Monday, June 8, 2015

Peony, Pea, and Potato

I can't believe peony season is already over!  Brandon asked me once why I don't plant something that has flowers all the time.  Doh! I wonder why I never thought of that?!  It just doesn't work that way though, does it?  I always have some blooms somewhere to admire, but most blooms are ephemeral, and need to be appreciated during their short display.  

But this pretty blossom will endure here.  I've been so busy lately that it feels like I only had a few minutes with my peony flower friends before they shed their petals.  

I didn't cut a single stem for a vase, or collect a single petal to dry.  

But for a few days, my heart would lift when I pulled in the driveway, because giant pink blossoms were there to great me.  Thank you, whoever you are, for planting these peonies for me to enjoy.  I hope the next person to live in this house enjoys them as much as I have.  

I didn't forget my iris's, even though they may have thought I did, since I didn't cut the old blooms, or weed them, or water them.  This year, as we close in on the farm house renovations, and turn our thoughts and energies to our future there, lots of things have been asked to take care of themselves.  Everyone seems happy to do their blooming without assistance from me.  

Even my chiming rose has finished blooming.  

But the yellow sundrops are still making a daily display.  

The purple clematis I planted on the front fence, which limped along for several years, has finally decided to put on a show.  I'm glad it is big enough now to cover the post I backed into with a work truck last year and bent.  Oops.  If only I could plant flowers on the tail gate of the truck to cover up the big dent...

Mrs. Hall and June get to see the old trusty purple clematis that grows on the corner of the house in the back yard.  This one never fails to impress me on my way to visit the peas.

So many peas this year!

Have you ever watched a pea flower become a pea pod?  Here it goes...

See the baby pea pod poking it's way from under the old flower petal?  

Here's one with the flower petal is dangling from the end of the pod.  At this size, the whole pod is crunchy and delicious.

Now it's a grown up pea pod, and the dried up bit of flower petal is dangling from the tip.  

Inside this womb pod are the eggs peas!  When they are tiny like the ones at the top, they taste like candy.  The larger peas on the bottom taste more like peas, but still tasty.  

June was impressed with the size of my first harvest even though she doesn't really like peas.  

I never realized how cool potato flowers look.  Purple and orange!  Wait, what's that little black speck on the top leaf?  Is that a flea beetle?!

Oh no!  Look at all of them!  I can see at least six in just this photo.  Ah!  And look at all those tiny holes in the leaves.  Jerks.  

I tried spraying the potato plants with some soapy water, but couldn't tell that it helped much.  Everyone on the inter web said to use diatomaceous earth to battle flea beetles without using pesticide.  

Jamie and I drove past a farm and garden store on one of our travel work days, so I bought a small bag of diatomaceous earth, which looks like white chalk dust.  I sprinkled it on the leaves. It rained and washed it all off.  I sprinkled some more.  It rained again.  I sprinkled even more.  I put so much on this last time, that the plants are white!  I still see lots of flea beetles.  It rained again today.  I would sigh if I wasn't so glad for the moisture.  The garden has been so dry.  Flea beetles must like dry weather.  It's a good thing I have a whole bag of the diatomaceous earth.  

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