So many flowers are blooming so beautifully right now! I planted loads of zinnias this year as they are so easy to grow and give so much beauty for so little effort. The birds and bees and butterflies all love them, and so do I. I haven't even been deadheading them to keep them blooming - the goldfinches have been taking care of that for me. So fun to watch them meticulously plucking and enjoying the seeds. And Kateri calls me outside on dewy mornings to see the sparkly jeweled webs dripping from the blooms. So many pretty colors in the Lilliput Mix from St. Clare's Seeds, and the butterflies love my Sparky Mix marigolds too. I put in lots of purple alyssum this year as well. I hope it reseeds as well as the white always does - endless mounds of little flowers years after year without any work. Lovely.
Fruits and vegetables are doing fairly well. The cucumber vines have given up lately, but they did well for long time and I made five quarts of sweet refrigerator pickles. Blackberries are just about done but the fall bearing raspberries are just getting started. Beans and beets are old reliables. I grew garlic for the first time this year and got a good crop despite my not remembering that you're supposed to cut off the scapes on top before they bloom. Oh well. I'll remember and hopefully have bigger bulbs next year. Yesterday I finally got around to planting more seeds for a fall crop - peas, beans, beets, spinach, lettuce, radish and kohlrabi. And it even rained today - hooray!
I really try to keep up with the zucchini during squash season, but alas I somehow missed this whopper hiding under the leaves for days on end. Kateri strung it up like a giant fish. It's really quite a versatile vegetable and can be used as a bookstand or doorstop or even a club in case of need...
So while I've been busy processing the prolific squash and making jam I've been ignoring the huge heaps of kale sprouting all over the garden. Lush leafy heads of kale were everywhere and I kept ignoring it, putting off harvesting it for the freezer as the other things seemed more urgent to gather fresh.
Until one day all the the kale looked like this -
Now we know from experience that kale is the groundhog's favorite meal, but I actually tried to explain to my husband how I didn't know what was devouring my kale as there aren't any holes in the fence and we haven't seen any groundhogs in the garden or even in our yard lately. Could it be grasshoppers? Something else? Ha. Silly me.
Turns out it was a leetle groundhog, with a typical big appetite for kale. We don't know how it got in as we have double fencing all around the garden - unless maybe the gardener left the door open one day? In any case, it's gone now. Michael had his most entertaining catch of all time: he sprayed the hose in one end of the burrow to chase the thing out, and we got to watch it come tearing up out of the hole at the other end and straight into the trap! And we always come in and play Pete Seeger's Groundhog Song for Pa after he makes a catch. (Cause we're goofy like that.)