Tag Archives: plants

In and Around the Garden

What a gorgeous day it is here!  It’s a bit cool, and there’s a definite chill of autumn in the air, but the sun is shining and the sky is a heavenly shade of blue, with puffy, peaceful clouds drifting by.  I’ve really enjoyed my time out on the patio this morning, just soaking it all in.

But with my coffee cup now drained, it’s time to get started on the day.  So now that I’ve opened up my laptop and am looking through some of the photos I’ve snapped this past week, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been seeing through my camera lens in and around the garden…

I know I have already shared more sunflower photos in my last few posts than anyone would probably ever want to see, but if you’ll indulge me, I have just one more… I absolutely love the intricate spiral design that’s in the center of sunflowers!  I’d been trying to snap a picture of it before it blooms and the design goes away, but the hungry bees were always photobombing me.  Except on this one…

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The amazing patterns seen in nature positively fascinate me!  ♥

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Speaking of photobombing bees, I’ve barely been able to take a photo of anything containing pollen or nectar without them bee-ing in the shot.  😉  Like on this mint…

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this Marigold…

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and this Sedum that is just starting to bloom…

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I don’t know what type of bee this one is, or if it’s really even a “bee” at all, but it had the body shape of a wasp so I didn’t want to get too close.  I was stung by a wasp recently (twice) and had a terrible reaction from it.   😦

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I prefer the less threatening visitors like this delicate dragonfly, who joined me for coffee earlier this morning…

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I’ve got a little squirrel who joins me some mornings too.  He’s a nervous, chatty little thing always sounding the alarm as he scampers around…

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I can’t help but wonder if he’s one of the babies from the litter that I had living in my tree this past spring, but he doesn’t look familiar.  Even though they all look pretty much the same, haha!  He’s a cute little rascal anyway, and hasn’t been much of a bother to my garden (I’ve only suffered a few squirrel casualties this year), so I’m thankful for that.  🙂

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The area where I snapped that picture of the squirrel is underneath the deck of the house next door, right next to my garden.  It’s a rental property that’s yard isn’t kept up very well, but it doesn’t bother me because I appreciate things growing wild and I love the bright, colorful Goldenrod that is growing wild there…

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Not to be confused with the despicable Ragweed that is also blooming right now, which I hate because I am highly allergic to it.  It’s simply not fair that my worst allergies come when it’s my favorite time of the year.

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The Goldenrod being in bloom is a sure sign of summer’s end, and I’m beginning to see little splashes of autumn color here and there.  Some of my Pineapple Sage’s leaves are turning purple…

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Ahhh so lovely!

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And the Crab Apple tree out on the boulevard is looking like autumn too, getting little tiny apples on it…

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Very pretty, but I wish they were edible, they’re only the ornamental type.

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In the vegetable garden…

 I’ve got tons of yellow bell peppers growing.  Although, I doubt they’ll have the chance to fully turn yellow before the frost comes.  But that’s okay, I’ll eat them green.  😀

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And speaking of green, there is just one small cluster of green tomatoes remaining on the vine…

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I’m not sure if these will have the chance to turn red before the cold weather comes either, but hopefully they will.

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I harvested my onions the other day and was a bit disappointed because they were so small.  I’m definitely going to have to find another way to grow onions for next year because growing them in a pot is not working out so well.

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I’m thankful for my little onions though, and I’m sure they’ll still taste good.

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Oh, but the strawberries in my little red pot… they’re getting a second wind and filled with oodles of blooms and tasty berries!

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Such a delight!  😀

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Also a delight is that my English Lavender is finally blooming!

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Better late than never!  Gosh, I love lavender soooo much, if only I could grow an entire field of it!    ♥

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Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  Thanks so much for stopping by to read about what’s going on in and around my tiny garden.

