Garden – March 2018 Update

Overall, we’ve had a nice winter this year. It’s been warmer than usual and relatively dry, both of which have been conducive to spending a good amount of time working in the yard and garden. We have had different batches of snow come through as well as cold snaps, but in general Milo and I have been able to spend many many more weekends than normal puttering outside.

So, Milo is at the most fun age right now. The past couple of years, he hasn’t been old enough to really play in the garden or help me with the work, so my gardening efforts were limited and fairly unsuccessful. Now, he loves being in the garden with me, whether he is playing in the dirt doing his own thing or actually helping me.


Arguably, Milo truly has been helpful in the garden. Yes, as evidenced above and below, he does enjoy playing in the dirt in which I am growing plants, but he has been mindful about not destroying my plants. But even more than that, he is a good helper.

Several weeks ago, he helped me dig up the potatoes that I didn’t have time to dig last fall. And that was the perfect example to contrast last year’s lack of success in the garden with this year’s productivity. He honestly was very helpful in digging up the potatoes and we were able to get the project completely done. He has also been helping me to clean up the debris on all of my garden beds.


Above, here is Milo playing with his construction vehicles in my asparagus bed. Probably not the best idea to let him do this, but I would prefer to encourage a love of digging in the dirt over retaining an intact asparagus bed. I’m sure many gardeners would be shocked at this perspective, but asparagus I can replant. Right now, fostering a love of gardening in my son I feel is so much more worthwhile.

Other gardening tasks I have accomplished include:

  • Direct sowing to beds of sugar snap peas
  • Cleaning up the overwintered beets and chard – – I’ve even been harvesting some chard the last several months
  • Caught up on so much garden clean up – trimmed back perennials, raked leaves, etc.


Above, this is a random silly picture – – Milo thought he’d be able to crawl through my tomato cages.


I do have a good start on my seed starting. Milo has been helping me with these as well. Initially, he helped me to fill the different containers with dirt and gently add seeds and then water. Then we’ve been watching the seedlings grow and he’s been helping to water them. It’s a cool science project to share with him.


We’ve also been working on a lot of landscaping and ornamental gardening projects. Above, this is our dirt mound in the front yard that Milo loves rolling his trucks on. I managed to bring out a haul of landscaping rocks that we found buried in our back yard several years ago. I’m still trying to figure out where to place them.


Another project that Josh has been working on has been installing a walkway next to our driveway. It’s about 90% complete.


In the backyard, I’ve continued to work on this flower bed that I started last year. I also laid several layers of cardboard on an area that I want to get rid of grass.


Front yard again, our lovely neighbor across the street gave me a ton of ornamental plants that I’ve added to the front yard. For example, that bit of ornamental grass in the foreground of the above picture (obviously, is dormant for the winter). I’ve bought oodles and oodles of flower seeds that I’m going to scatter over all of our dirt areas in the front yard and I’m so excited for this to become a colorful wonderland.


The weather is predicted to be in the mid 50’s this weekend and I’m looking forward to spending many many hours working in the dirt.

Belated Update

I am astonished at how long it’s been since last I posted. Things have been great, overall. My newish job is going well, but is so very busy that I don’t tend to feel inclined to spend time at the computer when not at work. Hence, the months of silence.

What follows will be an inadequate update, but it is more adequate than no update.


Milo is doing awesome. His language skills continue to EXPLODE. He speaks in full sentences, using pronouns occasionally and conjugating verbs appropriately. At day care for several weeks, they’ve had a learning theme around opposites and each week they focus on a different set of opposites. This week is hard and soft – – he knows that his teeth are hard and his skin is soft. Last week was clean and dirty, before that was inside and outside, etc. It’s been fun talking about opposites with him at home. During bath time, we talked about empty and full, while filling up cups with bath water and then dumping the water out.

He has also learned that Josh and I have actual names, rather than just mommy and daddy and, on occasion, he calls us by our names. When he does, he says “Gosh” for Josh and “Genfer” for Jennifer. It’s pretty cute.

We’ve been working more on potty training. It had been going great – – Milo had actually gotten to the point where he would ask to sit on the potty before going a few times – – but then he got sick and he hasn’t sat on the potty hardly at all for about a week. He’s also used the potty several times at day care.


We got him a balance bike for his birthday (way back in August) and he’s gotten really good at it.


