Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall flowers and pumpkin carving 2010

Butterfly weed is one of the few plants that bloomed straight through the summer heat (with occasional wilting) and is still going. Gotta love that! I've read that monarchs will chew this plant to the ground, but it hasn't been an issue for me. We don't see too many monarchs here.
Every summer, I wonder why I put up with this gigantic, floppy, green aster.... then it blooms! I remember when I started this from a 3" pot three years ago (and the mexican bush sage behind it and the purple coneflower to the right at the same time) - I sure wish everything I planted would flourish like this! Not sure if it's the plant, the proximity to a downspout, or just luck.
You may remember this post from last year about me and Scott's yearly pumpkin-carving festivities (usually involving my brother and/or my friend Katherine). Katherine is still in Iraq, but we got together with my brother a couple of days ago for the 2010 carving fest.
Here is my happy little monster, and Jeremy's creepy skull.

As usual/always, Scott's pumpkin is the most impressive!
I read that you could brush petroleum jelly or vegetable oil on the cut parts to make it last longer. Not wanting for petroleum products to end up in the compost pile, we used the oil. It appears to have worked pretty well to prevent the cut parts from drying out.
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Summer vegetable garden winding down

Happy fall, y'all! It's finally cool here (70s), but it still hasn't really rained in about two months. Everything - even established trees - looks awful. I ripped up the brown tomato and cucumber vines today, plus woody bean remnants. Sad day for me, but happy day for the compost pile.

Last year it was almost two months from this time when the garden looked this empty. Most of the veggies just couldn't hang on with the extreme drought and the neglect they experienced this year.
I did manage to recover some (dried) pinkeye purple hull peas for planting next year...
These were so good fresh this summer and withstood the weather for a long time.
This ginger is from a grocery store knob that we accidentally left on top of the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It sprouted and I planted it in the raised bed a few months ago. Not sure what to do with it this winter (?).

Eggplants and bell peppers are still hanging on:

Omelet peppers. Mmmmm.

Did you know the inside of purple bell peppers is green?
Neglected serranos (from seed) turning rainbow colors:

A couple of sungold are the only tomato plants (of about 12) hanging on. These have been so easy and prolific. Definitely a keeper.

Thank you to all of you who've made comments or asked about the pregnancy. Everything is still going great, and little Clara is due in January! Her room is a very garden-fresh shade of green!
Have a great week :)