Monday, August 09, 2010

beyond the gate

I ventured out this morning after a day of rain to see what was waiting to be admired.

Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;

they will sing before the LORD, for He comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.
Psalm 96: 10-13

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Psalm Singing

I have mentioned in the past that the Reformed Presbyterian church we attend believes in Exclusive Psalmody without musical instruments. That means we only sing out of a Psalter, a book of Psalms metrically arranged. And as I have said before, we do not subscribe to the Exclusive Psalmody position but we do enjoy singing the Psalms. It would just be nice to sing New Covenant hymns as well.
I read this article entitled Psalm Singing and thought he brought up some good points for our church to consider as well as non-Psalm singing churches. If this topic interests you, I encourage you to take a minute and read it.

magnified garden

I've been working on learning to use the full potential of our camera. Here are a few of my favorites so far. (Click on the image to see larger size.)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

August in the garden

It's been a garden of highs and lows as some plants thrived then bit the dust and others started small and slow and now are thriving. Let's start with the good news.
Can you spot the watermelon growing in its secretive leafy hideout?

And here's another one hanging out with the bushy yellow marigold.

Let's look a little closer. Sugar Baby!

The morning glories on the neighbor's side are towering over the watermelon plants and providing a much needed makeover for the fence.

The yellow beans were a slow starter but have been producing many tasty beans. I won't have enough to freeze this year but we'll enjoy them as long as they last.

The peas are still coming in and we have only eaten them raw so far in our salads and boy are they sweet, little gems of green.

The scarlet runner beans are now flowering a bright orange-red so the bean pods will hopefully follow soon. While they have climbed the fence, they have not reached the heights that I thought they would nor with the coverage I thought they would provide. But they are much better looking than bare ground or condo fencing. :)

The celery is starting to get tall and some of the stalks are thick enough to break off and eat. The basil plants, especially the one in front in the picture are tall. I've never grown basil before so I need to decide how I'm going to use it.

You can see the whole celery patch with a few pink zinnias scattered around for color. The strawberry plant in the back by the fence is sending runners everywhere so I need to research that since I would love to have some strawberries next year if possible. The lettuces continue to grow although I think the Romaine and the Little Gem are starting to get a bitter aftertaste which is to be expected with the hot weather we have had.

Earlier this season I was lamenting that only one zinnia seedling appeared to have survived to be transplanted. Well, this sturdy plant is clearly trying to make up for the family members that didn't make it. It is tall and it is producing flower buds all around the main one. I am so proud at the blooming power of this one little plant to create multiple flowers blooming at the same time. Three cheers for the mighty zinnia. Hip-hip-hooray! :)

See what I mean by tall? It's as tall if not taller than the tomato plants it is next to and blooming with all its might. It is a delight to behold especially since the tomatoes have taken such a beating. More on that sad tale in a moment.

Onto the climbing cucumber plants. It has taken awhile for the cucumbers to get beyond the baby finger size and I'm not sure why. However, they are now starting to multiply and gain momentum so I am hopeful that the harvest should pick up. I didn't get a close-up so you'll have to look carefully to see the little cukes.

For the second year-in-a-row, my tomato plants have been afflicted with yellowing, black spotted leaves which leads to dead branches and eventually dead plants. Some sort of blight or disease. My mom gave me some of her natural product made by Ortho so I have applied it liberally and will keep using it. The tomatoes continue to ripen but the supporting leaves have been infected and removed so the plants look quite bare.

The grape and cherry varieties have been ripening and they are nice tasting in a salad or as a snack. I comfort myself by remembering that this is a mini-experimental garden where I can freely make mistakes and learn as I go without wasting a lot of time and money. Next house hopefully will have lots of room for a real garden and then I will put to use all the valuable stuff I have learned here.

Here's something I didn't plant in my garden but was found there this morning. A frog or is it a toad? I really can never tell which one for sure. I'll go with frog.

Isn't he handsome?

And speaking of things found in the garden, here's one more. The undergardener performing a search and capture-the-frog mission. Frog: 1 Boy: 0
(I was assured that yesterday he had been able to catch the frog while checking out the neighbor's fountain pond which is presumably the frog's summer resort.)

Sunday, August 01, 2010