Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adventures in the Garden

I’m excited that this is the first year in the last three that I’ve been able to manage my kitchen garden and a few of my other beds without losing total control of them.  Look at me, all cocky when it’s only the middle of June!  But the intent is there, and this year I actually have the energy (and I’m trying to make the time) to care for my gardens the way I want to.  (I want to thank my dear friend, biodegradable plastic mulch, for keeping the thistle, ragweed, Queen Anne’s lace and most of the Japanese stilt grass at bay.  Without you, I’d be in deep trouble.)

My kitchen garden has finally been fully planted with veggies and herbs: heirloom tomatoes I started indoors from seed; squash, zucchini and cucumber seedlings; basil, rosemary and broadleaf sage, new this year; and oregano, pineapple sage, yarrow and catnip, back from previous years (my cats will love me).  I know the blooms on the squash and tomatoes are just for show right now—the plants are too small yet to bear real fruit—but the promising buds on my bee balm are sure to attract more hummingbirds to our homestead soon.

And I have plenty of morning glory volunteers, too.  They are my favorite anniversary present—on our first wedding anniversary on September 8, 2008, my all-blue morning glories bloomed for the very first time that year.  This year’s volunteers won’t be blue—I can tell by how hairy the stems are.  (I’m observant, okay?)  I can’t remember for the life of me what color(s) I’ve planted most recently—I’m hoping for white with blue stars, but I’m afraid they’ll be the pink ones, not my favorite variety.  I don’t like their lazy (read: sloppy, lay-all-over-the-place-instead-of-climb) climbing habit.  I’m a purist when it comes to morning glories, and I only love the blue ones.  So I planted blue seeds, but didn’t have the heart to rip out the most-likely-pinks.

This week I dug one of the biggest holes of my life to plant a mature Lord (or Lady) Baltimore hibiscus given to me by a friend.  I sunk it into my hummingbird bed in front of a bunch of red bee balm and hummingbird-attracting Cardinal Vine seedlings that I will train to wrap around my deck railing.  I used to call this my Red Bed, but now it’s my hummingbird garden.

Many of herbs and perennial flowers are getting ready to bloom.

Even though there’s not much going on right now, mid-June is an exciting time in the garden.  Perennials are close to blooming, veggies are close to fruiting (or are fruiting already, for you on-time gardeners) and there’s so much promise for all the good things that lie ahead this summer. 

My plants are looking strong, dark green and vibrant; my family is growing, getting stronger as a unit and thriving; and I am accomplishing what I’ve set out to do as a mother, friend, writer, gardener, knitter, you name it.

All this fresh air must be getting to my head.  Or maybe hard work in the garden (and seeing the rewards ahead!) is lifting my spirits.


  1. What a wonderfully positive and affirming post. Gardening inspires that kind of positive thinking, I believe -- it's a chance to see your plans slowly and steadily come to (literal!) fruition. We don't always see that in other areas of our lives and, for me, seeing the garden reliably grow if I give it what it needs, do a little work each day, be observant, and be patient has been a lesson to me in all sorts of areas of my life.

  2. Wonderful post and gardens. Making the most out of what we have is something I am always working on.

  3. lovely garden and grt to see that u r really happy

  4. I do love your little garden, I have similar things growing in our gardens. We have three large trees on our farm with the prettiest pink flowers that attract so many hummingbirds, the name they call it in DR in english is the foot of the cow because it's leaves look like the print of one. The so love the pink and purple flowers and we can always hear their wings beating so fast, they share the flowers with our honey bees. Often they sit so close to the children as if watching them. Morning glories are my favorite to,, the blue ones!! I also love moonflowers! Enjoy that garden of freshness you have maintained so beautifully.

  5. SO much goodness growing in your garden. This is also the first time in YEARS that I've had the energy and good health to garden *well*. To garden with pleasure. And the therapeutic benefits are HUGE!

    And, yeah, Morning Glories have it all. Beautiful blossoms AND a beautiful name.

  6. Gardening is a spiritual experience! :)

  7. I am also a lover a weed block always used in the pumpkin bed, and this year I am trying it in the tomato bed.

  8. Wonderful and inspiring post!

  9. So glad you have the energy to keep up with the garden this year. I hope you have a bountiful harvest all summer long.


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