a view of the garden in early fall

IMG_8407It has been a busy summer and even though fall has arrived, things are not slowing down!  We have picked a freezer full of vegetables and I have canned more tomatoes than I can count!  Here are some photos of the garden to give you an idea of what we have been up to.  Above is a lousy photo of one of our ginger lilies in bloom-they are so fragrant!

IMG_8410Back in May, I brought home 7 tire planters from the Urban Gardening Festival.  This one is full of shade loving plants and they have really filled in, now I need to figure out how to keep it alive over the winter-these plants are not cold hardy!

IMG_8413The other 6 tires look like this and I just replanted them with fall flowers-now they need to fill in.  The strawberries have spread like crazy and we are hoping for fruit by the bowl next year.  The strawberries have also helped the rhubarb crowns get established and we were able to harvest from each plant.

IMG_8414Gate greeters-love the little faces that greet me as I enter the garden.

IMG_8417The chair planters I made this spring have filled in.

IMG_8418How can you not love sedum?  These plants are so hardy and can survive the neglect they sometimes get in this busy garden.

IMG_8419Love the colors and textures they add too and bees love the blossoms.

IMG_8420All of this heat has been just what the peppers needed and they are coming in by the bowl.


IMG_8422Sweet banana

IMG_8424Roselle Hibiscus is one of my favorite plants in the garden.  This year I am experimenting with jam.  The first batch is in jars but I see room for improvement and will be making more.

IMG_8428Someone asked me why I planted flowers in the garden.  The short answer, I like them!  But more importantly, so do pollinators and butterflies.  This little skipper is drinking from a noodle bean flower.

IMG_8432New to us this year is Cardinal Basil.  Those flower heads can get as big as a softball and the leaves are huge as well.  The flavor is an intense, classic sweet basil flavor and it has made its way into a lot of tomato sauce this summer!

IMG_8440The change of seasons means a change of plants.  Extra Dwarf Pak Choy is actually ready to harvest and we have picked some already.

IMG_8442The last of the canning tomatoes-finally done with it for the year!

IMG_8446Where ever I go in the garden, they watch us work

IMG_8447Lady Bird, our only Americauna hen is a little shy in comparison to the others

IMG_8449The watermelon jungle.  First one we picked wasn’t ready and the chickens ended up with a nice treat.  This one looks ready to go.

IMG_8451Glass chicken.

IMG_8452The bottle tree.

IMG_8456The flower tower

IMG_8459Cherokee Trail of Tears beans are one of the best heirloom beans.  We let a bunch go to seed so we will have plants next year.  We can also dry out the seeds and cook them like other dried beans.

IMG_8463Finding an egg in the box is something that never gets old.

IMG_8470We harvested the sweet potatoes and pulled up about 40 pounds from the six plants in the bed.  So, there you have it, what we have been up to the last couple of months.  Come back and visit soon!

why I garden


Why do I garden?  There are so many reasons to have a garden but in truth, mine are selfish.  Mostly, I do it because I want to control my food.  To eat only vegetables and fruits that are grown naturally and freshly picked is my goal and growing them myself accomplishes this.  Having the desired varieties of produce at an affordable price is also part of the equation.


Ego, mainly my own, is also a factor.  There is nothing more satisfying than taking a stroll out to the garden in my yard and filling a basket with vegetables I have grown.  It takes setting goals to a new level.  It can change your entire outlook on life.  As a gardener you must be an optimist; you must believe that simply putting a seed into soil and watering it will result in a plant you can pick and eat.

IMG_2181You must also be able to see the beauty in what is merely a plant.  To surround myself with beauty and to indulge in it and the sense of calm and serenity it bestows upon me.  It is the act of feeding the soul along with the body and the ego that keeps me in the garden.  Plants do not love or hate, they simply thrive or not.  As gardeners, we do the loving; we provide the plant what it needs and then we eat it and the plant in turn gives us what we need to thrive.


Gardening has given me hope for my future; if I plant it, it may one day give me fruit.  Personally, I am dreaming of peaches and figs.

IMG_0195To reach down into the soil and pull up fully formed vegetables that I can roast or pickle is just part of why I garden.  To have enough to share with friends and neighbors is another reason and I always plant more than I need.

IMG_0298With the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “to forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves,”  I continue gardening so that I do not forget that “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” Audrey Hepburn.  And those are just some of the reasons why I garden.