Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Garden Update and Outdoor Hour #18 Pollen

This week has been a very busy week outdoors. We are busy tending the garden which mostly means watering and weeding.

I don't mind watering but weeding is endless and frustrating. I have been getting up early to get outdoors before the heat but the job never seems to end. :) My son has lots of herbs in his garden as usual and he loves to trim a little to add to each meal. He has oregano, basil, chives, cilantro, and dill growing. Herbs are so easy for a beginning gardener and they stick around from year to year so you don't need to replant them.

All of our climbers are waking up and the bean poles are getting entangled with green bean vines.

The morning glories are starting to climb up too and I think I am going to have to add some string to my poles soon. The grapes are growing like crazy on the trellis and I can just imagine all the sweet little grapes we will be eating in a month or so. I plant eating grapes and not wine grapes so we can enjoy the fruits as we spend time in the yard. We have one vine that grows next to the pool deck and I love to take a swim and then enjoy a few grapes.

The garden is really growing now that the afternoon temperatures are hitting up in the 90's.

We have baby zucchini.

Here is our first tomato of the year.

I even have okra sprouting up for the first time. I love okra and a few batches over the summer will make me happy.

The sunflowers are starting to look like sunflowers and thanks to the birds and the birdfeeders, I have volunteer sunflowers that planted themselves in the oddest places in the yard. I am letting them go for now and we shall see what happens.

Now for our pollen assignment. We looked carefully for some insects on our garden plants and we were not disappointed. We saw an earwig, some ants, a grasshopper, and we heard lots of bees thanks to the lavender that is blooming like crazy.

Here is a blossom on our trumpet vine that the hummingbirds love but in this particular bloom you will see ants if you look carefully. If I were an ant, I would love to crawl into a trumpet vine blossom. :)

These are something new in the garden and I can't remember quite what they are but aren't they pretty? They are so buttery yellow and the pollen is easy to spot.

This is what happens when you leave a bag of walnuts on your back deck overnight. Some critter came and decided to have a nut-fest and leave behind all the shells. We are not sure but we think it may have been a raccoon. I am not exaggerating when I say that they ate half a grocery sack full of walnuts in one night. Oh well, I wasn't in the mood to crack nuts anyway. :)

That is just a glimpse into our week this week. We had an afternoon hike at the San Francisco Bay last Thursday but I didn't get that many photos. We were at a wildlife refuge right on the bay and it was a fantastic place to explore. We will be going back with our binoculars and field guides again soon.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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