Things are slow in the garden right now.
My cool weather veggies have been eaten and composted, and the Summer heat has set in with a vengeance.
The Tomatoes are making a good show, and the Peppers are soldiering along.
The heat and wind have played havoc on the Onion and Garlic greens, but they are about ready to be harvested.
I did manage to plant a few new things in the big bed (under the Crepe Myrtle) with the expansion in mind.
I have the new dimensions in my head but haven't actually installed the edging yet, so it looks kind of like I'm planting haphazardly around the lawn.
I don't imagine the neighbors are at all surprised.
The first is a White Rock Rose, which promises to cover about five feet of ground.
Under that is a bad picture of a White Butterfly Bush.
Last, is Purple Fountain Grass.
All three plants are drought tolerant. (Hey Chris. We could use some of your rain. I'll trade you some Plums!)
What a week it's been! I'm still up to my elbows in Plum guts, and I've been at it for days. This year's harvest (it's second) was impressive for a young tree.
We heard that we should pull off about half of the young fruit to make the remaining fruit larger. It's also supposed to be less stressful for the tree. We were also told to protect the fruit from the many birds I've been luring to the garden to eat the pests (They're doing a wonderful job, too!).
I've heard it said that we should share our harvest with those that helped us achieve it. If we leave all the fruit, then there is more than enough for us and the birds.
Where was I?
The first morning after the harvest we had Plum Clafouti for breakfast with our caffeine.
I had never even heard of it before. It was unexpected, kind of like a quiche and a crumb cake had a baby.
Next up was a batch of Plum Jam. I only have one done so far.
I have so much fruit, and my abilities are somewhat limited, so I decided to concentrate on processing the Plums rather than risk losing them.
Those that are still firm enough to slice readily are frozen on a sheet pan and stored in a freezer bag.
Those that are not, become the guts for my jam. After I fill my bowl I measure 5 cups into a freezer bag. This way I can make my jam as I am able, and avoid losing delicious fruit.
These are actually Nectarines.
We lost one of the trees and the other is not well, but it managed to give us a gallon bag full of fruit (plus what we've eaten).
They were scarred and ugly, but delicious, and we feel bad that we will be tearing out the three at the end of the season.
You need two varieties for fruit, and they are prone to so many diseases, so it is the best decision for us.
Mmmm . . . Yummy Blackberries!
Last year we only got about five total before they bolted from the heat.
The master gardener said that it didn't matter about sun, water, or soil, if there are extended periods of triple digit temperatures (hello! CA summer!)
I decided to give them one more year.
Well, here we are, the next year. We pop a few here and there when we go out. But they are starting to bolt without even being halfway ripe.
And the real heat hasn't even hit yet (It's due this weekend.).
I'm conflicted. The bush takes up a lot of space and requires maintenance to maximize fruit and keep it from taking over the garden, but gives us very little edible fruit.
I will probably pull it out as well.
This is blooming right now!
I think he's Hammy's cousin.
(Two movie references in one!)
These little guys hang out in the mature trees around the neighborhood and kick up a fuss if you (or a cat) get too close.
Everyone hates them, but I think they're little cuties. I guess that's because they haven't actually caused me any problems (yet?)
The Kumquat has a few flowers, but not many.
The Pomegranates are growing fast.
One thing this tree does that I've never seen before, is continue blooming and setting new fruit after the first fruit starts growing.
You can see this in the picture, and the tree still has beautiful blooms.
Believe it or not, there is a bush under those Morning Glories.
The vines are taking over, but I don't seem to have many actual flowers right now.
On the other side, the Morning Glory
winds around a budding Onion -
Of course, the remaining blooms are such a cheerful color.
The Garlic is blooming too.
I'm sorry this post is so long. I actually started it expecting that I hadn't much to share. I think it was just a nice excuse to stop playing with Plums for a while! Have a wonderful Fourth, hug the ones you love, and stay safe.