Posts filtered by tags: Garden Flowers Plants[x]


 

Last day of summer

This year, the autumnal equinox happens on the 22nd, tomorrow, making today the last full day of summer in the northern hemisphere. It sure has felt like summer for the past week or so with warm days, unusual humidity, and mosquitoes in the night. We're still running the loft fan at full to try to pull in some cooler night air. I find myself looking forward to a little bit of fall chill. The Jerusalem artichokes in front of the garden shed lean toward the sun. Signs of fall are all around. The...
Tags: Travel, Jerusalem, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Tomato update

I picked these tomatoes on Monday. The tomatoes that formed and grew after I added a calcium supplement to the water are not suffering from blossom end rot. Calcium carbonate is not a cure. Once a tomato begins to rot, it's got it. But the calcium additive can prevent future fruit from rotting. It seems to have worked. Monday's harvest from the tomato patch. I've lost a lot of the crop to the rot, that's for sure. But at least we're getting some. The problem, as you might be able to see in the...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Time to do something

Our garden shed is not in good shape and we've been thinking about what to do about it. First, we need a mason to fill in the fissures in the wall. There are two visible here on either side of the door, and another larger one that runs from top to bottom on the eastern wall. The shutters just need to be replaced, and the window and sill need a coat of paint. The exterior walls could use a cleaning/painting.  Jerusalem artichokes in front of our shed. We had the door installed back in 2004. Som...
Tags: Travel, Jerusalem, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


The waste pile

A few days ago, I pulled the zucchini and one of the pumpkin plants out of the vegetable garden. They were done for the year. In their place, I relocated a pile of yard waste that I was storing in a corner of the yard. I won't dispose of it until the tomato plants come out and the rest of the garden is cleaned up, probably some time in November. Stuff I've trimmed over the summer, including apple branches, clary sage, and artichokes. The muscade pumpkin plant actually has three new pumpkins gr...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Tomatoes

This year's tomato crop has been disappointing. All the plants developed blossom-end rot. My research tells me that it's caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil. I added a calcium supplement while watering but I'm afraid I was too late. Some tomatoes are fine, but the vast majority of the fruit has the rot. A lot of this year's tomatoes are smaller than usual. Probably because it's been so dry; I need to water more. The rotten ends of the tomatoes can be cut off if you catch it at the rig...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Courge musquée

This is the other variety of pumpkin that I planted this year. The proprietary name on the seed packet says "Muscade" which is the word for "nutmeg" in French. It's difficult (for me) to sort through all the meanings and origins of plant names across languages. The closest I can come is that une courge musquée has something to do with musk squash, or musk melons. Something musky. Butternut squash* is part of this family of pumpkins. The remainder of the red pumpkin has been preserved. Now I ha...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants, Food And Cooking


Rouge vif d'Etampes

I harvested the two surviving pumpkins called rouge vif d'Etampes (bright red Etampes pumpkins). Etampes is a city just south of Paris where the variety originated. I kept one and gave the other to a nearby friend who often shares her garden's bounty with us. We're planning to use part of the flesh in couscous this week and preserve the rest by roasting and freezing it. These are pretty good-sized pumpkins. That leaves two more pumpkins in the garden, both of the muscade variety. I want to get...
Tags: Travel, Paris, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants, Etampes


No frost on this pumpkin

This is the season's first pumpkin from our garden. I've been checking them daily and they all seem pretty much ready. But this one had a soft spot on one side, so I picked it on Friday. I cut a wedge out where the soft spot was and roasted the rest. I scooped the roasted flesh out and will get it into freezer containers today. I see pumpkin pie in our near future. The pumpkin is a muscade variety whose skin turns tan (not unlike a butternut squash) when ripe. Like this one, they won't necessa...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Deadheads

The daisies have done their thing. Now they're sad looking. At some point I'll cut them down to ground level and this bed will look a little neater. The daisies are a mess as usual this time of year. It's the last official weekend of summer vacation in France. If this were a normal year, kids would be going back to school on Tuesday. As it is, I don't know what the schools are doing. I guess I should pay more attention to the news. [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, France, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


How d'ya like dem apples

We made some progress in the back yard on Saturday. We picked up the apples under our two trees and I cut the grass (and weeds) under them. Most of the apples went into the compost pile, some went into another pile by the garden plot. Ken smashed some of the softer ones where they laid. We have a bumper crop of apples this year, more than in recent memory. The fallen apples are not really good for much. They are either badly bruised or being eaten by bugs and critters. But there are still plen...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Mulch