He’s gone ‘mountain biking’ quite a number of times and is pretty good at it. Josh and I will run along after him on the trails


Obviously we take him on very easy trails, but they do have a slight grade and he can get going decently fast (for a toddler) on the downhill. He’s had a couple of crashes but nothing that phased him at all, he would just get back on his bike and keep riding. But he’s also really good at keeping his speed under control.


In a few months, I expect to be able to have him ride his bike while I run and for it to actually be a great workout for me. Pretty excited about that.


We had a lot of fun this past summer. There were so many great activities around town and we even got out of town a fair amount.


In October, we went to a corn maze at a ranch and Milo got to ride a pony.


I took him to a pumpkin patch at a local fire station and he got to explore a fire truck.


He also had a bit of a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him climb to the very very top of the hay bale structure by himself.


He LOVED playing in the leaves after I raked them into a pile.


Halloween was fun. I made him a rainbow turkey (???) costume and we trick or treated along the very busy Harrison Blvd. It’s so busy that they have police stationed at all of the intersections.


We went to an air show at the local airforce base.


We went to the Idaho Botanical Gardens for their annual Winter Garden Aglow and it was lovely.


Okay, well that’s a super quick update of a few things happening.

~ Milo 2 Years! ~

Today my lovable guy is TWO years old.


We’ve had a great month. I am constantly in awe of how smart and fun he is.


Get this… my little genius can COUNT! Last night in the bath, I asked him how many toes he has, and he correctly counted all the way up to SEVEN! He’s been reliably counting to 2 for a few weeks (and has been very excited to identify when there are TWO of something) but last night I was absolutely blown away when he kept counting all the way to seven.

Of course, I tried to take a video of him counting and he wouldn’t count in front of the camera. But he did count to seven for Josh, who was equally amazed as I was.


This weekend, we had a casual gathering to celebrate Milo’s birthday. Josh recently finished installing a dishwasher in our house and the process of installing a dishwasher in a 70 year old home that previously did not have a dishwasher wreaked havoc on our already chaotic lives, so we had no mental or physical energy to organize an actual party. Instead, I sent out a last minute facebook invitation to a few friends to hang out at a local brewery, one that has a nice outdoor space.  As of two years ago, minors can accompany their parents to breweries in Idaho, and we have so many breweries that are lovely places for families to hang out.

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Anyway, a small but wonderful group of friends joined us and it was a very nice time.  Elizabeth made DELICIOUS chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.


This has been a fun month. There is always so much going on during the summer in Boise, particularly family friendly activities.

This past Saturday, for example, we went to Bug Day at the Idaho Botanical Gardens, which is a great space that is within walking distance of our house. The Gardens have so many fun events that are great for kids and it’s also just a great place to go.


Anyway, Bug Day was awesome! There were so many different hands-on learning booths, that were fascinating for both Milo and myself.

They also had several model trains setup that were decorated with bugs. This was different than the other exhibits, but Milo LOVES model trains and we watched them for almost half an hour.


We also wandered around the Gardens. Below is looking down on the koi pond.


Later that day, he and I went on a bike ride to Veteran’s park and we spent a long time just running around on the grass. Milo has developed a great affinity for running down hills.


We’ve also gone to the zoo several times. His day care actually did a Saturday field trip a few weeks ago, that was fun.


Last week, we went to the old train station in Nampa, where they have multiple model train exhibits. A train came into the station while we were there and we got to learn all about it.


Milo has a book about construction and there is a picture of a worker holding his hand out like this, to signal STOP. Milo loves making the STOP sign with his hand.

Here is a photo from a mama day a few weeks ago, when Milo and I went thrift store shopping together (and found that awesome Tonka truck on the table).


Also during our thrift store shopping spree, we found this scooter that Milo has mastered.



This week at day care, Milo is transitioning from the Chipmunk classroom to the Turtles. He’s moving along with his best friend, Lilah, who both turned 2 this month.

Joining the Turtles should be a fairly non-issue because he already knows the kids and teachers, as they socialize Chipmunks and Turtles regularly. Also, the current Turtles are all former Chipmunks that Milo has been in class with previously.


As I mentioned in my last post, Turtles are big kids and start working on big kid things like potty training.  At home, we’ve been having Milo sit on his potty in the morning after he has his breakfast. So far, he hasn’t gone in his potty, but we’re not really potty training yet, just trying to get him used to sitting on it.

