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.
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…
The Sweet Treats tomatoes — the cherry variety we grow — finally began gracing us with ripe fruits last week. Nothing says summer like ripe tomatoes.
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.
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.
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.
The only unmolested daylilies grow in a bed between my front deck and the house. They lean out a bit to catch more sun.
I planted mostly spider form daylilies in this narrow bed, because I knew they’d grow tall enough to be seen.
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.
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.
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.
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.