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Summer garden (long)

Everyone seems to have survived the 4th of July explosions? Nothing caught
fire in my neighborhood, practically a miracle. Pretty hot over the weekend
too, I'm sure it broke 100F a few days. 
I started making my fair entries - I've got cherry jam and cherry-raspberry
jam finished so far. The place we go to pick cherries actually gave us a
couple pounds for free, they were wanting to close up for the year. Owning a
u-pick place like that must be like cooking a holiday dinner. You spend all
year in preparation, the hordes descend in a frenzy for 3 weekends, and then
you're stuck with the clean-up until it's time to start over. I couldn't own
one, not after watching john q. public break branches by standing in trees
(after being told not to), move ladders into obviously unsafe positions
(after being told not to), etc. etc. 
Wish I had entered something with apricots for the fair because my tree is
loaded. Even after the birds take more than their share we'll have a lot.
But there's always fruit leather to be made.
In my vegetable garden the corn is about 8' tall now. The feed corn we
planted - just plain livestock feed - is making ears like mad, but it's hard
to tell if they're being pollinated successfully. That is some weird stuff,
there are kernels being formed on the tassels, and some of the ears have no
husks, all sorts of oddities. The heirloom flint corn I bought is also odd,
nice tassels but no ears forming. No wonder it was so expensive...where's
the seed?
Critters are gnawing on my zucchini but not all of them, much to my
husband's chagrin, he wouldn't mind if all the zukes got chewed. I picked
the first ripe tomato last week - the first ripe tomato without a bite in it
anyway - hopefully it's rabbits doing the chewing, and as the tomatoes get
higher they'll escape. 
I made two big batches of pesto and froze them, nothing better than the
smell of basil. There are a few beans despite the incredible heat; I wonder
how long the plants will continue flowering. I saw my first eggplant blossom
and discovered that ants are chewing holes in the okra flowers, so they are
not making little okras. Have to come up with something to stop that. 
My dry garden has stopped blooming, all except for the russian sage and
desert willow. Looks like the lavender might rebloom though. Most of my
roses are on their second round. I'm deadheading coreopsis and gaillardia
about every day. I procrastinated on marking the daylilies I didn't
like...as usual...so I decided from this day on if I don't like it I'm
ripping it out immediately. Right. 
My pond had a sudden explosion of hornwort, an underwater oxygenating plant.
I bought a bunch of it about 3 years ago and dropped it in, haven't seen it
until last week and then poof! I took out literally gallons of it. 
Trixie the rottweiler went back to bad habits and ripped the bulbine
frutescens out of its pot on the patio. I think it was jealousy since I
bought a wading pool for our other dog, and she won't get in it. Anyway I
hadn't realized how big it had gotten. I broke it into chunks and repotted a
bunch of it where she can't get at it. I'm very bad at throwing away living
plants...I kept potting up just one more chunk, just one more...now I have
an entire table filled with it. And these are not small hunks either. If the
one in the dry garden makes it through the winter, I can plant them all out
there next spring. 
I'm very happy it's summer...it's always so short though. 


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