Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Stroll-July 6, 2008

I am really enjoying the weekly Sunday Stroll that gets me out and about, looking around my yard. Today was one of those bright, windy, hot and hazy days that we get so often this time of year. Though it's beautiful now, I think we are in for some rain later, so I thought I'd better get my pictures before the storms roll in.

In the front yard I found this sweet little nest on the ground beneath the tulip poplar. No signs of nestlings or broken shells, so I'm not sure it's been any one's home yet, thank goodness. If anyone thinks they know what sort of bird made this, please let me know. I'm sure today's breezes brought it down.

Again, the wind and sun were playing havoc with my limited photographic skills, but I do have more of my favorite day lillies blooming, with one random orange fellow mixing into the yellow. The "Autumn Joy" sedum is starting to bud nicely, too.

Now, I'm going to cheat, and take you directly across the street to the wonderful garden we can see from all our front windows. This lot has been a garden for about thirty-five years. It's on it's third owner, but all have had fabulous vegetable plots, and have very kindly planted flowers in the row by the street, so it always looks beautiful. Besides the veggies, there are berry canes and a couple of miniature fruit trees.
However, the highlight of this garden is the fact that this owner is a competitive pumpkin grower. His main purpose in purchasing the lot was to find a good sunny location for his hobby. These pumpkins are pampered with foliar fertilizer, water, and the flowers are hand pollinated to work toward the biggest pumpkins possible. From year to year he saves the seed. And, as the pumpkins begin to form he watches over them daily, lifts them onto palettes to protect them from moisture and insects, powders them with anti fungal agents, and even will use scaffolding to support the pumpkins, since they will collapse on themselves and split from their terrific growth rate. I will post pictures as the season goes on so you can see what a process it is. Last year, he took one to the competition that was in the 900lb range! It didn't win, but did compete well. This is just one of the ones he raised last year. The biggest was worthy of Cinderella!

To see what other strollers are finding today, visit Aisling's blog.

12 comments:

Green Bean said...

I love your Sunday strolls, Joyce. I always love to see what is going on in other people's yard. Love the bird's nest. We found a finches' nest in our vegetable garden - blown out of the trees above.

Aisling said...

Joyce,

Beautiful stroll photos Joyce. Your lilies and sedum are so pretty next to each other. Your neighbor has a beautiful garden space too, and I just love the huge pumpkin. I don't know if I have the patience for that, but what a fun hobby.

So glad you strolled today and shared your photos!

Abbie said...

My brothers have both grown giant pumpkins competitively since they were little kids. They're purists, and say that most people these days grow "Atlantic Giants" and other squash that technically aren't pumpkins, based on the purist definition.
Pumpkins get me every time. Our biggest season on our farm is fall, so I'm pretty pumpkin literate. My house is now built on a lot that was once pumpkin field, and I learned to drive here when I was 12 years old helping my dad spray for beetles.
There was a great PBS film called "Lord of the Gourds" that followed people growing giant pumpkins. I show it to my Botany classes around Halloween. It's a good one for those interested and I found it fascinating.
I guess I just love pumpkins :)

Joyce said...

GB-thanks! I hope I find out what kind of nest it is.

Aisling-Thanks for sponsoring the walk every week. I enjoy everyone's gardens, and I'm learning a lot from all of you.

Abbie-what a great coincidence that you know about competetive pumpkin growing! I knew very little about it until last year when he started growing them on that lot. Now it's the talk of the neighborhood.

Rose said...

Your daylilies do look like mine, complete with that stray orange one:)
That is a beautiful vegetable garden--wish mine looked as neat and weed-free as this one. I've always wondered how people get such large pumpkins; sounds like a lot of work! Looking forward to seeing this year's results.

Gail said...

Joyce,

I love that you can really borrow the view and make it part of your garden. Isn't that what the glossy garden design books tell us to do!

Thanks for the stroll it was fun and I didn't have to sweat!

gail

Rose said...

Joyce, I just published a retraction. The beetles WERE on my hollyhocks! Disgusting creatures...
Thanks for giving me the idea to go check them.

Nan said...

I love that garden. I love the order of it. So many gardens now are kinda artistic with different arrangements, or have the wooden surrounds. But I am fondest of long straight rows filled with the same thing in a row. I envy you seeing it every day. :<) The nest might be a chickadee's or a sparrow's or a finch's. Love your lilies and sedum.

Terra Hangen said...

Hi Joyce, How lovely to be called to a music ministry.
I have no musical talents, but am blessed to write, sometimes as a ministry, and my first book will be published in Sept., by a Christian publishing house, Leafwood Publishing.
Nice to meet you.

Super B's Mom said...

WHOA.

That's one big pumpkin!!

Going Crunchy said...

Oh my gosh, that is amazing! Shan

Joyce said...

Nan, I just noticed some chickadees out there today, so I think you are right about the nest.