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.

One thought on “June 2017 Garden Update

  1. Ah, cucumber issues. I’m experiencing them too and it’s not the first time – out of everything I grow, they seem to be the most sensitive to trauma. But wow – I’ve never seen tomato plants look like that before and couldn’t even hazard a guess as to what is the problem. I’m glad that you purchased some replacements and if the others don’t improve in a couple of weeks, I’d probably pull them out just in case what they have is contagious.


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