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Le Grande Update

As I’ve probably whinged before, this year has been a Learning Year as far as the garden goes. We’re seeing what we should avoid planting until fall, what’s best started in January so as to produce before the summer rains, and that it’s utterly futile to try and grow watermelons. *snort*

This was the Dead List upon our return from vacation a few weeks ago:

  • Gioia della mensa tomato
  • Thyme (*cries*)
  • Hawkshead Fuschia
  • Both San Marzano tomatoes
  • Birdhouse Gourd
  • Dragon’s Tongue Bean
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Tigger Melon
  • 1 Jaguar Marigold
  • All the white alyssum planted out front
  • 1 (now 2) gazanias

I bought new thyme plants (simply a must-have for cooking around here), a Roma tomato (my favorite) and a fun yellow/red tomato called Mr. Stripey. Yesterday started pots of:

  • Isis Candy tomato
  • Shallots
  • Carentan leeks
  • Napoli carrots
  • Purple Haze carrots
  • Ishikura onions
  • Lime basil

And in the boxes started:

  • Parisian pickling cucumber
  • Pearl hybrid cucumber

The rainy season kind of tapers off in September/November, so hopefully I haven’t started these things too soon! *fingers crossed*

The red rice beans are going mad, despite being chewed upon by some no-doubt winged thing. Finding the pods, which are shaped rather like #2 pencils, among all these leaves is going to be the trick.

Why is it I just can’t seem to get a decent picture of my homemade bean support system out there? Must be other things distracting me…


The peppers in box #3 are just amazing. The poblano plant is churning out fruit almost faster than it can be picked. This was the harvest from yesterday:

And this is it drying in the oven:

Though now that we’ve actually WOKEN UP and remembered we have an outdoor smoker, we’ll be moving them out there to complete the process. *facepalm*

Last weekend we worked on the front yard, wreaking havoc on the canna leafrollers, and planting new dianthus and gerber daisies out front (one of which is already dead, thanks rainy season!). I also re-did the ring under the tree, pulling out the root-locked lobelia, alyssum and diascia, and putting in the drought- and abuse-tolerant purslane.

I know purslane is considered a weed down here but I love it, always have. It has the most gorgeous blooms and the flutterbys adore it. It makes a very nice underplanting for the daylilies, and will eventually drape over the sides of the stone ring.

This is what the front beds look like these days, though we’re having a bit of a blooming lull at the moment:

Oh, by the way, this is the canna leafroller a week after spraying with Bt (which is approved for organic use, if you were wondering):

Gross, yes, but WIN! for the cannas.

The orange bebe kitties are doing just fine, visited the vet last week to get their final booster shots. Sir Oliver is now 5 lbs of kitty muscle, and Hermes is catching up at 3 lbs. And has a most curious idea about what’s a cat toy:

Sept. 15 is de-everything day for the boys, claws and nuts, both at the same time. Don’t tell ’em, ok?