Peace and love to you…

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~Gardening is my therapy~

Summer Evening Nectar

I captured this lovely shot last evening while I was sitting out on the patio with my sister after a bike ride, and I really adore the way it turned out!  ♥

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This bumble was quite large, and right before I snapped that photo, it had just latched onto a grasshopper that was in its way and moved it around to the backside of the flower…

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It’s a one-legged grasshopper that I’ve been seeing hanging around the patio for the  past several days, and I just thought it was so amazing that the bee did that!

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While over on this other sunflower however, the big bumble wasn’t as pushy (probably because this particular sunflower is further developed and provided more feeding areas) and it was willing to share its summer evening meal of nectar with a honey bee…

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All sorts of different types of bees having been visiting my sunflowers (and I’ve really been enjoying watching them and trying to photograph them!)  Here is a shot I took a bit earlier in the day of an interesting looking bee with a green upper body and head…

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 How odd, I’ve never seen anything like it before!

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I have several more pictures that turned out quite nicely too, but I’ll spare you from looking at them all.  After all… how many photos of bees on sunflowers photos does one need to see?  😉

Well maybe just one more…

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😀

I used my mom’s camera to take these shots as my sunflowers are like 10 feet tall and her camera has a better zoom than mine.  I’m really delighted by the way they all turned out, so I may need to see about using it more often, hopefully she won’t mind…

My Garden Missed Me

While I was off being footloose and fancy free on my mini vacation, my garden was back here missing me.  I heard it breathe a huge sigh of relief when I came home and went out to check on it.  Oh, wait… that was me.  😉

I missed my garden while I was away.  Putzing around, tending to it, admiring its daily progress, and spending time out there reflecting on the various life lessons it teaches me ~ about growth, strength, resilience, and beauty (just to name a few).  I had some of that on my trip too, being out in nature always speaks to my soul, but sometimes it’s in the simpler, everyday things that I hear those lessons the clearest.  Or maybe I’m just being overly dramatic about my garden.  😀

Anyway there’s lots going on out there!  I’ve had a wonderful harvest of green beans, and they’re still coming!  I must take another look at the seed packet for these because I definitely have a different variety than I had last year, and I want to make sure I get this same kind again.

I’ve also been enjoying a great harvest of zucchini.  There is so much happening on this one plant, it’s crazy!

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I love it, so fun!  We had chilly autumn-like weather over the weekend and I baked up my first loaves of zucchini bread.  I flubbed it up and their bottoms stuck to the pans, but it still tasted delicious.  Before I went on vacation, I played mad scientist in the kitchen and experimented making new concoctions using zucchini, and I’m happy to report that I came up with a very yummy oven fried zucchini recipe!  One can never have too many zucchini recipes when the season comes around.  😀

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The cucumbers are coming right along as well…

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I’ve lost a few to the squirrels, but there appear to be plenty of them developing on the vine to be able afford to share a little.

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Remember the baby squirrels I had living in my tree this past spring?  (if not, see “Amidst My Branches”)  Well, I’m pretty sure they’re the culprits.  And, they appear to be quite tame.  One of them came right up to me on the patio yesterday morning, I thought it was going to climb right up into my lap!  And another (or maybe the same one) poked around on the ground and then climbed around in the lilac bush right next to me while I was at my potting bench, not one bit nervous of me being so close by.  They must recognize me from my window when I gawked at them and photographed them.  😉  Anyway, they’re not being too much of a nuisance at this point, hope it stays that way.  They sure are cute little things!  ♥

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I’m starting to see the first hints of red on the tomatoes…

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Yes I know, technically it’s orange, but orange is the first hint of red.  😉

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Not seeing any yellow yet on my bell pepper though…

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But it’s still a bit too early for that.  I’m not getting very many blooms that are developing into fruit on this plant and I’m not sure why.  It started out with tons, but they all shriveled up and fell off in the early stages.  I may have to read up on what the deal is with that.  In the meantime, I’m just happy to have this one growing nicely.  🙂

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And I’m also happy I’ve got more jalapenos developing…

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I had someone steal the last ones that came ready, and it wasn’t a squirrel.  But I’m not going to go into that story, I’m just gonna be glad that more are growing out there.

