Here is a picture of some beautiful zinnias right next to Japonica corn. The corn comes from Japan, is organic and I bought it purely for its beautiful leaves. I got it from Seed Saver’s Exchange and here is the description from them-“Extremely beautiful ornamental corn from Japan, listed in the 1890s as Striped-Leafed Japanese Maize. Variegated leaves striped with green, white, yellow and pink. Tassels are dark purple, kernels are burgundy. Beautiful used as a border.”
Lava suggested I take some shots of the garden as it is right now-a jungle-not just closeups! I need to get in and trim and prune everything but it is fun to look at especially here in Santa Fe where everything tends to be dry. Lava also suggested I get on the roof of the barn to get a bird’s view and I just might do it! Meanwhile here are the jungle garden pics!
Here is a picture of the garden arbor in my entrance to the veggie garden. The ‘Rattlesnake’ beans, a pole variety that can grow 13 feet a season, are doing really well covering the arbor-just like I envisioned when I built it at the beginning of the season. An added bonus is they taste great. You only have to pick the beans before they get too big and tough. I ate some raw right out of the garden and they have a nutty sweet flavor that I like better than the ‘Contender’ bush beans that are just finishing up. Rattlesnake beans are a winner!
Also pictured to the right of the arbor are chartreuse colored ‘Golden Sunshine’ Scarlet Runner beans I got from Cook’s Garden growing on the fence. They come from England. I love their bright yellow green leaves against the other greens. I grow them just because they are so beautiful and I love that purple varigated color of the seeds when they are dried. They haven’t flowered yet as they are just climbing the fence but when they do, the bright red blossoms will look great against that yellow-green.
Behind the Scarlet runner beans, still on the right side of the entrance are my giant ‘Titan’ sunflowers that will be fantastic a little later when they get their huge flowers. They will grow up to 10 feet tall and have heads that can get up to 24 inches wide! I call all sunflowers the guardian angels of the garden. Did you know sunflower flower heads follow the sun all day long? Sun worshipers! Hence their name. They are so majestic! Behind them are various flowers that will be blooming soon to add color and attract beneficial insects.
On the left side just inside the entrance, are asparagus fronds, calendula, ”Bright Lights’ chard, ‘Chianti’ sunflowers, multicolor ‘Japonica’ corn from Seedsavers Exchange and other flowers coming along. I got a late start in this section of the garden but it should look great later this month and I will take more pictures then.
Battle with the birds! I will have to replant the scarlet runner beans as the birds got the seedlings. The row cover I put on where I planted the seeds blew off and the birds were able to get to the seedlings before I could cover them again. Yum bean sprouts! Some of the winter squash seeds got picked out before it even germinated so I replanted that also. Row cover is great stuff-it keeps birds, rabbits and bugs out, you can water through it, it provides some shade protection from the UV rays here in Santa Fe at 7000 feet altitude and it helps against hail (unless it is huge) by diverting the hail from punching holes in big leaf plants like pumpkins and winter squash. I keep lightweight row cover (.03-.05) on until the plants start to flower and then you need to take it off for the pollinators to do their thing. As you can see in the picture I uncovered the corn seedlings which are under the row cover. The drip system is also under the row cover and the seedlings are coming up under it. After the seedlings are bigger, the birds won’t be interested and I will take it off. A friend of mine reported that her birds have even poked holes in her row cover-at least my birds haven’t figure out how to do that!
Finally the last of the garden is in. Corn. I was going to plant a variety called ‘Silver Queen’ but that takes 82+ days and I’m planting so late that I don’t think I have time for it to harvest since that would put me in mid September. So I’m planting a variety called ‘Spring Treat’ which takes only 68 days to maturity. If any of you get a late start on your veggies, just look at the package where it says how many days it matures in and get a variety that takes less time-that way you can still get lots of veggies this season.