July 16

Just a quick tour through some of the garden.

The pineapple sage is getting huge! It really does smell like pineapple. Not sure what I’ll do with it, but it’s a nice splash of color in the bed and sometimes that’s good enough.
The Limelight Hydrangea is covered in blooms now. 


Tomatillos and peppers going strong! 
The broccoli and Brussels sprouts are much happier now that they’ve had an infusion of composted manure and new soil. 
These new tomatoes are growing fast. Picked the first green beans today too.
The tomato jungle continues to get more tomatoes and more jungle like.
Neil is 6’4″. He’s standing on that bag, which puts at essentially the same level of the soil in the bed. That tomato is a good 5″ taller than him although it’s hard to tell in the photo. I’m going to have to figure out a way to extend the stakes or just let it flop over.
Spaghetti squash! 
The acorn squash is finally growing too. 
This trellis that Neil built for me is so awesome for this! 
More tassels are coming out, peppers are growing and the lilacs are putting out leaves again! 
That’s going to taste so good! 



July 9

Spent more time sweating in the garden today. I ripped out the Romaine and lettuce that was had gone to seed, tilled the soil, and added composted manure (especially aromatic when it’s 90°) and soil. I had a few tomato seedlings in Red Solo cups (you’re welcome for putting that song in your head) so I planted five of them in there. I didn’t even bother checking if it was bad to plant tomatoes by broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Even if they only produce 50% of normal it will be a win. I finished the drip irrigation in the bed too.

This is what happens when I snap a quick photo and don’t look at my phone before moving on. Anyway, the leaves are from the river birch trees. Every spring it’s so wet that they put on more leaves than they can sustain in the dry summer so then they fall off. It’s no big deal and I figure it will compost the beds they fall into. 

I staked another bunch of peppers plants that needed it. I ran out of stakes and bamboo so I’ll have to make another trip to the garden center tomorrow. Oh darn. I knew this heat and humidity would make the peppers happy. Lots of new ones have appeared in the last day.

California Wonder bell pepper. 
More hot banana peppers. I don’t even know what to do with these. From the looks of the four plants, I’m going to have 35-40 in the first harvest. Any suggestions? 
Caribbean Red Hots (Habanero). These come in at about 450 Scovilles, putting them in the top 10-15 depending on the list. For comparison, jalapenos are 2,000-8,000 Scovilles. 
The tag on these at the nursery said poblanos, which we love. Unfortunately, it looks like these were mislabeled. Pretty sure these are cayenne peppers. 
I planted four of them and they’re all covered in peppers. Guess I’ll be drying and grinding a lot of these babies in a couple of months. Plus side, I won’t have to buy cayenne pepper at the store for a year or two. 
The tomatillos are finally setting fruit too. 
Look at those baby green beans. Can’t wait for them to get bigger! I am not sure which I love more, fresh green beans or fresh tomatoes. 
Those little leaves are the start of an ear of corn!

Thanks for stopping by. I can see that I’ve had visitors even if no one ever comments. 😉

July 7

It’s been hot and humid all week and the garden has exploded. The tomatoes and peppers especially love it. It takes me a good hour to water every day but it’s worth it to see it grow like this.

Nasturium are such happy little flowers.
So many hot banana peppers. 
See what I mean about growing? 
The first bloom on the Limelight hydrangea. 
A couple of the tomatoes are now taller than me. I need to figure out a way to keep staking them higher. 
I guess the spaghetti squash loves the heat too! That tall vine grew almost a foot in two days. 
Lots of Cajun Belles growing now.
The ferns I bought at the local garden sale seem to love the north side of the house. This spot doesn’t get any direct sun at all so they’re loving it there. 
Tassels are starting to form on the sweet corn!
Perfect weather for corn too. You can’t see it but the lilacs have started pushing out tiny leaves now. 
Carolina Reaper peppers even look wicked when they’re green. 
Anaheim peppers. These are new to me so not sure what I’m doing with them yet.
I finally staked all of the tall peppers so they won’t fall over. The basil on each side are turning into bushes. I should probably harvest some. 



June 30

Squee! First tomatoes. Plus a big bite of broccoli and a wee Cajun Belle pepper.
Growing, growing, growing. 
Green beans and carrots.
Tomato jungle. 
Just planted these Shasta daisies this summer. Purchased at the Master Gardeners sale.
Can’t remember what these are. My friend Mary gave them to me from her garden last year. 
Oh those sad looking lilacs. The corn is definitely going to be knee high by the 4th of July. 

June 26

Peppers doing their thing. Basil in the front is getting big.
I like this little bed, but it’s a classic case of throwing plants in and not planing ahead for their growth. I’m going to move some things next year. 
Nasturium. I know it’s edible (flowers and leaves) but for some reason I can’t bring myself to try it. I just grow them because they’re pretty. 
Green beans, carrots and the new tomatoes.
The tomatoes are huge.
It’s like a tomato jungle in there. 
Getting close! 
Spaghetti squash is starting to grow up the trellis. 
I need to weed this corner, but look at that trumpet vine. It’s just as big on the other sides of the fence. You’d never know I cut it back to the ground last spring. 
Peppers and corn and very sad looking Miss Kim lilacs. They had gotten way to big so we cut them back hard. Theoretically, they should push out new growth on the inside. If not, we’ll rip them out next spring. 
Peppers and tomatillos. I feel like everything is really late even though I know it’s not. I guess I’m just impatient. 
The asparagus continues to put out new shoots. Since I had no idea how it grew, it’s a fun spot to follow in the garden. 

