Posted by: David | July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day

Midsummer is upon us. Don’t have a lot of words for you here. It’s been hot and humid for a couple of weeks now and summer gets very busy at work. People assume that because I work at a college I must have the summer, or most of it, off. But I don’t. We spend the summer getting the computer stuff all ready for September and the latest crop of first-year students. So I’m kinda tired. Lousy excuses, huh?

There are plenty of photos to share though, as the garden is just beginning to burst. The garden is the most consistent source of sanity and grounding that I have known in this first decade of the 21st century. We recently had some much needed rain, and the plants that have been languishing and feeding insect pests are finally beginning to hit their stride in this summer of twenty ten.

Beds 5 and 6 are mostly onions, with a smattering of leeks and peppers. Lots of watering has been necessary as well as regular applications of neem, an organic pesticide.

he plot behind the barn … sprawling tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, winter squash, and pumpkins.

weet corn loves to grow in horse manure.

ill flower.

eek flowers with busy bumblebees.

sunflower preparing to open.

ction shot. Bumblebee working the borage flowers. Borage is an annual volunteer in our garden.

In bed 1, where first shift lettuce has clocked out, second shift celery is now growing bigger. Needing lots of water too.

eds 2 and 3 have been harvested, except for a dozen remaining garlic plants, and volunteer dill.

The garlic curing in baskets atop the cordwood pile.

eds 15 and 16 with the cabbages, broccoli, and such. They’re a little behind.

ome kind of hornet working on a leek flower.


  1. I love your garden! Can I come live with you? I’ll attend your college and work in the garden all day. Sounds delightful to me!! Your pictures are great I love the bumblebee action shot best though!

    Thanks for your comment dragonfly. Your enthusiasm is very inspiring. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. When I got home from work today my wife beckoned me to the garden to observe several scarily large wasp species joining the bumblebees on the leek flowers. There were these gigantic iridescent blue-black things she thought might be mud dauber wasps. And another species of orange-ish wasps that were also amazing. I should have taken some more photos!

  2. As per usual, love the garden shots.
    I’m a bonafide city snob (I hate Ottawa, give me my Toronto back!), but your pics make me wish I had land.
    I DID however, tear up a shitty flowerbed here at the house we’re renting and planted tomatoes, red peppers, celery, lettuce, peas, carrots and cucumbers. The carrots crapped out (got flooded really early on), but everything else is lovely. It’s the cutest little tiny garden ever.

    I’m so glad that you keep your hands in the soil Talea. Funny, as you were posting your comment I was adding a photo I’d meant to include of the celery that my wife planted in bed one, amongst the lettuce, which is now either harvested or bolting. We grew some celery for the first time last year. It takes the whole season to grow, but it’s so hardy and so yummy. My carrots crapped out too. Is it too late to replant? Maybe …

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. What kind of camera do you have?

    I know what you mean about gardening and sanity. Victor (my client) and I put in a little tomato garden at his house, and it brings us both so much joy (and tomatoes). I love how much he enjoyed the experience of planting it, and now he’s reaping the benefits of tending to it.

    Happy Bastille Day to you! I’m sorry I couldn’t find you a card.

    Thank you moonbeam! The camera I usually use was a gift from our daughter. It is a Canon PowerShot A710IS. It’s old now, but we liked it so much that we gave the exact same model right back to our daughter the very next birthday or whatever gift giving occasion it was. But it’s old now, and only 7 mega pixels. What makes the pictures I post here pop out is the “e-touching” that they get in Microsoft Office Picture Manager. The routine is to raise the color saturation to 42 (usually) and then hit the Auto Correct button. This is followed by cropping, which is really the only modification where my eye works.

    I can’t say enough about how good gardening is for the heart, mind, and soul. It’s a wonderfully scalable activity too. I cannot imagine a life without our green companions.

    No worries on the Bastille Day card. Let’s agree that it’s just kinda cool that our friend France celebrates Independence Day exactly 10 days after we do.

  4. The colors in the borage flowers caught my eye immediately. All soft pink and blue and green. So springy and Easter and absolutely lovely. I don’t think I’ve known about these flowers before now.

    Your close-ups made everything special. Those little things, the real gems and hidden treasures that a casual passerby might miss are, for me, the best subjects.

    Thank you for that lovely comment Pi. Borage has volunteered in our gardens for years. Sometimes, if they’re too close to some other purposely planted species, they get pulled up. As do the errant dill or poppy plants. But I’m glad that you appreciate these flowers. 🙂

  5. Are you sure it is a hornet? I have never seen one, and so that insect looks to me like a flying ant or even a termite.

    And are sunflowers red where you live? Here they are yellow. But it is beautiful the way you got it as it unfolds. When poppies open up, they even look crumpled or crinkled as if they were made of that very fine paper that Bibles used to be printed on.

    As you can see in the following post “To The Moon” the insects on the leek flowers are quite large, about 3 cm. Not termites or flying ants. The scale is hard to judge from the photos.

    The sunflower that refuses to follow the sun is an ornamental varietal and so is not the usual yellow petaled color. Most are yellow as everywhere. The deer seem to like to nibble on these sunflowers, so we don’t have that many flowers at this time. We have lots of poppies in our garden every year. They propagate themselves, and have that crepe paper look to their petals, as you say.

  6. Great garden and awesome photos. Love the headers pic with the bumblebee on the fuzzy flowers. Too cool. Bunny would be your best friend/gardening buddy if we were neighbors. She loves to garden, but gardening doesn’t come easy in Arizona, so as a result our gardening knowledge is limited.

    Yeah for organic pesticides. 😉

    Thanks Peter. I can’t imagine not gardening. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it. Yeah I imagine it’s tough to garden in arid climates. But container gardening can be pretty productive too.

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