Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mama Bean is KinderGARDENing (15)

I will try to be less depressed than last week. Who can be depressed when beautiful cucumber tendrils are snaking across sunlit leaves, promising... promising things?
On the other hand, who wouldn't be depressed with this weed-ridden garden plot? If you have a particularly keen eye, you can sort of see rows of bean plants in there - lots of flowers, but because we've had no rain, and because I am too busy and too lazy to haul buckets for an hour every day to water my plot, nothing is turning into beans. But I am undaunted. I think I'm learning that every year of gardening is going to be unique in it's own way until I'm many more decades into it, and one more rainy year or one more hot year won't feel like The Worst Year Ever anymore. Ha!
Bean likes to help! Here he is helping Papa Bean wrap up our row-marker tool. I'd left it marking the final row of carrots I planted and just never cared enough to wind it up. And then when we visited this last week, the line was getting overwhelmed by weeds and some carrots, too! Tell me something - do carrots from a dry year taste different? Like cucumbers without enough water are bitter, and radishes with too much water are spicy, so what about carrots?
Papa Bean accosted my new camera and took pictures of me picking peas. They're pretty tasty, just not many of them. We'll have to get in another picking tomorrow, maybe. You can see Bean on the side there, helping by pushing Sprout in the stroller. It's one of his favourite things to do. He only gets completely a little bit in the way while he's doing it.
These are the flowers on the volunteer cucumber plant by our BBQ. Fingers crossed they'll fruit in time to mature before cold weather hits. The other volunteers seem to be acorn squash, but weirdly hybridized and spotty/stripey. I've had a slew of male flowers with no females to put their pollen onto, now I see a bunch of female flowers coming up, but I'm not sure if any males will be around for them (gah!) I love to eat cucurbits, and I love the way they grow, but they do seem so prone to whims of... plants. The whims of plants are not that whimsical, turns out.
This is another volunteer I just noticed today by our compost bins in their new location. Yes, I only noticed it when it got this big. Let's say I'm good at filtering out the plants I don't want to see - my eyes see, but my mind ignores. Anyway, there's no way this will flower and fruit in time, but I would've liked to see what kind of tomato it was that held on so tenaciously in our compost.
I finally have an eggplant growing! At least, I think this is a viable, growing eggie. So far all the pretty purple flowers have just bloomed and shriveled. I don't know how to nurse an eggplant, but I'll do whatever I can for this little guy. At least for my plot at home, watering is easy and close and, most importantly, happens.
Don't these leaves look like a cartoon? Our front shrubs flowered crazily this year, and now they're shooting off all these new branches with these crazy cartoon coloured leaves. I've got to trim them soon, the branches are blocking our front door, and Bean gets scared, in that little two-year-old way, of long grasses and branches touching him. He'll go fearlessly wandering around some plants or something, then realize those very same plants are now blocking his way back to mama, and gets all antsy and agitated. It's pretty cute, but don't tell him that ;)
After taking the pictures of our shrubs, I noticed our neighbour's shrub, which is a totally different type of plant, also has crazy cartoon colouring this year. Weird, right? Like, these bushes have different branching, different flowers, different leaf shapes, different... weird. I have to say I've really appreciated how KinderGARDENs gives me a focus for my picture taking. Like, when you're just running around with a camera, kids and life give you any number of things to photograph, in a really undirected way. But having a project (creating a post each week) gives me reasons to push the shutter, it directs me eye, y'know? I really like it :) And I'll miss it when it's over for this year.
Sprout likes to play with her toes. That's all. I mean, she likes lots of things. I just meant that's all I have to say about this. Without gushing about how cute she is and how much I love her nose and and well, you know.
I pick tomatoes every day, three types so far, Juliet, Sweet Gold and Sweet 100s. They are all rather thick-skinned this year, maybe from the heat (?) The sweet 100s are not as sweet at the first year, the Juliets are like small romas (so maybe I can sauce them?) and the sweet golds are truly little jewels, if I leave them to ripen to a deep, rich, goldenrod. I am trying to teach Bean to only pick the colourful ones, but a few green ones come off the vine regardless. He loves to pick them, and bites into each one, even though he doesn't like them. My son, the optimist, "Maybe this one will taste good. Maybe this one!" I also planted a Tiny Tim plant, but it's getting shaded out by the bigger vines, so the teeny tiny tomatoes under there may not ripen. I've also seen, deep in the tomato jungle, some of the Ultra Sweets, they look the perfect size, I'm so excited. Sadly, our pepper plants are also being shaded by the tomato monsters, so no peppers this year.
This is his face after biting into yet another one. He is also perturbed by the seed fluff on top of that green tomato. It's another of these new little toddler freak out things - they pick the strangest things to be scared of.

Kim's on vacation, but everyone else is still posting their garden updates - check it out!


  1. It's so easy to focus on the failures and not see the successes. It sounds like you were able to pick out some positive this week! :) I missed out last two weeks of summer at the hospital with my son. Since I've come home I think it has rained every day except one. Summer is over. Fall goes by fast and before we know it it will be snowing. I have a zillion and one green tomatoes. I doubt any have time to ripen, but to be positive at least I know I can grow them. I just need to get an earlier start next year. I hope you find a way to make your egg plant survive.

  2. i love your cartoony leaves and cucumber tendrils!

    we have a seven-year-old who won't enter his now-turned-into-a-dense-jungle flower maze because he's scared of branches and tall grasses touching him, too. :)

  3. Wish I could send you some of our water. It's so not fair. :(

    Isn't it fun to see what those volunteers turn into! We've had some weird gourd hybrids too. They were so ugly that I thought they were cute.

  4. My compost never gets hot enough to kill the seeds from the previous year, so i usually end up with volunteer stuff here and there, too. I let one volunteer tomato live (due to space issues I weeded out the rest) and it will soon bare ripe tomatoes. Kinda fun!

    Those cartoon leaves are pretty. One of my beloved hydrangeas has leaves that look like that, too. I've been wondering what it means. While they are fun to look at, it's not "normal."

  5. Love the tendril pic! Hope you get the cukes to go with it!
    I think carrots taste more like dirt when they aren't watered well. I do that often myself. But I do wonder if a couple weeks or a few days of consistent watering may change that? I have yet to succeed with that experiment. Maybe one of us will get to it this year and let the other know?!
    Cute babies!