I haven't made much progress in moving the mulch pile. You may recall that our next-door neighbor had two large trees removed. Her contractor offered me the mulched branches and I said yes. The next day I moved about eight wheelbarrows full to the compost pile. Then it got very hot, so I didn't move any. Then we started to have some rain and the pile began to compost itself. The pile has shrunk just a little in the just over two weeks it's been sitting here. At the very least, I want to clear ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Geraniums

The geraniums on our deck are pretty right now, their bright red blooms providing a nice contrast to the green all around. We were entering our confinement phase last spring when I got them. I didn't want to go from garden center to garden center searching for the big-flowered upright geranium, so I got this cascading variety. Turns out I like them. One of three planter boxes of geraniums on the deck. Behind them are two pots of basil and some mint. Now that we've had some rain, we also have m...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Mulch and the garden path

On Thursday, our next door neighbor had contractors in to remove two very tall pine trees that grew very close to her house. She's been planning to do this for a few years. In fact, we thought she had changed her mind because nothing happened after she told us about it. I think her contractor flaked out on her and because she lives in Paris, making alternate arrangements can be difficult.  The pile of mulch in front of the garden shed. Earlier this week, a landscaper came through the ham...
Tags: Travel, Paris, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Pumpkin progress [2]

As promised, here's a peek at the muscade pumpkins in the garden. They're still green, but when mature they should turn a tan color similar to a butternut squash. Some of them will likely be two-toned. I've grown them before, so I know that's likely. Two muscade pumpkins growing under the vine leaves. There are at least five of them out there. Today should be much cooler than it has been the past few days. August vacationers have arrived in our region and we're seeing several unfamiliar faces ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Pumpkin progress

There are two surviving rouge vif d'Etampes pumpkins in the garden. The others just rotted away. I'm not sure why, maybe the heat. But these two look healthy, so far. If I'm lucky, they'll both make it to harvest by which time they'll go from orange to bright red. I'll keep you posted. Two good sized and healthy looking pumpkins. The muscade pumpkins are faring better. There are about five large ones on the vine. I'll post a photo of those tomorrow.We made it through our mini heat wave. It's s...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Beans

I harvested our first beans on Thursday! The green and purple beans are producing now, and I'm hopeful that we'll have several harvests before they stop. I'm looking forward to tasting these. They're quite fine, French style. And I'm betting that the purple ones turn green when they're cooked. Beans! Beans! Good for the heart... After I walk Tasha this morning, I'm going to take a load of stuff to the déchetterie (dump and recycle center). We're trying to get rid of a lot of junk and clutter t...
Tags: Travel, Ken, WCS, Tasha, Garden Flowers Plants


Dry dry dry

Remember when I was complaining about our soggy spring? Now I can complain about our parched summer. It's not particularly hot, just dry. It's normal. Every summer our "lawn" goes from spring green to summer brown. It reminds me of California summers. At least I don't have to mow so frequently. Our brown lawn and green vegetable garden. You can see the pumpkin plants kind of wilting in the afternoon heat. They perk back up again when the sun goes down. Every morning I'm out in the vegetable ga...
Tags: Travel, Weather, California, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Please don't eat them

The daisies, that is. I'm sure I've seen that movie, but I have no memory of it. I know I didn't read the book it's based on. So, naturally, I don't know what the title refers to. Probably something about silly city people trying to live in the country, a popular theme in 1950s and 60s America.* There's a lone pink rose among the daisies. This patch of daisies has been here since before we moved in, over seventeen years now. In late fall or early spring, I cut the dead stems down as close to t...
Tags: Travel, Beverly Hills, Beverly Hillbillies, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Courge musquée

This variety of winter squash is called "muscade." It will look like a tan-colored pumpkin when mature, kind of the same color as a butternut squash, another related variety. Like the rouge vif d'Etampes, I've grown these before. We should have a nice pumpkin patch this fall. And a big job of processing the flesh for the freezer. This one's got a lot of growing to do! I had a good market day on Saturday, bringing home a melon, some radishes, and some tomatoes. I also stopped into a charcuterie...
Tags: Travel, Europe, France, Italy, Portugal, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants, Food And Cooking, Parma Spain Serrano, France Bayonne


Red-ribbed chard

Seven red chard plants add a little vibrant color to this year's vegetable garden. A near-by friend found a good crop of volunteers in her garden this spring. I guess some of last year's crop had reseeded itself. She offered me some and I happily took them. We grew standard white-ribbed blettes (chard) in the garden for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. Chard in the garden after an early morning shower. So far these transplants look happy and healthy. I'm looking forward to tasting them...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