I do think he’s showing more and more readiness. Yesterday after his bath, I was putting lotion on his skin and he asked me to put his diaper on. I was surprised because he usually loves his post-bath run around without a diaper for five minutes. So I got up to put the lotion away. When I returned, I found him on his changing table (he can climb up by himself, which used to freak me out), lying down, with a diaper, and trying to put the diaper on himself. It was hilarious! Right after I put the diaper on, he had a big pee (the line on the diaper turned blue really fast) and I suspect he was holding his urine until he had a diaper on.

Likely this is obvious, but I am excited for potty training, if only because I feel so bad about how ‘wasteful’ diapers are. If we ever have a second kiddo (which I’m sure we won’t), I will definitely try harder to make cloth diapers happen. After I had given up on cloth diapers for Milo, I learned that we have cloth diaper consultants in town as well as washing services.

Anyway, yesterday when I picked Milo up from daycare, I chatted with a Turtle mama who said that her daughter Dara (who is just a few months older than Milo) is 75% potty trained. I know that girls are supposed to be faster to potty train than boys and that it’s also very important to wait until the child is ready, but it’s nice to feel optimistic that one day we might be done with diapers.


As usual, I wasn’t organized with what I wanted to update this month’s post about, but I feel super awesome about being able to post an update on the actual day of the 22nd rather than six weeks late, despite the insanity of life. So, go me.

Oh, Milo got horribly sick two weeks ago and I had to stay home from work for three days. He was running a fever of 103 for four days, would hardly eat or drink, and was cranky as all get out. Apparently several kiddos from his day care were out with similar symptoms. But I also think that perhaps he was teething in addition to whatever he brought home from daycare, as he was drooling everywhere and his mouth was in a lot of pain. He won’t let me look in his mouth anymore, but I caught a glimpse of some white farther back in his mouth when he yawned the other day. So maybe molars…

This sickness reminded me of life with a colicky baby, as I found myself desperately driving him around town with the fans blaring with white noise, just to try and get him to calm down and sleep. He also had the meltdown of the century one night while I was trying to put him down for bed. He was SCREAMING, “No mama!”, kicking and hitting me with all of his might (which is actually a significant amount of might), and violently crying and crying, until finally, at a complete loss for what to do and feeling like I was going to lose my mind, took him on a walk around the neighborhood in the stroller. Of course, he fell asleep 30 seconds into our walk but I continued walking him around for quite some time because the peace and quiet was a godsend. For the next three days, the only way I could get him to relax enough to fall asleep was by walking him in the stroller.

Then, as suddenly as it began, Milo’s behavior returned to his normal, happy self.

In other news, not Milo related, but yesterday was the eclipse and I got to see 99.5% totality at the patio of my workplace. (All of my eclipse photos are terrible, but I did take this one of me and the uneclipsed sun behind me). Josh was actually able to head up to Pearl, Idaho to see full totality, which I hear is something worth looking at. I feel pretty meh about my partial eclipse experience, but everyone I know who saw totality are just going on and on about how it was one of the greatest experiences of their lives.


But I digress.

Milo 23 Months

Playing catch up here, and I’m confident it will be most inadequate.

My last post was an inadequate summary of some adventures we’ve had the last two months, and this post will provide an inadequate summary of some of the developments my little genius has made. Not only will it be inadequate, but it will likely also be disorganized.

Language & Comprehension

In May, Milo said his very first multi-word expression, “Bye wah-wah” when he was saying bye to the river. Since then, he’s expanded his multi-word verbalizations to things like, “More milk,” “Mama no,” and “Milo shoes.”

His vocabulary has exploded. It seems like he says a new word every day. We read several books everyday and talk about the words for everything, and he usually repeats many of the words and understands what they are. Just yesterday, he learned ‘baboon’ and can differentiate baboons from chimpanzees or orangutans, etc.

He also knows his colors and has for a few months now (this is one of those developments that is old at this point).  We’ve been working on colors for quite a while and I was starting to wonder if he was color blind. Not only does he know the primary colors, but he also knows secondary colors.

I just LOVE that he and I can communicate at this level, it makes everything so much easier. I can ask him if he’d like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich or pasta for lunch. I can ask if he’d like to go on a bike ride or to the zoo. If he needs or wants something, he has a much greater capacity to communicate it to me.


