Summer Update

Summer Update

┬áHere are the chickens in the perennial bed. Sorry for the long silence — it’s been hot and dry and I’ve been working on a new book. Also, my darling “borrowed” children have been here for the month, so I’ve been teaching Sophie to drive, teaching Lily to make jam, and just rough housing and goofing off with the little kids.

Some update photos:

The reconfigured raised beds.

While I’m still figuring out the new beds, and the soil needs another couple of years to build itself up, so far Im really thrilled with the new layout. The hoop house along the back is covered in floating row cover, which has done a good job of keeping the flea beetles that infest the potatoes in the beds on either side, off the peppers. The peppers are doing well, although there’s a bare patch in the middle where a young robin, who got trapped inside, took out a few plants.

I planted zucchini in the foreground bed, and it’s doing well. I also planted a few fennel bulbs for the seeds, and for the vertical appeal, as well as a few cosmos and some marigolds. The greens are suffering in the heat, and I had to plant a second planting of beans because something skeletonized the leaves.

Along the back fence there’s another bed where the tomatoes are planted. I put a soaker hose in that bed, covered everything in a couple of inches of straw, and I’m training the tomatoes up string trellises. They seem to be doing well, setting fruit at last.

The thing that is making me stupendously happy though, are my hollyhocks. They came in dark pink this year. I don’t understand the hollyhocks — some years they’re pale yellow, sometimes they come in in these lovely colors. I even have some growing along the neighbor’s garage that are dark purple. They make me happy as I stand at the kitchen sink, doing the dishes.

2 thoughts on “Summer Update

  1. Hollyhocks and hydrangeas will change color based on the acidity of the soil. It’s really fun to experiment with them. I made my hydrangea produce 1/2 pink and 1/2 white by putting laundry soda on one side of the bush and lemon peels on the other.

  2. Wow — I knew it must be something. Those just naturalized there … actually, my hollyhocks are really stubborn. Any that I’ve tried to actually plant someplace, won’t take, and the ones that do take just take where they please.

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