Picking Melons and Watching Bats

We just picked our first two melons of the season and enjoyed them with our dinner. I couldn’t remember what kind they were so it was kind of thrilling to cut into them and find out what was inside. The outside looked nothing like a cantaloupe, but that’s exactly what the inside looked and tasted like, only not quite as sweet.

stink bug trap, stink bugs

Garden Headaches: Stinkbugs and Weeds

Ugh! The stink bugs are in full force now. I knew it would happen, but this is crazy! I have finally started harvesting my tomatoes, and they’re all covered in stink-bug nymphs. The skin and flesh of the fruits is completely corked from their feeding.

Cucumbers, Cabbage, Fennel … Oh My!

I harvested the first cucumbers of the season tonight—39 beauties! I could barely lift the basket when I was finished. I planted about five different cucumber varieties hoping that if some of them died from bacterial wilt, I would still have others continue to produce.

Newfound Coleus Supplier

I recently wrote an article on coleus for my weekly newspaper column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and found out about a terrific mail-order company that I had never heard of before. Now, I have always liked coleus and I grow several different ones in my garden every year, but I had no idea how many hundreds of different cultivars there are out there and just how stunning some of them can be.

Of Bugs and Berries

I headed to the raspberry patch last night to pick a few berries for dessert and couldn’t help but notice how alive the plants were. All sorts of insects were out and about and I was struck with how many different insects were in one 8- by 8-foot patch of brambles—and these were just the ones I could see!

Berries and Larkspur

Our strawberry crop disappointed us this year. They didn’t produce many, and what fruits did appear were puny. I’m guessing it was due to all the rain we had this spring.

Watching Grass Grow

Progress, progress, progress. How I love it when garden projects move along as planned! I managed to sow just less than 35 pounds of grass seed last week and cover it with a dozen bails of straw.

Backyard Embellishments

The landscaper is done with our backyard! The skid steer sitting in the yard was the last remnant, and now it’s gone, too. All that’s left is a beautiful retaining wall, gorgeous cut-stone steps, a new swing set, a weed-free patio, a covered fire pit, and lots and lots of space to grow lots and lots of plants. How exciting when a big project nears completion!

Packed with Perennials

The perennial garden beds have been simply spectacular the past two weeks. The peonies are now in full bloom, the bearded iris are strutting their stuff, and the forget-me-nots have filled my front shade bed with a big drift of tiny blue flowers.

The Garden Bustle

So much is happening in the garden that I don’t even know where to start! Our landscape crew from Lighthouse Landscape Designs arrived with the excavator and Bobcat and began the grading process in the backyard. They laid the gravel base for the retaining wall and expect to begin setting the wall in the next day or two.