Summer

Mixed cosmos mingle with veggies

Mixed cosmos mingle with veggies

Mornings in the garden must start early, now that summer has officially arrived. Even if the solstice had not occurred last Saturday morning, I would have known it was here when I heard cicadas thrumming for the first time as the sun topped the trees.

Honeybees on zucchini flower

Honeybees on zucchini flower

I’m harvesting every day, despite a distressing absence of rainfall. In the last four weeks, we’ve had 0.43 inches of rain. That’s it. I’m watering the veggies twice a week. When the well runs dry, their time will run out. If only it would rain…

Ripening Sweet Treats tomatoes

Ripening Sweet Treats tomatoes

The Sweet Treats tomatoes — the cherry variety we grow — finally began gracing us with ripe fruits last week. Nothing says summer like ripe tomatoes.

Fortex pole bean

Fortex pole bean

The Fortex pole beans have been quite productive, but the heat and lack of rain are slowing them down. Fortunately, the Jade bush beans are just cranking into production mode. When you grow your own, you quickly learn that all beans are not created equally. Like the nuances between tomato varieties, bean varieties offer subtle differences to discerning palates.

Today's harvest: Fortex at the top, the first few blueberries beside them, Jade beans at the bottom, with Sweet Treats and one Early Choice tomato in between

Today’s harvest: Fortex at the top, the first few blueberries beside them, Jade beans at the bottom, with Sweet Treats and one Early Choice tomato in between.

For the first time in several weeks, I did not harvest a zucchini today. No worries; there are several in the refrigerator and plenty more ripening quickly in the garden.

Coneflowers in the boulder garden

Coneflowers in the boulder garden

After I’m done in the garden, I walk to the front of the house to inspect my neglected flower gardens. While I was sick and not paying attention, the voracious deer ate all the daylily and coneflower flower buds they could find. This is the only coneflower they missed, because it’s nestled between some large boulders.

Daylily 'Apricot Spider' with Spanish lavender.

Daylily ‘Apricot Spider’ with Spanish lavender.

The only unmolested daylilies grow in a bed between my front deck and the house. They lean out a bit to catch more sun.

Daylily 'Winsome Lady' grows near 'Apricot Spider'

Daylily ‘Winsome Lady’ grows near ‘Apricot Spider’

I planted mostly spider form daylilies in this narrow bed, because I knew they’d grow tall enough to be seen.

Daylily 'Prairie Blue Eyes'

Daylily ‘Prairie Blue Eyes’

When I realized with horror what the deer had done to my daylilies, I sprayed all their remaining buds with deer repellant. Thus, I’m getting a few, somewhat stunted blooms from most of them.

Daylily 'Pink Betty'

Daylily ‘Pink Betty’

I like Pink Betty because she’s a bit different from many daylilies. She has managed to put out just a couple of flowers on stubby scapes — much shorter than normal. Like hostas, daylilies are deer candy, alas.

A volunteer cross

A volunteer cross

Some of the best-looking daylilies this year are the result of unsupervised crosses between named varieties. From its location and appearance, I’m fairly certain this is a cross between Brocaded Gown and Red Toy.

Daylily 'Brocaded Gown'

Daylily ‘Brocaded Gown’

The light was not strong for these shots. A number didn’t quite work. I’ll try again on another summer morning. Abundant rainfall would help these struggling beauties a lot. Here’s hoping help arrives soon.

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