Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rain Dance

Okay, I've proved it! You want it to rain? Spend your grandchildren's inheritance watering. Saturday morning, just feeling sorry for the struggling beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc., we watered, and watered, and watered. Here came a few clouds. I asked Husband, "What Gives?" We knew what gave by afternoon: a 1/2" downpour, complete with accompanying thunder and lightening and high wind. We just couldn't help grinning as we watched, from room to room and window to window.

Fast forward to this morning and my trip to see what happened. Those pitiful pepper plants that looked done, look refreshed, and the little pepper forms that had no hope a day before, now may have reason to struggle on to cooler weather. I did get a few tommytoes from a pitiful vine with only a coupla leaves.

A few days ago, I had picked the remaining Christmas butterbeans and cooked the tender ones. There were several dry ones that we had overlooked earlier that I couldn't bear to waste, so those had been soaked and rehydrated. I pressure-cooked those this morning, and we had that for lunch along with roasted chicken and fresh tomato. We usually do that gleaning later in the season, but were glad to have a chance at them if a bit early.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Remember gardening?

Gardening? What a concept! I have not had the intestinal fortitude to post pictures of what happened to my garden during these several days of furnace heat, better known as the Mississippi Summer. This morning, very early, I took my courage in hand and pruned the overdone okra. Undaunted by the heat, we should have enough new pods soon to enjoy until fall.

Gone are the squash and pole beans. We might get a tomato or two occasionally. The peppers look as they had been stir-fried right on the stalk. This morning, I picked the remaining few Christmas butterbeans and also the ones that had dried on the vine, mostly not filled out. Note to self: Remember to get these planted earlier next spring so that they can start maturing before the summer heat.

I consoled myself while gleaning these butterbeans by making mental notes of what we can do this fall to have the garden in good shape next spring. We could have a fall crop of greens, if we are lucky. Our pitiful little Cranberry seedlings/plantlings look so forlorn. Watering doesn't seem to help much. Well, we tried. Yes, we did.

Can't complain altogether, though. I have not counted the jars of green beans I canned. Our son and grandson visited over the weekend a couple of weeks ago, and I twisted his arm almost off, begging him to take a few jars of beans, greens, pepper salts, cucumber pickles, etc., back to Virginia with them. Our tomatoes were disappointing in that we didn't have enough to can more than a very few pints. I usually get several quarts by this time. Oh, well. And I did freeze several packages of zucchini to either make bread or more of that surprisingly good soup!

Said son presented me with a couple of planters of beautiful coleus for my birthday. Unwittingly, I had already purchased those whiskey barrels on closeout from Kroger and three bags of potting soil from Big Lots at $1 each, so I was prepared to repot this coleus and get it ready for fall beauty. It is languishing under the remains of the old apple tree near the deck, being sheltered partially from this intense sun. Later, I can move it out to more prominent viewing.

This old apple tree looks as if it has seen its last days. Last summer, we had scads of wonderful apples. I did not have to buy much fruit at all during the summer except for other kinds I chose, such as cantaloup and watermelon. This spring, I sat on the deck and gloried in the beauty of the apple tree which was literally covered with blossoms, visualizing the bushels of apples again in the summer. Surprise! Here comes the freeze in April and there went my apples, along with peaches, red buds, tulip poplar, crape myrtle, wysteria, and anything else that had ventured out. We are planning to replace the apple tree this winter but will probably leave it as is for a perching place for birds for a bit longer. Its twiggy, barren branches are so convenient for the hummingbirds that have decided to pay a return visit after abandoning us for a few weeks, as well as the usual Southern birds that love our yard and the food someone keeps furnishing.

Excuse me a bit longer as we regroup from the aftermath of a shockingly hot summer. As the weather cools, we will think of things that need to be done outside but will feel more like tackling them later, I'm sure.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Beanlings 10 days old

In spite of this horrendous heat, these little beans just keep on growing! They are brave. We are keeping them watered. So far no more critters gnawing on them.

That's the Christmas butterbeans to the left. They are beginning to bear and are loaded with beans. Can't really tell, but they are about 10' tall and well outgrowing their trellis.
The snake beans are gone on hiatus for a few days and trying to regroup, but they will and we will have much more to glean from them during the cool weather this fall.
Too hot to be outside today, so the gathering and watering were done early and we are back inside.

Friday, August 3, 2007


At 10 o'clock, I just got back from the garden, watering everything and picking stuff. I brought back a 3-gallon bucket of beans-okra-banana pepper-tomato; mostly beans. I think this may end up gifting the neighbors, who never turn it away. As a matter of fact, I have about filled all my jars. Has anyone priced glass jars lately? Wow! A year or so ago, my gardener sister bought closeout on lids at about 49 cents a pkg (12 lids per package). She gave me several packages. They were kept dry and apparently have still been good; no failure to seal. There's no telling how much that saved me this year, not only the convenience but the $. Thanks, sis.

Today makes day 7 the cranberry beans have been in the ground. There is a FULL stand, mostly 3 leaves already. We will be watching them with eagle eye!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Scenes From Terrapin Hollow

This is the swing J made. It sits under the huge green ash tree that was started as a seedling many years ago and given us by my dad. It provides much shade for resting, reading, picnics--you name it. It is part of the family. On the tree at the top of the picture facing the swing is a bluebird house that we hoped would house bluebirds. To our surprise the last two years ground squirrels have raised their young in there. Before we had so much foliage, our grandchildren played many games of frisbee here. They still ride their bikes around. The lot is just under an acre. J has provided a walking track around the perimeter of the lot that we enjoy when the weather is not extreme. Twice around the lot is a quarter of a mile. It is so serene and is bordered on one side by a creek, to the north by woods, to the south by a well-kept yard, and to the west by our back yard lot that is close to another acre, including the house. So, he has lots of mowing to do.
This is a scupernong that somehow escaped the freeze this spring. Actually, there are two or three varieties in there. They are loaded! I can't wait until late August and September to "hide out" in under there gorging on those wonderful grapes. We do try to prune them appropriately. They have just about outgrown their trellis, however. Just wonderful! The bronze was the last of the old vines at my old homeplace in Prentiss County. That dates back as far as I can remember as a very small child. Talk about heritage/heirloom!

These two pretties are vibernum. I used to know the name, but that escapes me at the moment. They used to be in a setting where they were cultivated, but somehow they are just going it alone but seemingly thriving.

I will be doing other pictures along. These just stood out at me today.

Cranberry Beanlings!

See my little beanlings? This is only day 5. They were planted last Saturday morning. There is a good stand already. All right!

Something To Relate To

By Shel Silverstein
All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' in the sun,
Talkin' 'bout the things
They woulda coulda shoulda done...
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little Did.
Isn't it the truth!