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Things are blooming out there too.  The Hosta are looking lovely…

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as are the Phlox…

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and the Bee Balm…

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My sis bought me this plant last year and I’m so pleased it’s growing well.   Even if it’s slightly weird looking, it smells so wonderful and has such vibrant color!

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There were a few garden casualties sustained while I was gone.  My cheerful little strawberry pot got completely obliterated in the heat wave we had.  My dear mom did all she could to try and keep it going, but it just couldn’t be helped.  I trimmed back all its foliage and am excited to see some new little growth sprouting out of it.  Also, one of the pots of petunias I had on the patio bit the dust.  I trimmed that back as well, but I’m not sure it’s gonna make it, I’ll have to wait and see if it perks back up.

Otherwise all is alive and well in my tiny garden, and for that I am truly grateful.  Time to head out there right now with my coffee for my morning “lesson.”  It’s a beautiful morning here, hope the weather is nice wherever you are too!  😀

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~Gardening is my therapy~

What’s Going On in the Garden

I can’t seem to keep up with photographing and sharing about everything that is going on in my tiny garden lately because it changes daily, but I’m enjoying every minute of it and feeling so thankful that’s it’s all doing so well!

Since it’s raining this morning I thought I’d try and write an update.

I’ll share about the blooming things first…

It took a little longer than I expected for the buds to open, but my trumpet vine is blooming now and it’s so pretty!

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And those “spindly” looking Stella de Oro lilies from the flower bed that I divided up and thought wouldn’t amount to much… well, they’re not so spindly after all, they’re lovely!  So bright and cheerful!

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Another bright and cheerful bloomer is this yellow daisy.  At least I think it’s a variety of daisy, I planted it so long ago that neither my mom nor I can remember exactly what it is.  Either way, it’s a pretty yellow flower.  😀

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Speaking of yellow flowers… my cucumbers are flowering.

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And wrapping their tendrils around the trellis…

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Since these photos were taken, I’ve noticed dozens of tiny little cukes forming on them now too!

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My one zucchini plant has tons of yellow/orange flowers on it too, and is spreading out its giant “solar panels.”

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There’s a lot going on underneath those giant leaves, and an abundance of fruits are developing.  I just picked this one the other day…

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I’ve also been picking tons of green beans!  Oh, I’m so very pleased with my beans this year!

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We steamed some and had them with dinner the other night, they were delicious!

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We’ve also been eating up the peas.  There hasn’t been very many though so I’m a bit disappointed.  But we had such a weird spring weather-wise and then it got too warm too soon for them, so it’s not their fault.  😉  I’m entertaining the idea of doing a fall planting to see if I can get more, but I’ve never done that before so I don’t know how it would work out.  I took this photo one morning while they were still small when the sun was hitting them just right to see the little peas developing inside.  Cute, yummy little things!  ♥

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Looking at them made me ponder about the things developing inside of us and how you catch glimpses of them when the Light reflects through us.  Me and constant metaphors hah!

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Another thing we’re going to be eating soon are jalapenos.  These two are just about ready to pick…

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The bell peppers are coming right along too, although it’ll be quite a while before they turn yellow…

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My one little row of carrots is doing well and their greens are filling out more every day, but there sure aren’t very many of them.

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  Oh well no matter, I’ll just appreciate and enjoy them all the more being that there are so few of them.  😉

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Speaking of only a few ~ I’ve only got five tomatoes growing on my two plants.  Those few are growing very nicely though!

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I’ve only gotten a few strawberries too.  I’ve been getting lots of blossoms, but the berries have all ended up being very wimpy.  I think the pot is maybe too small.

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But that red pot certainly is bright and pretty with those dainty little white flowers!  😀

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I guess that’s about it for now on what’s going on in the garden.  The rain has stopped so I’m going to head out there and check on everything after the thunderstorm we had earlier.  Hopefully it’s alright.

