“But I will bless the person who puts his trust in me. He is like a tree growing near a stream and sending out roots to the water. It is not afraid when hot weather comes, because its leaves stay green; it has no worries when there is no rain; it keeps on bearing fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8
Two years I took you all on an evening stroll through my vegetable garden. It was during the peak of summer and everything looked its best. Last year I skipped such a tour because everything struggled so much more. But this year we’re bringing you along again! I’m willing to show you everything, even the parts I’m not so proud of.
Let’s discuss the particular time of day at which we will take our garden stroll.
There’s no time I love the garden more than during the soft evening light of sunset. The light shines just so as to infiltrate through the leaves, giving them a lovely glow around the edges. I enjoy looking at the veins of the leaves as the sunshine seeps through them!
The sunset noises are another reason that this time of day fills my heart with warmth. Tree frogs calling from one window of the house to another, bullfrogs singing along the edge of the pond, birds softy whistling, a breeze meandering through the leaves…doesn’t the thought of it all just make you smile? It does me.
This evening hour is when we’ll stroll amongst the flowers, herbs, and vegetables.
I wanted to pause our stroll to address something that you’ll see in the following pictures. We implemented the use of a tarp as a weed management tactic in one portion of the garden. So far this tarp has made weeding incredibly easier. We placed it around the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lima beans, and zucchini.
Here’s another way in which we manage the tasks that a garden demands be done: Managing the Garden with a Schedule. This system divides the garden up into 5 or 6 different sections (depending how many days per week you’d like to spend gardening). The gardening tasks are then distributed to each day. This way we only spend 30 minutes to an hour focusing on certain garden tasks. Read more about this system here!
Anyway, on to the beautiful parts of gardening!
Let me be real right from the start. I’ve had my share of failures in the garden this year. You’ll scroll through some lovely pictures in a bit, but just know that my garden isn’t only what you see here. My list of failures includes the following:
- Watermelons. I let the weeds overtake them so badly that they’re still only a few inches tall.
- Zucchini. Call me silly, but for some reason I got it in my head that zucchini likes to vine, so we planted them along a trellis. This was obviously my first year growing this crop because it most certainly does not vine. The plants were far too close together and they’ve all shriveled up and died as a result.
- Hornworms all over my tomatoes
- Weed pressure
- Needed improvements on our tomato supports
As you now know, I am far from the perfect gardener. I’m learning every year.
Flower and Herb Beds
As you can see, our oregano has long since flowered. I am a little dissatisfied with myself this year because I didn’t harvest one bit of it. I was so busy planting the vegetable garden that I just didn’t put forth the effort.
Oh, well! My lack of effort this year should motivate me to do better in the next.
On the bright side, the bees absolutely loved the flowers! A dozen flying from here and there at a time was not an uncommon sight to see. I’m so glad I could supply them with a little of what they need to survive.
On the other bright side, this particular bush doubled or even tripled in size from last year. It should be mighty established by now, which means more for me to harvest, preserve, sell, and give away in the coming years!
This is a new herb to the garden this year. I have a few plants in various locations and they’re all looking healthy.
Hopefully this year gives them enough time to get rooted and come back even stronger next year.
I’m leaving my little thyme plants alone for now so they can simply focus on they’re root systems and growth.
- Lemon Balm
Oh, how fun and enjoyable the strawberry patch was this year!
My oldest son, Elliot (21 months old) caught on to the joys of this patch in no time at all. We did our best to teach him that we only pick the red ones (he did pretty good with this, but still the occasional green one was plucked). Each time we’d walk past the strawberries he’d say “mmmhmm” and begin his search for the garden treats.
How sweet it is to grow produce that my sons can eat right out of the garden. It makes this old fashioned heart so happy!
This is year two of our blackberry bush and it’s wasting no time at all! I’m sure it’s at least doubled in size and is brimming with berries.
Our goal is to create an arch for the bush to grow up. It’ll be tall enough to walk under. I just image stepping inside and plucking the juicy berries for jam and cobblers.
I made the most exciting discovery this spring. We have a few elderberry bushes growing behind a shed near our the farmhouse!
I didn’t think we had any close to the house, but I was wrong. The bush is pretty small still, but I hope to be picking elderberries in the future!
There are so many great uses for elderberry:
- Jams and jellies
- And more!
The tomatoes are true star of the garden this year! We started and transplanted nearly 40 plants from seed. They’re all doing quite well. It’s been a much needed improvement from previous years of seed starting.
- Amish Paste
We’ve had our fair share of hornworms and blight, but I believe we’re getting both of those issues under control. The plants are heavy laden with fruit, so I’d better begin planning for preservation
The peppers are another level up from previous years. We’ve started pepper seeds indoors for the past three years, but they’ve been an absolute failure. But this year was different.
We bought another grow light, added heating pads under the trays, and purchased better potting soil. And wouldn’t you know it, we have seven thriving plants! I’m hopeful that next year will be even better.
Previous years have taught me that we do not need many cucumber plants. We simply do not eat enough of them, so this year we have one plant. It’s full of at least one hundred blossoms!
Some day I hope to make our own pickles for preservation, but this is just not the year for that. As a moms of two under two, I must pick and choose tasks to take on. Homemade pickles are for another season.
Homemade pickles are for another season.
Our lima bean arch is one of my favorite parts of this year’s garden. We placed six plants on either side of the arch and they’ve completely encompassed the structure!
I’m looking forward to storing away dried lima beans for the winter.
For the two previous years we’ve grown sweet corn. It’s a crop that we enjoy to the fullest, but there’s none growing in this year’s garden.
Here’s why: we know so many people who generously give it away. We’ve ended up with more sweet corn than we can manage at times. Praise God for generous neighbors!
Our sunflower patch is quite large this year, but none have bloomed yet. I’m eagerly anticipating those gorgeous yellow heads to paint the garden scene!
And that’s a glimpse of our garden this year. Thank you so much for joined me on our little walk. I hope you enjoyed seeing this space as much as I do.
More on Gardening
- How to Properly Watering the Garden
- Managing the Garden with a Schedule
- My Herb Garden
- 10 Garden-Themed Bible Verses