Thursday, August 10, 2006

The August Garden

The summer is speeding by. This is the month that I make a new calendar for the coming year; it is a tradition that has gone on for quite some time. I have a coil binder that I use to bind the pages together after I have rubber stamped on the numbers and letters and painted the borders to my satisfaction. For some reason it gives me immense pleasure to touch these pages of the life that is coming and to give thanks for the time that may be allotted to me. I used one of my new fuchsia coils across the top and it looks wonderful. My only "date" so far is Artfest in March which I have optimistically penciled in.

Went for a walk through the beautiful garden this morning and shot some pictures to share. The bumblebees were bumbling, the hummingbirds diving and the crow calling to me to let me know that we are all ALIVE and blessed. These are the best of the treasures.

Stupice tomatoes. They have a short growing season and are the first we harvest. They are Italian I think and pronounced stoo-pee-chee.

This is a tall perennial sunflower named rudebeckia. It is tough, generous and a large presence at the back of the flower border.

The buttercup is my favorite squash. We make a wonderful soup in the fall with this squash. I can hardly wait. It is the deep, orange color of pumpkin when cooked.

You probably have sunflowers too but they are always a welcome sight in the summertime. You will only ever need to plant them once and the birds will thank you each fall by planting them again for the following year. We never harvest the seeds. They are just for the birds.

My dear friend and relative Christine from Denver gave me the wine colored hollyhock seeds one year when we visited her there. They have come up as volunteers ever since. Thank you Chris, we think of you every time we admire these beauties.

Gosh, the peas are making out with the sunflowers. Everything is in love with everything else. It is okay. Don't let nature's promiscuity frighten you.

Onions drying on the deck. Before this the slats held an enormous crop of garlic. Nice harvest, Mr. Farmer.
These are the right-side-up peppers but we also have some that are growing upside-down, with the peppers pointed up like ... like ... upside down peppers. The upside down ones are called chilis de agua. The farmer knows the names of all the chilis. He crosses them and grows new ones all the time. He grows many many many varieties.

We love to disagree about blue flowers. I was enchanted by them at first sight but the mister says they are not natural looking. I have 4 bushes of them now. Dont ever try to disagree with me. I'll go all j-cat and plant hydrangeas everywhere.

We are still swamped with strawberries. These small, long guys are my favorites. Extreme flavor and sweetness. I almost got a tummy ache this morning trying to eat them all.

Gladiolas that the birds planted. Truly. They came up from seed one year where none had been before. Now we have a big stand of them. They remind me of proper old ladies that go to church. Very formal and stiff they are.

The queen of the weed kingdom, showing off again. She is such a ham.

I couldn't resist a verdant overview. Cucumbers and chayotes in the foreground, corn in the middle ground and douglas firs in the background.

The corn is ripe now. Time for the dish with the peppers, onion, butter and sweet corn. Soo-weet Iowa corn as Liz likes to say.

Echinacea blooming sweetly. Such hot, improbable colors. Nature's all dressed up today.

We have canna lilies that remind us of the Yucatan where we first saw them.

This is a shot of John's clever composting system. He made a cage of inexpensive pig wire and layers leaves collected in fall with the scraps from the kitchen.

The bees adore the flowers on the artichokes. So do I. This is my favorite purple I think.

Another artichoke blossom. I recently read that eating artichokes was like trying to make a meal out of licking postage stamps. That was pretty funny but I thoroughly disagree. I love to make a meal out of licking lemon juice and butter off of artichoke leaves. And then the heart! Oh, that's heaven.

The trees are loaded with apples again. Maybe we'll have enough to have a cider pressing party this fall.

This is an artichoke that didn't produce a choke to eat this year but it is pretty anyway. Sort of like a bromiliad with the red center.

Put it altogether and you have dinner ... here we have succulent beans, blanched and then tossed with sage, parsley and lots of garlic and olive oil in a frying pan for the finish. The cucumber salad has lemon basil, onion, tomato and rice vinegar. Yum.


Alex S said...

Oh Judy these photos are so, so beautiful! wow!!! And that plate of veggies-you are lucky I don't have your home address or I would send my garden goblins to hop over there and steal all your vegetables. The flowers, the beauty of it all-thank you so much for sharing! I didn't get outside much today and this was such a treat!

Laini Taylor said...

Oh wow wow wow! What a garden!!! I am in such shame over the pathetic lack of gardening I did this year! I've always loved the quote: "gardeners live in the most beautiful places, because they make them that way." Some day I'd like to have a beautiful [small] garden!

Tejae: Heart Shaped Art said...

YUM!! Those photos look delicious!! thanks for sharing.

Misty Mawn said...

Your pictures are just wonderful! That looks like a perfect dinner!
We have been craving more land where we can roam. We do have a little garden in our backyard...this year we planted eggplant, tomatoes, and hot peppers...among the herbs and flowers. Nothing quite so wonderful as to go out and pick your own food for dinner.
Your life looks so colorful and lovely!

Heather Simpson-Bluhm said...

Fun calendar. What a great idea. I have Christmas ideas coming ;)

ArtFest, yay! I plan to go too!!