Sunday, April 26, 2009

I would like to invite all pollenators...

We've had such beautiful weather, lots of sunshine and heat, and the plants are obviously liking it. This week was a monumental week for me because one of my ranunculus bulbs came up. I planted the bulbs and the morning glories 5 weeks ago, and the morning glories have been going strong, but the ranunculi just didn't want to grow. Well, there are three reasons I had lost hope: (1) I never took the time to research how long it takes a bulb to sprout and was expecting it to be much faster, (2) I realized I should have planted them in the winter because they need cold before sprouting, and (3) I realized after the fact that I had planted them upside down. Oops.
So imagine my surprise when I peeked into my planter this week and discovered this tiny sprout! I'm hoping it's not the only one.

Ranunculus sprout

And now, on to the veggie garden! The first eggplant blossom is blooming, as well as some of the other veggies. I am hoping to have many bees and other pollenators visit us in the upcoming weeks. As you can see, the eggplant has grown a lot, with the top leaves reaching the top tier of the support cage. Dan noticed that something was eating the leaves on this plant - I had already discovered the culprit - a caterpillar of some sort. I figure as long as he doesn't destroy the plant it's ok, since he will soon be returning to pollinate my blooms.

Most people overlook them, but I think eggplants have really pretty flowers.

Looking to the right of the eggplant, here's a view down the row of beans.

And here are the leftover beans in the planter box, still keeping up. I discovered they get some nice morning sun now.

The "little squash that could" is also getting nice morning light and trying to catch up to big brother zucchini.

Another monumental event: The cukes have started climbing...

...AND are producing the first little buds! I got this great picture of morning dew on the biggest flower bud. The vine of the cucumber is getting really spiny now, so I'm glad I tied it up with twine when I did.

Here's the zucchini, with the corn behind it. I wonder how much more it will spread out? I'm glad we gave it lots more room this year.

Guess who else is blooming? I had been checking for buds every day and thought I found a little one the other day, so imagine my surprise when I saw this gigantic flower this morning!

Another view of the corner with corn, zucchini and eggplant.

This is my first time raising roma tomatoes, and I guess this is how it's supposed to look. Its branches all grow downward, as if there was already heavy fruit hanging off of it. Very strange, but it looks healthy otherwise, so I'm going with it.

The cherry tomato plant is still blooming like crazy. It makes my mouth water to think of all the delicious little tomatoes I get to eat right off the vine in a few weeks.

View of the garden from the herbs' side:

Remember the picture I posted 5 weeks ago on planting day? There's a lot more green to see in this one! I'm excited for the cucumber to start growing upwards. Last year's cukes were so green and pretty.

So that was the veggie patch, here are some more pictures from around the yard:

I have no idea what this pretty little thing is, it grows in constant moisture and shade in the very back of the garden. It's been there since we've had the house, but I've never really looked at the flowers until now. Can anyone ID it for me? (Becky?)

I do know what this is. It's a chinese tallow tree, and it's highly invasive, which is very unfortunate because it's such a beautiful tree. This one belongs to the neighbor and grows into our yard. Ironically, it is overgrown with japanese honeysuckle and wisteria - two more invasive species.

It wouldn't be a day in the yard without a spider friend! It's still pretty early for large spiders, and this one was hiding in a shady part of the yard.

Kinda fun, right? I thought it would be cool to take a picture of one of the wisteria tendrils up close.

I've got to say that I've been neglecting the part of the yard where I spread my wildflower seed. I just haven't been at home at the right time to water it accordingly. Nevertheless, some of the little sprouts continue growing, and I can't wait to see what they are, as I just kind of tossed all my old seeds in a pile and raked them out.

Whew, the banana tree is still alive after the late frost we had.

Beautiful greenbriar growing over the fence. I love this vine.

Last, but not least, the spiderwort that grows around the perimiter of the yard. This year, for the first time, we have a white one, too. These only bloom in the mornings. I love how cheerfu they are.

That's it for this week! Tune in next week for more blooming and whatnot. Hope you enjoyed it.

(Happy plants make happy farmers.)