how does your garden grow?

June 07, 2016

Our summer garden is up and running, and we're able to harvest something everyday. We've had beans, artichokes, kale, carrots, summer squash, and onions, and have been using the beet thinnings and herbs in our salads. The tomatoes are looking great and we'll start picking the cherry varieties in a few weeks if not next week.  The larger tomatoes and cucumbers won't be ready for probably another month. 

The olive tree near the greenhouse has grown to be massive.  It didn't start out that way!  And I didn't realize that olive trees could get so big.  I swear, California--everything grows so big, and so fast!  Our neighbor has several redwoods that have also grown to enormous heights.  Of course we know redwoods get enormous, and now they are shading the veg garden starting around 3 PM ish, which seems to be OK with the vegetables, so no harm.

We have a quail family living behind our greenhouse.  Whenever I go near, one of the adults will start to make a racket, so I quickly turn around and leave.  I just won't go back there until they're gone for good.  The chicks have ventured out of the nest and papa leads the way.  Nine tiny chicks peep and peck and follow, and the mama guards the rear.  They circumnavigate the entire garden, then must go home for a nap, because I won't see them for the rest of the day.  They are so dang cute and I tried to get some better pictures, but they jump at the slightest movement I make!

We hung a second hummingbird feeder about 30 feet from our old one.  If you know hummingbirds at all, you'll know that they are tiny, but very territorial and the males can be terrible bullies.  We have one awful bully this year who will not let any bird near "his" feeder, thus the need for the second one.  But now he is trying to protect both of them, and so we have more hummingbirds even more frustrated than before.  Still, they are quite tame and come very close to us, hovering about a foot or two from our faces, probably beseeching us to help them out, but they are on their own in this battle, I'm afraid.

We have songbirds this year like never before!  Our neighbors have noticed it too.  Starting in the early morning we hear beautiful songs that continue throughout the day and late into the evening.  We don't know our birdsong, so can't tell you who we hear, but what we hear is beautiful: complicated musical trills and whistles ending in chirps and peeps.  The different types of songs tell us it must be from many different varieties of birds, but can't be sure who.  We see plenty of bluejays, (my husband's favorite, so bold and inquisitive), robins, finches, wrens, sparrows, doves, and waxwings, but don't know if they are the ones who are singing.  Our robins are particularly bold--when I dig in the garden, they are right next to me, waiting to see if a worm will turn up.  Even this morning when I was deadheading the petunias (the most tedious of all gardening jobs, way worse than weeding) they hopped around me.  I kept telling them I wasn't digging and they were out of luck, but they were pretty persistent.  And besides them, and above all the birdsong, I heard duck quacks and goose honks.  I stopped several times to look up and around but couldn't find them anywhere. We have a creek very near us, just one house away, and I think they must be camping out there.  I was (very happily) on bird-overload this morning.  We also have several birds of prey living in our neighborhood; mainly hawks, eagles and at least one owl (sometimes we hear him at night).  At other times we've had gangs of crows--real rude rough-necks that make a horrible racket and spoil it for the little guys.  Thankfully they're not around this year and that's probably why we have all the lovely songbirds.

Thanks for stopping by dear readers.
I'll be back in a few days with a knitting post that's just waiting for some finishing touches.

If you'd like to make a comment, please click here.

xo Kristen


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  1. I can't believe how your garden has grown! It is amazing....and beautiful.
    The quails are adorable.


    1. Thank you! The quails are so cute--such a sweet little family!

  2. It's just perfect! Where are the weeds? I would love to putter there ; )

    1. Ha! I am ruthless about weeds--I go out every morning with my hoe, if only for a few minutes, just to keep on top of things!

  3. I just love to see your garden. I live in NW Kent in the UK and have had a penfriend living in the Sacramento area since we were both 10 years old. We're now 70. Love your knitting news too, of course. Ann

    1. Hi Ann. I know you have beautiful gardens in Kent. How wonderful to have a pen friend for so long. It's a wonderful tradition and just seems so sweet. My, the secrets you must have shared over the years!

  4. As usual, your garden grows in inspirational leaps and bounds! Thanks for taking the time to photograph and share with us.

    Do you have a fig tree? I'm seriously contemplating one.


    1. Thank you Janet. No, we don't have a fig tree, but we are considering using a part of a side yard that isn't used and planting a few miniature fruit trees. Fig would be one I'd love, they grow well here. Also would want a blood orange and a peach. We just don't know if we can afford one more thing to water. We're banking that with all the good Sierra snow we will be removed from our water restrictions. Fingers crossed.


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