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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Habaneros, dock

Home-grown heat has arrived! The habaneros are turning and the datils aren't far behind.

Watering can, dock

I just like the look of this little piece of molded plastic.

Kate's tomato

This is a wee cherry tomato transplant of Kate's, that is finally producing.

Asparagus and prosciutto.

Last week I put these on the grill for 6 minutes, turning once, and was in heaven.

Kate at The Bridge

Big tomatoes

The tomato plants on the dock are producing at a record rate. Tonight I'm chopping a bunch of them for a pizza sauce from Jamie Oliver.

Drift roses

These are a new line of roses from the same people that market the Knock-out roses. They are low growing and get quite wide. I bought two to try and put them in sunny containers. We'll see.

Cherry tomatoes, garden, Roscoe

These are now red and delicious, but they were prettier here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Abstract in guano

This is a bird dropping on the trunk of my black car that resembles an angry hummingbird to me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zucchini flower

Only 3 zucchinis so far, but I love the plants and the flowers.

Basil

I usually buy 12 or more basil plants every year. Plant Ranch has the best ones around here and they have them early for us daring types who plant early. I usually lose 3 or 4 to wilt or cold.

We had a warm spring and every single plant is 2 feet tall and bushy. Plus a lot of volunteers from last year are showing up. It's a good thing I love pesto.

Spearmint on dock.

This has been an incredible year for mint. I cut this back 6 inches every 10 days and it's right back in a week.

Queen Anne's Lace

Habaneros

These are the first of what should be an avalanche of hot peppers this summer. A vibrant habanero plant that I got at Ace Hardware.

Queen Anne's lace, Roscoe

I hated leaving behind one of my favorite weeds, when I left Vermont. I have even planted Elderberry in my yard because they resemble Queen Anne's lace when they flower.

 I found an herb seller who sold Queen Anne's lace plants and ordered 4, 2 each of 2 different varieties. I put them on the dock thinking the searing heat of a Florida summer would kill these delicate little New England babies. Ha! They flowered immediately and grew all summer. I still thought that our different winter would make them unlikely repeaters.

I dutifully collected the seeds, once they were dry, and scattered them about in 4 pots in the Fall. Well...this spring I'd say 80% of the seeds germinated and I have flowers all over the dock, even where I didn't plant them. Woo-hoo.

As an aside, the Queen Anne's lace is thought to be the original carrot. It's roots smell just like a carrot. They aren't very big or very tasty, but they are the parent of every carrot you eat. The legend is that they were named after Queen Anne, who was an accomplished tatter or lace maker. One of the varieties has a tiny red bud, right in the center, which represents a drop of her blood when she stuck herself with a needle.

Hydrangeas

More hydrangeas

Easter lily

The Easter lilies were late, but beautiful as ever.

Mason bee nest, Roscoe

As most gardeners are aware, there is a crisis in the European honey bee population in this country. Whether it is a fungus, a disease or some other factor, hives suddenly crash and disappear. We brought these bees from Europe when we emigrated, to be our prime pollinators and honey providers.

The lack of a vibrant honey bee population causes problems in vegetable gardens here. One solution is to try to attract native pollinators. One of these is the Mason bee. These are vigorous pollinators, but they need nesting places. These nests are sold by a great place called Gardener's Supply in Vermont. They are tubes of bamboo in a bamboo sheath.

The female lays a female egg in the back of the tube and cements it over (thus the moniker mason bee). Then she lays another, and cements again. She can get 5 or 6 in a tube. The last cavity has a male egg in it. The male hatches in due time and waits. As each female emerges, they mate. And then it starts again. I had two of these last year and they were 3/4 full by Fall. Now I have 4 nests near my garden and I have way more fruit sets than a year ago.

Shell in planter.

I collect old, worn shells on the beach and put them in my pots. Cheap decor.

French peppers 2

Here are those peppers one week after transplant. The mulch has helped a lot.

Evening in the garden

It's Summer and time for a nice French rose to accompany me on my evening walk through the garden.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hydrangea bloom 1

My hydrangea plants are having their best Spring yet. Here are a couple of pictures.

Hydrangea bloom 2

Sunday, May 8, 2011

French peppers

Last year in Provence we visited a M. Bricolage store, very loosely translated as Mr. Do-it-yourself. Sort of a smaller version of Home Depot. There was a seed display and I got some cayenne seeds. This Spring I planted them and all 12 came up. Here are three of them, plus an Indian pepper, in their new home. The hollyhock is from seeds that were on a plant in front of our rental, so it's an all French pot. I'll keep you posted.

For David Howard

David, I found some new wheels that would look perfect on your car! And maybe some tattoos!