Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vines Gone Wild

I don't remember which variety of pumpkin plant this is. All I know is that, compared to the others, this plant and its twin have grown thicker, healthier looking vines that spread more quickly and, though they've been the last to develop any female flowers, those flowers are bearing fruit that seems to grow more rapidly. My guess is that it's all about the location. Happy roots for happy vines that produce happy pumpkins. In this particular case, one of those vines shot right through the chain-link fence and started growing a fruit on the other side. I had to gently reroute the end of the vine back through the fence and brace it with a stake. Two or three days later, the vine had fully accepted this new plan and the stake was no longer needed. In about a week the fruit on the outside of the fence had swollen considerably and there was a new foot or so of length on the inside of the fence. That new length already has two baby fruits on it. I expect lots of viable pumpkins from this plant. I'm not quite as diligent about hand-pollinating as I was earlier in the month, but the honey bees have finally made an appearance, and they've been picking up the slack. We've implemented a redundancy system. It's very synergistic and shit.

Here you can see the yellow fruit growing just outside the chain-link.
This vine now has an upper level growing in the opposite direction.
The new growth already includes a pair of tiny baby fruits.
The other plants tend to have only one fruit apiece. Again, I'm pretty sure the location, specifically the quality of the soil in that location, is making all the difference. Those fruits are all older than the yellow bulging babies on the vines gone wild pictured above. Happily, the oldest are all a lovely dark green that is starting to turn orange! For a first-time pumpkin grower such as myself, this is very exciting. You know, 'cause pumpkins are generally supposed to be orange. So, orange must be a good sign, yes?

One of my biggest babies. I know, not very impressive. Still, it's an achievement for me!
Loooook! A little orange pumpkin!
The healthiest fruit so far. Nice, consistent coloration. Just no orange ... yet.

Grow, baby, grow!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One Tidy Spot ... Just For Now

I wanted to show you a wide shot, and this is the best that I can offer ... for now.

Just for now, just in this one spot as framed by the camera, things are rather neat and tidy. It's nothing spectacular, just a bit of garden bed containing one very happy hydrangea, a potted catnip with an itty-bitty baby japanese maple unexpectedly sharing the pot, a couple of sedge grasses, some just-sheared columbines, and a recently acquired pair of hollies still in their nursery pot. The lawn has been mowed down to a respectable height and, in this one corner at least, edged with scissors. The result is not ultimately the look that I want for this spot of garden, but it is at least somewhat tidy. It's like having an ugly kitchen, but a clean kitchen. It may not be everything that I want it to be, but it's presentable. Good enough for this perfectionist.

The rest of the property is another story entirely.

And so it is necessary that I am content with this one tidy spot ... just for now.

A garden is never finished.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Everyday I'm Pollinatin'

... except today.
Dude, where all da ladies at?

Douchebag pumpkin flower in da house.

Who's your daddy???
My diligent, daily pollinating program is granting me gourd rewards! (Don't you just hate gratuitous alliteration?)

Back in March I planted three different varieties of pumpkin seed (that I managed to leave unlabeled). Now that they're all sexually mature, I've been cross-pollinating them as many different ways that I can (again, without labeling any of them as to the baby-daddy). The three varieties are Small Sugar, Jack O'Lantern and Big Max. I'm hoping to get some good-eatin' pumpkins as well as some large, well-shaped ones for carving. If I manage to identify a thoroughbred Big Max baby, I may just remove his siblings from that vine and grow him as big as I can. I won't get a prize-winning pumpkin, but I could get a neighborhood freak-show pumpkin. Fun!

When you're all growed up, you can go on Jerry and find out who you daddy is.

For now, I'll just keep on pimpin.
... Except for today, 'cause, ya know. Not enough ladies, too many mans.

... and why are all these other guys naked? Wait, is this one of those gay clubs?!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pumpkin Fucking

Makin' babies.
... is totally anti-climactic.

Also, kinda dirty. That's my fault, though. I was a clumsy pumpkin hand-job virgin. I managed to soil the flower a bit. These things happen.

The pumpkin plants don't care, though. It's all about procreation for them. Otherwise, I would have felt really bad about snipping off the male flower's stamen with a pair of pruning shears.

Wish us a healthy baby pumpkin!

... so that someday I can slice it open, rip out its innards and bake it in a pie.