Sunday Garden Chat Open Thread: Blessing Upon OpieJeanne

Thank you, OpieJeanne, for sending extra photos with your last submission, because otherwise the rest of the Jackals would be *very* disappointed this morning!

Top pic: Large bee on a chive flower.

Baby artichoke

Chives in the onion bed

William’s Pride apple

Not kidding, guys: “Too many” garden pics is as silly a concept as “too many” homegrown tomatoes. Send ’em to me, and I’ll find a way to use them!

Speaking of which… one thing about the persistent rainy weather, it’s been good for my tomato plants. With luck, it’ll stay dry for long enough this afternoon that I can get the tomato ladders out of storage and into the rootpouches…

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

86 replies
  1. 1
    Sab says:

    My tomato plants finally have lots of blossoms and also a few tiny green tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, so the red things should be coming soon.

    I have the wattle fence about half done. It has already stopped the cocker spaniel from his senile rambling through my flower beds.

    Overtrimmed the wild honeysuckle, so the sweet woodruff is baking in the sun. I need to buy shadecloth until the honeysuckle recovers.

    Blackberry thicket has gone nuts. Goat herd scheduled for early August (that’s herd of goats, not herder of goats.)

    My chives have already gone to seed.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    FYI. WaterGirl requested that someone mention in threads that she sent an e-mail this weekend to all potential site testers.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are so beautiful 😍😍

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😊😊😊

  5. 5
    Sab says:

    The Nepali Bhutanese just put up a wattle fence around their community garden. It’s taller than people. They put it up in about a day.

  6. 6
    Sab says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.
    Robins are already very awake. CHIRP CHIRP…CHIRP!

  7. 7
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: @Sab: Good morning 🙋
    @NotMax: Good 🌙 to you!

  8. 8
    satby says:

    The lawn is once again higher than the electric mower can cut effectively, so the guy with the big machine will be here this afternoon, hopefully ahead of the big storms predicted. I have a couple of tomato flowers but haven’t seem any green tomatoes yet. Not a single canna has sprouted yet either, but it’s still early for them here. And I bought four red geraniums to put into that long bed of dirt just to give some color until the other stuff grows and blooms.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rain rain go awa……. Oh fuck it.

    At least we’re just looking at thunderstorms today, none of that ‘severe thunderstorm warning’/’tornado warning’/’flash flood warning’ shit like they got going on in OK/KS/western MO today. Of course, it’s kinda hard to ‘flash flood’ if everything has already jumped their banks.

  10. 10
    p.a. says:

    Good morning.
    Chive flowers are edible, and pretty-up any plate.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    Opie, Thank you for the garden pics. Apparently you picked a soggy week for your vacay.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    A very interesting woman I had never heard of: Baroque feminist, pope’s lover … the woman behind a lost Velázquez
    Donna Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj rose to the heights in the Vatican. Now a work by Velázquez, unseen since 1724, is set to fetch millions at Sotheby’s

    It is also a rare depiction of the most influential, avaricious and manipulative woman in 17th-century Rome. Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj was the power behind the papal throne, and the reputed lover as well as sister-in-law of Pope Innocent X. Nicknamed Papessa – the lady pope – Donna Olimpia was an ardent feminist, championing Rome’s prostitutes and nuns alike.

    She was a “baroque rock star”, according to Eleanor Herman, author of Mistress of the Vatican: the True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini. “Women from all over the Catholic world came to Rome to station themselves outside her palace and cheer as her carriage rolled out.

    “They could not believe that a female from modest beginnings had risen to such heights, running the nation of the Papal States and the Catholic church, an institution where women were not – and still are not – allowed any power at all.”

    Donna Olimpia determined foreign policy and chose cardinals. Kings and queens across Europe sent gifts of gold and diamonds to curry favour. No decision was taken by Pope Innocent before consulting his sister-in-law. “People in Rome hung banners over the pope’s name on public buildings that read Pope Olimpia I. Medals were minted showing her wearing the papal tiara and sitting on the throne of St Peter,” said Herman.

