Friday, June 27, 2008


One of my favorite things to do in the garden is to potter. I usually do this first thing in the morning. I go out there and look to see if anything has changed overnight, do a little deadheading in the hope of prolonging the flowering of the plants, pull a few weeds, admire a few blooms and generally just enjoy the early morning. There isn't much time for pottering these days as the window of gardening opportunity is restricted to about 3 hours in the morning. I could potter for 3 hours but there is much work to be done.

Pottering in the vegetable patch this morning I espied the first cantaloupe. Maybe I was a little late getting the plants in the ground and the early hot weather has prevented fruiting. 

The beans are almost at an end although there are still plenty of flowers forming. It seems that the early beans a long and straight and as the plants become older the beans become short and curled. They still taste OK. Picking beans is considered to be a part of pottering in my book.

I have been watching the Texas sunflowers in the garden. I'm not sure why I let them stay for so long because I always know they will have to come out in the end-before they turn into trees. I picked the flowers to bring into the house. Pottering was over and now it was time to pull out the plants. They were already 5 ' tall with stalks like small saplings. I imagine that they are stealing the water from  more important plants. 

Now it was time for a little exercise with the tennis racket before finishing for the morning! The bug on the plant is a cicada killer. It is a 2" wasp like insect with black and yellow stripes. It would appear that we inherited these insects in a pile of sandy loam. The adults lays the eggs in colonies in the soil along with a cicada or two for the larva to feed on. Every spring they emerge and fly around in an extremely annoying manner. I have discovered that the best way to deal with them is to have a little game of tennis. There is no doubt in my mind that gardening is good exercise.


  1. I do so like the concept of pottering. I think it's a mark of a true gardener to rush out each morning "to see if anything has changed overnight".

  2. Jenny, what a great blog! It is so wonderful to see the changes and get your fun comments. You're right--I'll get after the sunflowers this weekend, although they have already turned into tree trunks!

  3. I try to go out and see the garden before I leave for work in the morning, so I can plan what I am going to do in the evening. I call it 'puttering', but like 'pottering' much better.

    I have the cicada killing wasps, too, and actually took this picture of one on a cicada. I usually just leave the wasps alone because the cicadas cause more damage.

  4. I know I will regret leaving just one sunflower. It was growing in the gravel at the base of the wall. Thinking it would be nice to have a few more for the house i decided to leave it.
    Carol- that is a superb post in Cicada Killers. I feel quite justified with killing them now. They don't just annoy me they but torture others. I would really like to get rid of them as they are digging these holes in the garden so there are mounds of soil everywhere.
    I'll bet you don't have Tarantula Killers up north. we have those too. It is just fascinating to learn about these bugs which have a very specific diet for their offspring.

  5. You are right, no tarantula killers "up north" here. They would starve as we have no tarantulas. Thank goodness.