm broad, with a row of small spines on the underside of the midrib.

It has it's own little eco system happening in those stem cups.

And it's really too bad this isn't a scratch and sniff screen, as this rather insignificant looking honeysuckle smells heavenly.

I could see this dead bumblebee laying there, and it wasn't until I flipped up the honeysuckle leaf that I saw the spider holding it.

The last peony

An arugula flower.  Sometimes there are flowers included in the bags of arugula or salad mix I take to the market.  I always get a kick out of it when people say 'oh I didn't know that arugula had a flower'.  You can be pretty sure they aren't gardeners, but then that's good, or else they wouldn't be buying things from us:)

Looking north.
Asters in the forground, the two rows of beets, a row of collard greens, then mustard, then three rows of radishes which are all grown into each other and the tops are about 18" high.  Not a whole lot of actual radish roots forming.  Yukon gold potatoes at the back, and kale hidden out of sight behind them.

Looking west.  You can see some broccoli heads in the foreground.
Arugula on the left, and carrots on the right in the next bed.
Then lettuce mix and spinach.
Some pathetic basil under the hoops.  It hates the damp weather, but I am sick of taking the plastic on and off, so now it's a case of sink or swim, or in the case of basil, turn black.
The next bed is a mixture of flowers, and then the one behind is the bed from the previous photo, and the perennials in the last three beds.

Finally this bed at the east end of the garden is looking better

And we are actually getting some peas!

The pototoes haven't faired so well though.  All the rain has blighted the leaves.

So it's time to get them out.  If your new potato was dug up fairly recently, the skin can be just pushed off with the pad of your thumb.

There was enough broccoli to take a few bags to the markets on the weekend.

The broad beans at the top of the driveway are huge, about 5' high.  I'm thinking I might be able to pick some for this weekend.

The other garden in the 'orchard' is continuing to battle with slugs, and rabbits.  Last night we put a little fence of chicken wire around the peas and beans, trying to salvage what's  left of them.  The peas had got about 5" high, and then they were gradually just getting shorter and shorter as the rabbits nibbled on them each night.  This is the first time rabbits have ever been an issue, but then it's the first time we've ever planted vegetables out there, so next year there might have to be a different plan.

Oh, I think I might try picking some currants this evening.  So far they are looking great.  It's a bit of a toss up though, whether to try to wait until they're all ripe, so then they are much easier to pick, you just pull the whole bunch off.  On the other hand, the birds have been taking their share as well, so I should probably get out there sooner rather than later.

And a bit of a surprise this morning under the hedging cedar in the center of the picture

See that tiny little leg?  More to come later.....


  1. That first bug pic was lovely, and I can't wait to find out more about that leg!

  2. We were jealous of your garden on the second picture!! Beautiful. Are those stuffed animals in your header? BOL
    Benny & Lily

  3. Your garden is very beautiful! I'm hoping to one day have a garden very similar. I may need to ask you for growing tips! :)


  4. Thanks for the comments on the garden. You must remember though, with a camera you can show only the parts you want:))
    Let me tell you, there are some not so nice parts, I mean more like overgrown disasters nearer the house. And Luna isn't helping by trying to keep up her soccer skills. You know, the flower beds are just another obstacle to dribble that ball through. I feel like putting the ball away, but she has such fun with it, and it is a great way for her to burn off some steam.

    And yes, we have a rooster, well two in fact. A little bantam rooster in each field.


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