Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dear Garden Diary,

It's been a week since I spilled a large, steaming hot mug of coffee (black) on my computer. Thankfully my data has been retrieved, but the fate of my machine is still in the hands of the guys at Mentor. I could be more patient if we weren't leaving for Australia in four days. ...sigh..

I've lost track of where I was with updating our garden status, ...and now we're about to leave it. N & T, and M will have a lot to raid while we're away - the garden has gone mad, simply mad. It's hard to say goodbye. Hopefully everything will still be producing and blooming when we return.
If Thunder Bay continues to live up to it's name there shouldn't be a lot of need to water, other than for the pots. The garden has required minimal watering this year so far, inspite of the heat wave and forest fires - down here by the bay, five blocks from to be exact, we've had plenty of rain. Rain and heat, rain and heat, it's been absolutely delicious our small vegetable garden.
The peppers have been buried... so,..whatever happens happens. Some are surving down there in the jungle. I've already been picking them and they are yummy - yellow banana peppers, green bells, ..there are some jalapenos I have plans for beofre we leave too.

The Early Girl tomato is a monster: taller than me, with strong arms like Popeye. It seems the more I prune it the more it grows, so I've stopped and have turned my attention to pruning the yellow tomatoes growing in the east perennial garden. They too have grown almost over my head - but gangly and needing staking (there is both a tall wooden stake and a iron bean support behind Early Girl - the plant has never had to work a hard day in it's life). Unlike poor yellow number 2 over by the peonies. Your get what you deserve when you plant a tomato nearish peonies, so I've learned. It reached for sun every way it could, and was awkward. I chopped it right back to some string producing branches near the tomato cage height. It looks much better now. :)
The peas have also grown taller than me, allowing for hands free nibbling (no, no..I don't really do that...). The beans I've dealt with by dropping strings from the second floor back balcony to the bean polls. I'll be adding a few nore strings before we leave (I ran out of R's meat-binding barbecue string, which has come in handy all over the garden...)..we need more string.

Some Cosmos and one of the Basil plants suffered at the floppiness of Gromit, who rolled off the new back deck before the new railing was installed. It was a great flop: one minute he was recharging in the sun on a warm cedar deck, the next he was two feet below in soft cool garden soil, pink flowers, and surrounded in a green jungle (for being of Basset Hound height). Gravity has a way with all that extra skin....
He was fine, just a little shocked, ..then embarrassed. The Basil was done in instantly, while the Cosmos carry on but with significantly less sturdiness.
The new back deck (once the basic wooden steps leading from the back porch to the backyard) is beautiful, cedar, and hand-made by R. It's large enough now to fit one of my Muskoka chairs -
which were my Mother's Day gift to myself when Hannah was 1, our first summer with our own backyard garden. I originally bought four: two remain - which R and I painted green last year, one died, and one was never put together and still is somewhere in the basement, in a bag, waiting to be assembled, ...and, with R's new fascination with woodworking I think it might.actually.happen ...IF we can find it; our basement is a scene from Hoarders.

It's so hard to leave the garden now, of all times. The tomatoes are all about to ripen, the peas are delicious, the zucchini - finally exposed to sunlight after also being buried by heavy drooping peonies are finally beginning to grow ...the coming weeks are going to be crucial in keeping it growing upwards. I'm more worried about mildew than overcrowdedness...mildew spreads faster. So long as the zucchini climbs more than rambles we should be good. With the pruning of both yellow tomato 2 and the peonies (which have finished blooming as well as became a few nice bouquets for around the house for our last pork-and-more barbecue party) there is a lot more air flow to the area, as well as sunshine. I expect a zucchini boom.

The cucumbers under the beans are slowly working their way on to the barbecue deck...searching for sunlight. They were a little slow to get started, but are finally behaving like the vine I know. Meanwhile, the cucumbers hastily planted in the side garden are also making up for lost time, but at a much quicker pace. I gave them a little support and one of the twig trellises to give it some places to go, along with weaving along the path (I suspect any cucumbers on the path with be chewed or at least licked by a dog and I accept that. I'd say most of these cucumbers are for Claire anyway...)
They're good filler for the area this year, in the sunniest part of the side garden filling in the gap between the Morden Blush rose and some more transplanted blue irises. (Next year there won't be as much space between..)
And of course: more natsurtiums tucked in and around for fun.  

The Mounding Nasturtiums 'Buttercream' from Renee's Garden are poking out all along the edge of our kitchen garden. The have huge leaves that playfully ramble near the footpath, and butter yellow blooms. I adore them. :)

There's so much more to update before we leave, which I hope I can find the time to do. I am looking forward to the change of scenery, the smell of the gum trees, the daffodils and Birds of Paradise along the roadside.. ..under a new set of stars for a few weeks..I do plan to do an Aussie version of garden blogging while we're there - which I didn't do last year and wish I had.

The storm clouds are passing now, the lightning is on the Giant and blue skys are taking over. It's time to go outside. ... :)

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