    But the men of the papal court despised and feared her. One cardinal deplored the “monstrous power of a woman in the Vatican”. Another contemporary said that never before had a pope allowed himself to be “so absolutely governed by a woman”. Another cardinal said that the government of Rome was “in the hands of a whore”.

    Roman artists, musicians, playwrights and sculptors enjoyed her patronage. She was behind the commissioning of the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, the extravagant fountain in the Piazza Navona that is today a major tourist attraction.

    “She was a woman of fierce passions, keen intelligence and great charm, who protected weaker women against the injustices of men. She was also greedy, calculating and at times chillingly cold,” said Herman. Soon after her death from bubonic plague in 1657, the Catholic church “moved to eradicate the scandalous memory of this audacious woman who had ruled them all”.

    That last rings a bell.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Thursday should be good for her in STL.

  14. 14
    Baud says:


    Good morning.

  15. 15

    Anne, can you remind us of how to send pics? I actually have some for a change. I see the contact a front pager link but not how to attach the pics.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fascinating story.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: I’ll be buying the book. Her story is one I want to know all that I can of.

  18. 18
    oldgold says:


    What is the status of your labour of moles?

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    Hello All!
    Great pictures, OppieJeane. Thank you.

    Insomnia had me at 4am. I looked and this post was up. Gardening at night indeed!

  20. 20
  21. 21
    satby says:

    @oldgold: we’re at an uneasy truce, for now. The grub killer may have killed enough food for them to move on, or maybe they’ve gotten smarter about leaving traces of their residence in the yard.

  22. 22
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: @Sadie: I just send an email with the pictures attached, and write the descriptions in the order of the pictures so it’s easy to match up.

  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    Garden-wise, my shaded hosta and fern area is looking (finally) more organized and pretty. My Kousa Dogwood is just gorgeous this year. The tree is at least 60 years old (my neighbor climbed in it as a boy). It’s two stories high and the white bracts are fabulous this year, due in no small part to all the rain and cooler temps so far.
    No veggie garden this year, but I did get two Rutger tomato plants in the ground near the shed. They are lush, but I am pulling off the early flowers. Last year, the tomatoes flowered before the roots fully developed which led to some poor showing.
    Besides those details: putter, mow, weed, putter, again and again.

  24. 24
    oldgold says:


    Early on the Eisenhauer Administration a labour of moles homesteaded my lawn. I still “interact” with their progeny.

    Given my long history with them, I have one suggestion: place a ripe avacado in each hole and then patiently wait.

  25. 25
    debbie says:

    one thing about the persistent rainy weather

    Walking around my neighborhood yesterday, I saw hydrangeas with flowers almost the size of volleyballs. Huge!

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    I should probably send some photos of my crazy garden. The irises were lovely this year. The peonies are full of giant buds but it will be awhile before they bloom. I made a little garden behind the house at the end of the summer before last by dividing two giant hostas and adding some astilbe and painted ferns. It has really filled in this year. The bed is covered in moss. Not sure how that happened but I’m keeping it.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I should probably send some photos of my crazy garden.

    Yes, you should.

    The bed is covered in moss. Not sure how that happened but I’m keeping it.

    Call it the Serendipity Garden.

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @MomSense: I’m consumed with guilt every time I look at my badly neglected iris bed. I may get a chance later today to start to tackle it.

  30. 30
    oldgold says:



  31. 31
    Immanentize says:

    I really like moss. Definitely keep it!

  32. 32
    satby says:

    @oldgold: dammit, you got me. 😆

  33. 33
    Immanentize says:

    @oldgold: @satby:

  34. 34
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I’m trying to wrangle our back yard into shape, before I tackle two big projects: walling off my work space in the garage, and starting my trailer build. The front yard/driveway is waiting for the big dig, but they still can’t give me a date. The amount of stakes and painted lines is getting absurd.

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    I have to move some Iris bulbs. And divide and move some African Iris. When is the best time for that?

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    They haven’t started yet? Ugh. Time keeps on slippin’…

    Are they putting in a zipline for you so you can get from your house to the street?

  37. 37
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: I’m no expert on irises, so I went to the Google for this:
    Even when I think I know, I usually check a reliable source before I do stuff like dividing iris to be sure I’m doing it at the correct time.

