You won't believe how much our garden has grown since my last update. We've harvested green beans a few times since then, picking as many as 17 at a time! But the green beans perished a few weeks ago. Their bright green leaves took on a mottled appearance, and then they shriveled up and died. I suspect they were choked out by the butternut squash vine, which is determined to take over the entire plot.
Here's a picture from about a month ago, when the green beans (against the front fence) were still vibrant and fruitful, and the squash vine was neatly confined in the center row:
And here's a picture from last night. See how the squash has entwined itself all around the fence and grown over the top of the green beans:
Here's a close-up of the biggest squash, one of about five:
The other big player is the cantaloupe vine, which is wrapping its tendrils around the other end of the fence. Pretty soon there might be a showdown between the two vines. I wonder which will win? I'm betting the squash, but it's hard to say....
Did you notice the tomato plants behind the squash? All three of them are producing yellow flowers, but not one tomato has developed. Does anyone have any idea why that would be? We thought it was the lack of bees to pollinate the flowers, so we planted several varieties of flowers in and around the garden. Allyson and I also prayed for God to send us bees, but I guess I didn't really think that through. The other morning, I saw three bees hovering around the cantaloupe flowers. "Thank you Jee...zus!" I prayed, recoiling violently when one of the bees meandered too close. So now we have the bees, but still no tomatoes.
Here's the biggest cantaloupe, which was thimble-sized just a week or so ago. Doesn't it look tasty?
Those Shriveled Up Banana Trees
Remember the pathetic, wilted banana trees Bill planted just before my birthday in April? They turned browner and browner with each passing day, but our friend Mike assured us that they really would survive. And he was right. Look at them now:
And remember the wisteria vine that Bill gave me for my birthday? It has clambered up over the top of the pergola.
When spring comes back around, maybe it will be covered in a profusion of fragrant, purple flowers that look like grape clusters; I guess that would be a passable replacement for my beloved cypress. Only then there would be so many bees that I'd be afraid to come out on the back porch to enjoy it.
It's Cow Sa-moor
Oh, I just remembered one more garden story I've been meaning to share. One evening last month, I was out weeding the garden while Allyson played on the swing set. Suddenly the breeze shifted, and I wrinkled my nose in distaste. "What's that smell?" I asked.
"It's sa-moor," Allyson answered.
"You know!" she giggled, covering her mouth with one hand. "It's cow sa-moor--that means poop! Me 'n Daddy bought a big bag of cow poop at Home Depot. Remember? It makes the plants grow."
"Ah," I said, turning my back to hide my snicker. "Well it sure does stink. I hope it's worth it."
Based on the way our garden's taking off, I guess it was.