Monday, June 18, 2012

Happiness is a Stag Beetle

As a child I remember seeing Stag and Rhinoceros beetles much more frequently. I can't remember the last Rhino beetle I saw. This Stag caught my eye lumbering through my garden. She's a beauty. I hope she finds a mate and they make many more for us to enjoy.

This dear bumble was either asleep or drunk on pollen. 

What's in Bloom Updates

Starting with the Natives:
American Germander in my front yard prairie

Beebalm- makes my yard smell spicy on a warm and humid day.

Grey- headed Coneflower

False Sunflower

Mountain Mint

And now for some non-natives

Speckled Balsam- reminds me of Great Aunt Mary

Black and Blue Salvia (overwinters in my basement)

Browalia- easy from seed

Dwarf Canna- at the back door (overwintered the roots)

Moody Blues Nigella- aka Love in a Mist

What's to Eat?

First broccoli- Purple Sprouting

First Plums 

First Summer Squashes

A volunteer Acorn Squash! 

Black Mission Figs
Note: if you don't get these first the ants will. Wow- melt in your mouth yumminess.

I have had some cherry tomatoes, but you won't see them pictured since I ate them in the garden.

Still Growing: Updates

It's working! No Flea Beetles. 100% Organic Eggplant. Finally.

And now for: Yay for Free Crap!

I went rock harvesting along a nearby roadcut.

And made some new edging for a bed. Just a little exercise sans the gym membership.

Very cool rocks with lots of fossils, iron and quarts. 

Other Projects: Propagation

Because I'm cheap (oh, you didn't know?) I bought an aluminum food dish at the dollar store to use as a propagator or mini-greenhouse. It maintains a high humidity needed for starting new plants from cuttings.

In my "propagator" I have ajuga (left) and Lamium (right). So far so good.

Sedum cutting update: 100% success rate so far:

Other notes:

Tomato plants have some fruits, but the plants seem delayed in growth. My guess is the lack of moisture. Likewise, my cucumbers are sitting there with 1-2 leaves on them and hating life. The apples seem more productive than ever. What drops the squirrels and chickens are munching on. Still harvesting lots of greens and sharing them with the chickens. They seem partial to the Tronchuda Leafing Cabbage. I have some garlic scapes I need to do something with. 
Garlic Scapes

That's about it from me for this week. Here's a closing full-garden photo.