Garden pics and more

We had the most beautiful day in my memory the other day. It was 84 degrees, sunny, and a lovely breeze that blew almost continually. Did not feel at all humid. I broke out my clothesline and the girls got to have their first lesson in hanging clothes. Trinity did very well. Angelina did her best to help. Generally she went and stuck clothespins upside down over the clothes Trinity already hung!

Here is Trinity with a squash and a cucumber that she picked in the garden. This was the first day we were back from Maryland.

And speaking of the garden.... I am including pictures especially for Miss Synida who didn't understand the whole "plant a seed, it grows into food" concept. ;p Well, Synida, for the most part, we have achieved our goal. There are a few that didn't do so well, but this is my first garden, so I am feeling pretty good overall. Here is the whole garden. You can see our corn growing in the bed on the left. We planted 48 but not all of them are growing. Probably have 40-45 ears growing.

This is our broccoli plant. Seems to be doing well, although it is a cool weather plant. I had read the square foot gardening book back when I was pregnant with Trinity, so I know made some mistakes with my planning. I just ordered the book off of ebay so soon I will know what to do the rest of the growing season. The tiny little plants in the foreground are baby tomato plants. My first planting never produced anything. I replanted and now have several small plants coming up. It is still to be seen if they grow or not.
Here are the two squares of carrots I planted. There were 16 seeds in each square. Only 2 came up in the one on the right. I eventually replanted in the left square and you can see we are getting about half of them growing. I had reserved the 2 squares behind them for carrots too, but I am not wasting my time on them anymore. I think I am going to plant some more mesclun in those squares. My mesclun patch grew out of control while I was in Maryland. I am harvesting the plants that are there and using the lettuce for chicken treats. I am going to let the strawberry plants take over the back bed rather than try to keep them contained in one end.

Here is a shot of the cucumber plants in one bed. You can see the little cucumbers just starting on the plants. (click on pictures to make them larger)

This is in the other bed - a shot of a large cucumber and a zucchini growing. There are actually about 3 large cucumbers on that plant right now.

I love having the squash and zucchini growing up instead of traditional mound planting. The veggies stay nice and clean without discoloration from laying on the ground.

Here are the lima bean plants, just starting to produce pods. In the foreground is a nasturtium. I planted four of them and only one has come up. They are supposed to be a good natural insect repellant.
This is an "I spy" photo. Can you see the cantaloupe? It's there...about the size of a baseball.
Sigh...our sad little pea plants. I was expecting these to be tall vining plants. Just didn't happen that way. I don't know if they are just too crowded with the zucchini and cucumbers on either side or what. I planted more in the other bed so I will see if they do better than these. They are producing peas, just not much. :(

Here is my other sad little plant - this is a green pepper plant. This was planted at the same time as everything else and is only just starting to attain any significant growth. Verdict is out on this one. I am sad because I love peppers!
A lovely shot of the straightneck squash in bloom. I should have taken a picture of some of the leaves. They are getting a kind of mottled yellow coloration on them. I remember reading that just about the time your squash plants start really producing, the squash beetle can come along and kill them. I am a little worried that may be happening to this plant. I have another one, so all would not be lost, but I still don't want to lose this prolific provider.
Here is one of the tomato plants. Trinity knocked the largest tomato off last weekend, so we are still waiting to eat our first home grown tomatoes.
Can you guess what this is??? It is a watermelon! There are about 6 growing on the vines. I am using one of the girls old stockings to support the melon so as it grows bigger, it won't weigh the vines down.
This is a shot of the beautiful web spun overnight in the garden trellis. Really lovely in the morning fog.

PLEASE send any gardening tips you have!!! I know a lot of you have been successfully gardening for awhile. Thanks!

 Fun on the Fourth

I had the sweetest conversation with Trinity this evening. We were out in the garden collecting lettuce. Trinity held the colander for me while I clipped the leaves. Here was the conversation:

Trinity: "Mom, is this heaven?"
Me, smiling and chuckling: "You know, someone else asked that same question once, in a movie. No, honey. This is Iowa."
Trinity: "No, I think this is heaven."
Me: "You're probably right."
:) How cute is that!?

Just some miscellaneous shots taken today.
Angelina out in the front yard.
We discovered we have a mulberry tree. David is inspecting the fruit and Trinity is eating down below.
A series of pictures of the girls and Maximus on the front porch. (btw...those nifty planters were scored off the free section of craigslist!)

Have I mentioned that "monkey see, monkey do" describes Angelina and how she has to do everything Trinity does? That includes making funny squishy faces. :)

We made a zip line for the kids, which also is a really fun swing. Here is Angelina swinging...
Trinity taking a turn.

BTW...the official egg count after our first full week with the chickens was 35. So, almost 3 dozen eggs in a week. Way to go ladies! ;)