It blows my mind that Milo will be TWO years old next month. He is becoming a big kid and I still think of him as my baby. (I suspect that will never change).

Two will be a significant age for him, as several changes and milestones will happen.

Next month he will transition to the Turtle Classroom for the two year olds. Not only will have a new class to transition to, there will be new routines. I anticipate that the classroom transition will be fairly easy, as they already socialize the Chipmunks and the Turtles a lot, have the Turtle teachers watch the Chipmunks, as well as the fact that the current Turtles used to be Chipmunks and Milo already knows them from when they were in his class. From the point when he first started in this day care last fall, there is actually only one other kid remaining from his original class.

As for the new routines, Turtles are big kids – so they are treated like big kids and have big kid expectations. For example, big kids don’t use pacifiers. I mentioned this in my last post, but this past month we weaned Milo off the pacifier. He seemed so hooked on his paci that his teachers and I decided to begin the process early… At day care, they only use pacifiers during naptime. And at home, we’ve been pretty strict about pacifiers being for naps or bedtime. But still, Milo just seemed so hooked on his paci. Anyway, weaning him from his binkie was a total non-issue. We just explained that binkies were for babies, that big kids don’t use binkies, and that he’s a big kid now who doesn’t need a binkie. He occasionally asks for his binkie, but just by saying “binkie” once and then I think he remembers that he’s a big kid and he doesn’t persist about it at all.


This photo is at his day care. Last week, they were reading and doing activities around the book Giraffes Can’t Dance and they drew a giraffe as well as outlines of all the kids in the class. On the silhouettes of the kids, they also wrote down their heights, and I noted that Milo is the tallest kid in his class, at 33 inches.

Speaking of his size, in the past I’ve mentioned what clothing size he wears and I haven’t done that for a while. Right now, he is solidly in size 18 months for shirts and size 12 months for pants and shorts – and size 6 shoes. Lengthwise, he could wear larger pants & shorts, but his waist is super skinny and anything larger than the 12 month waist size falls right off him.

Another new routine they do in the Turtle classroom is to start potty training. I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of their process, but from what I understand they sit the kinds on a potty and encourage them to go, but don’t make a big deal about it if they don’t use the potty. At home, we’ve started putting Milo on the potty without a diaper at least once a day – with no pressure or expectation that he use it, mainly just for him to get used to it. We’re also reading several different potty books at home, which he seems interested in.

It is interesting / weird, but he always says ‘no’ if I ask him if he pooped or if he is currently pooping (because I can tell) and I’m not sure if he’s saying ‘no’ because he doesn’t want to interrupt his playing to have a diaper change or if he honestly doesn’t know that he pooped/is pooping.


In the last several months, Milo has developed an imagination. It’s apparent that when he’s playing by himself, he’s creating in his mind a detailed scenario of which he is the conductor. Right now, we have a big landscaping project in our front yard and Milo will spend a long time enthusiastically playing with his vehicles in the dirt piles, talking to himself about what he’s imagining.


Another cool development is that he’s really playing WITH other kids now. Yesterday, we had a playdate with three other kids (each around 4-5 years old, except for Milo) and Milo was joining the other kids in their fun. It was so wonderful for me to watch him truly playing WITH other kids.


Okay… as I suspected, this is an inadequate summary of the developments of my little genius, but an inadequate summary is better than no summary. I know there is so much more that has happened with Milo, but my memory is eluding me at the moment and I’m just going to publish this, lest I remain in draft form for months. (Interestingly, I have a post titled “Milo 21 Months” that has been a draft since May, so this is a very real danger for me.)

As for next month, I’m starting to mentally plan his birthday party. I’m going to invite at least one of his classmates from daycare (Lilah, who is absolutely his best friend) as well as his other playmate friends. Milo has so many toys and books, that I don’t anticipate buying him very much; but we are going to buy him a balance bike.

if I die in a cubicle zone

I am more than two months almost three months behind in a Milo update and my guilt about this is intense. I admit that I’ve let myself enjoy a bit of sleep, or reading for pleasure, or puttering in my garden, or being present with Milo, rather than writing about what a genius he is and all of his many accomplishments. I don’t regret my prioritization but I feel incredibly guilty.

So, I have this new job. And it’s taking up a lot of my time. Much more than 40 hours a week. I don’t exactly regret taking the job, but I kind of regret taking the job.

