Oh, hello there, lovely! Let's take a walk around the garden, shall we?
This volunteer pumpkin (we think?) started out as two or three leaves sprouting out of the compost pile. "Eh, let's see what happens," I told Sweet Husband when he asked if he should pull it.
We've tried, unsuccessfully, to grow pumpkins before, but the squash bugs usually get them before we get any pumpkins of appreciable size. I don't want to dare fate, but it seems like it would take a lot of squash bugs to take out this fine fella.
But on to gratuitous duck photo #1. A bit larger than last time you saw them, eh? Eliza and her entourage are all grown up and all moved in with the chickens.
[Our fine plot of walking onions that come back year after year with no effort on my part.]
It's an odd social structure in the coop right now. The chickens and ducks tolerate each other just fine, but they're still separate flock entities. Tauntaun rules the chickens with an iron claw; Eliza governs the Indian Runners like the cool girl in a high school clique. But they really don't blend together much.
Clearly, I am enamoured with the ducks and chickens, but another thing that's making me happy are our tomatoes. On advice I learned in a tomato class this spring, I planted late and added calcium to the soil. While I'll have to try it a few years more before I deem it a success (because weather is always a variable, of course) so far, so good. We had a ripe cherry tomato on the unheard of date of June 13th.
Also new, I brought this azalea bush back from my grandmother's funeral. I normally do not take plants from funerals (because they're always houseplants and I feel extra terrible when I kill them), but my Nice Step-Mom assured me this one could live outside.
The sticks are a trick we've employed to protect smaller plants from Dame Maggie. She's not especially determined to destroy the garden, but--because she has no idea that she's a 60 pound dog--she sometimes mauls fragile plants through exuberance. The circle of sticks is just enough of a reminder to slow down.
We had peas for awhile, too, but it seems my son stripped the trellis and ate them all sometime when I wasn't looking. There are worse problems to have, but I'm a little sad that he didn't share. Eliza is sad that he didn't share, too.