Monday, July 27, 2015


The first nasturtium flower opened on Sunday!  Nasturtiums always look so cheerful.  These are growing really slowly, and most are nowhere near blooming.  Ah well, I know to plant them earlier next year.

First nasturtium

The Boston Pickling cucumbers are also starting to bloom.  Just one male flower so far, but there are lots more buds coming and I can see at least a couple that are female flowers.

The first Boston Pickling cucumber flower

The pattypan squash, on the other hand, is doing exactly squat.  Oh, it's blooming like crazy, but only sending out male flowers!  I know the squash family tends to start out with only male flowers for a while when they start blooming, but it's been weeks!  I want some squash!  I'm going to try stuffed sauteed flowers with dinner tomorrow unless a female bud shows up.

The pattypan squash is blooming like crazy, but only male flowers...

Emma's Black Magic petunia is doing really well. I bought this under duress, because she wanted it sooo badly, but it's really grown on me.  I like the contrast it brings to the half barrel with the marigolds and bright red penstemon.

Black Magic petunias

The green beans are still pretty small and spindly, but they are starting to flower and produce itty bitty beans!

First green beans!

The Tomato Annex is doing great.

The Tomato Annex

I don't really appreciate the day to day differences until I go back and look at previous pictures, like this one, taken just two weeks ago.  The vines are about two feet taller now, and look at the tomatoes!


We've only harvested five tomatoes so far.  It's been really cool here for the past couple weeks (daytime highs in the 70s and 80s, and a low of 39 is forecast for tonight! Yikes!), but it's supposed to warm up into the 90s again later this week.  The cool weather has slowed down the tomato ripening, but I haven't given up hope yet. 

The hummingbirds continue to swarm my back yard.  I've lost count of how many adults there are, plus the youngsters have started showing up.  There are probably upwards of 15-20 in the general yard area.  This is a female rufous hummingbird, blurry because the picture is heavily zoomed and cropped.  They're so much fun to watch.


As an aside, that's a Hummzinger feeder, and it's the absolute best hummingbird feeder I've ever had.  It doesn't drip and attract ants like the bottle-types do, the bees and wasps can't get to the nectar AT ALL so they have stopped coming around and chasing off the hummers, and it's so easy to clean and fill.

The new feeders were required because I went out to the deck three Saturdays ago and it looked like half the population of a beehive was at my two former feeders- the kind with an inverted bottle and the red and yellow flower ports for the hummers to sip from.  There were probably 500 bees flying around and on the feeders, plus a healthy group of wasps.  The hummers kept trying to come in to feed, but the bees chased them off.  I had to give the bees a (gentle) hose shower to chase them off so I could bring the feeders inside.  I'm all for helping the bees, but this was out of hand.  I want to be able to use the deck too.

I ordered the Hummzinger feeders that morning, received them the following Monday, and the hummers were buzzing around them within 5 minutes after I put them up.  I got two originally, then ordered two more the next day to try and calm down some of the infighting between the hummers.  With four feeders up, it dilutes some of the competition.  Even the rufous hummers will let someone else drink at the same time.  No bees, no wasps, no ants, lots of hummers.  Perfect.


Anne said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with tomato envy. I'm CRAVING tomatoes, and have only gotten a handful of ripe ones from the garden, but the warm weather should hasten the ripening. I have a number of these hummingbird feeders Some get earwigs in them, but that doesn't deter the hummers. I found a source where you can just buy the base, and you can screw any kind of bottle on to it (the bottles from those nasty feeders that attract the bees/wasps work well, as do lemon juice bottles and others) I can't find that source right now, but I bet you can. I wonder if the kitties in the yard kept the hummers away when I was there. I only ever had a few. So glad there are loving your yard!

Anne said...

I found the 'replacement bottom' for the feeder I mentioned above. Bees and wasps don't get into these at my house.

Sue said...

I have one of those feeders, and usually it's great, but even that one got over run by bees recently!