Nematodes and and summer quilts

There is heartbreak on the gardening front. A few days after we ate our first homegrown green beans (delicious!) I found out that our plants have root knot nematodes! Some icky worm things have invaded the plants’ roots. Except for the one pictured below, the other plants are still alive and have small beans on them but they are not growing very fast.

On a happier note, we found a volunteer tomato plant in a corner of the yard. Last year I put out two tomato plants without realizing how bad the soil was. We never got any tomatoes, but maybe this one will produce for us. It is either a Mortgage Lifter or Brandywine. Or it may be an entirely different variety from seed randomly dropped by a bird. Earlier this week I went out to water it and noticed these dewdrops clinging to the leaves like tiny transparent pearls.

The fennel is struggling in the heat. Every morning I find a few of these tall mushrooms sharing their space.

Summer is never a productive crafting time because Gwen is home more and the heat and humidity slows me down. We had some major car repair bills this month so I have gone back to cooking at home every night and making lunches for Gwensdad to take to work.

In July I worked on the fourth and final installment of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. During the first round (fall) I made an Aussie friend who commented on the quilt I posted. We chatted back and forth. She very sneakily requested to send to me for the winter theme and I was surprised to get the quilt I had seen on her blog. Along with the quilt she sent a book of beautiful aboriginal applique designs and I immediately started hatching my own plot. For the summer theme, I requested to send to her and used the dolphin pattern from the book. The border is from a the same jelly roll of bright batiks I used in my fall quilt. (The quilt is not crooked – it’s my photography.)

And here is the lovely quilt I received from Carolyn in NJ. The workmanship on this is impeccable.

The dreaded month of August is now upon us and tomorrow’s forecast is for 101 with a heat index of 112. There is no time to lie around like a slug because I have a Nervousness project to do and another mini quilt to make for a different swap. After that the holiday gift making will kick into high gear.

Gwen went to UCP camp this summer and loved swimming every day. It wore her out and she always looked like a zombie when I picked her up. Now camp is over and next week we register for school and she starts back on the 11th. She’s going into 6th grade!

Gwensdad continues to work on finishing the back yard. I am doing research on edible landscaping, vegetable gardening and root knot nematode deterrence so we can raise our own salmonella-free produce next year. I’m also applying to take the Master Gardener classes which start in January at our Extension Service. Keep your fingers crossed that I get in!

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