It’s just so much more all-consuming than a mama with a toddler with little support can handle.

In an attempt to catch myself up, this post contains a collection on photos with very brief summaries of some things we’ve done.


Summer in Boise. Hot hot hot. We’ve been playing in our backyard pool and in the sprinklers a lot. I’ve since upgraded to a bigger pool than what is pictured and it’s a great way to cool off in the heat.

We’ve also been going to the pool at the YMCA. We did this a few times last year and Milo was completely overwhelmed. But now he’s really taken to it. He can even go down the big water slide on my lap and has so much fun.

Also, several parks have ‘splash pads’ and we’ve been enjoying those as well.


Summer, it’s all about how to beat the heat.

This below photo from May is from a hike we went on… seems like a long time ago. That’s our neighborhood below. This is my current favorite photo of Milo and I.


Josh has been taking Milo mountain biking when it’s cool enough.


Sleeping boy. As an aside, I’m noticing the two pacifiers next to him in this photo (which was taken two months ago)… In preparation for him turning TWO next month, we’ve weaned him off the pacifiers (both at home and at school) and it’s worked out great. I thought it would be horrible, what with how attached he was to his binkies, but he seems to understand that he’s a big boy now and big boys don’t use binkies.


For Mother’s Day, his day care hosted a Mother’s Day tea party. The whole time I was fairly anxious about all of this china around so many toddlers, but it was fine. (They also hosted a Father’s Day Root Beer Float party).



In May, we went to Arkansas to visit Josh’s family. Milo took his very first plane trip and he did great! Since he’s still under two, we saved some dollars by not buying him a seat and it was totally fine having him sit on our laps.


We stayed with Josh’s oldest brother, Jim, and his family (wife Wendy, son Jamie, and daughter Anna). This is their playset in the backyard, with Anna on the swing.


They also had this car and all of the cousins took turns driving it around. Even Milo drove it!


Milo driving Anna around.


Josh’s oldest sister, Jessica, bought the kids a bouncy house and they had so much fun. In the below photo, Milo was enjoying the sensation of lying down and bouncing around. I was worried the other kids would step on him, but everyone was very careful.


More bouncy house fun.


That’s his cousin Eden. It’s crazy… I held Eden when she was a newborn baby and now she’s 7 years old.


The next few photos are when we went to a ‘drive through safari.’ Below, we were looking at some birds (and right as I was taking this photo, Milo put his mouth on that poopy railing! ugh!) We used a lot of hand sanitizer on this trip.




Feeding a camel.


Milo got to touch a snake!


We also spent time out at a lake (I don’t know the name).


This is Josh’s mom, Kathy.


Milo and Kathy in downtown Bentonville.


Hanging out in another of the cousins’ backyard.


We also went to a really fun indoor children’s playground, called the Amazeum.

That’s Leah, Eden’s sister, behind Milo.


Milo and I spent a lot of time at this sand swirly station.


I wish Boise had a place like this for when it’s super hot outside. I should mention that we went to this Amazeum on ‘tornado day’ – – not only was it really hot and humid out, but tornadoes were in the forecast and we wanted to keep the kiddos inside.


There was a fun water play area.



Northwest Arkansas is also home to an amazing art museum, Crystal Bridges, which has a large outdoor art space, including miles of walking paths. We walked along the paths quite a bit (and also went inside the museum as well). Anyway, this is one of the sculptures that I liked a lot.


After ‘tornado day’ there was ‘tornado night’ when Josh, Jim, and I were woken up by the tornado alarms (amazingly, Wendy and all the kiddos slept through it). We watched the radar for awhile and discussed whether to get all of the kids into a closet or something.

Weirdly, there are no basements in this area of Arkansas. They have some really bizarre bedrock just a few feet down from their top soil, and it’s difficult to drill below it. Trees grow with shallow roots that spread horizontally rather than going deep into the soil, and they are always coming down in storms. At Kathy’s house, she recently had a big tree come down, and I was astonished at the root system.


On another day, we took a field trip to an historic mill and stopped at a few other places. We had taken a walk, and a storm quickly began forming, so we scurried back to the mill. Below, Milo is covering his ears because of some loud thunder.


It rained hard for about 20 minutes, and afterwards there were many fun puddles to play in.


