We’ve definitely turned a page on the calendar. August was the driest in 120 years, and the gardens are showing it. However, there are still some bright spots to celebrate on this Saturday. First of all, one of my favorite beans, Dragon Tongue, a long (often 8″) flat, cream-colored pod with purple streaks and great flavor. A 6′ row has already yielded over 7 lbs. Also in the potager is the “Red Candlesticks” okra that I mentioned formerly, but now it’s producing and I am happy to report it is productive, tender, and pretty. I’ll definitely grow it again next year. I should have taken the photo before I picked and ate it! My friend, Margaret told me to try it grilled. Shake it in a bag with a bit of olive oil to cover the pods, and then sprinkle with a bit of Cajun seasoning. Grill 3 min. or so, until it gets grill marks. Delicious! I’m also really happy with the scheduling of the melon crop this season. Remember last year, when all the varieties were ready at the same time and we ended up giving most away because we couldn’t eat them all? This year, there has been a steady trickle of melons, just enough for breakfasts or fruit salads, or to serve as an appetizer. Above is the final group, which should be about right to ripen before our first frost arrives. Note the one at the right, hanging in a panty hose sling. That’s “Tasty Bites” which is a delicious melon, but it falls off the vine when it’s ripe, and a drop that far would damage it so I put them in slings. I also often use the mesh bags that the tulip bulbs are shipped in, but I’ve used most of them for onions without tops and couldn’t be braided. The melons on the left are “Green Nutmeg.”
I love feverfew, as a medicinal herb and as a bright spot in the potager’s interior border. Its sweet, dainty, white daisy flowers are lovely in cut flower bouquets, and differ from chamomile in that they are longer-lasting and the gold center is flat rather than domed. The earliest blooms have now formed seed, which I am sprinkling here and there in the border for next season. Number 5 is the Shasta daisies that I cut back after their first flowering, who are now beginning to bloom again. The number of flowers is not as high as the early bloom, but it’s still satisfying. I’m adding more shastas to my borders next year, despite a disparaging, mocking remark overheard at the GWA conference, “Some people have so many shasta daisies in their gardens it reflects back on Google Earth.” Personally, I like them and I’m going to keep growing them even if others deem it tacky. And finally, looking for the silver lining of our dry August, it allowed us to put in a much-needed swale to help carry rainwater away from the patio. Right now it seems like a waste of assets, but I’m sure when the rains come again, especially if they are as heavy as this past spring’s deluge, we’ll be happy it’s there. So, that’s my Six on Saturday. THanks to The Propagator for suggesting this meme.