Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fun In The Garden - What's Growing Now

Welcome to my garden! Here are some more pics to give you a peek into what's growing now, and how they look.
First up is the Cosmos. There are five Cosmo plants in this cluster, and they look stunning with their bright magenta flowers! There are some pale pink ones in this mix, but you can't see them in this picture. The key to keeping Cosmos looking good is to cut off all the wilted flowers. The Cosmo plants will keep blooming non-stop, and you won't have unsightly dead flowers making the blooming ones look unhealthy. Cosmos also grow quite tall, and don't have dense foilage. Plant lots of green, leafy plants around them to provide support and background foilage to set off the bright flowers. You can see a white stake in the picture that was necessary to support one stem that fell over.
I like to grow vegetables like tomatoes, but I hate to leave the vegetable patch barren and boring. To remedy this problem, I planted a row of impatiens in front and marigolds and pink dahlias behind them. The impatiens haven't been flowering as densely as in the springtime, but they have been growing bushier, which is nice too to set off the bright orange and pale pink.
This very flowery dahlia bush is the parent of all the pink dahlias that I propagated and put into planters. It seems to grow best in the ground. This is probably because the ground is cooler and wetter compared to the potted versions which tend to dry out and heat up during the day. Dahlia plants look best if you remove all the dead and wilted flowers. The wilted flowers snap off easily so you don't need to cut them off. If you keep the dead flowers removed, the plant will keep flowering and look more lively and healthy.

You can do the same with marigolds that have faded, but don't throw marigold heads away. Instead, dry them and save the seeds for the next year. All of the marigolds in my garden were grown from seeds saved from last year.
These are some of the snow peas growing in my garden. Snow peas are cool in that you can eat both the peas and the young shoots. Early in the season when your snow pea plants get tall and lanky, cut off the top young shoots. This will cause the plant to grow new shoots from all of the leaf joints. Flowers grow from young shoots only, so this means more beans from your now bushy plant. The tender, cut off shoots can be cooked and eaten.
Here is a snow pea that has grown old. Notice how it is swollen and is turning yellowy. I am going to let it get a bit more old before I pick it and save the peas to plant next year. About half of the bean and peas in my garden are grown from last year's seed.
Finally, here are some vine tomatoes in various stages of ripeness. If you haven't eaten home-grown tomatoes before, you're missing out. They are much more flavourful and tasty than store-bought tomatoes. This might be because you can pick them at full sun-ripeness in the garden whereas store-bought tomatoes are picked earlier so that they can have a longer shelf-life. Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, just water and fertilize them well (manure is best). They are like weeds and tend to grow lots of fruit, which is fine by me! They can also grow in containers well, as long as you give them a really big pot with lots of rich soil.

I bought two tomato plants this year, cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes, but I have about five tomato plants growing in my garden. I think some extra tomato plants grew from tomato seeds in my kitchen and garden compost. This leads me to believe that tomatoes grow easily from seed. I wonder if they can be propaged easily as well? Hm...

Well, that ends my quick, whirlwind tour of my garden. I hope your garden is growing well too!

Have a happy long weekend!


Alison Arif said...

Everything looks very tasty and summery, yummy!

Art By MAR said...

Such pretty flowers and yummy veggies. I have no luck with flowers:(.

Barbara said...

Lovely garden!
I wish I would have one!!

IckyDogCreations said...

Can I eat your tomatoes? Please?

madison house designs said...

I just love cosmos! I've never actually planted any though. I'm pretty sure they're annuals... do they reseed themselves and come back the following year? (I have lots of columbines, which are annuals, that do that.) Maybe I'll plant some anyway!