Here’s a photo of the storm approaching. It’s amazing how fast it came on. On our walk, the skies were clear and sunny, and within ten minutes it looked like this.


We went to the Farmer’s Market and Milo got to tour a fire truck.


We also went on a hike and everyone got ticks. Northwest Arkansas is extremely beautiful and has some fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities, but the bug situation is completely unacceptable. Checking ourselves for ticks was a nightly occurrence, as was FINDING a tick on at least one person.


This is up at the lake again, and all of the cousins lined up together. The oldest cousin, Ely, is holding the youngest cousin, baby Joshua.


There’s a fun splash pad in downtown Bentonville that we took Milo to. The expression of absolute delight summarizes how he felt about the splash pad.



Back in Boise, Milo came down with another stomach flu. He’s already so skinny and he seemed to quickly get skinnier with a week-long stomach flu.


My former boss had a party that Milo and I attended with some of my former coworkers. She lives on a ranch and has several horses, included this mini horse.


Milo got to ride a tractor. It was a lot of fun.


Another adventure we had was to go to a petting zoo way out in a rural area (wow, I cannot remember where it was) with his friends Una and Eli. I had never been there before (and I don’t think I’ll go again… it wasn’t that great). But it was fun for the kiddos and afterwards we all went to a brewery that had a nice outdoor space for the kids to run around.


Josh is working on several home improvement projects. He’s completely re-landscaping the front yard, getting rid of most of the grass, installing a walkway, etc. Inside the house, he’s also working to install the house’s very first dishwasher.


I painted Milo’s and my toenails purple.


Okay, apparently that is all of the photos that I uploaded. I have actually not been very good about taking photos recently. Milo and I went blueberry picking last Saturday and we go to different playgrounds and nature areas all the time.

This post kind of catches me up on some of the adventures we’ve been up to but doesn’t even begin to touch on all of the developments that my little genius has experienced these past few months. I’ll try to do that at some point. And hopefully I won’t get this behind again.

June 2017 Garden Update

It has been over a month since I posted any kind of update. I am way late in posting a Milo update and have many updates on the garden (which I will post today, in a photo-heavy and somewhat disorganized post). To say that I have been busy is an understatement. I had been experiencing normal busyness with a full time job, many spare time activities, and my rambunctious little guy, then I unexpectedly applied for and was offered a new job, and soon thereafter we went to Arkansas for a family reunion. Currently, I’ve been working a lot of overtime to wrap up the projects in my current role so that I can move into my new role with no loose ends. Since I wasn’t even thinking about looking for a new job, my previously expanded timeline was suddenly scrunched. Basically, one Thursday, a colleague approached me and said, “Hey Jennifer, there is this position that the Sr. Director isn’t satisfied with her pool of applicants and I think you would rock the job.” I met with the Sr. Director the following day to discuss the role, thought about it over the weekend, applied on Sunday, had an interview on Tuesday, and was offered the job on Wednesday.

Despite the busyness, today I am able to possibly post a garden update because I find myself unexpectedly home with a sick Milo. He was throwing up all yesterday evening and all night and had a fever of 101 this morning. So far, he’s slept most of the morning and is currently lying in bed watching some Thomas the Train.

Okay, as for the garden… good news and not-so-good news, as always. Harvests are trickling in, though I’m not bothering with weighing anything. I have several garden projects I’m working on and just don’t think weighing the harvests is a priority with my limited time.

For this update, I’ll take you through the different areas of the backyard & veggie garden.


First up, is the general space in the backyard. Last year, we installed this flower bed that I planted randomly with many things. I love its wildness, though I am thinking about moving the blue flax. I also want to remove the grass between the bed and the fence and have a low-maintenance zone.


Along with ornamentals, I’ve planted strawberries that are doing quite well.


I also planted cucumbers bought from a local nursery, and they are not doing well. Previously, I’ve explained how I decided not to start my summer garden from seeds but to buy transplants from a nursery. I did this not only because I thought I would save time but also because our trip to Arkansas overlapped with prime- Summer garden planting time (ie, mid-May) and I didn’t want to leave seedlings at the hands of a housesitter.

Unfortunately, many of my nursery-bought transplants are not doing so well.


Blue flax in the back yard. I love this plant.


Here is another one of our flower beds in the backyard.


It is also home to strawberries.


And self-seeded Calendula.


As well as this butterfly bush. I’ve been trying to plant more ornamentals favorable to pollinators.


