A month away from the garden and strange things happen! My
daughter Ashleigh is to be commended for her diligent hand watering of my
backyard patch. So, thank you Ashleigh. As a result the cucumbers survived the
brutal July heat, the tomatoes limped along, the asparagus ferns look stout,
the eggplant did well, but the real stars were the gourds. Wow is all I can
say! They literally overran the garden, over the fence and up the wall of the

The weight of the big gourds pulled my Creole tomatoes to the
ground and smothered the vines. Up until we left on vacation the Creaole vines were prolific producers. The upside is that I have some very interesting and very large
gourds for ?????????????? Maybe our friend Beverly can think of a themed
painting scheme to go along with the shapes.

The 150 strawberry plants I put in the ground the first of June all perished before we left on vacation. I will try a fall planting to see if I can get them well established prior to next summer’s heat hits. I would sure like to get a few of those Santa Maria patented varieties. The problem is the minimum order is 10,000 plants……. Just a few more than I need. I have considered hiring one of the midnight suppliers to rustle up a dozen or so. I could then begin propagating my own! Dangerous but it could be worth the effort.

Started the garden clean up yesterday – it is going to be a lot of work. Managed to get the gourds and vines out – just a two t-shirt day. Piled them up and shredded the vines with the mower before putting them into compost bin today. Today I pulled out 5 past their prime tomato vines and transplanted a bell pepper over into one of my wine barrels. I tidied up some drooping cucumber vines, pulled a bunch of weeds, gathered up some new red potatoes that I nearly forgot about and made a cucumber salad with blackberry balsamic vinegar. All in all a good day.

It will probably be another few more days before I can display the after pictures. I promise that they will be PG rated, suitable for all gardeners.

(click on an image to enlarge)