Hot pink at four o’clock

fouroclocks

In addition to my purple morning glories and orange wildflowers, I now have pink four o’clocks. They bloom in the late afternoon, about the time the morning glories die. Then they stay open all night and die around the time the next batch of morning glories open. It’s a cycle that ensures there’s always color on my balcony these days.

I wish I hadn’t killed my moonflowers a couple of months ago by overwatering them. Definitely going bigger and earlier next year…

Picked my first tomato today

tomatoesIt’s been a long time coming, but my tomatoes are ripening. Two more will be ready this weekend.

I sliced that first tomato, sprinkled some kosher salt on it, and ate it standing at the kitchen counter – didn’t even bother with a fork.

My mother often had a garden when I was growing up, but I’ve never had a green thumb – I’ve managed to kill a cactus in under a week – so it was very satisfying eating food I produced myself. This could easily become a habit. I’m already making plans for next year – bigger, better, and earlier. I have a pretty big balcony to fill up with edibles and ornamentals alike.

And my bell peppers are barely an inch long, but they’re already looking like bell peppers. They’re so cute. They’re running late, too, but it’s been a gray summer in downtown Chicago, so I’m just going to have to be patient.

bellpeppers

My first tomato!

FirstTomatoOne of the flowers on my tomato plant has turned into a tomato. It’s tiny and hard to see, but it’s there. And it looks like the other flowers are getting ready to follow suit. I should have some juicy, red tomatoes in a few weeks.

Coming soon: Tomatoes!

tomato-flowersI’m pleasantly surprised that my tomato plant is now in bloom. I grew it from seed, and I’ve been pampering it for almost three months now. Growth has been slow because of the cold, gray spring we’ve had, and it’s running behind – there were already tomatoes at the farmers market yesterday. This variety is Early Girl, and it should have been ready to harvest by now. But at least it’s blooming. It has about a dozen flowers in full bloom and at least a dozen more buds getting ready to open. I should have my own vine-ripened tomatoes in a few weeks.

Considering it’s my first attempt at growing my own food, that makes me happy – especially since I managed to kill the strawberries, squash, and eggplants I attempted to grow. Who knew over-watering was so easy?