Category Archives: 8. August

It’s Quiet. Too Quiet.

Okay, we realize we’ve been really lax IPB Living bloggers this summer (regular readers of IPB proper shouldn’t be surprised about this), but it’s not our fault. This has been the boringest summer of gardening ever. Here’s what our daily routine as gentlewoman farmers has been like:

1. Wake up.
2. Notice it’s raining.
3. Realize this means we don’t have to water the garden for a few more days.
4. Realize this means we can’t take the camera out in the garden because it’s raining and we don’t want to break the camera (again).
5. Realize it’s actually raining really hard, and it’s too wet out to even want to just walk out and look at the garden without a camera in tow.
6. Read up on Late Blight.
7. Worry about Late Blight.
8. Are those spots on the tomatoes, the ones we can see from the front door where we’re huddled out of the rain, Late Blight?
9. Worry.
10. Read more about Late Blight.
11. Decide those spots aren’t Late Blight.
12. Find something less annoying to think about than the garden.
13. Go to sleep.

That’s been our day, every day, this entire summer. We’ve been lucky in that we’re having a bumper crop of tomatoes in this Summer of the Blight (anyone who’s reading this and thinking about starting a garden next Spring, take our advice: grow from seed), and we’ve had wildly successful onion, garlic, potato, and especially pepper crops this year. Our carrots and beets washed away in a torrential, hours-long downpour that ripped through Maple Hoo the day after we planted them. Our beans are chugging along. And we almost never have to spend any time actually interacting with any of them because there’s been so freakin’ much rain this year. It’s a self-tending garden. On the one hand, that leaves us lots of time to pursue our other hobbies. On the other hand, this must be a lot like what it’s like for parents when their children go off to college. We love the garden, we want to be involved in its life, but it just doesn’t need us anymore.


Filed under 8. August, Garden

Today’s Garden

So here’s a look at what was going on in the gardens of Maple Hoo this afternoon.

First up, a view of the raspberry bramble out the mud room window in the “basement”.

We went outside with the camera in the early evening, when the sun’s low enough to make watering worthwhile, and also casting long shadows.

We had some fun taking pictures of the urn at the front door, filled with begonias and some kind of little white flower by Boomer.

Inside the garden walls, there were some calypso bean pods that were well and truly dried — time to harvest them!

In the next bed over, the carrots are coming up like gangbusters.

Next to the carrots, the Nardellos, stripped of their early-growing peppers, are finally thriving.

And in the far corner, the radishes are going crazy to seed; they’ve grown in a wave over the side of the bed, and have these gorgeous, delicate pink flowers.

Looking across the bed, the Black Plums and gherkins are looking like they’re getting a bit tired, and have a kind of “leafy arbor” shape to them, like they’re serving as shady hollows for smurfs or something.

And something we’ve learned about gherkins is that if you leave them on the vine too long, they grow insanely huge, and then turn orange.

It was one of those perfectly gorgeous evenings in the garden — warm, dry, with leaf-rustling breezes, and all our plants were happy to get watered after the heat of the day.


Filed under 8. August, Garden, Harvested, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words