Its hard to believe that its almost the end of July. This summer has passed so quickly, it will be over before you know it. You can tell its summer in the garden. The zinnas, sunflowers, celosia, are blooming like crazy. It’s getting hard to walk in between the rows with the flowers spilling out of their beds. The cosmos are getting ready to start their endless airy blooms. Its such a delight to harvest all the cheery happy flowers.
Things have really progressed in the field. We now have a water hook up at every row and have installed drip irrigation. I have to give Mark total credit for the water system. He figured it all out and then did the digging. Its been really nice to have easy water, mother nature hasn’t been helping out much on that front. It has looked cloudy and like rain for the past two days, yet nothing comes. We have tilled up the space where the hoop house will go and planted buckwheat in that area to start working on the soil. There has been so many flowers to cut that Mark has been helping me. Cutting the flowers has always been my responsibility but the sheer volume of flowers makes the help welcome. While I enjoy the relaxing solitude of just me and a bunch of flowers its also a wonderful experience to share, especially with someone that you love. When one of us finds the “perfect flower” we like to show it off to the other. Mark’s favorite has always been the zinnia but this year he might be swayed over to the dahlia after seeing some of the new ones just starting to bloom.
I have battled Japanese beetles, handing picking them off into buckets of soapy water. It’s a slow painful death for them in my bucket. My Dad told me a story about his grandfather picking them off his rose bushes and refering to them as “little mother f**kers”. I total understand, they shouldn’t eat, poop, and fornicate all over the pretty flowers. I have also been monitoring the pumpkins closely for cucumber beetles and squash bugs. I have won some bug battles but I have lost some too. I only got two good cuts from the snaps before they were totally infested with thrips. It was a hard loss for me because none of my fall planted snaps survived so it was the 2nd snap crop to fail this year. I have always thought of snaps as an easy crop, and an beautiful vertical element in arrangements. This year they just haven’t wanted to cooperate.
The garden is always changing, it is never the same for very long. The 2nd week of July I planted another round of sunflowers and zinnias, this batch is featuring more fall time colors. The celosia that is growing under lights inside should be ready to go outside in a couple more weeks, to fill the spot left empty by the failed snapdragons. This final batch of celosia should carry me thru to the last frost. I’m already thinking about next year. I have started some perennials and biennials for bloom next year. I’m trying some new things like, Dame’s Rocket, White Mugwort, Butterfly Weed, Cup and Saucers, and Veronica. I also need to start planting my hardy annuals that will go in the ground this fall to bloom first thing next spring. I’m trying to enjoy every moment of this summer as it whirls by.