  38. 38
    frosty says:

    Weeding and more weeding. Yesterday I cleared out everything growing between the bricks of our patio (except the Corsican Mint). Today it’s the shrubs and veg garden.

    Any advice on stone dust vs. sand (which we have now) as filler between the bricks? We wanted stone dust, the contractor used sand. I don’t remember having as many weeds or anthills when we used stone dust at our last house.

  39. 39
    Immanentize says:


    stone dust vs. sand (which we have now) as filler between the bricks?

    Crushed granite. No doubt the best filler. And, there are different colors available…. It’s easy to spread, resists weeds better, and ants don’t love it like they love sand.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My veggie garden progresses. I finally picked my first (4) heads of broccoli. 2 more are all but ready and I have 3 or 4 more just starting to bud. I have several tomato plants already bearing fruit and am most excited by the return of Green Zebras to the tomato plot. I missed them last year. The wife has several new treats growing on the vine already. I got some new pyrethrin for the flea beetles and if it ever stops raining I can give them a dose. Even still the eggplants seem to be weathering the plague. The melon plants are all fairing well with plenty of blooms. I wonder how many melons I won’t get to eat this year? Cukes are looking good, I am looking forward to some fermentation experiments. This being my first year, I can accept a dozen failures as long as I have one success. The bean plants are all climbing the trellises like they are reaching for the sun. I spotted a few blooms so soon we will be eating fillet beans. I’ll have plenty to shell come fall. The trellises I was putting up when I slipped and ripped my arm still lay on the ground where they fell. It is so dawgdamned muddy I’m a little gun shy of that particular corner. The pepper plants all look good tho still a little stunted. I wonder if they will ever catch up?

    Flower gardens all look good as the summer blooms are starting to open up, most notably the bee balm which are a LOT taller than I was expecting, 4-5′ as opposed to their wild cousins 1′-2′, they are attracting lots of pollinators.

    Vacuum packed all my blueberries yesterday (26 2 cup bags, should be about right for us) and I still don’t understand how it is that breeders have yet to develop a cubed blue berry.

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    Thank you!

  42. 42
    Spanky says:

    @satby: Thanks for this. My neighbor gifted me with about 35 irises after he divided them – apparently at the wrong time of year. Anyway, I got them in the ground, but after reading that I see that I should trim the leaves and make sure the rhizomes aren’t too deep.

    Been a long time since I messed with irises, sadly.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: It’s autumn, isn’t it?

  44. 44
    Immanentize says:


    a cubed blue berry.

    I read Texas A&M is thinking about working on that, but only after they perfect the Maroon Blueberry (Blaroon?)

  45. 45
    satby says:

    I need to get ready to leave for the pagan Litha ceremony at my UU church this morning. Should be fun. Words I never used to associate with anything about “church”.

  46. 46
    Immanentize says:

    Article says late summer.

  47. 47
    frosty says:

    @Immanentize: Thanks, that’s what I’ve been reading. I pried up 6 bricks yesterday to remove the lawn growing between them but unless I get ambitious after I retire I won’t be resetting the whole patio. We’re stuck with what they gave us.

    I know enough now to challenge people who don’t follow the specs. I was younger then. Sigh.

  48. 48
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yeah, late summer at earliest. When I was bugging out from the house in MI in late August I just grabbed as many rhizomes as I could, trimmed them, and stuck them in the raised bed. They did fine even though that was a bit early in the season to do it.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: late summer has started to extend into September, especially in Misery.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: thanx, I bookmarked it but I’ll read it later. I had remembered the STL Iris show and sale as occurring in Sept or Oct. WRONG! Aug 3rd. Good thing I looked, I want to get some new ones and I would not have been at all happy finding out I had missed it by a month.

  51. 51
    Another Scott says:

    Good morning, everyone.

    Popehat at the Atlantic on the legalities of the “safe and sanitary” concentration camps.

    tl;dr – Unsurprisingly, it’s the ICE and CBP system along with Donnie’s monsters.


  52. 52

    @satby: You mean you don’t use the form? OK. That should work.

