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July 3, 2009

It's still alive, and that is a triumph. Although my pumpkin is in fishnet pantyhose.

When I got back from my trip I was happy to see that the garden was still mostly alive. Last weekend, though, it turned HOT hot hot here in the Valley and I watched in futile pain as my plants withered and crisped under the 100-plus degree heat. Water restrictions, you are evil! (I did sneak out and dump some water on the saddest wiltingest plants but the sprinklers can only be set for Mondays and Thursdays.)

My main casualties have been the topsy-turvy planters. Here is my wilty, yellowed, brown, limp Roma tomato:

july1-topsy-roma.jpg


To show you all is not lost, however, check out the raised bed garden which has gone BONKERS:

july1-raised-bed-bonkers.jpg


When I got home a few tiny tiny little baby yellow squash I had left on the vines before my trip had morphed into gnarly big gourds:

july1-warty-squash.jpg

The best part of my garden is the crazy pumpkin patch and cornfield, a little lost corner of my garden that has turned into the funniest thing I have ever seen. Just looking out my back window and seeing CORN growing in and amongst the Jurassic-sized pumpkin vine is hilarious to me.

july1-pumpkin-corn.jpg

july1-corn-closeup.jpg
Real corn cobs!

The pumpkin plant is doing wild and wacky things. For one thing, it is the hugest plant I have ever seen in my entire life. It has sprouted such long tendrils and vines that it's at least 50 feet long from end to end. There is a big yellow baby pumpkin growing in a random spot behind the garbage cans, some 25 feet from the actual roots of the plant:

july1-hidden-pumpkin.jpg

And then while I was gone the vine somehow climbed up into my very large, dense back hedge and started sprouting pumpkins midway up the shrubbery:

july1-pumkin-hedgerow.jpg

And it's a really pretty, lovely, perfect little pumpkin, and I didn't want to lose it...

july1-pumkin-hedgerow2.jpg


So when there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now. Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run, do like us professional gardeners do and wrap it up in your old fishnet stockings:

july1-pumkin-hedgerow3.jpg


Oh who am I kidding, I had no idea what to do with it and I just used whatever I had close by for cutting up and wrapping around the pumpkin and securing it to the sturdier branches. And Lord knows with it being the scorching depths of summer no pantyhose -- not even of the fishnet variety -- will be touching my body so they may as well be useful in the garden.

Still, I have yet to get one single ripe tomato from my garden this year! I have plenty of green tomatoes everywhere, but nary a ripe or even ripening tomato in sight. For the long holiday weekend I plan to hang a new bird feeder out back (the last one buckled under the weight of my apparently well-fed local blue jays) and hang up a pretty little hummingbird feeder I found on sale a while back. And then I am going to stay indoors where it is cool and air-conditioned and drink cocktails flavored with my bumper crop of mint:

july1-mintyfresh.jpg

Happy July 4th weekend!

Posted by laurie at July 3, 2009 8:46 AM