Thursday, July 28, 2005

What A Difference A Week Makes

Tassles on the corn! Posted by Picasa

Ah, can't you just hear the sweet strains of Dinah Washington? A convergence of heat, no batteries for the camera and a bit of late July laziness has created a void in the blog this past week...but oh, how the garden has continued to grow...and to teach.

The big thing a garden teaches any gardener is humility. The more you know, it turns out, the less you know. The tiny blue mystery flower is indeed a member of the spiderwort family. While escaping the heat this week, I was thumbing through an old North American flower guide, published in 1950. It tells me that this little fellow is known as Dayflower.

Other lessons abound. The mystery plant transplanted from the meadow months ago when tiny, is now a towering monster that is starting to look like the same guide's drawings for Joe Pye Weed. It's another butterfly favorite, so I have no problem with that.

Mystery Pye? Posted by Picasa

The small seedling I've been nurturing for months, thinking it the lone survivor of some helianthus seedlings from the 2004 season has turned out to be a stalk of physostigia (gas plant), which I'd thought to be lost in the last move. Oh yes, and the plant I recently called "ironweed" is NOT that at all...but St. John's wort.

An abandoned pot near the greenhouse shed has overgrown with some kind of weed. In the midst of it, I've discovered a lovely purple impatiens plant (also following us from the last location...but in a pot that had been replanted since then!), as well as a pair of ginger root seedlings...something I'd forgotten was down there at the bottom of that plant.

In the week that's passed, we've had enough rain to make nearly none at the morning's daily water duties were never optional...but the effort has its rewards. Each day the tomatoes beg to be tied up once again, and they are becoming heavy with clusters of green fruit. I enjoyed a tasty handful of fresh picked green beans the other day (not enough to steam for dinner, but a nice pocketful to give me energy in the garden!). I built a new section of fence to hold back some of the "Oregano That Ate Eastham", as it flopped over to crowd one of the tallest tomato plants.

Butterfly weed is blooming nearly everywhere. So far it brings mostly bees and a few large wasps, but I saw a monarch butterfly fluttering across the surface of the pond yesterday (as I went peeking for the recently spotted family of baby ducks). The cosmos is coming into its own...including those from scattered seed (some in typically unlikely places). There's a first bud on one of the sunflower stalks.

I've talked to a robin...and been visited by a pair of juvenile chipmunks who were playing around the greenhouse (I think they live underneath...or perhaps under the woodpile nearby). Dragonflies disappear from above the pond surface with a surprise splash, the closest we've come to spotting the banjo-throated bullfrogs who call across the pond each night (it does sound, for the record, more like "Hein-e-ken" than "Bud-weis-er", tho. Maybe that's just me, or perhaps they had a taste from the earlier season's slug traps!). Today, an oriole lunched at one of the hummingbird feeders.

And it turns out, the reason the nursery rhyme sings about "4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie" is because when the cook went out to the garden to gather berries for the baking...all that remained was a skyful of sly and sated looking blackbirds! What a surprise for the king indeed...

 Posted by Picasa

A rudbeckia cultivar recently saved from smothering by oregano.

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