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I’ll leave you with this…  The hosta are beginning to bloom and I snapped this the other day when I noticed their buds glistening with the last droplets of the morning dew as the sun was coming up…

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Have a beautiful, blessed day!

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~Gardening is my therapy~

Pleased and Thankful

I’m just so very pleased and thankful with how well everything is doing in my garden right now.  I guess all of the rain we’ve had has been agreeable with it.  Every morning when I go out there to sit on the patio with my coffee, I am greeted with new little surprises.

It was especially wonderful the other morning when I went out there quite a bit earlier than usual and discovered dainty little dewdrops all artistically arranged around the edges of my cucumber leaves.  I tried my best to take a good picture, but in the dim lighting of the new day I couldn’t get it into focus very well.

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The color is a bit off as well.  But it was such a cool effect to have the droplets only on the very outer edges like that, and all glistening, it was magical!

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The dew also graced the ends of my celery leaves with a lovely sequined pattern…

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Again, the color is a bit off and this photo lacks in capturing just how pretty it really was.  Sometimes pictures, much like words, are just inadequate in truly conveying what our eyes are seeing and how our heart is feeling at a given moment.  But I was altogether delighted by that early morning display of a bit of nature’s delicate beauty, and I felt thankful and special to be there to see it .  ♥

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I unknowingly purchased a different variety of green bean seeds this year and was pleasantly surprised to find lovely little lavender colored blossoms on them rather than the white I am accustomed to.

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Ah, so pretty!  Hopefully the beans will taste yummy too!  😉

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And speaking of lavender, my French lavender is now blooming.  And smelling absolutely heavenly!  ♥

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I’m still waiting for my English lavender (my favorite variety) to bloom, it’s progressing agonizingly slow.  It’s really hard waiting to have something you love and want so much.  Hmm… it suddenly appears there’s a personal metaphor lurking there for me in multiple ways in relation to this.  I’ll have to ponder on it…

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But aside from pondering and metaphors, other things are progressing ~ in the garden.  My peas are blooming away and producing dozens of pods.  I really can’t hardly wait to eat them!

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I was also excited to see a round little tomato developing on one of my plants.

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Interesting fact:  I don’t actually even like tomatoes.  I like tons of things made with tomatoes though.  😉

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But I do like jalapeno peppers, and this little fella is just one among many that are growing on my pepper plant…

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Although, there are also some shriveled ones too, like the one right next to it.  Not sure why that is happening.  I’m noticing that on my bell peppers as well.  I’ll have to read up on it.  Hopefully it’s not a big deal.  Maybe it’s just a result from all of the rain.

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I also like (make that love) zucchini!  Just found this bad boy starting to develop on my zucchini plant this morning…

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Technically I suppose it’s a bad girl, as zucchini plants have both male and female parts and it’s the female part that produces the fruits.  Even though they look like male parts.  😉

Oops, did I just type that in my outside voice?  And am I leaving it like that?

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I guess so.  Okay then, moving right along…

In addition to the edible delights I’ve got going on in my vegetable garden, there are also a few floral delights that I’m seeing around the yard that are out there doing their thing.

The buds on the new trumpet vine I posted about last time are looking even more plump now.  I imagine they’ll be opening up soon…

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Hopefully that gross black ant crawling around on them isn’t a bad sign of anything.

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I just noticed yesterday that the Stella de Oro lilies that I divided up earlier this spring have buds on them…

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They are quite spindly though, so I’m not sure they’ll amount to much this year, but I’m happy they’re surviving being separated, as they were very crowded and I had be a bit brutal with them to get them apart.

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The Astilbe in the flower bed has buds as well…

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And the Astilbe on the side yard is already in bloom…

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It’s such a pretty, light and airy looking plant.

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The yellow Loosestrife we have on the side yard is blooming too…

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And I have to share this photo I took of the Coleus I have planted in one of our patio pots.  The foliage is so bright and colorful!