Over by the shed I have this strip for flowers – california poppies, yarrow, delphinium, rudbekia, etc.


I also planted summer crookneck squash, which is doing much better than the cucumbers but I am concerned about something munching on the plants in this space. I planted six bunches of marigolds and they are also decimated.


The rudbeckia are also being munched on.


This one might not make it.


I’ve had other problems with some flowering plants this year. We had a late hard frost that destroyed the flower buds on the magnolia as well as the lilac. Flowers that I had been eagerly awaiting never arrived.


And sadly, the plum trees experienced a glorious flowering but the hard frost killed off most of the blooms so I suspect it will be a dismal year for plums.


On the Hollywood plum, there are but a handful of fruit.


Likewise the Satsuma plum has relatively few fruit.


But look! A bird’s nest. I think it’s been abandoned.


Fortunately the Hawthorn we planted last fall has survived the winter. We enjoyed its flowering and now leafing out.


The grapes are also coming alive.


Now we progress to the back where I have my official veggie garden. As a side note, I’ve planted several cukes, squash, pumpkins, and gourds outside of this area, so that’s why it seems mixed up.


This area is a mess because I’m trying to install a drip irrigation system. The one I did last year didn’t work very well so I’m redoing it.


The bareroot raspberries I planted are coming up.


My wild herb perennials are wild.


Asparagus is out of control. I had a good harvest and it exploded while we were in Arkansas.


I cannot keep up with harvesting peas.


Broccoli forming nice heads.


I harvested a bunch of rhubarb and enjoyed a new-to-me rhubarb muffin recipe.


Eight ball zucchini is doing well.


And then the tomatoes… ugh. All of the tomatoes that I bought from the super nice local organic nursery are badly off. I’m not sure what exactly is wrong but I’m wondering if I should pull them all out. (I’d appreciate some advice on this actually).


It’s a huge bummer, as homegrown tomatoes make life worth living.


Also, you can see that I spent a not-insignificant amount of money on transplants and the number that I doubt will survive is really disappointing.


Seriously, what the hell!


Oh look, a single tomato that appears sort of okay.


This one might make it as well.


In desperation, I bought this Better Boy at Home Depot. It’s doing great.

As for the peppers, I am unsure if they are doing well or not. All of their leaves are curling upwards. Every single one of them. Otherwise, they seem healthy and some even have fruit growing.


Then we move to the ornamental zone. I’ve been doing quite a bit of work here as well.


One project was replacing all three of my well-established spurge plants that were crushed by the astronomical amount of snow this winter. I was so in love with my spurges and it was so sad for me to have to dig them up.


Bottlebirdhouse Gourd


Galaxy of Stars Gourd


Staghorn sumac is doing well and actually sending out suckers.


Elderberry is blossoming and the squirrels planted this oak tree that is doing well and I have yet to pull. We definitely don’t want an oak tree here, but it looks like such a sweet little tree that I don’t want to pull it up.


Hooligan pumpkin.


To replace a dead bush, I planted an hydrangea.


And spaghetti squash.


Finally, blackberries are going bananas! This is after I severely pruned them several weeks ago. They are exploding with growth and are loaded with blossoms.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hopefully soon I’ll post a Milo update.

Harvest Monday [ 04-24-2017 ]

The asparagus continues.


Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to harvest as much asparagus as I could have considering that we’ve had several hard frosts in between warm weather, so I’ve lost a decent amount of spears.

Nonetheless, this is my first year harvesting asparagus and I am delighted with it.

April 24

Despite the fluctuating weather, the rest of the garden is doing well.

This year, I’ve decided to experiment with using tomato cages for the snap peas. We’ll see how that goes.


Here is the broccoli.


And the potato leaves are starting to emerge.


Here is my little helper enjoying himself in one of my carrot beds. I haven’t been at all concerned about him wreaking havoc in my garden because I love that he enjoys digging in the dirt. Of course, I would prefer he play in his sandbox rather than my garden beds, but I would also prefer he play in my garden beds rather than watch tv and play video games all day. So I absolutely want to encourage him to play outside and cultivate his love of dirt.

Anyway, for the rest of my spring garden that is not photographed, I have one bed dedicated to beets, and one bed with chard and spinach. I’m about to begin harvesting rhubarb (seen in the background of the above video).

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.