Saturday, August 14, 2010

And the Flowers. . .

Vegetable continue to grow with eggplants coming on and carrots getting bigger and sweeter. But, the flowers often steal the show and look great mixed in with the veggie garden.
This year the birds planted a dozen or so sunflowers and I didn't have the heart to pull them up as winter rains kept on and on. They were so cheerful and determined. So here they are towering over the banana plants which usually decorate the parking strip.

The unusual Leycesteria or Himalayan Honeysuckle is a favorite. The flowers are loved by the hummingbirds and the bees are buzzing about all the time. The arching branches are graceful and the leaves have a bit of a red tint, at the edges, matching the flowers, nicely. But, alas, I've planted it too close to the house. One of these days it will have to be moved farther to the front of the bed or find a new home.

The unusally colored Rosa glauca is the same - too big for my little city garden. But, until it gets its full size going, I'm enjoying it. The hips are spectacular against the blue-ish leaves. Shall I make rose hip jelly or rose hip tea?

I was a bit suspicious of the blanket flower (gaillardia), at first. I'm not one for many oranges in the palette (I generally go for the pinks and purples). But, the flowers are so bright and have such an interesting look, that it won me over. This one is called 'Frenzy'. And it blooms and blooms. I've cut the old flowers off again and again - more keep coming.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Veggies Growing Great

When the weather warms up, you just can't stop things in the garden. Yep, there's damage left over from the oddly wet and long spring (peonies with disease spots, a pineapple lily dead in a too soggy spot, tomatoes still green, etc.), but lots of other things look good!

I had a spiral tomato support that didn't work for me a few years back. After our visit from the Clackamas Tomato Master and her advice to get those tomatoes off the ground, I got it out again. This time I was more diligent in pruning off the suckers - and it looks great!!

Tying the cucumber up the bamboo trellis saves space, and gets the cukes out of the dirt. The beans are on their way up another bamboo trellis.

The Bright Lights Swiss Chard makes a colorful border, but the leaf miners have found it. The easy answer is to protect it with the floating row cover. It sure would spoil the decorative effect, though.

I started some of the alpine strawberries from seed and put them in place of the regular everbearing variety in the rock garden. They are tiny berries - about the size of the tip of your index finger - but with a really creamy taste. That is - if I get them before the slugs!!