    ETA: But I don’t see her email address. So I still can’t figure it out.

  53. 53
    Currants says:

    @Sab: Ah cool! My nephew has been talking about goat—scaping, and there’s a goat-scaping company (several) not far from here. I don’t have enough space that would make sense to get goats, or at least so far I’ve managed to maintain it sufficiently.

  54. 54
    A Ghost To Most says:

    They tell us nothing we don’t pry out of them. We have a horseshoe driveway; I’m hoping they can keep one side open to park our cars.

  55. 55
    debbie says:

    Too paranoid am I.

  56. 56
    WereBear says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t give them more bad ideas.

  57. 57
    debbie says:


    Can you eat them as is when you unthaw them or do you need to make jams, pies, etc.?

  58. 58
    Currants says:

    I’d thought things were going wonderfully with the garden, given how little I’ve done with it this year, but my morning rounds showed that it looks like I’ve got a tomato problem. Can’t remember the name but it might be blight—the one we get when it’s too wet (it’s been very wet here). Leaves get spots, die, drop and eventually the plant gives up.

    Nonetheless: I gave them a foliar application of calcium to help prevent blossom end rot (Tums dissolved in water), but from what I have read, the problem is not whether there’s calcium in the soil but whether they get enough water to take up the calcium there. In other words, a root/systemic distribution issue. Anybody have other ideas?

  59. 59
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Mmmm… chives, tomatoes and artichokes.

    Afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast. The sidewalk and street need a good soaking so they can grow big and strong.

  60. 60
    Currants says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have you ever used diatomaceous earth for the flea beetles?

  61. 61

    @debbie: Thank you! Pictures sent.

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Contact her by the front pager links and I am sure she will send you an addy.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: They are only for baking. If I wanted to make jam I’d do it straight away. As is I have several 2 yr old half pints already

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Currants: I start with a good dose of bone meal at planting and later apply epsom salts dissolved in water. It helps but I still have issues.

  65. 65
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Our garden is mainly tomatoes and peppers. Given the beatings hail often dishes out to gardens here, I got tall garden hoops from Gardeners Supply, then fashioned and attached a frame of 8′ bamboo poles, spanning both 4×8 beds.
    There’s a sunshade, strong enough for hail, ready to throw over it if needed, and it is tall enough to walk under.

  66. 66
    debbie says:


    Thanks. I thought you had some super-secret trick. My apartment freezer is not very trustworthy.

  67. 67
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @oldgold: @satby: Guacamole-making moles are the best moles. Where are they finding the tomatoes, limes, cilantro, jalapenos, red onion, and salt?

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Currants: Yes, it’s not very effective for some reason or other.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    oldgold says:

    Another Sunday Morning pro tip:

    When my tomato plants fall beheinz in setting blooms, I go to West of Eden and yell “ketchup” 57 times.

  71. 71
    StringOnAStick says:

    I keep trying to get my cucumbers to sprout but every time I’ve planted we gotten hit with abnormally low temperatures and nothing happens or it sprouts and then dies. It’s 44 degrees this morning, unheard of here in almost July. These seeds are about $1 each for the best seedless cucumber I’ve ever planted and has been hugely successful in past years, the variety is Picolino. The 80’s return tomorrow so I’ll try again. It needs to get handled before my next knee replacement on July 2.

    We’ve been here at my Dad’s since Thursday, Mom died last year as of Friday. This time I took every drawer and shelf out of the refrigerator and scrubbed it, tossing things that had expired as long ago as 2004. Then I tackled the pantry which was utter chaos thanks to years of my mom’s drunken senility, hoarding, and love of spending money. I think I tossed $800 of very old Penzies spices plus a can of sauerkraut so old that it was weightless because it had a pinhole in the side and all the liquid had slowly evaporated out. 22 bags of long ago expired canned goods removed and now my dad has an organized pantry where he can actually put away his groceries instead of stuffing them under the bar in the den. We even managed to corral the extremely skittish cat and get her to the vet to get the mats shaved off and her claws trimmed.

