Beginning of August Tour


It’s time for a tour!

The newest additions to our garden come from David’s aunt, with whom we just visited!  She collects orchids, says they’re pretty foolproof down here, and gave us three to get started!  The three she gave us are all cymbidiums.  Two could use splitting and repotting this spring.   


Hopefully they’ll thrive on the little shelf we created for them over the compost bin. This area gets direct sun for a few hours a day.  The plants are light in color right now, and hopefully they’ll perk up a bit.

We’ve been fertilizing and spraying over the past few days.  There’s been a rejuvenation of the plants in the garden.  David and I are done with summer vacation, and we’ll have time to maintain our plants better.


The squashes on the A-frame have fruit!  There are two sugar baby watermelons in the back, and three Pinnacle spaghetti squash in the front.  The Kazakh melon on the left is almost wild, but it hasn’t set fruit in a while.  On the back left, the Malali watermelon vine is growing over the cattle panel trellis and has yet to have a melon on it.  I just pulled out the sweet dumpling squash and two cantaloupe that never did much.


The Pinnacle squash grows on a compact non-branching vine.  While we were on vacation, the vine made it’s way to the inside of the trellis and started to fruit.  I tucked it back through, and hope I can train the new baby to grow on the outside of the wire.


The hairy Malali watermelon finally has a baby melon.  This one is about the size of my thumbnail, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s a healthy enough plant to start producing fruit.


Buttercup squash have been our most prolific this year.  Of course, we did plant three extra plants by mistake, so it makes sense that we have the most of this variety.  The vines are half dead in some places.  The leaves that were covered in powdery mildew now look great.  We have one squash that’s about ready to be picked and about five that are at this stage.


Even the sprawling Kazakh melon has baby fruit.  Most of them seem to fall off and die, so I’m not keeping my fingers crossed.

The cattle panel arch is now full of buttercup squash, Malali watermelon (cutting through the top), and half dead Kazakh melon on the right side.


This picture was taken before David sprayed the leaves.  They now have no visible white on them.  The plant on the left is the buttercup squash that I hacked back before vacation.


Our crookneck yellow squash is finally looking healthy and producing squash!  In front of it, hiding at this angle, is a new acorn squash to climb the trellis.  On the right are two Sunburst yellow zucchini.  The far right are leaves from a buttercup squash that wants to take over the garden.

Luckily the squash is pretty well confined to the trellis.  Behind it, in the same bed, the eggplant are finally getting big and flowering like mad.


Two of the Japanese eggplants are ready to be harvested. The biggest plant (left) is a Rosa Bianca.  The borage in the foreground used to be quite stunted, and it’s finally growing well.  I must remember to pick the flowers while making a salad.

The beans along the fence are finishing up.  Half of the scarlet runner beans are drying out and the asparagus beans have less flowers.  I decided to plant more of both along the fence, and see what more we’ll get this season.


I started new zucchini seeds, but decided to keep our old one.  The twists of the leaves off of the main vine show it’s resilience.  There is new fruit coming, so our kitchen is happy.


On the other side of the garden, the zinnias and arugula are doing well.  The tomatillos are growing, although the plant looks like it’s had better days. In this picture the tomatoes look like they’re on fire, but they’re fine.


Here they are!  The tomatoes are working out well with their Florida weave.  This is the one area of the entire yard where we have red slicing tomatoes.  The little leaf cucumbers are phasing out, but the larger leaved Straight 8 is producing away.  Currently the one vine has about six fruits growing.  We’re debating trying to squeeze in another round of cucumber plants.  I did plant some Mexican Sour Gherkins; we’re looking forward to something very different.


Under the apricot tree, the golden yarrow has shot up more blooms.  This little plant has come such a long way from when I found it under a trailer.


Also next to the apricot tree and yarrow is our new Verbena bonariensis.  My friend Sheila gave me the seeds and this one was in the nursery for a long time.  I planted it before vacation, and am thrilled to see it’s tall flowers.  Just as I hoped, I’ve seen small pollinators and butterflies on the flowers.  (I saw a tiger swallowtail in the garden the other day, but not on this plant.)


On the other side of the backyard, the fruits are coming.  The avocados are getting bigger, promising a fall harvest. The Ponderosa lemon tree has a few lemons growing and the banana tree is starting to flower.


The rack is on the tallest tree, hanging over the neighbor’s fence.  The flower looks huge and will hopefully provide us with way more bananas than we can possibly eat.  Last year we ended up cutting down the tree too soon, and the bananas didn’t ripen.  The lure of using a machete got us but we’ve learned our lesson in patience.


The huge nasturtium that gave us many pickled nasturtium pods has babies growing.  The plants nearby in mystery garden are ready to pick from, but they haven’t had as many seeds at once as the old plant.  Hopefully the offspring will be good seed producers, like the parent plant.

The tomatoes in the side yard are so funny to look at.  The huge one on the left is the Isis Candy cherry tomato, which we’ve been enjoying in our salads.  Next to it is the Jaune Flamme, which seems to be just about done with producing tomatoes, and a San Marzano. The gap has carrots and radishes that are about ready to pick and then the sad looking Indigo Rose.  We recently roasted a bunch of Indigo Rose, and I’ll be pulling the plant out when my nursery starts to grow.


Here we have the bushiest San Marzano ever.  To the left of it is a cage with a Black Krim tomato and on the right is a red pepper plant.


The serrano pepper has finally started to flower and produce peppers!  It’s just in time, as our jalepeno is finishing up and looking sad.


The banana pepper doesn’t look so great either.  Our purple basil looks great.  I have yet to find a way to use large amounts of the fragrant leaves.


David and I are excited about the lemon grass.  We have noticed that Rosie likes to eat the tips off of the leaves.  We’re trying to discourage this behavior, but Rosie spends a lot more time outside than we do.


The annual flower bed in the front yard is a bit overgrown, but it’s mostly overgrown with cosmos.


It’s a great pleasure to look out the front windows and doors and see huge arrays of bright flowers.

To me, growing plants and flowers is what summer is all about.




7 thoughts on “Beginning of August Tour

    • Thank you! I’ll take any advice that you have to offer. Should I move them more into the shade? I’m not sure how to give them light without it being direct. They get just a few hours of morning sunshine where they are, but it may not be the best place. His aunt mentioned that she’s seen them planted in the ground in our climate. Clearly I have some research to do!

      • You have to get them indoors before the temperature drops below 15 C°, they are easy plants but they don’t want direct sun, maybe you can put them somewhere in dappled shade like under a tree that still lets trough a bit of (sun) light , succes !

  1. Looks pretty hot and dry, but despite that your garden looks great – very impressive! I am totally floored by your bananas! We have had a running debate in our house about whether bananas grow on trees or herbaceous perennials. Cutting down the stalk too early because you were so eager to try your machete sounds like something I would do.

    • Dry, yes. Hot, that depends on where you’re from- we complain about mid-80’s. I love that you have a banana debate. They are hardy little plants which only produce one flower, then get cut down. Also, I love that the baby “trees” are called pups!

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