It hasn’t been that long since the last time I’ve posted a garden update, but things are growing so quickly! The combination of rain and high temperatures has been absolutely ideal for the various pretty things growing in my yard. Among them are many “first time” flowers. I sowed so many seeds last year for things that I had never grown before, or had tried to grow previously (and failed).
One such plant that I’ve tried to grow in the past is canterbury bells. I’m constantly getting them confused with cathedral bells vine – so much so that I’m still not sure if I’m typing this correctly. Anyway, I started these seeds last year, only to have some kind of garden pest eat every single one of the seedlings – or so I thought. In the fall, I noticed a big bushy plant. I didn’t have a clue what it was, but decided to let it grow. At worst, it was just a weed. At best, it was something pretty. As it turns out, it was canterbury bells! I didn’t plant it. I have no idea how this thing came to be. I love when that happens.
When the flowers first open up, they look kind of weird. It’s surprising that they take a couple days to fully get their color. Is this a common thing? I should also mention that this plant is absolutely huge – on the verge of almost five feet.
The feverfew has also started to bloom. This plant overwintered in the cut flower patch really easily. Even though this area was covered with plastic, I’m pretty sure they would survive without it. I bought this really cute double variety from Renee’s Garden, but I don’t remember the name of it.
Oh, look! The johnny jump ups are still blooming! I’m beginning to think that these little plants are one of the toughest ones in the whole garden.
Another “first time being successful” flower for me is foxglove. Honestly, mine did not look very impressive. They’re pretty short, and the blooms are mostly hidden by the other flowers blooming in the same bed. In combination with the fact that they’re very toxic, I’m not sure that I’ll grow these again. Maybe, I will. I guess now is also the perfect time for my usual “safety patrol” paragraph – always research the things that you plant. Some things are very toxic. It’s so important to keep your kids, pets, and everyone else safe!
Lima beans! This year in the vegetable garden, I’m working on expanding my horizons. I grew up eating a lot of fast food and garbage. There aren’t a lot of vegetables that I actually like eating. I’m trying all kinds of new things this year. Hopefully, my taste buds will learn to appreciate freshness.
I think I mentioned a few posts back that I bought some lisianthus plants. They seem to be doing pretty well, and a lot of them are already thinking about producing flowers. I can’t wait to see these bloom. I’m not sure what variety this one is…
I planted so many vines this year. I’m honestly not sure how I’m even going to be able to walk in the yard if everything goes well. Nothing says “garden planning” like a tiny backyard full of ‘Big Max’ pumpkins. Hahahah, whoops. I can’t help it – I LOVE pumpkins.
The potatoes finally came up. I planted these things back in March, and it feels like it took waaayy longer than it should have for them to start growing. Now that they’ve gotten pretty tall, I still need to go back and add another couple inches of straw. This bed is a mixture of ‘Red Norland’ and ‘Yukon Gold’.
The zinnias in the cut flower patch are growing quickly, though I’ve definitely been losing the battle to keep the grass out. I really hate pulling weeds, but right now, that seems to be my only option.
The sweet potatoes were transplanted a few weeks ago, and I’m really pleased by how quickly they’ve taken root. I’m attempting to grow them in straw this year, much like the other potatoes. If this works, it would be wonderful. My clay soil is so heavy that I almost never get a decent looking crop of sweet potatoes – one of the few vegetables that I really like!
I try to plant things as intensively as possible. In the watermelon patch, I’ve also mixed in some chamomile and some sweet basil. I’m growing two types of watermelon this year – ‘Moon and Stars’ (pictured) and ‘Carolina Cross’. It would have been smarter to grow varieties that are smaller, but trying to grow huge produce is kind of fun. Besides, I’ll make sure that none of it goes to waste.
There’s also some basil growing among the cantaloupe.
Back when I transplanted all of the winter sowing containers, I wasn’t quite sure what these plants were. So, I just put them in the yard and hoped for the best. Now that they’re bigger, I’m fairly certain that these are ground cherries. I’ve never grown them before, so who knows what I’ll do with them. I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments. Thank you in advance!
The mulberry tree is almost done producing fruit. The birds and squirrels have been going crazy eating, and of course, making a huge mess. Looks like I harvested the fruit that I wanted just in time. The competition out there is fierce!
The sweet peas that I started in the winter sowing containers are also in full bloom. I know that I describe a lot of things here as “pretty” – but seriously, they are. The fragrance is also quite lovely. The rain seems to have really battered the blooms, unfortunately. Maybe if the garden dries soon, I’ll try to make a flower arrangement with them. I don’t remember what variety I planted, but it was just a “mix”.
Winter sown petunias are also growing like crazy. I seriously can’t believe how easy it was to grow petunias from seed. I highly doubt that I’ll ever buy a tray of petunias again. I planted the ‘Daddy Mix’ in February (I think). I love the colors!
Winter sown coleus is also starting to gain some size. I planted seeds from a mixed packet, so the color combinations are really wild. Even though I really like the lack of uniformity, I realize some people like order and dependability. Even when starting from seed, it’s super easy to take cuttings from the coleus plants that you favor to make more of them for the season.
The cowpeas have also been invaded by grass. It’s been a constant battle this year.
The beetles have been devouring my amaranth. This happens every year, and I’ve never had a problem with losing plants or any wilt issues. I’d much rather have the beetles attack my amaranth than something like my squash or melons. I think this variety is called, ‘Copperhead Giant’.
I have a total of about ten tomato plants this year. That’s not many when you consider that I grew over fifty of them last year. However, fifty was wayyyy too many (obviously). One of the main reasons I scaled back the tomatoes was to make room for watermelons.
I still need to mulch the cut flower border. In the cut flower border, is a collection of “misfits”. And by that, I mean, it’s all the plants that I couldn’t “fit” anywhere else. In the border, there are things like gladiolus (pictured), moonflower, and some really nice dahlias.
The hollyhocks that were planted last year are also beginning to form buds. It always feels like such as race against time when I’m growing hollyhocks. The rust is quickly spreading up the plant. I just hope that they’re able to bloom before the whole thing looks like a hot mess!