Tuesday, July 31, 2012


No, I'm not talking about my daughter-in-law Susan, though she definitely fits that description! We're talking peppers here...
 I found an orphan pepper plant at Freddies and believed the label! It said "Sweet Heat." And it already had peppers on it. The big plant tag (almost as big as the plant) said, "Enjoy mildly spicy flavor fresh in salsa or grilled. 65% more vitamin C than average garden peppers." This plant was from the Burpee "Boost Collection."
This is the first pepper I have picked and the "sweet to spicy" promise is more like sweet and VERY spicy. About 1/10 of the pepper, chopped fine was plennnnty for the taco salad! The peppers are about 3" long by 1-1/2" wide. Plenty of heat for my gringo palate!


Monday, July 23, 2012


My neighbors gave me this veggie and asked my opinion, "Is it a cucumber or a squash?" It came as a volunteer in a pony pak of petunias and has grown into a vigorous plant. When I cut it open I knew immediately that it was definitely a rogue summer squash...it had that slight slime feeling like all good summer squash. The leaves of the plant also look like a summer squash...dull green and very large. I guess I'll throw it in the next stir fry. Or I might shred it up and make pancakes with it.

Friday, July 20, 2012


These Super San Marzano were the first tomato sets that we had. They are a great paste tomato variety that is super sweet and a wonderful roasting tomato. I guess a watched tomato never ripens... 


How wonderful it is to go out and pick fresh strawberries each morning. Today we had a lot! I picked anything red because this morning around 3am we had a brief shower and I knew the ripe ones would rot or mold if I didn't pick them. They really rev up the cereal for Granola Boy and me.
We forced ourselves to save half a bowl for ice cream tonite while we watch DVR of Longmire again! If you haven't seen an episode of Longmire, it's on A&E at 10pm Sunday nights. Great show about a sheriff set in modern times in Wyoming.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


We have a regular visitor in the neighborhood, it seems. This morning I let Chase out for his usual first thing in the morning 20-count pee. I looked up the driveway to see the fox quietly crossing into our neighbor's yard. Luckily Chase was looking down at the time and missed it! Whew!
Many neighbors have reported seeing this guy at night in their backyards or on their decks peering in their windows but this was my first sighting. His presence probably explains the decrease in jack rabbits this year! I'm not sad about that. My guess is that this probably was a female out hunting and she  has a den with some hungry pups.
Another good reason to keep the cat in as these foxes CAN climb trees and fences! They are the dominant fox species because of their ability to adapt to urbanization.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A new variety of hibiscus...(hibiscus rosa-sinensis) called "Fullmoon" 
No big stamen in the middle like a regular hiciscus, just lots of ruffled petals. Sometimes I think the folks at Monrovia have to keep their botanists happy by letting them create new stuff. It's about 7" across. I'm growing the plant in a pot so I might be able to keep it in the heated greenhouse over the winter months...it doesn't like temps below about 40 degrees because it's a heat loving tropical.  


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Yep, that garden favorite, powdery mildew has struck. I guess the combinatio of rain and warmer temps were ideal in late June to just coat my squash and cukes with this stuff. Luckily the new growth seems to be bright green so maybe it won't take too big a toll on production. Time will tell!


Grandpa Otis morning glory is flourishing with the pole beans this year!

The clematis is blooming on top of the trellis entry to the garden.

White roses, feverfew and summer phlox keep the garden palette cool in the 90 degree July weather.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Thinning out is hard to do...wasn't that a song by Neil Sedaka?....Oh no, that was "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"...
Well, this is always hard for me to do...pulling out perfectly good carrots when they're still 3-4" long but I would wait until now by not doing it when they are just seedlings. so it has to be done if I want some nice 6-8" Mokums this fall. These will be nice roasted with some olive oil and salt for dinner.