Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Beginning and an End

From the gardener’s perspective, flowers represent the beginning or the end of an annual’s useful life. Spring and summer annuals are generally planted for their fruiting bodies – think tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and squash, while fall and winter vegetables are … Continue reading

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Aphids with Mustard

Every year (though usually quite a bit earlier in the season) the aphids – I like the term ‘plant lice’ – come out and congregate on various plants.  They tend to favor roses and cole crops. This morning, I noticed … Continue reading

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Ridiculous Abundance

Gardening is about cycles and rhythms.  Last year, the blueberries took the year off, producing basically half of what they do in a good year.  This year, on the other hand, the bushes are outdoing themselves.  Ridiculous abundance.  These will … Continue reading

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Confessions of a Bean Doula

I’ll admit it: I can’t help but assist the beans as they emerge from the soil, and sometimes I even help them by removing their little seed coats so that they can stretch their new leaves.  I’ll bet you do … Continue reading

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Nelson’s Hairstreak

This particular plant is covered with these beauties.  I gave identification a shot, but realized quickly that I’m not very good at butterfly ID, so I wrote to fellow MG Kathy, who is a butterfly enthusiast and expert.  She identified … Continue reading

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Garlic Scapes – Update

A few days ago, I wrote In Praise of Scapes.  Well, here’s a garlic scape, ready for harvest.  When they curl over like this, they’re still tender and perfect for picking.  Each garlic plant produces a single scape.     … Continue reading

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Substantial Gopher Snake

I’ve been walking barefoot to the mailbox every day, a ‘summer feet’ development effort. Today, I encountered a big ol’ Pacific Gopher Snake, Pituophis catenifer.  I initially thought it was a small rattlesnake, but upon closer inspection, it didn’t have … Continue reading

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Sweet and Sour

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is incredibly, almost unbelievably sweet.  One little nibble and all you taste is sweet for a long time.  It grows quite well in my garden, dying back all the way to the ground in the winter and … Continue reading

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In Praise of Scapes

Look closely, and you’ll see a scape just starting to grow from the center of this garlic plant. Garlic scapes – flower stalks – are a wonderful spring treat.  Sautéed in butter or olive oil, with just salt and pepper, … Continue reading

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Unplanned Companion Planting

Nearly any little piece of potato left in the ground after harvest will grow the following spring.  Such is the case with this volunteer I noticed today in the garlic patch.  I’m inclined to cheer for volunteers – sunflowers especially, … Continue reading

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