Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My pumpkin patch and other updates on garden life

My last post about our garden was on July 10th. In the interim, we did some vacation traveling, first a three-day boat trip to Fredrikstad, and then a week-long visit to Caen, France. I'll write a bit more about our travels in another post. Just in the short time we were away, the garden changed considerably--it exploded in growth as you'll see from the photos here. The pumpkin patch especially took off; the vines have spread out and fastened themselves to grass stalks and whatever else they can use to stabilize themselves. There are going to be a lot of pumpkins to harvest if growth conditions continue to be favorable. I cannot help but think of Linus in Peanuts, and his heartfelt wish to sit in the pumpkin patch on Halloween and wait for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. When the pumpkins reach maturity, you bet that I'm going to be sitting in my pumpkin patch and I'll post a photo when that time comes.

It has been very warm in Oslo during the month of July, and that's always good for plant growth. My corn plants are also doing well; ears of corn have formed on at least half of the plants, with pink tassels sprouting out from the top of the cobs. I've noted that the ears of corn do not form on the top part of the corn plant, but rather on the lower part of the plant. It should be an interesting harvest come September/October. The string bean plants have produced many string beans per plant and they taste very good--extra good knowing that they come from the garden. Ditto for the snap pea plants--there are many of them and they taste good.

I've also planted many different kinds of flowers, with the idea of 'filling in the gaps' (not having too many bare patches although there will always be some) in the flower garden. I like the result so far, as do the bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies. I've wandered around the rest of the community garden gathering ideas from other gardeners. Some of the other gardens are just so wild and beautiful--flowers in all colors, sizes and shapes. I'm picking up tips, talking to the other gardeners, watching how things get done, and storing it all away for next year's plantings.

And last but not least, we have a badger in the garden. Where he comes from nobody knows, but he likes to visit the garden at night. I haven't seen him yet, but several other gardeners have. Badgers eat mostly earthworms, but also other insects (just not the brown snails unfortunately--most animals and birds seem to avoid them, understandably in my opinion), roots and some fruits. He won't lack for sustenance in the garden as a whole, that's for sure.

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