Sunday, July 8, 2012

Garden check-up, some flames, and a snack.

On Wednesday, July 4th, we hit the two-week mark since we planted our vegetable garden using the square-foot gardening method in raised beds. It was also time to plant another box of corn. So Chris and I trekked up to the garden to take a peek at the garden's progress (we're up there pretty much every day, but this time I took the camera) and to plant four more corn seeds.

Four healthy corn plants!

Lots of healthy bush beans plants - nine per square!

Grape tomato plant.

Chris points out sprouts in the carrot square.

Sprouts in the radish square.

Zucchini plant.

Five healthy pepper plants (l to r: Serrano, jalapeno, yellow bell, orange bell, and red bell peppers).

Roma tomatoes - I can't wait for them to come in...I have an AWESOME salsa recipe!!!

Park's Whopper tomatoes for sandwiches and burgers!

Cilantro and cantaloupe plants.

Butternut squash sprouts (left) and cucumber plants (right).
Everything is looking great; Chris and I are very excited and pleased with the garden's progress so far. As usual, the garden really perks up after we get rain. It's so funny...we can water every day and the garden does well. But the minute it rains, I swear the plants grow by several inches!

Closer to the house, the Jackmanii Clematis Chris bought in 2008 and planted next to the deck (along the lattice work) looks spectacular!!! 

Between the ivy and the clematis, all of the lattice work has been filled in creating privacy on the deck. The Clematis is growing into the tree near the pond, so Chris has some pruning to do.
My hummingbird/butterfly garden has been doing its job! Both Great-spangled Fritillary and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies have been visiting the garden and enjoying the plethora of purple coneflowers.

Great-spangled Fritillary butterfly.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.

This Easter Tiger Swallowtail visited no less than eight different coneflowers while I watched it!
Bees have been enjoying the bee balm in the hummingbird/butterfly garden, and we've spotted a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird flitting about the garden, visiting both the bee balm and the hummingbird feeder.

Bees on bee balm...shocking, I know!

Bee mid-flight on the left!
For the Fourth of July, Chris and I celebrated with the inaugural fire in the new fire ring that Oscar and I got for Chris for his birthday. We lit a few small "magic fountain" fireworks and enjoyed a few fireworks set off by some neighbors.

Chris' birthday present - a concrete fire ring! I foresee lots of mountain pies will be made in this new fire ring!

Chris and Oscar enjoying time around the fire.

Magic Fountain!
Finally, today I made one of my favorite summertime snacks - basil-tomato-fresh mozzarella skewers!!! Since the grape tomatoes haven't come in yet, I used store-bought grape tomatoes (and fresh mozzarella), but I used fresh basil that I'm growing on the deck! Simply slice up the fresh mozzarella and skewer up a basil leaf, a piece of cheese, and a grape tomato. An optional twist is to drizzle some EVOO over the skewers and then top with some fresh ground pepper. Either way, the skewers are easy and refreshing! They're a delicious way to use fresh basil and grape tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes). Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

A plateful of YUM!
How is your garden doing? What have you harvested so far? What are some of your favorite summertime recipes? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. just a couple of tomatoes and about four peppers so far. corn is about two feet tall now cantalope is growing good .

  2. Hello, can I ask where you purchased the concrete fire ring? I'm looking for something similar for my backyard. Thanks!

    1. We got it from Hilltop Tank and Supply in James Creek, PA along PA 26 south of Huntingdon/east of Martinsburg. It was $55. It was also very heavy, so you need a pick-up truck and some muscle! :)