Flowers, Fruits, and Frankenfood

Just in a nick of time, I'm finishing up the July block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Yesterday I finished up the top-stitching and embellishing. Of course, the cat has the most comfortable spot...unless you think Ken and Barbie are inside, and then...oh, never mind.

Earlier in the day I needed to water the annuals and feed the birds. I stopped off first in the greenhouse and spoke encouraging words to the tomatoes. It's the best tomato crop I've ever grown. Switching to Romas this year was the right choice. Every plant is loaded with tomatoes just like this one.

This week we're having main dish salads a couple of nights. I'm going to harvest some of this beautiful lettuce. That's a butter lettuce on the right, and for some reason, its leaves get a tip burn. I'm not sure if it's something in the water or if they get burned in the heat. It hasn't been very hot, and so I'm wondering if it's something about our well water. In any case, I just rip those little bits off the leaf when I make the salad, and no one will know the difference.

The zucchini are thrilling me. I haven't grown zucchini for a couple of years, but planted it this year to please the pollinators. And look at these giant blossoms! They're so pretty. The blossoms are edible, although I haven't tried that yet. Maybe if I can get enough at one time. I tore out a recipe long ago that stuffs them with cheese. I'm not a great fan of cheese, and so I'm not sure if that would be good, but it's something to do. No doubt the man of the house would like it.

When I made the second batch of zucchini relish this past weekend, I came up a few ounces short on the amount of zucchini I needed, and so I just walked out to the plant and grabbed one up. It's so much fun to harvest veggies from plants you've grown from seeds. 

We haven't planted a vegetable garden for quite some time. The last one was the year I went to Ireland (2012, I think). We have a large garden, and it's a lot of work planting it. When I came home from Ireland, not a single seed had sprouted. As so often happens in Oregon, we planted the garden over Memorial Day weekend; then Tuesday morning it started raining, and not just a little bit. It was a drenching downpour that went on for about five days. I knew the garden was finished. All the seeds just washed away...a feast for the birds, no doubt. Anyway...we were so discouraged that we haven't planted a garden since. Maybe when Mike retires we'll give it another go. For now, I just scowl at the garden area whenever I walk by. That oughta teach it a lesson.

Speaking of teaching inanimate objects a lesson, the 24-hour timeout for the color printer did exactly what we expected, which is to say, nothing at all. No problem. The Resident Engineer tackled the problem like an Olympian and fixed it. It was a plugged print head on the black ink cartridge...not that anyone has a need for black ink. Anyway...he fixed it and it's up and running again. I suspect we'll skip the 24-hour timeout next time around.

We finally have some sunny blue skies so that I can get a decent picture of this latest sunflower. It tends to hang its head, and so the only way I can get a picture of the flower is to get under it and shoot toward the sky. This one is called "Red Sun".

In addition to the ones I planted from seeds, there are sunflowers growing randomly all over the yard. This one was planted by the squirrels in the pot with the geraniums.

They like to fill their cheeks with seeds, dig a hole, and then spit all the seeds into one hole. And so there are other little "crops" growing around. This corn, for instance, in the same pot with the marigolds. They picked up the seeds from the scratch grains we throw out for the ground-feeding birds.

I'm not sure what this is, but it's growing in the pot with the gerbera daisies. I tried digging up the seeds, but I couldn't tell what they were...squash, maybe?

While I was watering, I noticed some plums way up at the top of the tree that are turning purple. These don't usually ripen for another 6-8 weeks (usually after we've taken off on a month-long trip), and so I was surprised to see this.

Then I noticed the ground under the tree is littered with plums. It is shedding much of its fruit. That isn't surprising because it is loaded with plums. Still, this alarmed me some, and so I ran a sprinkler under the tree. It's been a funny summer...more rain than usual, but none for about a week now. I think the tree is responding by dropping its fruit.

Here were some plums I could reach, and so I picked that purple one to the left there. As expected, it was hard as a rock and tart to the point of being bitter.

Now that I've given it a drink, I'm hopeful it will stop dropping its fruit.

