I harvested my first tomatoes and squash from the veggie garden this week, as well as more cucumbers. The zucchini is in bloom but no little ones yet. The tomatoes that ripened first were 2 Green Zebras, which is a heritage species I've never grown before. I haven't quite convinced myself to taste them yet, I guess because they don't look ripe. There are a few chili peppers starting to turn red and only one small Japanese eggplant. Last year I was overwhelmed with these long, thin eggplants but this year the numerous grasshoppers are feasting on their leaves and they aren't as prolific. I also planted a regular eggplant but it seems to be overwhelmed by the very healthy cucumber vines.
Here is the zuchinni bed edged with these wonderful orange zinnias.
I was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado, which calls itself the melon capital of the world and has a Watermelon Day at the annual Rocky Ford Fair. On the farm my Dad grew both watermelons and cantalope but I've never had them in my garden. This year I couldn't resist a potted watermelon plant at Home Depot and am excited to see that it is spreading out a lot and has a couple of tiny melons starting. I hope the grasshoppers do not like watermelon.
Here are some of the flowers I transplanted and seeded in the new dooryard raised garden; the California Poppies jumped out of the ground and grew really fast and I'm beginning to see some of the effect I had in mind when I planned this garden. You can barely see one of the lavender plants at the lower left. I love sitting on the little adjoining patio and enjoying the flowers as well as the Hummingbirds visiting the feeder. I've had a male Black Chinned hummer (with his metallic purple neck) visiting this week as well as the usual Broad Tailed (green with magenta necks) hummers. I'm watching for the lovely and belligerent Rufous (brilliant metallic orange necks) hummers to make their annual late summer visits but haven't seen any yet. The cats like to sit here also, under the table and chairs and sometimes on the table, or my lap. They are also avid bird watchers.
This time of the year Toad Haven starts looking pretty shaggy, due to the heat and monsoon rains. This year it is worse than usual because I haven't been able to get out and pull weeds or deadhead the flowers as they needed. But I have been able to do a little weed pulling the last couple of evenings, when the clouds come up and cool the 90+ degree heat. Here is how the flowers look in the mini prairie border today.
Here are the bright pink echineceas hidden behind the gloriosa daisies in the other photo. Doesn't the Blue Gramma Prairie grass look lush?