Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The garden report for early July

I photographed the Silk Road lilies early in the morning on Saturday, while I watered the pots before we left for our short long weekend. The neighbour's cat came to visit.

Upon our return the last of them are still in bloom, dropping deep yellow pollen and long petals, and the first Dunyazades have opened. This signals the start of serious summer. It's going to be a long two months.

The compensations will be small and botanical: my jewelweed opened. Stolen as a seedling from Inwood in April, it is now about four feet tall. It is our in-house poison ivy antidote, but I love the plants themselves. The strong, sappy stems have a powdery bloom to them, and water runs like diamonds from the leaves after rain. The yellow flowers still surprise me.

The strawberries are in the middle of their second flush, with the third hot on its heels, it seems. They are covered in flowers.

My first cilantro crop is looking good, even though two other pots failed and turned yellow. Below, the cilantro is between the Greek basil and the summer savory.

Although I was sad to leave the woods and lake and ferns of our weekend away, it was lovely to get back to my tiny garden, to water, pick berries, and turn out the potato crop.

I had noticed a potato pushing out through the soil, and the leaves had turned yellow, so it was Time.

Very satisfactory. We ate them for supper with butter and chives, and salt and pepper. While good, I can't honestly say that they were the potatoes of legend. I have had better. Is that blasphemous? Home-grown must be the best? Maybe potatoes actually need to mature a bit, out of the soil. I don't know. A flavour in the skins set my mouth on edge just a little.

The first little green tomatoes have appeared. I anticipate a glut. And for the first time I really have held off on buying year-in year-out tomatoes. I shall succumb soon at a farmers' market. I crave buffalo mozzarella and basil. 

I have four little Sugar Baby watermelons on the vines.

And the roof strawberries are settling in. 

The spotted trout and oak leaf lettuces are sharing pots with the tomatoes, and I have enough to pick for a small salad every day. And this particular cucumber tasted just fine, but the previous one was inedibly bitter.

The garden goes on.


  1. Your neighbor's cat looks a lot like our Emma. I am sure, cough, that Estorbo loves the visits.
    Your garden is looking wonderful and yummy! Your Iceberg look great. Mine is growing but refuses to bloom. Hmpf. My (our :) ) first strawberry is turning red. I check daily and ponder the different ways I could it them. I think the first one will be straight up.

  2. i've been told, repeatedly, that watermelons/squash/pumpkin can't be grown in little patches. since you have watermelon, next season i'm setting in baby pumpkins or fall squash!

  3. How cute is that baby watermelon...also noticed those little figs - wonderful harvest!

  4. I love being able to pick something straight from my garden, I feel a great sense of achievement, even if it is just a handful of fresh strawberries!

  5. Looks like everything is well. Sorry I missed the trash, expecting to come here to find some new treasure discovered while I was away.

    I find that the beauty in the home grown is often in the accomplishment, not necessarily in the degree of better flavor. That, however, may be in the choice of potato variety. Then again, potatoes store well, so we may not notice a great difference in texture/overall quality as we do with say tomatoes.

  6. It's like Liliputian gardening! I love your success. Makes me feel like a terrible slackard! enjoy!!

  7. I read this first thing this morning and was so discouraged by my gardens pickins I didn't comment.

    Totally a lie, I had to rush off to work.

    BUT, my strawberries are in decline, only cherry tomatoes growing, 1 little worm of a cucumber, lovely beans though and 3 little sugar baby's.

    Your yield is fabulous. Disappointing to read about the potatoes though.

    Now I'm hungry. what's for dinner?

    xo J.

  8. Why are your strawberries so much happier and more productive than mine?! And blueberries already, wow. Curious about the potatoes. I'll let you know how mine are, since they're from the same batch; it won't be for a few weeks.

  9. Very cool, Marie! You're becoming quite the urban farmer!

  10. what is the name of the yellow flower?


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