Farewell to Summer: a Garden Photo Album

Lemon Drop  Tomatoes and snap beans

Perhaps it’s a fitting end to my regular weekly posts on Eat Drink Better to end with a farewell to summer garden photo album.Β  I love sharing my passion for gardening and hope you’ve found bits of encouragement, inspiration, or simply enjoyed a beautiful image in my posts.

Images From This Summer’s Garden

Here are some images from my edible garden this summer that I haven’t published previously:

Black Cherry and Lemon Drop tomatoes
Black Cherry and Lemon Drop tomatoes with tricolor snap beans

Growing cherry tomatoes are a must every summer. Cherry tomatoes usually ripen early and are abundantly productive. If my larger-sized tomatoes fail, I can count on having beautiful cherries and not miss out on summer tomatoes entirely.

Tomato harvest summer 2012
Malakhitovaya Shkatulka, Eva Purple Ball and Lemon Drop tomatoes

The Russian Malakhitovaya Shkatulka green tomato was the star of our garden this summer, for both flavor and beauty.

Yellow grape tomato
A yellow jelly-bean shaped tomato magically appeared in my garden

Gardening is full of interesting and fun surprises: this is the second summer in a row that a bright yellow, jelly-bean shaped tomato has seeded itself in my garden. This time it grew among a patch of irises in a dry area.

I’ve never grown this variety and we’ve never bought any tomatoes like this one. Perhaps it grew out from a crossed tomato? This time I’m saving the seeds, as it has good flavor and production.

Vintage mounding nasturtiums
Lovely vintage-like mounding nasturtiums eagerly volunteered in a vegetable bed

Another one of my favorite summer surprises this year is the delicately colored nasturtium that volunteered to grow in a vegetable bed. Nasturtiums easily self seed and I’ve planted a few different types in the garden over the years, but I don’t recall this one. The flowers start off pale yellow with red blotches then develop a rosy blush as they age.

I’ll save the seeds but I don’t know if they will grew true next year- it’s part of my experimental approach to gardening!

Lemon Queen sunflower 2012
Lemon Queen sunflowers were a delight to see and provided loads of bird seed

Lemon Queen sunflowers are showy and brighten up the garden. I grew them in my front and back yards this summer.Β  Bees love this particular sunflower and birds enjoy the plentiful seeds from the smallish flower heads after they have dried.

Did you know that some sunflowers are bred to not produce pollen? It’s so they won’t drop “messy”pollen when they are used as cut flowers indoors. So if you hope to share them with bees in your garden, make sure they aren’t the hybridized no-pollen type. I learned the hard way!

Pergola with Scarlet Runner bean
Scarlet Runner beans grow from rhizomes in the ground every spring and climb our grape arbor

Runner beans are growing in several spots throughout my garden. They are ornamental as well as a nutritious edible. Runner beans are hardy, have pretty flowers in a range of colors and can climb up a trellis 10 to 12 feet. The flowers and pods are edible, and you can save the dried beans to cook during the winter.

Plus they will happily grow back in the spring from rhizomes left in the ground after they have died back with the first frosts of winter.

Thanks For Reading

Happy gardening from me to you, whether you are out getting dirty or are snuggled up reading, may you always enjoy nature’s gifts!

In the future instead of a weekly post, I will be contributing occasionally to Eat Drink Better; you can also read my posts about gardening and cooking at my web site Urban Artichoke.

Photos: Patricia Larenas, Urban Artichoke

    1. Patricia Larenas

      Hi Rhonda! thanks for your kind comment – I’ve been a tad overwhelmed; I’m trying to get through my Horticultural program and also continue working at the Chez TJ restaurant garden, besides trying to keep my own gardens going :)
      I love doing all of these things, but sadly I need to cut some activities back. I’ll still be writing on Urban Artichoke and will post here too, just not on a regular schedule, which I enjoyed doing.
      Best regards – Patricia

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