Saturday, July 27, 2013

Path to Greatness, Day 2, and Insect Documentation

Ideally, day two of my path weeding project would follow day one a little more closely. But I weeded the paths around the boxes closest to the seating area and arbor.
While weeding, I saw two bees frolicking in these portulacas. I'm not sure if bumblebees actually frolic, but they were busy rolling around in the flowers and covering themselves in pollen.
The bees were also enjoying the basil. While weeding this area, I had a hankering for a Margherita pizza.

And maybe a Caprese salad.
I also documented some of the garden's smallest residents I unearthed, like this...millipede?
And, of course, I came across potato bugs or roly polys or pill bugs or whatever you call them. I guess they're also called woodlice. According to Wikipedia, they're sometimes kept as pets by kids. Really? I kept only lightning bugs and wooly bears in jars as a kid. Now I feel kind of bad about keeping them in jars.
Speaking of insects in containers, this beetle was in a ceramic planter. Does anyone know what it is?
After weeding for a while, I realized that it was alternating between trying to burrow into the tiny bit of soil at the bottom of the container and trying to crawl out, but falling back in. The ceramic birds looked unimpressed by its efforts. I helped it escape their judgmental looks. Perhaps this makes up for my keeping bugs in jars as a child.
 Here's another view from the path.
And here's a photo of the pre-weeded path last night.
Here's a photo of the path in progress. (Exciting, I know. Hold on to your hats!)
And here's a photo of the completed path! I still have a long way to go, so I hope this beautiful weather holds up.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Project Weed-Free Path, Day One

The very day before the company I work for semi-abruptly ceased to exist, I was weeding the garden path and thought that if I had some time off, I would weed the entire path in a few days.
Then I lost my job. And got a cold. And an eye infection. And then the heatwave struck. I've managed to spend most of my time indoors. Finally, last week, I made it to the garden early to start on my project. The funny thing about unemployment is that you don't have the time you think you'll have. My apartment is not clean. The path is still weedy. One thing is still certain: Whenever I spend time in the garden, I never leave thinking I should have done anything else. Gardening is very therapeutic. So I documented some of last week's work. I hope to return again this week to realize my weed-free path dream!

I managed to displace hundreds of ants by the gate. Sorry for the chaos, tiny garden residents.

This is the other part of the path I managed to weed before last week's blazing sun chased me out of the garden like I was Nosferatu.

 Some strawberries are ready!

I also looked for some four-leaf clovers but didn't find any. If ant colonies and grass are signs of luck, however, I should buy a lottery ticket.

Stop by Red Hook Playgroup Farmers' Market on July 26!

The Red Hook Playgroup will be hosting its third annual farmers market in the Summit Street Community Garden. Stop by on Friday, July 26, from 2:45–3:15 pm for fresh produce and lemonade. Proceeds will benefit the garden.

You can also donate locally grown food to the sale, including produce from your own plot/garden, apples from a friend's farm upstate or even a portion of a CSA share! The playgroup has put out a box on the long garden table labeled "RHP" for donations, which are collected daily. 
Don't forget to stop by and support the Red Hook Playgroup sale! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pictures from the July 13 Work Day

Thanks to all who came out for the meeting and work day yesterday!
In addition to the members, several mosquitoes attended the meeting. We have a new mosquito-repelling lantern, pictured in the foreground. We tested it during the meeting, and I noticed the mosquitoes stopped bothering me. If you use it, just please remember to turn it off. There's an on/off button towards the bottom.
We also discussed an upcoming bulb and bake sale, with a possible musical element. Stay tuned for details. Right now, the theme for this fall day is tentatively called "Bulbs, Bakery and Bluegrass."

We also have two new members! Please welcome Andrea (left) and Cynthia (right) as Summit Street Community Garden members!
The edges of the lawn were trimmed by Keith and Robey.
And Sondra fervently went to work on cutting up clippings for the compost.
As for me, I took photos! I couldn't stay for the entire work day, but I vow to return and attend to my neglected plot (above). The company that I worked for folded recently, and I thought this would finally give me time to achieve my dream of a completely weed-free path in every area of the garden. I think I'm going to take a break from my computer and spend a much-needed, therapeutic day in the garden this week.
Someone has a beautiful berry harvest.
The hydrangea looks nice and healthy, especially after all this rain. Fact: Nothing is sadder than a droopy hydrangea.
Gladiolas are so striking. I need to remember to plant some in my plot next year.
I love this study in reds at the entrance to the garden.
What's missing? It struck me, after taking this picture, that it's rare to find coneflowers without bees in them. The bumblebees must have been busy elsewhere.
Happy gardening!

Things to Do in the Garden: July Edition

How is it mid-July already? Most of us have completed half of our required garden session hours. If you're in the garden or doing open hours, here's a helpful list of things you can do from gardener Claire Merlino. I've added some photos and links.

Deadhead roses and daylilies. As always, if you’re not sure what deadheading is, then ask another gardener. We’re all learning. The Gardeners' World website has helpful how-to instructions.

Trim the outside Columbia edge. Cut back the English ivy and Virginia creeper.

But don't trim the mint! Please don't cut the mint down. When the mint blooms, it attracts helpful pollinators.

Grape vine weaving and trimming. Stray grape tendrils waving at pedestrians can be woven in or cut back. The grapevine is woven to keep windows into the garden. If you have questions about the grapevine weaving, ask Claire or Megan.
Cut compost into small pieces. The compost is in good shape, but new material magically arrives regularly, so please help cut the stuff into smaller pieces.
Of course, there’s always the paths! The weeds are hard to keep up with once the hot weather hits, so the more that can be dug out by the roots now, the less to weed again later. (Yes, there are bricks under here.)
Dump out any standing water. Standing water attracts mosquitoes. If you see any containers with standing water
--> even if it's a small amount --> please empty it. Happy gardening!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bring Electronics to Recycle to the Work Day Tomorrow!

Don't forget that there's a meeting tomorrow, July 13, at 11 am. If you have any electronics to recycle (cell phones, MP3 players or tablets), bring them to the meeting. Gardener Claire Merlino is collecting them to recycle to raise money for the garden.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Reminder: Meeting and Workday Saturday, July 13

Thanks for Making the Tag Sale a Success!

 A very belated thank you to all of those who made the Summit Street Community Garden Tag Sale a success! We raised money for equipment, plants, the water bill and other garden expenses. 

If I leave with slightly less than I hauled down to the garden, I consider it a personal success. I couldn't resist some crochet hooks and some yarn (above). If I don't manage to make anything by next summer, expect to see my prized yarn purchase back at the sale. Somehow, I acquired five yoga mats at various press events. I could have started holding classes in my apartment. I donated two of them, and I hope they found good yogi homes.

This may have been one of my favorite random items from the tag sale.

Ashley brought some of her family's Bouldin jams, jellies and homemade pickled items. I highly recommend the blackberry jam. Stay tuned for our fall bakc and bulb sale!