Whether you are at home or away, your garden keeps growing. On Monday evening, I returned from a wonderful visit with my daughter. Even though I was gone less than a week, I could see a lot of growth in my tiny garden. The basil had grown far too tall — one stem was trying to bolt, so I immediately pinched off that flower bud. The rosemary is getting tall, too. It will soon need trimming. My spaghetti squash plant had produced a new baby squash.
The next morning, I cut back the basil. The above photo shows how much I got from only 3 plants. This container is one of those buckets that you put ice into for keeping bottled and canned drinks cold during a party or cookout. It was running over with basil. That’s a lot of basil.
Normally, I wouldn’t cut more than 3 inches or so from any herb plant at any one time. This basil was so very overgrown, I decided to go ahead and remove a lot more than that. I don’t recommend doing that on a routine basis, because it really isn’t good for the plant. I had planned to begin a new painting today, but it looks like I’m going to be busy drying and grinding basil this week. On the other hand, it will keep. I need to paint.
Pests on Basil
The spaghetti squash and zucchini had trails of slug slime on the leaves, but no damage I could find. One of the basil leaves that I cut and brought into the house had this worm on it. It’s the same pest that was on Gina’s basil. Fortunately, this one was already dead from the insecticidal soap I had sprayed the evening I arrived home. Yeah, that black spot is what you think it is — he left me a little present, just like my dog does.
The Mandevilla Grew Rapidly While I Was Away
Two years ago, I planted a mandevilla on the screened end of our lanai, with the hope that it would someday provide privacy to that room. It quickly outgrew the small trellis I had chosen. The following summer, it was attacked by mealy bugs which nearly destroyed it. When it recovered, it grew at the top of the trellis, but didn’t put out new leaves on the lower part. The top part got longer and longer while simultaneously becoming top heavy.
It became apparent that that trellis had to be replaced. We installed one of the ones you see in this photo, and I quickly saw I would soon need two more, one on each side of the first one. Those two were installed about three weeks ago (the one in this photo is one of them) but most of the vines were not quite long enough to stay wrapped around the trellis bars. Well, they are now!
When I returned from my trip I was amazed at how much they had grown. So I have now spent a lot of time on a step-stool untangling those high-up vines. It was like separating strands of cooked spaghetti. It looks so much better now, and I know that with the air being able to get to those formerly crowded vines, they will truly blossom. Pun intended.
Here’s a close-up view of one of those gorgeous flowers. It’s a new one that just opened. Notice how much lighter the pink color is when the flower first opens. In the photo above, you can see the difference between the older flowers and the newer ones.
I finally finished that bracelet I was working on during my trip. There’s a close up photo of it on my last blog post. It’s at the top right in this photo. Except for the five-strand one designed by my daughter, these are my designs. She has far more intricate designs in her Etsy shop. Here’s the link: Designs by LolaBelle.
I used to make prayer beads and pocket rosaries, along with the occasional bracelet, but am out of practice. I don’t have the grip I once had, and my vision isn’t what it once was. That made this tedious work more difficult. Without her help, I probably wouldn’t have finished these. Maybe I should stick to gardening, writing, and painting. Here are the bracelets I made — my favorites are the top two. The tiny green and white one is for our youngest granddaughter’s 5th birthday. It’s made of Swarovski crystals and pearls. Okay, it’s time to get back to gardening. No, I’m going to paint. I plan to do a painting of the pink double hibiscus outside our back door. I think I will get something to eat first, though.