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You know, at the end of each of my gardening posts I always write “Gardening is my therapy,” and that’s not just a saying, it’s really true.  Nature in general always gives me such a wonderful sense of peace, and joy.  It helps to center me, along with my faith.

I have many other things outside of gardening that are going on and sometimes when things are really pressing in and my heart feels heavy, even the joys of my garden can’t seem to bring complete relief, but even still… gardening really is a therapy for me, and I’m so very pleased with and thankful for my tiny garden.

Thanks for letting me share a bit of it with you…

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~Gardening is my therapy~

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My….. Plants

Wow, that’s got to be just about the corniest music video ever!  Haha the 70’s!  I do love B.J. Thomas’ voice though.

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Sorry, it’s just that everything reminds me of a song.  😉

And the raindrops really do keep falling on my plants.  In fact, we’ve had some pretty strong storms here too, over the past several days.  I love me a good thunderstorm!  Three nights in a row I was awoken by some awesome thunder crashing.  ♥

Unfortunately though, the storms did do some damage in the area with flooding, fires caused by lightening, trees down from high winds, and many people are still without power.  My sis came back from her cabin only to find that power was out at her place.  She’s just a little way up the road from us and I’m so thankful we didn’t lose power or have any damage here.  I did have one bean plant casualty however, and our gorgeous peonies got decimated.  I’m really glad I got the chance to enjoy them before they did.  During one of the storms our street became a rushing river, literally.  It was scary and exciting at the same time.  Again, I’m just thankful we didn’t have any real damage or power outage.

As every good gardener does, I went out after one of the storms and checked on how my plants fared through the weather.  Aside from being completely drenched and having a few that were leaning over from the winds, I’m happy to report that things looked pretty good.

I think some of my mesclun is just about ready to harvest.  Finally!

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My peas are flowering!  ♥

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My zucchini is spreading out nicely.

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I’m really glad it didn’t get damaged from any of the storms because it’s the only one I planted this year.

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My carrots are doing alright.

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They had a rocky start though because something was nibbling them down at first, but they seem to be fine now and leafing out a little bit more.

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My jalapeno peppers are doing really well and have lots of pretty blossoms.

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Pretty blossoms that will hopefully become yummy peppers.  😀

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I was so excited to see that the trumpet vine I planted around the backside of the fence now has buds on it.

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I’ve never grown one of these before and I can’t wait to see it bloom!  I hope it attracts lots hummingbirds and butterflies!  ♥

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I bought my mom a new hydrangea because the one we planted for her last year didn’t survive.  This one is a little different of a variety so hopefully it fares better.  It sure is a pretty shade of blue.

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This isn’t actually in the ground yet and during one of the storms we looked out and saw it rolling around in its pot on the patio, being blown by the wind and the rain.  My daughter who was just itching to go outside during the storm (she is her mother’s daughter ;)) begged to go out and rescue it.  I’m glad she did, or it very well could have ended up another causality.  It’s getting a bit warm outside now to be planting, so I may just leave this in its pot until fall planting time.  But we’ll have to keep an eye on it during any storms so we don’t lose it.

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And lastly, with all the raining it’s been doing out there I haven’t kept up on keeping the weeds cleared very well.  And you know what…?  I happen to find some “weeds” to be completely delightful.  Clovers for one.  I absolutely love their little heart shaped triple leaves!  Just look at them, I swear they’re smiling…

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So cute!  I really can’t bear to yank them out.  I think I’ll just leave them there a while, maybe they’ll produce a four-leafed clover, I could use some good luck!  😉

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~Gardening is my therapy~

Random Gardening Tidbits

Technically this post should probably be entitled “In Between the Rain” Part 2 because the rainy weather here continues to persist.  Although the forecast tells of a couple of sunny days coming up, my feelings have become “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  And speaking of seeing ~ the skies have been so dark here this morning that I’ve had to have the lights on to see what I’m doing.

