June 12

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

 

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

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Close up of the begonias on the front porch. 
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The red Wave petunias almost glow in the sunlight. Love the color of them. 
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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.

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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. 
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See? Herbs are pretty and delicious.  

Mailbox

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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.) 
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Such happy little flowers. 
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This is another pretty succulent. (I need to look up the name.) 
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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.

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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.) 
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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.

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The trumpet vine next to the fence continues to resurrect itself from the dead. 
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Cat mint in bloom in the rock garden. 
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Succulents in the rock garden. 
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A different view of the raised beds. 
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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.

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

 

 

Garden Tour—June 5, 2016

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Everything is going nuts in this bed except the garlic. 
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Almost ready! 
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Lots of green beans. 
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Carrots need to be thinned again. 
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Holy potato plants, Batman! 
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Cabbage is starting to form tiny heads. 
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I see red strawberries in there. 
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The second crop of peas (middle two rows) is up! 
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Hurry up and bloom, I want fresh peas! 
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Tomatoes are going crazy! 
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Yay, more blossoms! 
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Mmm, basil. 
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I’m really loving this eclectic little bed. 
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Tomatillos and oregano going strong! 
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Weigelas are so pretty in bloom, but I kind of hate them the rest of the year. 
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The pumpkin plants seem happy enough in this spot. 
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Hard to tell, but the hydrangeas are definitely growing. No signs of shock at all. 
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Rainbow Swiss chard. 
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Cucumbers
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I love watching how fast the peppers grow at this time of year. 
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The first wee jalapeño. 
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First poblano pepper. 
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Tomatoes (and maple sapling). 
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First tomato is getting bigger. 
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The tall plants in the middle are calla lillies I bought at the Master Gardeners’ sale. The back right might be verbinum that we thought died. It also might be some wild volunteer thing that we don’t recognize. In front are two wee baptisia from my friend Mary. 
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The lemon balm I planted here last year is already 4x as big as last year. It smells heavenly. 
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Another view of they hydrangeas. 
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We built this bed years ago because it was so hard to mow. Sadly, we lost the butterfly bushes that were there in a bitterly cold winter. Two years ago we put down river rock and planted flowers that don’t really need much water. Cat mint in front. Two types of sedum in the middle. Not sure what kind of grass that it. On either side are trump vines. They were out of control and damaging the fence so I chopped them all down in April. You can see how much they’ve come back. 

Things Are Happening!

Exciting developments in the garden today! Almost all of the tomatoes have their first blossoms on them. I can almost taste the fresh tomatoes! The broccoli plants are forming their first heads. I tried to grow it the first year of gardening (2014) and I didn’t realize how fast it would be overripe so I’ll be watching it much more closely this year.

I really need to start carrying my big camera out for detail photos. It’s too hard to pinpoint the focus on my cell phone.

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Yes, those are tiny little flowers on my tomatoes! I am so excited for fresh tomatoes I can hardly stand it! Just a few more weeks to wait. 
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I seriously need to stop using my cell phone to take photos. Anyway, yes, that is the start of a head of broccoli! I’m guessing we’ll be eating fresh broccoli in a couple of weeks if the weather stays warm and sunny. 

Garden Tour—May 28, 2016

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We’ve been eating the Romaine (back row) already. Front left is mix of spring greens. Front right is spinach. 
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Heavy rain a couple of days ago really beat up this delicate curly lettuce, but it will bounce back. 
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All of the greens along with two rosemary plants and tiny basil (started from seed) on the black stand. 
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Bay Laurel.
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I planted a ridiculous number of peppers this year. (That lilac bush had grown two feet over the patio so we trimmed it back hard last weekend. It’s already greening up inside so it will look better soon.) 
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I may have gotten carried away with the pepper plants. 
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Rainbow Swiss chard in the two left pots. Bush cucumbers in the two right pots. 
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Tomatoes in pots. I love this rock bed we built last year. And yes, that is a maple sapling. It started from seed in one of the raised beds last year. We left it all year and dug it up three weeks ago. It survived the transplant so I think we’ll be able to plant it in the yard next spring. Amazing.

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Bottom bed is the other new one this year. Top right are three varieties of carrots. The rest of the bed is filled with green beans. I staggered the planting so that we’d have a continuous supply over several weeks. The next bed (with the green fence) has strawberries, potatoes and cabbage. 
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Lots of strawberries coming soon! 
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This is my first year growing potatoes. They’re definitely doing well. 
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Cabbage is growing nicely too. 
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The greenhouse bed has four rows of peas on the right (staggered planting) and six new tomatoes plants. The tiny plants on the very right are basil that I started from seed. 
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Can’t wait for fresh peas! 
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This is the big tomato bed and originally was the only place I was going to put tomatoes. I started all of my tomatoes from seed this year. The greenhouse made a huge difference in having viable plants ready for planting and I just couldn’t throw them away. There is a row of garlic in the middle (bulbs from last year’s crop) and store bought basil on the outside of both long sides. 
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I bought two pumpkins from the Master Gardeners sale just for fun. No idea if they’ll grow in this spot, but they were only $2 so it’s a cheap experiment. 
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Tomatillos (from Garden Faire) in cages. In front is Hot ‘n Spicy oregano.  
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Squeeee! A wee tomatillo already! 
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Tomatillos from seed in the green cage. Various succulents in front. Wild geranium on bottom right. Chives in top center. 
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This is only part of the cilantro that came up from last year. I haven’t planted any this year.