While I was gone again to Oklahoma (for an ongoing family issue) the garden decided that summer is essentially here. I got back home to find that the squash plants have begun to make squash!
It seems insanely early to me, but the biggest of the six plants all have female flowers opening. There haven't been any male flowers open to pollinate the females, so we had several small, un-pollinated zucchinis last night in our sauteed veggies, but some male flowers should be opening soon. When that happens, the zucchinis will be pollinated and grow, rather than just stay small.
For those who aren't sure how to tell the male flowers from the female flowers: The easiest way to tell the difference is that female flowers all sit on top of tiny squashes, and the male flowers are on non-fruiting stems. In the photo above, there are a couple of male flowers on long, slender stems in front, and the large yellow blossom in back, whose stem looks like a tiny zucchini, is a female.
The progress of the bush beans is less of a surprise. When my planting is on track, I tend to start bringing green beans to the kitchen in May. This picture shows a couple of pretty bean flowers and one of the tiny, just beginning, green beans. This year's first patch of green beans is in the shadiest part of the garden, but beans do better with less sunlight than many of the summer veggies, so I am expecting to eat a lot of beans from this ~3.5X5 foot patch.
It will be awhile before we have mature peppers, but the flowering has begun. I have always liked the color of the flowers on this particular jalepeno.
One side of the garden has a big, unruly patch of perennial flowers in it. This is the part nearest the utility pole. I have kept the food plants about ten feet away from the pole to avoid any possible contamination of our veggies. It was great to arrive back home to find enormous heads of lilies in bloom. I am not sure how the stalk is holding up all the weight of these flowers and buds!
The rain gauge was showing that we'd had nearly three inches of rain while I was away, and it is raining again today. Luckily, I got some yard work done yesterday in advance of the rain. It is going to be mucky for at least a couple of days after this weather system passes!