I have been getting out in the garden when I can in between this weather.  And even when I can’t ~ yesterday I actually sat out in the rain after doing some yard work, but it was mostly because I was too tired to get up and go inside.  It really was quite refreshing though, and heck… may as well conserve water and shower in the rain right?!  😉

Anyway, aside from grumbling about the weather, my garden is doing very well,  and I’ve gathered together a few photos I’ve taken lately to share of it’s progress…

The new little strawberry pot I got this year has berries ripening…

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Sure, it’s a bit puckered and wimpy looking, but we’ll see how it tastes.  😀

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And I noticed my tomatoes are starting to flower…

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I really hope I have better luck with my tomatoes this year.  This picture kinda reminds me of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.  Feed me Seymore!  Hah it’s really something where my brain goes sometimes.  I’ll blame it on the lack of sun.   😉

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My peas are continuing to grow and make their way upward…

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And I can’t wait to eat them!  In the future, I may need to find a way to grow more peas than just in this small pot, because I really love fresh peas!

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Same with my onions too.  I put onions in everything

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But I’m thankful even for just the few I am able to grow.  🙂

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I have been contemplating putting in another gardening area behind the garage, it gets full sun all day and growing veggies there would be such a better way to utilize that spot than just for grass.

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I have already been slowly making my way over toward that area and have gone around the patio to the backside of the privacy fence to plant the extra cucumbers I thinned out from my main garden box.  I just couldn’t bear to let them die, it’s food!  Because I don’t want to plant food in that chemically treated soil (my parents had TruGreen lawn service for so many years), I got a pot, filled it with good healthy soil, and tacked up some wire fencing for them to grow up.

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I’ve since transplanted them from their individual little pots, but haven’t taken a more recent photo.  I also planted a few sunflowers in the ground next to them.  It looks a bit blah there right now, but I think it will look really pretty once it all starts growing taller.  😀

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My zucchini is coming along nicely…

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I only have one lone zucchini planted in my garden this year.  They completely took over last year, and although I was happy with how well they did (I love zucchini!), they also prevented other things from growing.  I did save this zucchini’s fellows that I thinned out, but I have no idea where I’m going to plant them.

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I have two little twin peppers developing on my pepper plant…

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The plant itself is still quite small.  Earlier, I plucked a few little peppers that had began developing because I wanted the plant to grow a bit bigger before trying to support fruits.  But I’m going to just leave these little guys alone and let life run it’s course, despite the small size of the plant.  Hopefully I’ll end up with some nice, yummy yellow bell peppers.

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My green beans are growing well…

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Last year I was a bit disappointed and had a really pathetic outcome from my green beans because the zucchini shaded them too much.  I really like green beans, so this year I planted more and devoted extra space in my tiny garden for them.  I really hope they do better this year, they look like they’re off to a great start!

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Same thing with my celery, the zucchini shaded them as well.  But this year they’re in a different spot, so hopefully I’ll have a better outcome…

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My lettuce is doing well, but seemingly at a rather slow pace.  I feel like I should be enjoying salads by now…

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All of my various mints are looking great.  This is my peppermint…

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My French lavender is getting buds…

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I have 3 different varieties of lavender this year.  Mmmmmmmmm lavender…  ♥♥♥

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I’ve been plant sitting for my sis while she’s on vacation and tending to her flat of peppers…

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And also her tomatoes, but I don’t have a picture of them.

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In the flowering realm, I have some random little Johnny Jump Ups jumping up among the cracks and crevasses around the yard…

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I adore these, they’re such cheerful little things.  🙂

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And the Peony buds are getting ready to open…

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Does anyone know… do the ants that are always crawling around on them really help them to open, or is that just a myth?

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Guess I’ll end with that.  Funny, I titled this post Tidbits when there are actually quite a few things going on here.  Hah!  There’s more too, but this is all I have time for today…

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~Gardening is my therapy~