Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Tour on July 21, 2010

We had a short run of summer weather which made the garden happy. Now summer has taken a vacation and we're back to fog for breakfast, sun for lunch, fog for dinner and an overnight with the fog. Here's a view of the garden from the front gate, you can see that blasted fog obscuring the hills in the background.

The two beds to the right of the main path. The bed in the foreground has been mostly cleared and some of it will be home to beets, carrots, and parsnips for winter harvests.

Here's my little patch of chamomile. The ray petals fold down for the night and don't perk up until the sun comes out.

The other end of this bed is home to eggplant and newly set out Sweetie Baby Romaine lettuce. The cool weather is making for an easy transition from a crowded 4-inch pot into the garden. There's also a very happy African Blue Basil plant that I like to grow to feed the good bugs and bees.

Malaysian Dark Red Eggplant Blossom

Diamond Eggplant

The next bed is all about summer vegetables. Suyo Long cucumbers are being trained up the tower. I think the first cucumber may have set. Behind the cucumber tower the Garafal Oro romano beans and Petaluma Gold Rush beans are reaching the tops of their trellises and twining around themselves in thin air.

The Da Fiori zucchini plants are growing by leaps and bounds. They are producing more male than female blossoms so far, as they should.

The Crane Melon plants are a bit more sedate, but they are starting to take off. I would choose one of the coolest summers to experiment with melons *sigh*.

Marina di Chioggia winter squash are starting to trail along and the last planting of pole beans (Petaluma Gold Rush and Turkey Craw) are starting to climb their trellises.

Across the path, the Monticello Poppy plants are nearing the end of their long run. I don't have the exact date recorded but it was somewhere around the first of the year that I sowed the seeds. The Hollow Pipe of Malines cutting celery in front of the poppies is lush looking. I've allowed Nepitella to take over the pot on the right - the good bugs love its blossoms.

The cool weather is allowing an easy transition into the garden for Thai Tender amaranth seedlings. And the undercover lettuce is still happy. Perfect for BLTs!

I'm really happy with the progress of the Diamante celery root, perhaps I'll be harvesting it this fall. The Gigante kohlrabi behind it is growing like crazy. I've been watching it grow and grow and I'm tempted to just let it go to see what happens. It seems to expand its "bulb" upward as it grows. The survivor Padron pepper plants are not doing as well as I hoped and will soon make way for some cabbage plants that I've started in 4-inch pots.

I just cannot keep up with the Golden chard. Why oh why did I put in four plants when I knew that two would suffice.

Here's a little surprise. I had a heck of a time getting onion seeds to germinate earlier this year and ended up with two seedlings to plant out. I tucked them into a little spot next to the cabbage which soon overwhelmed them and I forgot all about them. When I harvested the cabbage the onions were still there so I let them be. And now they are bulbing up!

The Piracicaba broccoli in the back just keeps putting out new shoots in spite of looking rather ragged. One of the plants is growing tall and produces long stemmed shoots, one of the plants grows low with huge leaves and puts out fat little short shoots, and the other two plants have growth habits somewhere in between. In the foreground are two new Couve Tronchuda plants, a Portuguese type of non-heading cabbage that is used to make Caldo Verde, a delicious traditional Portuguese soup.

The tomato and pepper bed is next.

Some tomatoes that are showing the first signs of ripening:

Chocolate Stripes

Ananas Noir

The green cherry tomato that is isn't.

Aunt Ruby's German Cherry

A gallery of pepper photos, all Capsicum annuum unless otherwise noted:

Guyana, Capsicum baccatum

Manzano Red, C. pubescens


Viego Arruga Dulce

De La Vera

Topepo Rosso

PI 593480 (Morocco)

Madrid Bell Sweet

Donkey Ears

Cuerno de Cabra


Aji Pineapple, C. baccatum

I hope you enjoyed the latest garden tour. The sun has finally shouldered aside the fog and it's time for me to get back out in the garden and get some work done today.


  1. Your vegetable patch is exciting! healthy looking eggplants and neat rows of lettuce.

  2. I am so amazed by your garden! Everything is looking so great!

  3. Your garden looks so beautiful! That Chocolate Stripes tomato looks delish, how's the flavor on that variety?

  4. Always enjoy the tour ! Looking fabulous as always. You have so much variety and such interesting ones !

    ps. The girl sure knows her peppers ! Thanks for setting me straight.

  5. Banbchik and meemsync, Thanks!


    Nartaya, I don't know how Chocolate Stripes tastes yet, I was unsuccessful in my attempt to grow it last year (first time ever) and haven't gotten a ripe one yet this year. We'll see . . .


    miss m, Thanks :) But so far as the pepper goes, I know what it ISN'T but couldn't say what it IS.

  6. Your garden is looking great! I amazed at how small your chamomile patch looks and how many flowers you collected from it.

    Where did you find the seeds for the madrid bell pepper and the cuerno de cabra?

    Thanks for opening the garden gate for us, lots of inspiration awaits those go enter your garden.

  7. Angela, that little patch of chamomile is amazing, I never thought it would produce as much as it has.

    The seeds for both peppers came from the 2009 Seed Savers Exchange yearbook.

  8. Look at those peppers, Bogyiszloi, Topepo Rosso, and Aji Pineapple look interesting.

    I've gone through 2 packs of Manzano seeds without luck this year, I managed to get some germinated and transplanted to pots, but all die from wind and sun. Next year I'll have to keep them in the patio (if I can get them to germinate for me again).

    Thanks for the tour, your garden is lush and beautiful as always.

  9. You have the most beautiful collection of peppers I have seen in a long time.

    Four chard plants would never be enough for me. I think that I have around 20 plants. But I rarely water them, so they don’t grow as fast as yours.

  10. Well the whole garden is beautiful and productive - but the peppers and tomatoes are catching my fancy because they are still not ready in my garden - and the peppers will be a while unfortunately (just tiny little fruits/flowers at the moment).

    You have a great variety of items in your garden - always fun to see what is growing.

  11. Well the whole garden is beautiful and productive - but the peppers and tomatoes are catching my fancy because they are still not ready in my garden - and the peppers will be a while unfortunately (just tiny little fruits/flowers at the moment).

    You have a great variety of items in your garden - always fun to see what is growing.

  12. What beautiful plants and fruits. I love the looks of the chocolate stripes tomato, also the Aji Pineapple pepper...very interesting plants.

  13. Your garden looks like a green oasis! Loads of interesting things to see. Especially love your cucumber tower.

  14. mac, I'm surprised that you're having such trouble with your Manzanos, they are pretty hardy for peppers. Good luck with them next year. I should be getting seeds from my plant if you're interested.


    vrtlarica, 20 plants! Your plants must grow a lot slower or perhaps you eat more chard than I do.


    kitsapFG, I think most of my peppers won't be ripening for a while yet either, but I can't complain, they seem to be developing right on schedule in spit of our cool weather.


    Mr. H., Just wait until you see a ripe Chocolate Stripes, brown with green stripes, very striking. The Aji Pineapple is a favorite of mine, it's spicy but not too much and it has a delicious fruity flavor.


    Julie, the cucumber tower is a repurposed rose tower. I don't grow roses anymore so I put the tower to use in the veggie garden. And I guess the garden really is something of an oasis, the natural landscape is in it's summer dormant brown season and the garden is an island of irrigated greenery.


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