How is the year half gone already? I blinked and July hit! June was jam-packed, with life and life in the garden. I love this time of year when finally the fruits of our labor can actually be enjoyed. All that time nurturing seeds to seedlings to plant to fruit. Right now I can walk outside every day and pluck at least one or two items to enjoy fresh from the vine.
The cherry tomatoes have started to ripen a handful at a time. The lemon cukes are coming in, along with the other cucumbers and a few beans here and there. The patty pan squash are almost done for the season, but I'm still getting a few (including a hidden giant) here and there. And a second round of my giant zucchini have been coming in, keeping us flush in squash.
The cherry tomatoes are so abundant many of the branches are bowing under the weight of the delicious fruit! The larger heirloom tomatoes are starting to bear fruit, as well, though traditionally we don't seem to get as many of those before the pests attack them. You can see in the collage above one of such pests--a hornworm. Though this particular one has been attacked itself with a parasitic wasp. @dksart looked it up and the recommendation was to leave the hornworm alone as it won't eat much in that state, then the wasps will emerge from their cocoons and hopefully take care of any other hornworms blending in to the plant and madly munching on my tomatoes. Natural pest control. 🤷♀️
While the tomatoes and cukes are cranking out ripe fruit, I'm still (im)patiently waiting for the melons! Our watermelons are slowly but surely fattening up. You can see three in the photo above, but there are at least three more at other points on the vines. I haven't eaten any watermelon yet this season, so I'm really hoping these make it to maturity to enjoy! I also finally found fruit on one of our other melons--a Golden Jenny. Those vines are also kind of growing into the grass, so it isn't always easy to see any fruit. It was a nice surprise to go on a treasure hunt and actually find "gold." 😉
I'm also waiting to see if we get some eggplant. The plants are looking healthy, and there is plenty left of the warm season for them to bear fruit. These seedlings took a while to really take, but hopefully our patience will be rewarded.
Besides the actual plants and joy of eating the harvest, there have been some other beautiful moments this past month in our little garden patch.
After finding caterpillars on the parsley we had let go to seed, I have been checking daily the one chrysalis I had seen form. After about 10 days @dksart and I just happened to go out in the garden one morning between rain showers and I saw the butterfly had emerged! The gorgeous Swallowtail must have just come out because it seemed a bit groggy. I was lucky enough to catch a few photos before it stretched out its wings and flew away. Always a wonder to watch a life cycle play out before your eyes like that! I know @farm-mom also finds joy in such simple nature-watching.
I also happened to see the sun was setting behind the newly blossomed sunflower the other night and wanted to capture the moment. We have a few sunflower plants competing with the zucchini, reaching for the sun. My sister had given me a kit of seeds for Christmas, and it's been fun to actually grow some flowers in addition to fruits and veggies. Especially to witness fleeting but powerful moments of beauty like the one above.
On the flip side, I find such beauty in the early morning moments out there, as well. This past weekend was actually quite blessedly cool in the morning for July, making it even more pleasurable. Especially when the mosquitoes are still sluggish, haha! You can just see the crescent moon above the tomatoes.
I felt a bit like I had slacked off on my meditation habit lately, but then again I think I have just switched to a more active version in my daily quite time in the garden. Just the sound of the birds and the bees around. The one-of-a-kind scent of your fingers after pruning the tomato plant. Watching Nature share her secrets if you stop and have a little patience. It's all meditation if you let it be. Makes me calm just thinking about now.
Thanks to @riverflows for my beautiful new garden journal footer! And of course for keeping the Garden Journal fun going. It's always worth finding time to post each month for my own pleasure and to share that little bit of zen with the other gardening peeps around Hive! Let's see if @fionasfavourites makes it this month, though I know she's up to her eyeballs in marmalade making. Would love to see our old host @simplymike and what she's got growing, too! Though I suppose I need to see who has posted so far this month before I go on a tagging frenzy...😂
Happy growing friends!