Friday, June 19, 2009


It has turned warm and I have been hot. This happens when I go down to town to work for the clients. It is now the oddest sensation. I have acclimated to northern yankee blood at this elevation. I used to freeze when the temperature would dip below 70. Now I bake when the temperature goes above 75.

The warm has kicked the roadside vegetable garden into visible growth and the beginnings of heavy production.

The yellow squash and the one zucchini that some how became four because I couldn't bare to throw away good plants are making squash.

The corn is up and putting on some size. Tomatoes are setting. Pole beans are blooming. Potatoes are doing their thing under ground. Magda squash, I think are fruiting and Hubbard squash is vining. Carrot tops are growing big. The peppers wait for extended warmth I guess. They are always the last to to get going.

We have been eating lettuce, sugar snap peas and a few other salad greens. We're having turnips for lunch tomorrow. I should check on the beets.

All is not well in the roadside vegetable garden though. The radish always turn bad fast and it seems you only manage to get a few to eat. I think I am tired of wasting space on them. The spinach has been troublesome two years in a row now. I get poor germination and then they just disappear. Some critter must like them. I'm lucky to get just a couple of plants. The cantaloupe also have a failure to thrive. Between the slugs, rolly pollies, grasshoppers and initial cool temperatures they sulk or get eaten up.

The third seeding of cucumbers is finally making it past the seedling stage. I put styrofoam cups around them to keep the grasshoppers, slugs and rolly pollies away. The grasshoppers have been a true menace this year.

I tried using diatomaceous earth for insect control, but the monsoon kept washing it away. I resorted to slug bait and that helped, but it too would dissolve in the wet soil and mega downpours from thunderstorms. At some point I may need to invest in row covers and check out the biocontrol, Semaspore Bait (Nosema locustae) for the locust.

We won't be lacking for produce though, even with these irritants.

Down at the cozy cabin two more walls grow from the earth. A determined 80 year old building contractor wants to build him a wall. Tomorrow I will be there to tote the blocks closer to their final resting place.

It's not bad looking and will blend in if not fade away pretty well.

The greater expanse and visual exposure of the dry stack stone walls will over power it I hope. What you see of the block wall now is just the beginning. It will rise to six blocks high next to the cabin.

I work on the lower stone wall, not wanting to rush it even though it is needed to help hold the footing for the wall above. The section of the slope with the dry stacked stone wall is the area that needed the most fill.

A summer garden grows over the mountain top. A self seeded native Hydrangea arborescens blooms in the sunny utility meadow.

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium makes a nice stand in one location. More often it scatters itself about in small clusters.

A late iris blooms. I'm too lazy at the moment to try and determine its type and or name. It's pretty. That is all that matters to Bulbarella.

Rambling shrub roses dot the wild cultivated garden.

Mostly in pinks and reds.

The lilies are here. There is a stinking suspicion that they have reverted to some standard color from the pretty picture in the catalog. Where did that blah washed out pink thing come from?

This one is very red.

And so was tonight's sunset.

From atop a cool mountain where it isn't quite as hot.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks as if you dipped that last lily into the sunset. Yummmm

Anonymous said...

When I have things happen like the lily color, I just tell myself "what grows together, goes together."

Rose said...

I was going to comment about all the work you've been doing, but then I saw that last photo. If I could sit on a cool mountaintop and see that gorgeous sunset at the end of the day, all that work would be worth it!

It seems we're always fighting something in the vegetable garden, whether it's beetles or slugs or whatever. For me, I fight a constant battle with the weeds. I'm so glad to see all the wood mulch you have used; I put some leftover mulch down in the veggie garden to help control the weeds, but wasn't sure if that was wise. Thanks for reassuring me I haven't done something wrong:)

Cindy, MCOK said...

I'm all caught up on your recent posts and I'm worn out just reading about what's been going on outside Clyde. I've been busy in my garden but dang, you make me look like a slacker! Someday I'd like to see that sunset for myself ... that is some kind of awesome.

EAL said...

I don't mind the color of any Asiatic lily, but it always bothers me if a lily doesn't have a scent.

Congrats on all you've accomplished here--it is amazing! Now all you need is some EcoSense (ha).

lola said...

Looking great. Sorry about the insects. Beautiful sunset makes things worth it. There is a difference in temps & one does seem to acclimate to their environment.
N. Ga. sure was nice last weekend. Cool, quite & in the country. My kind of living. Do miss the mtns. most.

Pam said...

I didn't realize that grasshoppers would be such a problem up your way. But wow - everything looks so nice. Is that H. arborescens the one that often call 'mountain hydrangea'? I've admired it, but fear my place is much to hot for it. Those roses must look so nice rambling around up there!

Oh, and the yellow squash...I've finally given up on growing it down here, after trying for years. I miss it the most I think. Yours look quite happy!!

Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

Yikes, the grasshoppers sound terrible. I used that organic control many years ago but it takes a while to work, as I remember. Your wall is going to look fantastic when it's complete!

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa, as you can imagine there is a lily smorgasbord here. You never know what you're going to get.

Hi anonymous. My theory in these cases is nature can't clash.

Hi Rose. That sunset view sure does make a long day of work feel better. I am a firm believer in mulch in most all beds. I even use the dreaded fresh, tree trimmers wood chips in the vegetable garden. Then I fertilize of course, lightly. So do the worms that thrive in the wood chips.

Cindy, if you're ever in this neck of the woods, holler. I am a bit weird in that my body can be wore out from work and my mind can tell me I have been loafing around to much.

Elizabeth, my sniffer don't work too well, so unless I jam my nose right into something, often I won't smell a thing. I don't think the color itself is a problem, it is the lack of the color that was paid for. Have you had lilies revert? Yes Ecosense. That will solve all my garden troubles instantly.

Lola, glad to hear you got a chance to be close to the mountains and a bit cool for a spell.

Pam, the grasshoppers come in waves in spots. Last year they were on the other side of fence. This year they are in the roadside vegetable garden. What I have read says all this rain should be making them sick, but they're still here. The H. arborescens is definately all over these woods. They have done a lot of selection with them and should be available in the trade.

Hi Jean, I think I am too late this year for the grasshopper biocontrol. They eat weed seedlings to which is nice. My walls when they are complete.... I have a feeling I will be building walls for years.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! It has been so very hot in my neck of the woods too. At least you can sit at the end of the day in the cool weather and admire those gorgeous sunsets! That would keep me going all day. OutsideClyde is looking fabulous! Your new walls are looking great. You are getting me inspired as I need to build some steps and another wall. I'm afraid my back can't take it though...I just keep planning in the meantime. As for the grasshoppers, you need to take care of them as hatchlings. Now all you can do is step on them!