Summer Growth

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A lot has happened in my garden in the last month. The big thing is that my raccoon count has increased by four. It all started several weeks ago when I noticed a few plants out of place and some damage here and there.

My super fancy begonia: CRUNCH!

The sedums on the top of my brick plant wall: What a GREAT perch!

The sedum-filled bird bath on the ground: DIG, DIG, DIG!

Then one morning I awoke to find a good part of my perennial garden flattened. It was as if a bunch of juvenile raccoons had shimmied down the tree and had a kegger underneath it. Irises, coral bells, hellebores, hostas, Solomon’s seal, wild geranium: all crushed, “I’m sorry, but was there something growing under my butt?”

One neighbor asked how I knew the damage was done by raccoons and not something else like a cat. The answer is that it looked like the damage was done by a bunch of real jerks–the tell-tale sign of raccoons.

This was exactly how it all started three years ago when minor backyard trashing led to John and I discovering that the raccoons had moved in with us. This time, John and I decided to trap prophylactically before the raccoons got too comfortable. In the last week and a half we’ve hauled off three juveniles and an adult. The juveniles are a problem because they decide to get defensive as you try to release them instead of running for freedom. John’s tired of their attitude.

MEANWHILE, I chopped down my forest of greens in early June, stowed them for use in tasty soup, and then planted basil in their place.

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Note the awesome, poorly spelled garden marker created by the kids at Patchwork. I’ve got a fun collection of the oddly spelled and spaced ones. Here’s another:

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I’ve also harvested my garlic. I’d cut the scapes off a couple weeks before the harvest and John and I just used the last of them in a garlic scape and pistachio pesto last night. Tasty! Above ground the garlic plants were huge, but below ground I still haven’t achieved consistently large garlic cloves. Still, I think it’s a fun plant.

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I’m cautiously optimistic about the corn. Maybe it will work! A few ears have beautiful purple silk on them. The other day I was watering the raised bed and it was as if the corn plants sighed a breath heavy with the scent of corn pollen. I could have closed my eyes and been transported back to my time growing up in Northwest Ohio.

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The lima beans have a new trellis to climb:

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And it’s blueberry and apple season!

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6 thoughts on “Summer Growth

  1. Amy, your attitude is the best. I don’t think I would be so tolerant after all that work. Your pics bring me joy, especially thinking of little you and Kirsten living surrounded by corn fields! Hate to admit it, but I remember those black flies better than anything from your farm… and the kittens!

  2. Lively text and great photos, Amy! What a good way to start the day–looking at Amy’s “Squirrels and Tomatoes”! You’ll have blueberries and apples, I see; hmmmm . . . wonder what you’ll bake, using that fruit!

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