midsummer garden

The garden (and yard, in general) is keeping us in some good eats and pretty flowers during these midsummer days.  We're still getting a small bowl of raspberries every day, the strawberries are coming in for their second hurrah, tomatoes are thinking about ripening sometime in the near future, the tomatillos are filling up their little lantern husks (I've got dreams of lots of salsa verde), peas are out (we had a less than fabulous 'crop' of peas this year) and beans are in.  The garlic has been curing for weeks.  It won't be too long before we dig the potatoes, or at least take a peek and snag some little ones.  There are some peppers, onions, collards and kale, parsnips and beets.  There's squash.  Of course there's squash.  Patty pan and yellow crookneck, which are perfectly enjoyable but I do think straight up green zucchini is my summer squash of choice.  Butternut, melons and more greens recently planted or sown.....

While our flowers are not all clustered in one part of our yard, and it may not seem like there are many out there, I'm still able to walk around for a few minutes with a pair of shears and come up with something like this:

(I've worked a lot this year on a good sized perennial flower bed on the side of the house, there is a big stretch of day lilies running through the backyard, and cosmos, calendula, yarrow, zinnias, and a few others are scattered here and there)



The side of the garage/workshop (below, at left) was a mix of dry soil and grass until a few months ago and now there's a mix of getting-ready-to-burst sunflowers, day lilies, garden phlox, pink coreopsis, purple balloon flowers, coral penstemon, a variety of bulbs, and some newly transplanted peonies that I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for.

The same goes for this space, which started as scrubby grass and was then briefly (and unsuccessfully) home to some irises.  Now it is our perennial herb garden, located just outside the back door into the kitchen.  There is chamomile, garlic chives, lemon verbena, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and bronze fennel.  There is also some lemon balm and chocolate mint, but they are in pots, because I'm smart like that.  There is also an old log that I planted some cinnamon basil in and it seems happy there for now.  Honestly, as excited as I have been about getting this herb bed in place, I've done more tending to it than actually eating from it.  That's gonna change soon.


garden phlox:

squash, squash, squash (and cucumbers, too):

And look!  The brussels sprouts are brussels sprouting!  I've never (successfully) grown them before, and we have 6 very happy plants this year.  I'm looking forward to harvesting them as funny looking stalks and popping quite a few into the freezer.

I get so much satisfaction from spending time out in the garden.  These last several days (at nearly one hundred degrees) have kept me from doing much out there, but I've still been making the rounds each day.  Claire loves it, too.  She helps me water.  She grabs haphazardly at plants as I tell her not to.  She's learning the names of most of the things we are growing and she tells the plants to "grow, grow, grow".  She wants to eat all of the unripe blueberries and grapes and I try hard to steer her attention away from them, and away from the green tomatoes, remembering how last year she loved pulling them off.  Especially the unripe sungolds.

On another somewhat relevant note, the bees are doing pretty well.  A bit of a mystery with one of the hives, but manageable, I think.  And the other got it's second super added today.  Know what that means?  That means, if it keeps on the up and up we should be able to harvest any honey stored in that newly added second super and any others that we add on top of that.  Woohoo!  More on the bees, soon.

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