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.
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