June 18

Sometimes the nerd in me thinks it would be amazing to set up a time lapse camera on the veggies so I can literally see them grow so fast. 
Dug up the strawberries because they were old and not producing as much. Replaced them with more tomatoes because why the hell not? 🙂 

June 12

I can’t believe how much they’ve grown.
Ooohhh. They’re getting big!
I suspect I’m going to regret the spacing and staking on this bed. 
These get a little less sun so it will be interesting to see how that affects them.
Lots of blossoms! 
Wee Brussels sprouts.
More tomatoes still to plant.
Romaine going strong! We’ve been eating off of them. 
Broccoli is growing slowly this year.
The iceberg is growing. Amazing how much greener is is when it’s not grown in a hothouse. 
More asparagus continues to come up. 
This spot gets sun 10+ hours a day, which the peppers should love.


Crazy herb bed.
The Scorpion Red Hots doubled in size while we were out of town for the weekend. 
Not sure this spot gets enough sun  because the maple tree has grown so much. 
Sweet corn! 
Peas in a Pot. 

I grow flowers too.

I love pretty flower gardens, but I seem to spend the majority of my time growing things to eat rather than look pretty. I thought maybe it’s time for a tour of the non-edible gardens.

Let’s start at the front of the house.

IMG_8637I love how the front landscaping looks at this time of year. I know day lilies are kind of utilitarian, but you can’t beat them color and ease. The bright yellow/green ground cover is creeping Jenny. I love the contrasting color, but it’s horribly invasive so planting it in an enclosed area like this is a good idea. 

Close up of the begonias on the front porch. 
The red Wave petunias almost glow in the sunlight. Love the color of them. 
Hens and Chicks always remind me of my grandma. She had two big planters of them when I was a kid and I loved watching the chicks grow.





I planted this sage last summer and it’s exploding this year. My goal is to eventually turn this whole bed into herbs and other pretty edible plants. 
See? Herbs are pretty and delicious.  


I planted these succulents around the mailbox last summer. It’s a great place for them because it’s full sun and they don’t need to be watered now that they’re established. (Good thing, because it’s a pain to water down there.) Most of the “rocks” are hypertufa that I made last year. The rock in the front right is granite from one of our favorite spots on Birch Lake, MN.  (Don’t mind the flags in  back. The village is replacing our ash tree that was removed last year because the Ash Borer.) 
Such happy little flowers. 
This is another pretty succulent. (I need to look up the name.) 
We bought this choke cherry from a native plant sale several years ago. It was literally a single stem less than a foot tall. (Must dig up a photo!) I had planted some really pretty grasses and grown cover around it, but they’re getting choked out (hehe) by it now. I plan to move them next spring. 

The friends and family bed was created on a spur of the moment decision one year and I’ve been steadily filling it with transplants from, you guessed it, family and friends. A couple of friends/neighbors have moved out of state, so it’s especially nice to see a daily reminder of them when I’m out watering.

Hostas are kind of meh to me, but the color and shape of these are really interesting. These are in full shade under the hawthorn tree in the Friends and Family bed. (This is one of the only plants in the bed that I bought.) 
The allium is even pretty when it’s done blooming. Don’t they remind you of fireworks? (From my dad’s garden on the farm.) 

This corner bed has gone through several different plans, but we’re sticking with the rocks. I love how it looks and it requires zero maintenance.

The trumpet vine next to the fence continues to resurrect itself from the dead. 
Cat mint in bloom in the rock garden. 
Succulents in the rock garden. 
A different view of the raised beds. 
I had no idea these calla lilies would turn pink, but I like it.


Garden Tour—June 12, 2016

Time for another tour of the edibles in the garden. Everything is really growing well and we should be eating jalapenos and broccoli any day.

Remember those itty bitty basil plants that I transplanted here? Time for caprese and pesto! 
We’ve eaten a couple of meals off of here, but it continues to grow more. (Spring Blend) 
Time for spinach. Think I’ll make garlic-kissed sautéd spinach like MK. Love that! 
Another spring lettuce going strong. 
I can’t believe how fast argula grows! 
The pepper farm is getting big! 
Can’t wait to try Swiss chard. We’ve never had it before. Anyone have a good recipes for it? 
The bush cucumbers are starting to flower. 
Jalapeno progress. 
The poblano is growing too. 
The first cajun bell pepper. This is another new variety for us. It’s supposed to be a spicy bell pepper. 
I’m always amazed to see the growth of tomatoes at this time of year. They are literally taller every single day. 
Can’t you almost taste it? This variety is called Fourth of July and I think it’s going to live up to its name. 
A look from one end of the raised beds to the other. 
I think this spot is too wet for the dill. 
The pumpkins are starting to bloom. Not going to lie, I’m a little surprised that they’re doing so well. 
This mixed bed is becoming one of my favorite. I love the succulents mixed in around the cilantro, chives, tomatillos and lemon thyme. 
Hurry up tomatillos! I’m ready to make salsa. 
I saw a package of four o’clocks at the store and remembered my grandma raising them. I decided I had to have them to hopefully pass this memory on to my kids. 
I can’t remember the name of this succulent ground cover but the dainty yellow flowers are pretty. 
The cilantro is going to see and since I hate the taste of it, I prefer this view. 😉 
The weather is perfect for growing tomatoes! 
The tomatoes in the raised bed are going strong too. The basil around the edges looks small, but we’ve been eating off it regularly. 
More tomatoes. The peas are really irregular. 
Pea blossoms! Hurry up already. 
The cabbage is forming heads. Looks like I need to treat for cabbage moths. 
The strawberries are so sweet this year. 
The first planting of green beans are blossoming. It looks like I need to thin the carrots a little more. 
Every time I see this bed, I’m disappointed about the garlic.