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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #266 - Some compost treasures have revealed themselves this week.
July 31, 2016

Let me first brag a little. Many of you have written and told me how much you enjoy reading “Dallying” and I do appreciate your comments. I belong to, “GWA The Association for Garden Communicators,” a large international trade association and this year I submitted some copies of “Dallying” into their awards contest and was delighted to receive a silver award in the overall ezine category. Quite an honour to be recognized by your peers.
What is, that rather strange picture across the top. It is my compost heap. You can see the bright red of the deadheads from the Geraniums and behind them is the sheer power of Mother Nature. That is a Dahlia and a Colocasia growing there. Both of them are coming from tubers I tossed there because I considered them dead, useless or too small to be viable. Obviously I was wrong. It will be interesting to watch and see if the season is long enough to let that Dahlia Bloom. We actually received a useful rain this past week and the garden is looking a bit better for it. My irrigation system can never do what a good 2 cm of rain can do. We have reached that magic point in the vegetable garden when there is suddenly an excess of things to carry into the kitchen every evening and we wind up eating at least seven or more vegetables for each meal. Delightful.

Some of that excess comes from this one huge Zucchini plant. It’s actually in the soil but growing out over the edge and covering most of the path where there is an intersection of three paths. It yields three or four lovely light green fruit almost every day. Should I not pay attention and pick those 15 cm (6") fruit they are 30 cm (12") fruit the next day. The speed with which these things can grow has always amazed me. The other fascinating thing about this plant is that I did not plant it. A Zucchini fruit from last year must have been left laying in the garden and one of the seeds overwintered there and started growing as soon as the soil warmed in the spring. It’s twice the size of the plants that I put in the garden this spring. My usually friendly neighbours, on both sides, now seem to be avoiding me. Could it be because I’m always trying to be generous and give them a Zucchini or two every time I see them?? Peppers of several varieties are now yielding prolifically and adding some delightful flavours to that dinner table. The only laggards seem to be the Eggplant but they will be worth waiting for. The myriad of flavours and textures on the dinner plate makes all of the spring’s efforts worthwhile.

There are those moments in the garden when everything comes together. All of the Perennials do their thing and produce delightful blooms. Then one magical day a clump such as these Daylilies will produce blooms on every stem and put on a magnificent show. Enjoy it for the moment because they are daylilies and the next day the blooms will all be gone. Not all of the scapes will produce a flower the next day. It will still be lovely but that solid mass of colour will be a lovely memory. That’s the compelling reason to take the time each day to just wander the garden and observe what treats might be available to eat or admire. Without these little regular rewards, gardening would just be a frustrating and dirty way of getting some good exercise.

Whenever I talk about a problem, such as the Cucumber Beetles, invariably one or more of my readers will offer a solution that works for them.

Shelley Commented! You may want to try this trick for your Cucumber beetles. They are attracted to soy sauce. I put a little in a dish with some vegetable oil and it does the trick. Seems to work best overnight. I never had them before ever and this year they are a plague on my garden :(

Tomorrow is the first of August and the summer is half gone. Much sadness. Autumn does bring its own delights that we can look forward to. It also brings the start of the planning season for many garden clubs and similar groups. It is one of my great pleasures to be the speaker at such meetings. If you are looking for a speaker for one of your groups then have a look at the list of topics that I offer. If you are looking for a topic that doesn’t seem to be there, then contact me and we can probably create a talk that meets your needs.

Enjoy the bounty that your garden yields for the rest of the season.

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