Thursday, August 25, 2016

Today's picture/Another bouquet

I thought I'd post a picture of Margaret's CSA flowers to show how the gardener makes each bouquet just a little bit different. At the flower farm they are all wrapped in brown paper and sit in individual buckets of water for people to choose which one they want. Each one is equally beautiful as you can see.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Today's picture/Week ten CSA flowers

The red hanging flower is called love-lies-bleeding. Amazing name, huh?! More about it here. It is edible, as are the herbs this week, dill and basil.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mrs Bale watches a movie on DVD

Two fellows in the movie Mid-August Lunch are sitting, drinking wine, and watching the world go by.

“Some weather.”
“You said it. Plenty hot.”
“It’s August. It’s hot.”
“It sure is."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rust isn't only on cars

The last time I grew hollyhocks was four summers ago. If you type hollyhocks into the search bar, you may see them. When we decided on the new garden this year, I wanted to plant them again. We started the seeds inside and they were a good size when we put them outdoors. For a while the plants were a lush green and very healthy. They got tall and the buds looked great in this picture from July 30.

but the leaves had these odd little spots.

You might think, oh, those aren't so bad, but these were the leaves which were just beginning to be infected. Here are the leaves which were in worse condition.

And now, a couple weeks later

Even the buds are affected

But amidst all this ugliness, the hollyhock flowers continue to open and bloom and look as beautiful as any prizewinner, as long as you focus on just them!

When the problem first appeared I searched online and found a very informative site.

Puccinia malvacearum, the rust fungus that infects hollyhock, causes yellow spots on the upper leaf surface, and orange-brown raised pustules on the lower leaf surface.   Wet conditions promote infection by the rust fungus. The lower leaves typically show symptoms first, and the disease slowly progresses to upper leaves over the summer. Infected leaves eventually turn brown, wilt, and die. Wind and splashing rain help spread the spores of the fungus, so spacing plants to promote good air circulation can help slow the progression of the disease. Because wet conditions favor infection, water the soil around the plants rather than wetting the leaves with overhead irrigation if possible.

I grew them in the corner of the fence, and they were too crowded. Four years ago, they were out in the other garden with plenty of airflow. I did have a big problem with Japanese beetles but no rust. This year there have been very few of them around anywhere. Funny how bugs go in cycles.

So I plan to clean up very well, and next year I won't grow them in the same place again. I'll give them lots of space and will water from below. 

And I wanted to note that the mallow was also affected by rust. Hollyhock and mallow belong to the same family malvaceae

When I mentioned in the post about the new garden that I had a whole blog entry planned on hollyhocks, both Lisa and Stephanie commented that they have a terrible time with rust, so here's hoping these tips will help all of us! Stay tuned to see if next summer's hollyhocks are rust free.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Smartest Woman I Know by Ilene Beckerman

The Smartest Woman I Know
by Ilene Beckerman
nonfiction 2011
finished 8/11/16

I had planned to vacuum my downstairs today, but it was so, so hot (88º - remember we have no air-conditioning!) that I thought I’d better sit in front of the fan, beside the window on the north side of the house and read instead. 

I had ordered a book that was coming tomorrow, Kick: The True Story of JFK’s sister and the heir to Chatsworth by Paula Byrne, which I want to begin the minute I open the package. So, for my reading time today I knew that I needed a short book. I found this book on the shelf, and remembered that I had ‘won’ it on someone’s blog years ago. I did some searching, and found it was on the TLC book tours in 2011. There was a list of bloggers who wrote about it, and I found the one who sent it to me! 

The Smartest Woman I Know is a hundred page treasure. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it! Rather than write a regular book report, I shall tell you about it with photos of some pages.

And one of those customers was