|The caterpillars continue to get bigger and bigger:|
The thyme is growing well:
Ladybugs are feasting on aphids (on a raspberry plant in this photo):
And tiny baby toads (this one could sit on a quarter, I think, to give you a sense of scale -- the macro lens really makes it hard to tell how big things are if you didn't see them in real life!) are hopping about in the garden. Toads eat a LOT of insects, so I'm thrilled to have so many of them calling our garden home this year!
Last week, I planted about nine varieties of sunflowers up along the road, so we'll see what does well. I also started more native perennials from seed after the wild success of black-eyed susans and seashore mallow from last year. This weekend, the beets will be harvested, pie pumpkins will be planted, and we might get a few more ripe cherry tomatoes (we had one this week already!).
| This caterpillar had just recently molted -- you can still see the darker skin down lower on the parsley stem. |
|The caterpillars keep growing -- there are probably five or six in the parsley right now. This one appears to be the smallest:|
Here's a mid-sized one:
And this one recently molted into the tiger stripes that they get before they become green:
In the main garden, squash plants are thriving:
As are the cucumbers:
The cherry tomatoes aren't ripening yet, but the first flush of them is looking good:
It's almost time to harvest the beets and we harvested a bunch of garlic today -- it was on the small side, so next year I'll get it in the ground a little earlier, but it's tasty and plentiful. We also picked carrots this week (Little Finger variety, which produces small carrots that are great for snacking) and pulled up the lettuce, which was bolting. So later in the week, we'll put in green beans where the lettuce was and put in a hill of pumpkins and maybe another hill or two of squash and melons to replace the garlic and beets.
Up by the road, we are planting a small flower garden -- last year, I got seeds for some native NC perennials from the botanical garden nearby and planted them in long windowbox planters. They didn't really take off in that first year, but then perennials often don't. THIS year, however, we have a riot of black-eyed susans. Here's one:
And here's a closeup of the critter on the petal at 10:00:
You know I can't resist the bug shots!
|I never did find any evidence of that first group of caterpillars, but another couple of rounds have hatched. I found four individual caterpillars representing what I'm guessing is three or perhaps four distinct stages of development in the parsley planter at the same time:|
In the garden, I planted okra, jalapeño peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, Corno di Toro (sweet bull's horn shaped red) peppers, and basil. We have little green tomatoes on the tomato plants, we're harvesting carrots and are about to harvest beets, and it's time to pull the last of the lettuce and put in some green beans.