Monday, July 09, 2007

Outside in Early July

I'm not even going to show you the veggie garden right now. The peppers, squash, and cucumbers are fairly frightening in their proliferation. The tomatoes are turning red, and the canteloupe and watermelon vines are so covered in small fruits that there just has to be a fruit stand in my future. There's no way I'll be able to eat, share, or unload all of those melons on my own. It was only 3 of each plant, but they took off like crazy. The beans are also pretty darned happy, with the eggplant looking heavy too. I love summer eating.

This year after we stained the decks a light color, I wanted something bright on the front, and got a big hybiscus. It was a great choice, because once it started blooming, it makes me happy every time I see it. There are pink and white marshmallows on the other side of the entrance to the deck, so in another couple of days it is going to be breathtaking. The beetles don't seem overly fond of either plant right now, preferring to dine on the Virginia Creeper that found it's way into the front garden. Hope it stays that way for a while, because they are bad this year.

On the side of the house, beyond the yard, there are several rows of powder blue Spruces. I'm not sure if they are the Schwartzii blue spruce, propagated by my brother-in-law's father, but I think they might be. They are the bluest blue. They look so pretty against the bumper crop of queen anne's lace that grow among them. One year my sister and her husband did wreaths out of them for a national catalog. We put burgundy velvet bows on them, and they were spectacular. Those needles are very prickly, though. Some people do take them inside to decorate over the holidays, but they're too mean for me. I like them outside just fine.

This year, after the septic system was cleaned, there was an oval garden added - just a few inches of dirt, surrounded by stones. That's where the rescued chamomile from the construction site lives. These sunflowers volunteered right at the end. They aren't very tall, maybe 3 feet, but there are lots and lots of flowers. Somehow we got a gourd vine in there too. Can't wait to see how that turns out, and what sort of gourds we get.

The last picture was taken last week when we went out on a delivery run. We started to notice that there were small fields of tobacco popping up everywhere. When I was growing up, tobacco was a big crop around here. The type of tobacco typically grown locally is the stuff that is the outer wrapping of cigars (of course we rotten kids didn't know that when we snitched leaves to dry and roll up in our notebook paper and try smoking - dumb kids!). Most farm boys raised a patch every year. Tobacco is very labor intensive, requiring topping at a specific time, and then being speared on lathe and dried in a special aerated part of the barn. Tobacco brought very good prices, and those boys used their tobacco money to buy hot cars. As time passed, there was less and less tobacco grown here. The prices dropped, and we switched to corn, soybeans, wheat, and a variety of other crops.
So it was odd to see so much tobacco out there. One of my brothers remarked on the same thing when I saw him last week. Could it be that the demand for corn (biodiesel fuel) has switched other parts of the country to a different crop, making tobacco prices worth growing it again? Anyhow, I guess that will remain to be seen. On that same trip, we also saw - for the first time in about 25 years - a field of wheat that was in shocks. Wow, I couldn't get my camera out in time, but I sure was surprised and thrilled to see that again. What's next? Snow fences?


Wild Rose said...

Hi Tina

What a wonderful garden! Your hibiscus is just beautiful and I love the combination of Queen Anne's lace and the blue spruce.

It sounds like you are going to have a good harvest of veggies too.


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