Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted, so I guess that means it’s summer. Working outside in the garden, playing gigs with my band, and reading books on hot summer evenings have all taken priority over blog updates. But today, you get me.

The garden has been doing really well! I’ve never single-handedly planned and planted a garden before, so I knew going into it that this year would be kind of an experiment. I did my best, and figured that I’d probably be taking plenty of lessons learned into my planning for next year. For the most part, things are going pretty well, but I’m already taking notes on what to plant more of, what to plant less of, and what needs more space.

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Some of the first things to come up were my sunflowers. Unfortunately, we apparently have quite a chipmunk population in my neighborhood, which means that every time a sunflower would pop up, a chipmunk would find it. One morning, I’d see a cute little seedling like this, and the next, just a little hole. Very sad about this.

 

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Radishes, though! These have to be some of the most satisfying things to plant early in the year. They come up early, they grow quickly, and they’re ready to eat almost before anything else. Which also means you end up looking at a pile of radishes, not sure how you’ll eat all them… oh well, lesson learned for next year. Maybe I’ll hold off on the radish planting until I know some other things will be ready as well.

 

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The herb garden has been a huge success, but also has been kind of a mess. I planted parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, and cilantro, ringed by marigolds to discourage rabbits. Not one plant has been nibbled, that I can tell, so the marigolds must work. Unfortunately, though, some of the plants have kind of taken over, and others haven’t thrived quite as well. Next year, I think I’ll put the parsley and chamomile in another area, so that they don’t shade out the other things growing here. And apparently, cilantro needs to be re-planted every several weeks, because it’s no good once it bolts (goes to seed). Lesson.

 

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A few early leafy greens with the first radish of the year.

 

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And, many more radishes.

 

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Finally starting to see some other things coming in. This green pepper is about ready to pick, and his friend on the other side of the plant isn’t far behind, either.

 

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Here’s the corn, before it even cleared the chicken wire.

 

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Outside the vegetable garden, I’ve planted plenty of other flowers, too. This is the most recent addition to the yard. My husband picked up some big stones from his parents’ place out in the country, and we’ve lined some flower beds with them. I think it really looks great.

 

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The corn reached “knee high by the 4th of July”, which is a thing. Here’s the photographic evidence.

 

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Checking on the carrots – they’re not quite ready yet, clearly. They are looking good, though! I’ll look forward to snacking on them in a few weeks, probably.

 

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Pea blossom. I planted these next to the corn, and they are proving to be good friends so far, with the peas growing up onto anything they can reach. Next year, the beans and peas will need a little more space, as well as something to climb on. Lesson.

 

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And, some just-about-ripe pea pods! I think I’m going to be having a good home-grown stir fry in a week or so, with a bunch of pea pods and some fresh pepper.

 

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Here’s the latest before-and-after shot of the vegetable beds. The first is the day I planted them, May 23; and the second shot is from just a couple of days ago. The jungle-looking plants in the back are all tomatoes, and this is the week they got as tall as me. Lots and lots of little green tomatoes lurking in the vines – I’ll have them up to my ears. Soon it’ll be time to start learning to can.

 

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This last shot is a picture of my chamomile bush. I’ve been plucking hundreds of blossoms off of this one plant, already. I leave them out to dry for a few days, in the sunshine if I can, and then I store them in a pretty glass jar. I think I’ll be drinking home-grown chamomile tea all winter long. So tasty.

There’s lots to come in the garden this year – the beans and peas have just barely started, and I am going to have more weird heirloom tomatoes than I know what to do with. And I’ll also be trying my hand at manually pollinating corn when it blooms. It’s been incredibly satisfying keeping a garden this year, though. I think next year I’m going to double the beds in my back yard, and feed myself all year.