This summer has been a strange one compared with the last few summers anyway. It has been more windy and cool. This pot of flowers is one of two that I put together for our neighbor’s cabinet shop. They sit on the front porch with not much to break the wind that came through from May through middle of July. So they were looking rather ragged from getting whipped around by the wind and dried out quickly from the heat.
Thankfully, some water, less wind, and fertilizer helped them bounce back a bit!
I absolutely love this Buttercrunch lettuce!
We have eaten off of this patch of lettuce all summer – and are still eating it. I figured it would turn bitter, but it still tastes great! However, I did start some seeds in plugs and planted them in the garden a couple weeks ago, so we hopefully will get some more lettuce.
These are my Bobcat tomatoes. They are a determinate variety – meaning they are bushier and almost didn’t need to be staked. My Brandywine tomatoes are indeterminate and will pretty much just keep on growing unless you cut them back. Someone correct me if I’m wrong!
There is one trick I have learned here in the north to help your tomatoes along. Give them the biggest, baddest haircut you can think of! About mid-August, I trim the tomatoes until they almost don’t resemble tomatoes anymore. 🙂 Well, not quite that bad, but I cut off vines up to an actual tomato, or branches that are not producing anything and generally just making shade. The point is to get the sun down onto your tomatoes that you have left to ripen up faster – and sort of shock the plant so that it sends its energy into the ripening tomatoes. That was the theory I heard anyway, and it seems to work really well for me! We have eaten fresh salsa from our tomatoes already. Delicious.
I honestly can’t remember what color of bell peppers I planted! I know it was not green. It was either red, yellow, or orange – and only two colors. So we will see what they end up being – all 15+ plants!
But for now, we are enjoying eating them green – especially in our salsa.
Our area was hit bad the last two summers with a strange little black bug. I think we discovered they were called flea beetles! They like the broccoli and cabbages and eat little holes in them. In truth, they were nasty and gross! They hop off of the plant when you brush past it. I don’t like anything that hops on me. So it was time to kill something.
I googled it a bit and came up with using diatomaceous earth. It has helped to control the adult population, but I am wondering if we won’t have to do something more to the dirt this fall. I would love any ideas on this!
This was the first time I had ever grown basil and loved having it to use and give away. I made pesto one time and hope to make it again this week! I also grew parsley – which I had purchased from the nursery – and have found that having fresh herbs to bless others with is so much fun.
My flowers that looked rather sickly for part of the summer due to high winds have finally begun to look better. Now that summer is about over . . . .
This is where I wanted to cry. Literally.
We had left for Indiana this summer for almost two weeks and my raspberry bushes were loaded. We had a green netting up on the posts you can see and this had kept the deer out of the berry patch – mostly – for the previous two summers.
However, they had a party while we were gone. We came home to stripped berry bushes and I wanted to plop down there in the straw and have a good pity party.
Instead, my sweet husband purchased an ultrasonic deer repeller to keep anymore of those buggers out!
This is my epic failure of the summer. My sweet corn.
For the last 7 summers, we have always had it at Charles Schrock’s house – where we have used the garden there for many summers now. But with the past few summers, our sweet corn kept getting smut on it. And with each year the smut seemed to increase. If I have my information correct, this is a fungus – it looks like a mushroom on your cornstalk.
So we decided to switch the gardens up this year and put the corn in the garden at our place. However, we didn’t count on the huge tree that sits next to the garden and finally realized it was sucking out much of the water and nutrients that needed to go to the plants. I think that is why my shortest cornstalk stands only 28″-30″ tall. Yes, I went out and measured it!
But we will look on the bright side and remember that I really did not need to put corn in the freezer this year – I had plenty from last year. And we have already eaten one full meal of delicious corn!
I have a hollyhock!
This determined plant has endured many trimmings by the weedeater. Ever since we moved to this place, I thought it was a weed and kept trying to kill it. It wouldn’t die.
So last summer my sister found a hollyhock growing at the other garden and I realized this was the same thing! Now this year it finally got a chance to prove to me it could bloom . . . in spite of being whacked off once this spring.
I am amazed this flowerpot has any vibrant, living flowers. One day the kids had been blowing bubbles on the front porch – where this flowerpot lives – and ran out of their bubble solution. So they asked permission to make some using dish soap.
Being the nice mom that I am, I of course said yes.
Being the blonde mom that I am . . . I did not stop to think where the majority of their soapy bubbles were landing.
On my flowers.
And this flowerpot took the brunt of it. When I finally caught on, I rushed outside and confiscated all bubbles, bubble rings, and soapy kids to the back yard. I was not nice then.
I quickly washed all the flowers and flowerpots down with pure water and you should have seen the dishsoap bubbles that ran down the sides of the flowerpots. I figured God had a lesson in there for me somewhere!
My zinnias got hit by some kind of disease or fungus. Their leaves turned brown and some of the zinnias completely died. However, as summer has went on, some of them have sort of come out of it! I planted the Benary Giants. Did anyone have a similar experience?
This picture will mean nothing to you. But it is hope for me!
I have always adored my mother’s clematis back in Indiana and wanted to plant one myself. In fact, I have tried before and it didn’t make it.
So this year, I purchased some as root stock in early spring and planted them. Summer came and I was convinced they had died. There was nothing above ground to show for it!
I almost dug up the little netting that the roots were in to toss it out. But something stopped me. Maybe God was teaching me patience again.
Finally, I saw a green leaf or two pop up and closely watched to see if it was a weed. Voila! We had green living stuff coming out of what I thought was dead!
This is where I want to butcher my chickens. They have done quite a number on this little hosta plant. It has struggled to make it . . . even though the chickens have practically loved it to death!
But with all my successes and failures this year, I will have to say that my front flowerbed finally looks better than it has in 3 summers!
It is a balm to my heart to go out here in the evenings and water these beautiful ladies.
I am reminded of God’s faithfulness through the dry times of our lives,
the chickens who come peck at us,
the soap that rains on our parade,
and even when it feels like life has cut us off at the base of our stem.
God is still there. He still cares.