Oh yes, and remember the "pumpkins" growing from the compost pile? Well, they aren't pumpkins. Now they're starting to look like the expected Frankenfood...crossbred by who knows what. It doesn't look like anything I've thrown out there...although possibly, it could be a spaghetti squash. I'd go for that.

I ended up my morning walk in the yard by having a little conversation with my Sadie girl. She had quite a lot to say.

Today I'm going to continue on with my embroidery, and I'm going to get my hair trimmed. I've been wanting to switch hairdressers for quite some time, and I finally decided to try someone new. If she does a good job on my haircut, I'll consider letting her do a perm next month. Wish me luck. When I get home, and if I don't have to put a bag over my head, I'll start working on the next Chicken Buffet block.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Terri in BC said...

I'm loving your camper blocks. you wouldn't be interested in selling your pattern when you are done with it, would you? terri-fisher@shaw.ca

QuiltShopGal said...

Oh My, I think your garden has been lonely since 2012. Certainly showering you with abundant goodness. Yumm.


Robin in Portland Oregon said...

What a cute photo of Sadie! She looks like a little kitten in it. I've never been able to figure out what makes my Italian/Brooks plums fall each year either. Sometimes it seems to happen more after we have a windy, warm day. I think our dryish spring has helped fruit trees have more fruit this year. All the fruit and nut trees here in SE Portland are loaded. There might even be sweet chestnuts this fall. The last few years the hulls haven't filled out and there's only a few whole nuts per tree. Thanks for all your help to my questions recently.

quiltzyx said...

Sadie really does look like a kitten in that picture! Sweet face girl.
Love all the garden & food photos! It does make a very nice change for me right now as most of the photos I'm seeing at work are "declined" trees, mostly from drought stress I think. And now, it being 100+ for the last week or so. OY!

Dana Gaffney said...

Interesting about the plums, I wonder if the wildlife will eat the ones that fell. The plums in the store here are all hard and not tasty.

Quilting Babcia said...

Our plum tree in Oregon did that one year too. Seems like it's a tendency with them. I wonder if they would finish ripening in a sunny window. We've had a tough time getting seeds to sprout in our fenced garden, to the point where we planted peas and beans in starter trays and then set them out after they had their first true leaves. More tedious but whatever was chomping them as soon as they emerged in the garden tends to leave them alone after they've gotten their true leaves. We've also resorted to raising our lettuce in long planters on the deck for the same reason.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

No fruit on any of our trees this year (last year was overload). The new camper looks fab. Sadie looks like she is in time out.

Natureluvr57 said...

I'm so exasperated with my tomatoes this year. The Better Boys, Brandywine and grape tomatoes look so lovely, big clusters of green tomatoes. Yesterday, 4 green tomatoes were lying on the ground...It still had about 1/4 inch of stem attached that looked like someone snipped it off with scissors! My heart sank this morning when 4 more where on the ground. I've been searching and the only thing I found that sounded exactly like ti was "fruit abortion". I never heard of such a thing. "They" excessive heat and/or rain can cause it. We've had a lot of rain and the heat index got up to 117 one day with a week still above 100. I'm still hoping the plants will come around because no one mentioned if there was anything one could do to stop it. I love gardening but diseases, adverse weather and pests can get you and the plants down.

Kate said...

Your pink travel trailer turned out beautifully! Looks like you and Mike will have lots of yummy fruit and veggies soon.

Cathy said...

I love your camper block and the sleepy cat. I sure wish my garden was as lovely as yours!

gayle said...

Love your camper block! (I always enjoy looking for the kitty!)
Apple trees have a 'drop' every year - it's to get rid of whatever fruit the tree can't support all the way to ripeness. (It can only feed so many...) Do plum trees work the same way?

Emily said...

I love your camper!!!!

Ivani said...

Cute camper block. Live the pictures of your garden.
Have a great week!

Brown Family said...

Our tomato season is over. It's just too hot to produce. My daughter lives 5 houses down the alley from me and she had a great garden, Green beans, squash, carrots and I do not know what else!

Sherrie said...

Love the camper block, pretty. Your garden looks very abundant. Have a great day!