Saturday, July 03, 2010

Is it garlic yet?

This is my first time growing garlic.  I planted two varieties last November, and so far, so good.  Unlike onions, garlic needs to be harvested before the tops completely dry down, or so they say.  Some also say it is best to protect garlic from rain a week or so before harvest; how one does that is never explained.  However, we are in a stretch of fair weather right NOW and the Broadleaf Czech looks like this:

And the German Extra Hardy looks like this:

So I dug up one of the Czech bulbs:

Looks like garlic to me.  Let the harvest begin!

The snap peas are dead:

Long live the green beans!  Last year, the rabbits ate my green bean seedlings before they had a chance to do much of anything besides poke their leafy heads out of the ground.  This year, I planted the green beans inside of enclosures, the early ones inside the pea fence, the later ones inside a contraption of my own devising.

By god, we are going to have some beans this year!  But I am also going to finish rabbit-proofing the backyard.  Last year, my SO helped me line the chain link with poultry netting, but we did not do the gates, which - go figure - became bunny super highways.  My only concern has been that I would inadvertently trap the bunnies inside rather than outside, or - worse - separate a momma from her nest of babies.  But last night, while mowing, I found where momma is keeping her current litter:

Doesn't look like much, does it?  This "nest" is in the middle of the front lawn.  I actually mowed over it, but noticed it move as I did so.  I kicked at the dried grass, thinking it disguised a mole hole or something, and much to my surprise, uncovered some squirming bunny babies.  Then I noticed momma watching from the neighbor's yard, so I covered the nest back up and finished my mowing.  Hope she doesn't abandon them.  (I know - I am nothing if not conflicted about rabbits.)  ANYWAY, my neighbor across the street has a humane animal trap, so if any (like the teenager living under the shed) are trapped inside the backyard, I can catch them and punt their cute little asses outside the enclave.

After the construction of the West Wing, my backyard was a mess.  It still is, but I am slowly starting to fill in the gaps.  Toward that end, I populated one corner with a 'Limelight' hydrangea and two 'Big Daddy' hostas.

They don't look like much now, but if they get as big as their plant tags predict, this corner will be full.  Since my electrical and telephone service enter the house in this corner, I called the underground utility people and after they marked where the utilities were, dug holes very, very carefully.

Despite its youth, the hydrangea is blooming nicely, although I think the blossoms look more white than lime.

Maybe the soil needs some amendments?

The primary hosta bed north of the garage is FULL.  My spring to-do list included dividing these, but I did not get a round tuit.  I think they can be divided in the fall, though, so I may try that.

In the lower right is 'Love Pat' which fortunately likes lots of shade.

The newer varieties of hostas are a lot prettier than the old standbys I started with, but I love them all.

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