August 3, 2020

My Backyard Victory Garden Update #3 and #4

As you can see from my blog posts this year…I haven’t been super busy.  Covid-19 precautions have hit my business hard.  I photograph weddings, and well, weddings aren’t really happening like usual.  To be frank, it’s worrisome.  I have put so much of myself into growing my business and it’s really tough to see it come to a standstill.  The one thing that has brought me true peace has been my garden.  I’ve always been a lover of nature, but this year my garden has deepened my spiritual connection to the natural world.  It has been my saving grace amidst all the unknowns and I get so much joy from toiling away in the dirt, watching the fruit of my labor literally mature right in front of me and learning new ways to preserve and use my produce.

You would think I would have extra time for staying on top of my blog, but somehow life hasn’t been working that way so here is update number 3 AND 4.

Update #3: July 17 – We spent this week away on a socially distanced vacation in Wisconsin.  It was surprisingly hard to leave my garden at the peak of the summer and I was sooo excited to see what my garden had waiting for me on our return.  I didn’t even unpack, just grabbed my camera to see what was different and started harvesting.

My first cosmo bloomed!  This was just a little bud when we left and I was so worried I would miss it but it was there waiting for me.  Plus lots of my happy little zinnias.

I have done a ton of pruning of these tomatoes to get rid of branches affected by blight and somehow they still have grown into monsters.  A thunderstorm snapped a couple plants over, but they seem to still be doing ok.  Look at all those tomatoes growing!

See what I mean?  I refer to it as my tomato jungle.

I’ve had a huge calendula crop this year! I harvest blooms daily which I’m saving for homemade calendula healing salve.

Carrots seemed tough for me to figure out last year, but this year we actually had a really decent crop.

Look at that beautiful harvest to come home to after our vacation!

Update #4: August 2 – Another lovely zinnia.  They really are my favorite garden annual.

Can you believe these tomatoes plants were just given a huge pruning a couple days ago?? The jungle continues but the tomatoes are finally ripening!

Now I’m getting lots of cosmos.  I was so worried I did something wrong because they took forever to bloom but once again I’m being taught patience. And look at my cute little garden model this evening!

This garden arch was an important part of my vision for the garden this year.  I wanted a magical place for the kids to play and these pole beans are bringing the magic to life!  The other side had shell beans which didn’t get very tall, so I planted the sugar snap peas that were too big for their trellis here for a fall crop and I’m hoping it completes the vision!  Isn’t it so cute with those beans hanging down?

I love this picture.  Summer sun, magic beans, a secret garden path, dress up clothes, stick wands…the makings of childhood magic.

She finally realized those were real green beans hanging down and was soooo excited!

My teeny tiny clearance cucumber plant is chugging along.  These cosmos have yet to flower but I’m practicing my patience.  I’ve seen preying mantis here a few times so they are serving an important role even if they have no blooms.  And my little lone chamomile plant has given me lots of lovely little flowers for tea.  I’ve been making the perfect light herbal summer tea from the garden.  Chamomile, lemon balm and just a drop of honey.  Perfection.

My weed/wildflower corner garden.  This used to have a huge overgrown spirea that was half dead and a trumpet vine that had taken over the entire fence that we inherited with the house.  I’ve spent the last couple years trying to get rid of the trumpet vine (a literal every day battle) and figure out what to do with this rock covered corner without renting a bunch of equipment to dig it all out.  So I planted some of my healing plants and also sprinkled wildflower seeds just to see what would take off and give some food to the pollinators.  It’s a bit of a mess, but I love this little corner.  I always have plenty of fresh flowers for my arrangements and it’s always full of important insects.