That's more like it

The zucchini plants are producing now. We only have two plants, and we've already got three squash in the fridge waiting to be used. I grilled a fourth one to accompany yesterday's lunch. There might be one or two more ready to harvest today. Yikes! I'm trying to pick them small, but sooner or later one is going to get away from me and become a baseball bat. This is not an unfamiliar situation to anyone who's grown zucchini. We face it every year. In fact, I still have some zucchini from last ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Pole beans

These are the climbing bean plants I mentioned yesterday. They're called "Mélissa." When the beans are mature, they'll look like green beans but will be a shade of purple similar to the stems in the photo. I've already seen tiny beans forming so I'm hopeful we'll have a good crop in the coming weeks. Blossoms on the purple bean plants. Wednesday was a damp day and not at all warm, but we're expecting summer to return in a day or two. Where have I heard that before? [Author: wcs]
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Dwarf beans

Also known as bush beans because they don't climb like pole beans. These are a variety of French dwarf beans called "Rudy." I planted them back in late May, now they're covered in blossoms. Beans are on their way! These blossoms will soon turn into little beans. There are two other bean varieties in this year's garden. Both are climbers, one is a yellow flat bean that I also grew last year, the other is purple bean called "Mélissa" that will look just like a standard green bean, only purple. I...
Tags: Travel, Rudy, Melissa, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Pumpkin patch

Okay, it's not really a "patch." More like two plants, separated from one another by two zucchini plants. This one is called rouge vif d'Etampes. When it's mature this fall, that shiny yellow orb should become a bright red color and significantly bigger than it is today. I've grown them once before with success. There are at least a half dozen forming on the vine. If they all survive, there will be a lot of pumpkin this fall. This should become a big red pumpkin by harvest time. I was able to ...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Ready for more?

How about a few days of vegetable garden photos? Here's what it looks like right now. It may look relatively weed-free from this distance, but I'm battling the purslane almost daily. On Sunday I planted out some habanero pepper seedlings that have been in the greenhouse, not growing, since they sprouted. The chard (in the foreground) was a gift from a friend with a surplus. It's the red-ribbed variety. So, to recap, this year's garden is home to twenty-four tomato plants, three kinds of beans,...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Gad-zukes!

This photo is a week old, so some of this zucchini has already been harvested. I can count about six little zukes there. We're getting one or two a day right now from the two plants in the garden. I'll get out there later with the camera for some more up-to-date images. The round-leafed green plant on the right is pourpier (purslane). It's hard to get rid of, but it's supposedly edible. The market was fun yesterday morning. But, it being the first Saturday of official summer vacation and the l...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Gad, Garden Flowers Plants


Back to summer

Friday was a lost day for outdoor work. It didn't rain much, but just enough to dampen (pun intended) any interest in cutting grass or otherwise working outside. And it was breezy and chilly. But today the clouds are gone and the temperature should be warming back up. That's the forecast, anyway. The artichokes are flowering now. So, I'm planning a market run this morning. The big poultry vendor has summer sausages called chipolatas and merguez made of poultry (rather than pork and lamb, respe...
Tags: Travel, Weather, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Cinnabar moth

I think this is the larvae of the cinnabar moth, called la goutte-de-sang (drop of blood) in French. The names describe the markings on the wings of the adult moth, not the caterpillar. According to my extensive quick and dirty research, they like to lay eggs on ragwort, a very common plant in and around the vineyards and other fields nearby. I'm pretty sure this one was on a ragwort plant when I saw it. Not hard to miss this one. He (or she) is wearing my high school colors: orange and blac...
Tags: Travel, Wildlife, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants


Diplodocus

That's how I jokingly refer to this plant, dipladenia, because I couldn't remember its name. I think it's more commonly known as mandevilla, from what I read on the internet. I first saw the bright red flowers of dipladenia across the road at our neighbor's house a couple of years ago. We went over and found the plant's label in one of the pots. The next year, I got some for our deck planters from one of the local garden centers. Dipladenia in the real fake well, surrounded by clary sage which...
Tags: Travel, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants, Dipladenia


Don't sit under the apple tree

Until I get the apples picked up. It took me two days to prune off the low-hanging branches of our two apple trees. Now I need to gather up the apples that came off those branches as they hit the ground. Then I'll be able to run the mower under the trees again without being slapped in the face. The drooping low branches of both trees are gone now. I do this every year, but this year the trees have more fruit than I've seen in a while and it's really weighing down the branches. Like I said yest...
Tags: Travel, Don, WCS, Garden Flowers Plants