Check out this Seashell Cosmo. The tubular petals are so cool! The funny thing about these is that the seed packet said it came with a variety of colors. And we have had a few other colors (white and pale pink) come up - but this color is the only one with true tubular petals. I kind of wish I'd planted more of these. i had so many packets of cosmo seeds. Why didn't I use more of them? Oh well. There's always next season!

Here's an updated photo of our Three Sisters garden. The squashes along the bottom are really taking off. We even have several baby pumpkins (or are those Long Island Cheese Squash? Maybe Marina di Chioggia?) on some of the vines. I really wish I'd remembered to mark what squashes I planted where. I was so excited to get the seeds in the ground when it was planting time, and I really believed I'd remember what I put where. Oh well. It'll be fun to watch things mature so we can figure out what we actually have in this garden!

The corn has several ears now. And the beans continue to climb! They have flowers, so I'm hoping to see some bean pods developing soon. I have both green and purple pole beans planted here. When they were tiny, the only difference between the two was that the stem of the purple beans was a big darker and more purple (imagine that!) than the green beans. Now that they've climbed up the corn, the purple bean plants actually have purple leaves. The purple plants seem heartier than the green ones. Or maybe the purple ones just get more sun. Regardless, both types of beans are doing well. This seems to be a happy garden plot!

My friend Leslie has an apple tree in her yard that produces loads of fruit. Leslie isn't quite sure what to do with all of it, so she asked me if I'd like to take some off her hands. Look at this gorgeous basket of fresh apples! They're so pretty, and they smell divine. But now I have to decide what to do with them! I'm thinking some applesauce and apple butter. But in Ball's Complete Home Preserving I found a recipe for apple preserves that uses thin slices of lemon. I'm sure that probably looks really pretty in a jar - with thin slivers of lemon peel running through the apples. So I want to give that a try. I need to get to work soon, though! They might look pretty sitting on the counter in a basket, but they're not going to keep forever!

I adore this variety of sunflower! These are some heirloom seeds I purchased from
Seed Savers Exchange. They're just gorgeous. They're much smaller than other sunflowers I've grown. These end up being around 5 or 6 inches across. The petals are a very pale yellow, and there are several blooms on one stem. It makes them perfect for putting in a vase. Of course, I have never actually cut any for a vase. I just leave them growing in the garden. I'll definitely plant more of these next year. So pretty!

It's funny when I look back over the last few blog posts and see pictures of the garden. Whenever I take photos, I feel like the garden looks so good and the plants are getting so big - but then it changes so much in just another few days' time! I can't tell you how much joy this year's garden has brought me. It's so soothing to walk out in the yard, checking all the plants, watching things grow. Gardening is rewarding on so many levels. On a very literal level, we're experiencing the reward of fresh veggies! New zucchini are ready to harvest almost every day, along with small (but delicious!) yellow crookneck squash and lots of cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes are mostly from that volunteer plant that came up along the fence. I love all the vibrant colors! And I also love how excited the kids are about the garden, too. So far they're still a bit shy about actually eating the vegetables. But we're getting there.

After a nice heat wave at the beginning of the month, the days here in San Diego have softened into the gray haze known as June gloom. The mornings are misty. The temperatures are mild. I actually like it, since I'm somewhat sun-phobic. That's what happens when you come from a pale tribe like mine! Anyway, though the weather has seemed less than ideal, the garden is very happy! I am astonished at how big some of the plants have become.

Here is a photo of my cherry tomato plant. I have it in the largest tomato cage they sold at the nursery, which I then also secured with two bamboo stakes. But the plant is so large that the cage is starting to lean to one side and there are new shoots going in all directions! You almost can't see a cage in there at all, can you? (That is a 6 foot fence behind it, by the way, to give you an idea of the size).
Next up is my very happy zucchini plant. We're almost ready to harvest out first few zucchini! I don't know why, but I thought we wouldn't be harvesting much from the garden until much later in the season. The leaves are simply enormous on this plant. I love it! I'm a little nervous that it will obscure my Blue Lake green beans that are growing to the right. I hope they'll still get enough sun.
I was quite excited to discover baby watermelons on the vine! We have several now (about a dozen at my last count) but this was the first one I saw. I planted the watermelon in a raised bed, and the vines are all cascading down this rock wall I built to shore up some crumbling railroad ties. (We'll eventually built a new retaining wall, but for now I'm going with what we have). I love how it looks with the vines creeping down the rocks. So pretty.
My cucumbers are also coming in nicely. I'm trying to train them to grow up this mesh trellis. I've never really used a mesh trellis before, so I hope it will work and will be sturdy enough to hold up the vines.
In the Three Sisters garden, the beans finally sent up shoots saying they were ready to climb! So I helped them find the corn stalks. In this photo, it might be hard to see the beans climbing the stalks - it looks just like a sea of green. But I was so excited to see the plan for this garden actually working! How the beans have climbed almost to the top of the stalks, and they've grown lots of new leaves.
I was also thrilled yesterday when I found a bit of corn silk showing up on one of the stalks. I actually have an ear of corn! The stalks were growing tall and green and healthy, but I hadn't seen any actual corn show up yet. I'm so pleased. I can't wait to have fresh corn on the cob!

My next gardening endeavor, I think, will be with some roses. We had to take out one of the hedges we had in the front of our house when we redid some of our plumbing. It looks so bare out there now that I want to fill it in with something. I thought about trying a blackberry hedge, but I really like the idea of some roses. And the front of the house would be a great location for them. I'm especially in love with Mister Lincoln roses, which are really large red ones that smell fantastic. We'll see what happens!