Greenhouse Gourds

I love a good gourd vine - who doesn't?
We planted this one in a new raised bed just outside the greenhouse. 
In its enthusiasm, it found a way through a cracked lower window and staked a 
claim. Bypassing the watering cans and shunning the badly used birdhouse, it seemed to 
be on its way to the ceiling vents.
(My sons are building a practice frisbee golf basket and think the greenhouse is a great place for project storage.)

Intricate curls and modestly clasped buds -

The smallest round egg gourds are forming ...

... and developing everywhere in there.

Can you see the mildew spots on the lower leaves? It will eventually take the whole vine 
down. You can spray to stop the mildew, and after cutting off the effected leaves, 
there might be a chance of survival. 
 Some organic solutions described here which I've never tried. Seems like it might be 
worth a shot when the plant is smaller, earlier in the season.
There's always next year!


Tall and Fierce

For the first time in many years, my sunflowers have grown 
unmolested by birds, bunnies or bugs.

When I look into the backyard, they're all standing around in small cliques.  
They seem gawkily awkward from early evening straight through to the dawn hours, 
like painful middle-schoolers within the society of our backyard gardens.
But when the sunshine finally streams over the trees, they straighten up and suddenly look
strongin their prime, tall and fierce denizens of a too-small kingdom.

Lemon Queen is acting like a royal out there, doing her light, bright-yellow thing.
She bloomed pretty early in the season.

The Mammoths made me wait while they grew to UNBELIEVABLE heights.
This is actually the view of one stalk from the grass:
(note the tiny bloom heads at every leaf node - so much to come!)

See what I mean???

*** Side Note ***
Have you meandered through the end of the first chapter of First Corinthians lately? All this sunflower talk brings it home for me. Here it is, if you'd like to see it in various versions without even leaving your chair.
He chose the foolish things ... He chose the weak things ... He chose the despised things...


Here, Fishy, Fishy!

Only a few hydrangeas had any blooms here this season, due to the incredibly harsh winter just past.
The only traditional hydrangea of mine that had any blooms was a single Blue Billows bush. 
Not usually one of my favorites, but I appreciated the blue when it was so scarce in my garden this spring.
* This morning I saw that one of my Nikko bushes has added a whole new 
layer of small blooms!  It's going to do a fall bloom!  Whoo-hoo!
Super short stems make Blue Billows work best in a very small vase.
My fish is interested in anything that happens in his windowsill. 
I tell you, this fish is more like a dog in a bowl than a regular pet fish.
He (it?) rests on the bottom of his vase until someone comes to the sink for a drink 
or to wash dishes. Then he flutters at the edge, watching the water stream and wanting attention. 
Or food, whichever. 
His wife is in the background - a solar hula dancer from the Dollar Tree.
He is, after all, a 'fighting fish', so it took them a while to make their relationship work, 
but now they are inseparable. 


Misplaced Faith

When you have a car full of teenaged loved ones, a traffic back-up on the express way can cause some pretty rash driving decisions. So we believed the GPS when it said we could get to the pizza place by an 
'alternate route'
Oh the FAITH required to use a GPS! 
Off we went, following the directions in a blow-by-blow format, thinking SOMEhow we would arrive
 in a busy college town after driving further and further, deeper and deeper  into farmland.
This is where we were when the GPS said something none of us had ever heard before:

Prepare to park your car and continue to your destination on foot.

Misplaced faith, for sure.