    My dad is doing well as a widower, being of the “stiff upper lip” type and generation. I waited a year to do all this work so it wouldn’t feel like erasing my mom out of his life but I worried he’d get food poisoning from the mess. He’s thrilled to have a clean and organized refrigerator and especially the pantry. It helped cement my understanding of just how long and how mentally ill my mom was; I don’t know how he handled it. Actually I do know: he drank like crazy too and his diabetes nearly killed him. Now he doesn’t drink.

  72. 72
    Immanentize says:

    Market Basket or Whole Foods, usually.

  73. 73
    JulieM says:

    A small tornado dropped a big tree on my tomato plants Memorial Day weekend and crushed their cages. They were under the tree a few days until we could cut it up and then I had to cut away the smashed cages and make them some new ones. I made my own cages from garden fencing and t posts, and I was able to use the leftover fencing. They’re all doing okay, I have 4 slicing plants and 1 cherry. The slicers have about 40-odd tomatoes on them and are all flowering. Today they’re getting too much rain though, once again. I haven’t needed to water them since I planted them this year. Live in OK, btw.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @StringOnAStick: Job well done.

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:


    Regarding moles:

    place a ripe avacado in each hole and then patiently wait.

    What does the avocado do? Does a mole attempt to eat the seed and choke on it? Are they allergic to Avocado? Gardeners want to know, darnit…


    Reading comments, now I see!

    GuacaMole!… that’s so terrible.

  76. 76
    MomSense says:


    I plant irises around my peonies to hold them up. Then I don’t need to do much staking.

  77. 77
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Immanentize: Whole Paycheck or No Paycheck if you’re a mole.


  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: That’s clever.

  79. 79
    Immanentize says:

    I ended up doing the same thing for my FiL after my MiL died. That was almost 2 years ago… Every time I visit him, there is more to do, but getting a solid base of order has really helped everyone.

    Good job.

  80. 80
    mrmoshpotato says:


    Another Sunday Morning pro tip:

    When my tomato plants fall beheinz in setting blooms, I go to West of Eden and yell “ketchup” 57 times.

    Can someone ban oldgold for the rest of the day? :)

  81. 81
    laura says:

    @StringOnAStick: my mom drank to mask her dementia too. Cleaning out the house and seeing the evidence of unravelling buried under piles of new, shiny housewares and decor impacted me so much that I just want to get rid of everything in my house not used on the regular.
    After weeding the 40 foot long raised bed and mulching, the weeds roared back, spouse and I put in a couple of hours yesterday and overloaded our green waste can. Today I’ll plant the zinnia and poppy seedlings and hit the farmers market. We’re craving big juicy mato blts.
    We went to see the new Jim Jaramus zombie movie yesterday Dead Dont Die. The movie was sub-meh, but the casting was faboo. Tom Waits is my not so secret crush.

  82. 82
    jnfr says:

    My tomatoes are forming little green tomatoes in their pots on my picnic table because here in Colorado it’s been raining so much that I haven’t been able to get the plants into my raised beds yet.

  83. 83
    StringOnAStick says:

    @laura: We did the same thing after first moving my FIL and BIL since the latter took care of the former and neither could throw anything out. Then when they both passed, we did another round of purging after helping my BIL’s widow cope. Every time we visit my dad, we go home and do more purging; while I was clearing the pantry here my husband was reading the English translation of the Swedish Death Cleaning book (it needs a better title!).

    Thanks Ozark and full sized Imm, this has been a challenge but my dad has learned to leave his RW politics and yelling at me about them at the door so we are getting along OK. At age 87 and no longer drinking hard he’s easier to be around and I feel good being helpful when I can.

  84. 84
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: good morning to you and thank you.

    Those photos are almost a month old. We ate that artichoke yesterday at lunch. It was ready and there are two more babies a little lower on the stem. It was delicious.
    We’re also eating lettuce I planted in the tomato bed and chives that have planted themselves all over the garden.

  85. 85
    currants says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Interesting. Do you have a sense that it’s lack of calcium, then, or inability to take up the calcium?

  86. 86
    currants says:

    @oldgold: That’s about my speed this year….thanks for the ProTip!

Comments are closed.