Just last week when my dad brought me beautiful cucumbers grown from the plants I gave him I complained that my garden had grown none. Well, I was wrong. While searching for pumpkin babies to photograph, I discovered some not so little cucumbers hidden between the vines and under the large leaves. A look back to my planting map shows a Marketmore Cucumber in the back corner of the bed. I forgot! This my friends is one of my favorite parts of gardening - the surprises! Sometimes, for instance, a plant looks like it isn't going to make it but comes back and does very well like the tomato plants in my borrowed bed. They looked so poorly for a while that I planted new plants directly next to them which explains the overcrowding, lack of fruit problem I now face.
In other garden news, the Tavera Beans provided a lovely side for dinner one evening. Garden baby wasn't all over them in raw form as you can see. She preferred them much better cooked lightly and dressed with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of coarse salt. We are also picking raspberries everyday and have gotten a few ripe tomatoes here and there. The peppers are doing pretty well also. The large amount of rain this season has brought us has me a bit worried about the bucket tomatoes. The soil is constantly wet and the plants are looking yellowish. I'm thinking that I should have drilled more drainage holes and placed the buckets on a frame of some sort that would allow the water to flow out easier. Always something to learn when gardening!
Scenes from the Garden
"Rain, rain go away. Come again another day," so says the song anyway. My garden welcomed the rain this past week and a traipse through the paths led to many happy finds. Well, mostly happy anyway. How about those mushrooms above? These fungi are everywhere except in the fairy garden where they would be perfect. Take a look at what else is popping up along the Green Brick Road...
They are finally blooming and oh so pretty! These gems are edible too but I have yet to try them. Too pretty to eat.
The marigolds planted from High Mowing Organic Seeds are starting to bloom and neighbor Steve brought me some beautiful geraniums. My grandmother's poppies bloomed during the rain but I still caught a glimpse.
Wee tomatoes, itty bitty peppers, and hints of beans and cucumbers to come. The pallet garden looks just dandy and we're picking strawberries and raspberries. The ugly? Scrawny zucchini that may or may not produce, rabbit nibbled spinach, and holes in the beans. Naturally I only photographed the pretties...
Fairy Garden News
Disaster has struck the fairy garden! I kinda knew that I should have coated the fairy houses with something awful and toxic but was trying to avoid it. As a result, our houses look prematurely weathered. On a positive note, we have some new entries!
Last but not least!
At first glance the poppy plant is raggedy but closer inspection reveals its beauty. What will that green cone become? We will soon find out. Stay posted!
Where would the world be without imagination? Actually, I can’t even imagine it! Would people have accomplished anything without it? My mother gave me perhaps one of the best gifts of all by sharing a love of reading with me. Books are really the perfect tool for fostering imagination, “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.” – Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Some of my favorite places to travel via the turn of a page are whimsical and magical lands like that in which a fairy might reside. And so, when I saw a picture of a fairy garden a couple of years back, my heart soared. I had to have one but for some reason or another it has taken me until now to make it happen. Though my ten and a half year old science boy son did not take to the idea as much as I had hoped my Bella girl is in it with me. Nina is more like the giant that all of the fairies fear as she attempts to walk the tiny gravel path and lift the tiny houses for inspection. We have only just begun but now is when we can really call upon our imaginations. That acorn cap? How about making it a little bucket for a wishing well? Used popsicle sticks from summer time treats? The perfect fence! This project makes me feel like a kid again and one that I hope keeps my children kids just a little bit longer.
Strawberry Cupcakes via Cooking Classy
A love/hate relationship. That is what I have with the raspberry patch located behind my garden. I love, love, love those prickly canes when they are heavy with fresh berries. However, once those berries disappear and I’m left with wild looking fruitless canes I lose a bit of that love. Hate may be too strong a word to be truthful. Of course, looking at the scratches up and down my arms right now causes me to lean heavily in that direction. Soon enough I’ll be popping warm from the sun berries into my mouth and the injuries will be well worth it. This taste I never forget and that is why the raspberries canes have survived yet another year. That and the fact that raspberries have a strong will to live. They spread their roots quickly through the ground and new canes pop up all over. If you choose to grow raspberries, be prepared to commit to some maintenance. Do not let fear clutch your heart though because I will now present you with “The Lazy Guide to Growing Raspberries.” I make no guarantees to its success. I guarantee only that this is what I do whether it is right or wrong in the expert raspberry growing community.
Step Three - oops Four!
Stand back and admire the new addition to your yard and dream of all that you can do with fresh berries. The possibilities are numerous and delicious! As for when you will actually get fresh berries depends upon the type of raspberry you planted I would imagine. Some will be prudish and make you wait a bit but then you will appreciate them all the more.
What to do when the raspberry canes try to take over and steal your children? Well, I don a pair of gloves and arm myself with some clippers and dive into the bushes. Wearing a pair of goggles may even be a good idea. Flippers are optional. Be bold and determined in your pruning. If it looks dead, pull it out. No need for nostalgia here. If it popped up where you don’t want it, pull the sucker out. Here you have a few options. You could replant it where you do want it. You could “gift” it to a friend or set it on the curb as a freebie. People love free stuff! Or you could close your eyes, apologize to the universe, and toss it in the trash. Sure, composting the extra canes is an option but I have a feeling you would end up with a raspberry bush in your compost bin. Did you ever accidentally grow a pumpkin that way?
Proudly show off your scratched arms and tell all who ask, “You should see the other guy!”
Remain hopeful and wait patiently. And then…sometime in the future…enjoy some delicious and nutritious and amazing fresh raspberries. Take a picture of said berries and post it all over social media with the tag #bejealous.
There you have it - The Green Brick Road’s lazy method to growing raspberries. Supposing you prefer a more thorough and infinitely more knowledgeable source, head over to Fine Gardening. I learned a few things from them and might act a little more “expertly” in my raspberry growing attempts next year. In the meantime, let me get back to nursing these scratches up and down my arms…
Around the Garden:
Welcome to The Green Brick Road. My name is Valerie, and I invite you to join me and my family on our gardening adventure. We hope that you will learn with us and grow with us. Pun intended!