Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today in the garden....

The day started out overcast and cool. The cat Lincoln up to his usual morning antics was milling around in search for some sort of small critter to kill. He took a short break from hunting to eat some breakfast inside. Shortly after he ran back outside I noticed two deer making their way into our yard. A doe and fawn were foraging their way along the back portion of our garden keeping close to the treeline. They nibbled on just about everything edible. Our cherry trees, some gladiolas, day lilies whose buds were just about to open, and grass. The doe was carefully checking the status of our garden. She has been the one dining on our bounty. I'm certain she will return to chow down on anything we neglect to protect.

Adelynn and I watched the deer make their way through our yard. It was equal parts fascinating and upsetting. I am always fascinated to watch deer in suburbia. They have an odd way of eating so casually. While I enjoy watching them up close I do cringe when they help themselves to my flowers and vegetables. Eating the flowers does not bother me as much as the vegetable eating. So long as the deer keep to the flowers and trees we're good. I'll let them continue to visit to enjoy our delicious tidbits. As the deer made their way towards the neighbor's yard Lincoln caught sight of them. That ridiculous cat began to stalk those oblivious deer. Munching away on day lilies the deer didn't notice Lincoln slithered closer to them. After eye contact was made the deer didn't know what to think of crazy Lincoln. A few intense stares back and forth had both deer and cat unsure what was going to happen next. The deer were confused about how to treat Lincoln. That moment of doubt was all it took to encourage Lincoln to instigate chase. What a sight it was to see this little orange tabby chase two deer out of his yard. What a laugh I had watching this unfold. It was certainly an entertaining breakfast show. After the deer had moved on far enough Lincoln made his way back to the backyard for a little moment of rest.    

Taking advantage of the attention the deer gave my garden I decided to get some work done out there before they return. I bought a new crape myrtle to replace the dead one from last year. For weeks the dead shrub has been sitting morbidly in the front. I suppose there for a while was some bit of hope that the plant would recover. With summer right here warming the days there is no way that former crape myrtle is coming back. Dead is dead. This new plant I hope oh how I hope it will survive. The location next to the front steps has been tricky. Everything planted there has had a short lifespan. I need to make a better effort to water that area more this year. To encourage me to remember that often neglected area I planted a coneflower in front of the new crape myrtle. I finished my planting by breaking up a fountain plant. I tucked them in around some day lilies where their long stems can pop up out of all that greenery.  

Gathering up the shovels and buckets I thought I might be all done. Then I was reminded about the vegetable patch. Over the weekend I yanked out all the sad broccoli plants to make way for the next vegetable crop. While I was messy I decided get the vegetable patch prepped for beans. I turned the soil and created furrows for the beans. Keith always wants to grow green beans every year. Each summer it's a challenge getting them to harvest considering how much deer love beans for breakfast. For something different I chose some pintos. We'll see what those look like in the garden. I'll plant the beans tomorrow morning since I want to soak them overnight before putting them to dirt. Soaking the beans will encourage the beans to germinate 2-3 days faster. Not that I need speed but every little bit helps.

Scanning the rest of the garden I did some haphazard weeding picking out those plants catching my eye. The cucumbers and watermelon were looking a little out of sorts so I took some time to separate them from each other. I used twine to coach the cucumber vines to grow up the trellis. I hope that will work. We will see if the vines will be able to support themselves vertically. I really hope they grow up it will help eliminate the slug problems. Next I moved on to the foxglove. Several of the seed pods were ready to be collected. The stalks were quite plentiful yielding several thousand seeds. I'm not sure what I'll do with all those seeds but a good portion will be started next spring to replenish the plants from this season. I'll take some of those seeds and scatter them around the flowerbeds. The rest will be tossed to the woods. I can't grow 1000s of plants but I'd love to see the woods burst with gorgeous flowers.

By the time that was done the sun was blasting. The heat was in full swing making summer's presence very clear. Back inside I went. I have seeds to clean, store, and label. Until tomorrow......

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