in the garden :: a midsummer update

I’ve plucked two ripe raspberries now — and popped them right into my mouth. Sunwarmed, juicy goodness. There’s already lots of new growth on our young plant, which hopefully signifies that we’ve chosen a good spot where it will thrive for years.IMG_6254 Our neighbor Ming-Ming gave me a few “winter melon” plants, so I’ve put those in the earth alongside the raspberry bush. I had to do some Googling to see exactly what this melon is and will have to return online to determine how I’m going to use the ripe fruit, but the experimental aspect of gardening is one of the things that makes this hobby so intriguing.IMG_6253Our pumpkin plants are growing very quickly right now. As the leaves become larger, I imagine the plants’ rate of photosynthesis multiplies. We’ve had plenty of rain and sunshine, so everything that is in the ground is flourishing.
IMG_6258 Of the plants in our straw bales, however, I have to tell a different story. These broccoli and Brussels sprouts are okay and the bunching onions may be so. I did get to eat a few radishes, but I know robins have eaten the second crop of seeds I planted. I am ashamed to show photos of the rest of the plants. The tomatoes are spindly, spotted, and have about three cherry tomatoes growing on them — no additional flowers to indicate there will be more fruit to come. (I pulled out the two saddest-looking tomatoes last night and put them in pots to try to salvage them.) The cilantro has bolted; parsley, squash, peppers, and cauliflower are dying; oregano and basil are shrinking and turning yellow. I’m not sure if it’s because the bales are holding too much water or heat, or if we should have dug bigger pockets filled with potting soil. When I compare our dinky, jaundiced plants to our neighbors’ garden just alongside, the contrast is stark. They brought in compost this year, and their plants are beautiful — dark green, lush, and promising bounty. Next year’s Weng-Lam garden is going to be like that! Amen.IMG_6257 The daisies have popped up in jaunty welcome. Tall, green grasses sway in the breeze. Shane (Barney? Fred?) arrives home from work in Marseilles from time to time with more field stones.IMG_6259And that is about all that’s new on the garden front this week!

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