Oh! My garden is starting to get pretty!! Sure, I’m still battling bugs and whatever, but the blooms are happening and the smiles it is starting to provide me in the mornings is the reason I garden, I think. I’m loving it!
Mr. Brucie Bruce walks the gardens with me in the mornings, consistently enough that it is becoming part of the routine. Twice a day, I take a walk with the cat and he is always waiting when I come out with my coffee in the mornings and in the evenings when I head out to see what the gardens have done during the day. He is such a cutie about it all, too, as he talks to me and flops himself down for pets near whatever plants I am looking at, at the moment. I love that cat.
It keeps feeling like Summer is most of the way over, to me. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps it is because I was able to get started in the gardens so early this year. Maybe it’s because the weather has been so consistently inconsistent – sunny and in the 80’s or low 90’s for a few days to a week, followed by rain and temps in the 60’s for a week or so. Whatever the reason it feels the way it feels.
Anyway, my sunflowers are starting to bloom all over the yard and gardens. A lot of them are nowhere near the height they are supposed to get to, but I think I am ok with that. Like the ones I’ve planted between the tree and stump in the Stump Garden. They are anywhere from just under 2 feet to about 2 and a half feet tall. These are supposed to get anywhere from 4 to 6 or 12 feet tall, depending on variety. I’m just grateful that they are growing and producing blooms, even if they are super tiny, at this point.
My pumpkin plants have been a bit back and forth – looking really good and healthy to looking like they have been touched by death and are struggling to survive anyway. I still have a few in little pots, and, wouldn’t you know it, it is one of these that has decided to put out the first pumpkin bloom…and it didn’t mess around about it, either. The bloom is nice and large, healthy looking. Go figure. I’m going to need to transplant it into a larger planter, hopefully not disturbing its root system too much.
One of my Echinacea plants has a couple of blooms on it. They are nestled deep within the plant, but I still managed to get a photo of one:
I planted some Achillea (Yarrow) last year and it really didn’t do much other than get some foliage going. When I planted it, I really believed it was an annual. I don’t know why, but I did. Anyway, as things started to get going this year, I saw that it was greening up, adding more foliage, and I got my hopes up of actually getting to see it bloom this year.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have been having some horrible bug issues in the gardens this year. When I first noticed the flower buds were forming on the Yarrow, I got really excited, wondering what color they would be since I couldn’t remember what color the seed packet had shown. I also couldn’t remember exactly what the flowers looked like other than they were a cluster set.
I would walk out the next morning to see if anything had progressed with these flower buds and find that something had eaten the side of the stem, about an inch or so below the buds, enough to cause the flower head to fall over. It was always just one stem, but it was happening at a rate that felt like one every morning. It wasn’t quite that much, since I still have bud clusters, but it was killing my hope in ever seeing these bloom. I started to ignore them. The disappointment was too much.
I kept dealing with the bugs, the soil deficiencies, feeding, vitamins, epsom salt foliage spray, plucking bug eaten leaves. What else could I do. I had other plants to rescue and I was at a complete loss with what to do for the Achillea. Then, one morning, I walked out with my coffee to start the rounds, glanced over at the Yarrow, and saw a red-ish tinge to one or two of the bud clusters. I leaned over to get a closer look, seeing that this was indeed the start of Yarrow flowers. My hope was on reserve but the little girl in me could not contain her excitement. I started paying attention to the Yarrow, again.
Lance has been harvesting some raspberries. Usually only a couple here, a few there. Last night, he had about 10 of them he picked and ate, sharing a few with me. They are quite tasty. Once Summer gets going, I’m thinking we may end up with enough raspberries to possibly make a little bit of jam. That is, if I can keep Lance from eating them all as they become ripe.
The happiness gardening gives me, it is no wonder that I want to be able to do this all year round. Perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate it as much, but I don’t think so. I absolutely love seeing things grow, bloom, and watch the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and dragonflies come in and investigate the flowers. What’s not to love?