UPDATE from Last Week:
The African daisies are filling out, looking beautiful and right at home in that bed.
Remember my expanded bed? Well I have four sunflowers growing from the spilled birdseed, and I decided to let them grow and see what happens.
It's past time for sunflowers. In fact, in the fields it's what I always refer to as 'sad sunflower' time, where the farmers withdraw the irrigation and dry them in situ. Since we have a long growing season and relatively mild winters, they should have time to grow, but we'll see.
My tiny, 3 foot tall, navel orange tree is loaded with oranges.
Had a fun little encounter with a run away dog this week. I saw a Bull terrier (Target dog) digging enthusiastically in my front corner bed (probably looking for a contribution from my resident fertilizing feline) and when I went out to shoo him away, he thought it was play time. The next thing I know, a red faced woman with a leash is running down the road looking like she's about to have a heart attack. My new little friend got really excited then, and the bed got a bit torn up before we corralled him.
'Bubba' had gotten away from his mom two streets over and she'd been chasing after him. I gave her some water and had her sit for a while. I really thought the poor woman might not make it for a while. She was so upset about the flower bed, but I tried to reassure her. I'm not sure I succeeded though. My Petunia gets out occasionally so did I understand her situation.
The mums were dug up but intact, and since I was going to dig them up and divide them in the spring anyway, I figured I might as well do it now. I moved them to the side of the house and put coreopsis in their place.
I've harvested the last of my cucumbers. My three little plants gave me two huge batches of refrigerator sweet pickles and some cucumber salads.
I took this picture of the spent vines right before I pulled them up.
*moment of silence*
Can you see another of my little buddies? This praying mantis is in shades of brown. He blends in much better than his green cousins.
In spite of triple digit heat, it still feels like an early Fall to me. I don't know why; It just does.
Don't take my word for it. My Japanese Maple seems to be feeling the same way. It has already started putting on its Fall crimson, a whole month early.
Do you have a favorite cookbook? As gardeners, do you look for recipes to utilizes the fruits of your labor in books or online? Do you have a favorite chief?
I don't really use recipes much. In fact, I tend to wing it when I cook. And even if I do use a recipe, I'm pathologically incapable of following it exactly.
But, strangely enough, I have a collection of cookbooks. It's a fairly unusual collection.
I have two from the kitchen of Kay Scarpetta, and one by Harry Hairsteen's Little sidekick, Sneaky Pie. Nero Wolfe's favorite dishes also grace my shelf, as do those of The Cat Who and Harry Potter worlds. (Can you tell I'm a murder mystery fan?)
I also have a zombie cookbook and one whose recipes are cooked on your car engine.
There are others, tea time recipes and general cookbooks. But my all time favorite is Jamie Oliver's "Cook Your Way to the Good Life." It's the only cook book I've seen that is organized by the seasons of the garden and the different crops it offers up. Jamie offers basic down home type dishes that showcase and celebrate their ingredients.
Why, you ask, am I talking about cookbooks in a gardening post? Simple. I'm hungry.
A while back I offered my Refrigerator Sweet Pickle recipe. Has anyone tried it? Here is another one of my staples that might have broader appeal, my Simple Sweet Scones. I've changed the recipe mostly because of my disability. Scones (including these) are usually kneaded and cut. If you want, you can do that, but dropping them works just fine for me.
I usually make a double batch because they seen to disappear quickly around here. If I haven't seen the grandkids in a while I just bake a batch of these and they show up. Somehow they just know.
Simple Sweet Scones
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 T (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut up
1/4 C granulated sugar (or 1/3 C for slightly sweeter scones)
2/3 C milk
Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl, then add butter and mix until mixture looks like fine granules. Add sugar and mix again. Add as many raisins as you like (I use about 1 1/2 C) and mix again. Add milk while mixer is running, and continue mixing until a soft dough forms.
Drop by spoonfuls (in size you like) onto parchment lined baking sheet.
Wash with beaten egg and a sprinkle of sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees F. for about 12 min. or until medium brown on top.