Well, it’s official….my vegetable garden has gone crazy.  When I left for my trip to the Midwest at the end of April, it was nice and somewhat neat.  My winter lettuce, spinach, green onions and garlic were doing well and my newly planted corn, cucumbers, gourds, tomatoes and sunflowers were coming up nicely.

I came home 10 days later to this sight….

My sunflowers were reaching over 7 feet tall and my corn, to the right, was not far behind.
My garlic leaves were starting to droop and fall over, indicating that I can harvest them soon.
My spinach and lettuce both began to ‘bolt’ and start to form flowers, so it was time for them to leave the garden.
My gourd has started to escape the garden, which is fine with me because it can’t crowd my other plants.
I think gourd plants have interesting flowers, don’t you?  They open at night and moths are frequent pollinators.
I am hoping for some gourds this year that I can turn into bird houses.
I just love how sunflowers face the rising sun.
I plan on harvesting a few seed heads for the family and the rest we will feed to the birds.
My Alyssum and Oxalis that I planted as companion plants in my vegetable garden are still blooming.  Soon the Alyssum will dry up with the heat of our desert summer and I will pull it out.
My tomatoes are enjoying being planted next to my Bachelor’s Button.  I just love their vibrant blue color.  They are going to seed and I am collecting it so that I can replant them next fall.
The first set of corn that I planted have corn cobs growing.  I can almost taste my roasted corn on the cob in a few weeks 🙂
I have to spend some time the next couple of days harvesting my garlic and green onions as well as pulling out my spent spinach and lettuce.
Now, I am off to my local big box store for shade cloth for my tomatoes, which will survive the summer heat if they have some shade.  Temperatures are forecast into the 80’s this week, but it is never to early to get ready for the triple digits.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!

The sun has set in our vegetable garden.  For the past few months, our sunflowers have brightened up the garden with their sunny faces. 

It seems like just yesterday that my daughter, Ruthie and I planted the seeds (actually it was March).  We planted them near the fence so that it would be easy to support them once they grew tall.

Once planted they started to grow quickly…

I couldn’t wait to see the blooms begin to form…

It seemed to take a long time…but with flowers so large they probably can’t be rushed.

The unopened blooms were far more interesting that I had imagined.  There were so many sepals (leaves) around the bloom and I could already imagine how beautiful it would be.

I wasn’t disappointed….

Did you know that sunflowers point east towards the sunrise?  As the sun moves during the day, they follow the sun.  However, once the flowers mature, they stay facing east.  I need to remember that when I am lost next time and will hopefully find a sunflower growing somewhere (not too likely).

We enjoyed the bright sunny face of our largest sunflower until she began to droop and fade….

You can see why we planted her against the fence.  It provides the perfect support for the large flower, now full of developing sunflower seeds.

It is now time for us to cut off the spent flower and continue to let the seeds mature.

I must admit that I am kind of sad to see her life end, but I am grateful for the time we had to enjoy her sunny beauty.  My kids aren’t sad at all….they can’t wait for the seeds to be ready for us to roast and for them to eat.  I will save a few seeds to plant again for next season.

I can’t wait to grow sunflowers again.  They are such a great plant for the kids to grow because the seeds are large enough for them to handle easily, the plants and flowers grow so large and you get to enjoy sunflower seeds at the end 🙂