Garden Log 2021: Week 19

See Week 18: here

The zinnias are doing well, and the bees are enjoying them.

What you can’t appreciate from this view….

The deer came back to finish off the pole beans. Very sad, but I guess the season is almost over anyway, so it’s not a huge loss. There a still a few beans on there that I can collect for seed.

Moving on to the squash plot….every week I think, “I should just pull these squash out.”

But guess what I found this week??

A tiny lemon cucumber!! Hooray!! I don’t even know how this happened, but there it is. 🙂

The fall crops are still growing.

As are the peas.

52 Weeks of Foliage Fridays

Woohoo! I’ve done an entire year of Friday Foliage posts! That’s 52 plants that have been profiled on this site! Here’s the entire list of all of them, with photos of some of my favorites (it’s hard to choose!).

African Iris
California Pepper Tree
Carob brownies
Acanthus Mollis

I’m not sure if I’m going to continue Foliage Fridays or not. I kind of enjoy doing them – I’m always surprised by what plants I can find to write about. But I don’t think these posts are very interesting for you.

Let me know if you like these posts, or if you have other suggestions for a new series. I am quite the creature of habit, so if I don’t think of anything better to do before next Friday, you will more likely than not see Foliage Friday #53…

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

This book was easily my favorite book all summer. It deserves all the hype and more. It should be required reading in high school.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is a non-fiction series of short stories or vignettes told by Robin Wall-Kimmerer from her perspective as a professor of botany at SUNY and member of the Potawatomi tribe. She weaves (or braids…) these two perspectives together masterfully, creating a quite compelling book.

The main premise of the book is to dispel the notion that humans are inherently at odds with the land and natural world around us. I think most of us (or many Americans, at least) imagine “nature” as being completely separate from us. Nature is something we go to see on vacation. Nature needs to be protected from humans. Wherever there are humans, nature will surely be ruined.

Through her stories, Wall-Kimmerer paints a different picture, one of a beneficial, reciprocal relationship between humans and the land. Inspired by her Potawatomi ancestry and bolstered by her doctoral degree in plant ecology, she tells us how in many ways the earth needs humans just as much as the humans need the earth and how we can be better participants in this relationship.

Maybe it seems obvious when I summarize it, but she brings the reader to her conclusions in a such a unique and beautiful way. It gently but firmly opened my mind. I mean it when I say this book should be required reading. There aren’t many books that I will re-read, but this book is one of them.

A Pair of Pears

The pears are just starting to ripen on the tress. We have two pear trees that were planted by the home’s previous owners. I’m not totally sure, but I think these pears are the Comice variety.

According to, 84% of the U.S.’s pears are grown in Washington and Oregon. The main varieties grown in Oregon are d’Anjou, Comice, and Bartlett. Comice pears tend to ripen later than most other pears and, thus, these pears have been given the nickname, “The Christmas Pear.” Perhaps our heatwaves this summer sped the ripening process?

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Book Review: A Well-Gardened Mind

The next book on my Summer Reading Syllabus is The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature by Sue Stuart-Smith.

Part science writing, part journalistic anecdotes, in this book Sue Stuart-Smith demonstrates the myriad ways in which spending time in and working with nature (e.g. gardening) is good for the mind and soul. Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst by day and hobby-gardener by night.

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