Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hydrangea Love

Having bemoaned the lack of hydrangea blooms this summer - and I have truly missed them!  - now comes the newest addition to the yard.
 June 30th.
A 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangea that I planted last fall, and frankly had not counted on its blooming this year. 
July 2nd.
Although it's a "panical" hydrangea and so new to me, it blooms on new wood and therefore escaped the last freeze of the winter that killed all the buds on the mopheads and lacecaps.  Even in its first year, it is blooming.  This variety typically grows 6-10 feet in height and diameter, so I put it where it can serve as a "barrier plant" between our yard and our neighbor's.
July 4th 
When fully mature, the panicals should open white and then "age" to darker shades of pink to strawberry - eventually producing a shrub full of multi-colored flowers. 

What's not to love about that?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Feeding the Masses

Well, perhaps not the masses, but at least the two people who live in our house. 

Mitchell's new raised beds have certainly lived up to their potential this summer.  We planted several types of tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, several peppers and okra in early May, and now are reaping the benefits. 

The tomatoes are awesome!  We will soon be those people who break into their neighbors' homes and leave produce on the kitchen counter!

We started getting 'Cherokee Purple' more than a week ago and then harvested the first 'Brandywine' last night.  Both are heritage varieties and very tasty!  There are a zillion green Roma's just waiting to ripen up and become roasted tomato sauce for freezing. 

The broccoli are nearly done - we are well into the second cutting of side shoots.  Hard to beat the taste of broccoli that was cut 30 minutes ago. 

Even the okra are cooperating this year.  Only planted about half the usual number, since last year we got really, really tired of them.  So far, I've cut 3-6 every night, so we only have a meal's worth every three to four days and that works well for us. 

There are mystery peppers, too.  Mystery, because I have lost the little tags and can't remember what I planted.  One is Cubanelle, but have no idea about the others!

The herbs are flourishing as well, and providing basil and cilantro on a daily basis.  Life is good!