MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 2016 Update

I'm joining in the memes hosted by Nature Notes hosted by Rambling WoodsSt Germain's and Today's Flowers meme.
This has been a crazy summer, so far, with lots of work everywhere -- office, house and garden. With such a mild winter and hot summer like temperature since May, garden is growing crazily, both weed and non-weed stuff. And that has increased the workload ten-fold. Usually, I harvest, wash, clean, cut, chop,pickle starting mid-August. But this year it has started since mid-June. Also, when plants start to producing fruits, that means I need to take more care of them -- do they need fertilize? It has not rained for the last three days, do they need water? Do they need more mulch? Any tying, clipping needs to be done? Do I need to de-weed around the base of the plant? And the list continues. But, these are all fun work. In fact, I can spend my whole day working in the garden, without complaint. And, I don't like working in the office and/or home and would always complaint :-). Here are few of the harvest (though most are in our stomach; I forget to take pictures most of the time).

I'm very proud of this onion. It's the largest onion I've grown so far. It's the size of my palm. 

I'm making fermented vegetables -- kimchi, fermented carrots and so on. This is my first time doing fermented products and it's really fun, especially when you see all the bubbles released by the bacteria :-)

These are all hot peppers -- some are extremely hot; some very hot; while others are medium hot. I'm growing 7-8 different varieties of hot peppers this year. I'm going to use many of them to make spicy Indian style hot pepper pickles. 

A bunch of grapes. Lots and lots of such branches are hanging in the plants and cat-birds are having a field-day eating them :-)

Wild Raspberries

Triple-Crown Blackberry plants that I planted this year. They have started to grow. 

Do you know that pepper, eggplants, tomatoes are all perennial plants? If you can overwinter them, they will grow nicely the next year. This is a pepper plant that I overwintered. It has now started producing fruits for this year. In their natural habitat and in tropical places, these plants (pepper, tomato, eggplant, etc) can live up to 10-15 years and can become gigantic

The flowers are also in bloom and the bumble bees are buzzing around. I also see lots of other tiny bees and the large carpenter bees. Butterflies are also fluttering around but too difficult to capture their pictures. As I get ready with the camera, they fly away. Unfortunately, I only saw one honey bee so far. Population of honey-bees in my locality has drastically dropped in the last 3-4 years. When I first started gardening in 2011, I could not go near any flowers as they were covered with honey-bees. But, alas, they have vanished now. However, I see lots of different types of wasps and moths (during the night). Wasps are very good for garden as they not only pollinate but they also feed on the bad insects.

May I present a bouquet of Phlox. I love Phlox. They flower profusely; comes in different colors; have beautiful smell; the plants are resistant to all kinds of problems; spread nicely through underground roots/rhizomes; nectar-loving birds and insects love them. 

The shashta-daisy. This is another long-blooming plants, especially if you dead-head them. Moths, bees, butterflies, wasps, everybody loves them. And, do you see all the buds that are yet to open? I brought a small 4-inch plant. Today it has become like 4-feet wide. They are also great as cut-flowers. 

A type of native cone-flowers. Please do not dead-head them after they have stopped flowering. The dead flowers contain lots of seeds and those are the foods for the birds, rabbits, squirrels during the winter month

The twin-sister

My Smiling-Sunflower. One of the benefits of providing food to birds during winter is all these sunflower plants. I don't have to plant them. The birds spread seeds and I have sunflowers growing everywhere. I just love sunflowers. 

I just remember that it was called red-hot poker. But I've completely forgotten the name of this plant. I think it originated from South Africa. They are not supposed to survive our winter. But I planted the bulbs and forgot to take them out last winter. And thus this summer, I'm gifted with this gorgeous flower. 

Edible day-lily. These flowers are considered delicacy in China. You pick them up and fry them in a batter. I did it once and they do taste nice. But I have so many other vegetables that I leave these flowers for wild animals only. 

A native fleabane. It's considered weeds by almost everyone. But, I love these tiny daisy like flowers. 

More cone-flowers along with bee-balms

Last but not the least -- one of my all time companions who is always there to protect me.


  1. Your garden is just fantastic! Yes, red hot pokers are from South Africa. I also have dogs keeping me company in the garden! And yes, my calendulas are thriving in my winter garden... They are in a very protected bed though...

  2. You have a gorgeous garden! I am so glad you are enjoying the fruits of your efforts, too. Your dog is adorable! :)

  3. How great to grow your own veggies! All the flowers are just gorgeous as is the little furry friend :)

  4. Love your crop, KL! I do like to conserve some veggies, last week I made some 'lecho' with zuccini, carrots and hot pepper.
    Your phlox are similar mines, very pretty. Enjoy your garden with your best friend!

  5. Beautiful series of your little dog!
    Happy weekend!

  6. Welcome back - hope you had a restful break/vacation! Your veggies and fruit look delicious and promising! I envy your garden, but of course you put the work in too! Your beautiful flowers and your doggie round out your post nicely!
    For some reason I must not have checked the dates for SEASONS, so you got in early with your photo - many thanks - you were missed! That was a nice surprise, but next week you probably won't be able to get in before Sunday:):) Have a great weekend!

  7. What a wealth all these nice fresh vegies and the flowers are gorgeous

  8. You saved the best shot til last - what a cute little companion. You've a fair harvest, those grapes look delicious. Lots and lots of pretty blooms for the pollinators to enjoy.
    I hope you are well my friend. Glad to read you are having a decent summer. Here in Scotland the sun has not got it's hat on!

  9. Wonderful crop! It has not been warm here at all (yet), but nevertheless lush.
    He-he. My little dog has got a similar companion!

  10. Your companion is very cute. All your veggies and flowers look beautiful.

  11. It looks like he has his hands full protecting the teddy bear, haha. Those are a real bounty of veggies, flowers and fruits you've got there. My cousin's raspberries have gone ape-sh*t crazy, taking over his backyard. I just asked today what that flower was, a "coneflower." I see them around and really like them, thank you.

  12. Your veggies look great! Is that twin sister a rose or peony? also, what an interesting day lily--I've never seen a double star.

  13. Oh I love your smiling sunflower! So pretty! Looks like your garden is doing well! Beautiful flowers...and those grapes...lovely shot!

  14. Thank you for your nice comment... Now I have a Button to translate via Google Translater.
    Greetings by Heidrun

  15. Hello KL... it does seem with our heat that things are faster as my sunflowers are blooming, but we need rain so badly. I am glad you have a harvest and some wonderful flowers....Michelle