It’s been a very busy past several months, and I’ve gotten way behind here in this blog. Here’s a couple of pictures from last year’s garden that I intended to put up, but never got around to it. I was looking out my office window, which overlooks the garden, and I saw something huge and yellow in amongst the zucchinis. I had never seen a zucchini blossom this large before, so I felt it was worthy of a picture in the blog. It was easily at least eight inches from tip to tip, and possibly more.
The 2011 garden has seen huge changes. The garden beside the house is completely reconfigured, there is an entire new garden patch in the power line cut out behind the house, there is now an herb garden, and the blueberries bore sufficient fruit this year to call it a harvest. The Rugosa roses are not thriving, though. I think they aren’t suited to this climate. The blossoms turn brown and fall off long before the hips develop. I planted them for the hips, so I will probably dig them up and put them somewhere else, and put some Virginia roses in their place.
The local water and sewer people have cleared out a lot of trees and other vegetation in the power line cut behind the house, and also beside the house (other side from the garden), to put in a new pipeline taking treated water to the river. They cut down two very large pecan trees and a walnut tree, and they left the wood with us, so we bought a chain saw and a mini-mill to make boards from the trees ourselves. And we now have a new cleared area where we have in mind to make new garden patches.
I have arrived at an understanding with the leaf-footed bugs. They love okras and sunflowers (I have learned this through experience this year, although my husband got the idea to put the sunflowers in from something he read online). But if they have sunflowers to gather on, that’s where they like to hang out. If the sunflowers aren’t sufficiently mature, they’ll congregate on the okras. So I’ve decided to include the leaf footed bugs in the garden by creating for them their very own sunflower and okra patch, in which they (and stink bugs and any other bugs that like these plants) will be safe to live unbothered by me. But I will communicate to them once I get their patch planted, that any of them I find anywhere else in the garden will be removed. This is accomplished with the use of a spray bottle with a mixture of insecticidal soap and orange oil, and a little tub holding the same mixture. I hold the tub under the bug, and spray the bug. The bugs almost invariably fly down into the mixture in the tub and drown.
More details and pictures of the 2011 garden year will be in future blog entries.