First of July Garden Update: Flowers, Pumpkin Progress, First Goji!

DSCN7934 (630x800)My garden is loving the sun this week, so I thought I’d share some updates on how things are progressing!

DSCN7917 (800x600)My clematis has reached the top of the fence! I’ve been working to incorporate more floral into my garden design over the past couple years. I read in a book once to pay special attention to edges and corners – those areas of transition. Placing this fast-growing vine in the corner where my gate meets my porch has created a beautiful, welcoming entrance to my garden.

DSCN7919 (600x800)We’ve been eating shelling peas for the last few days. I grow these primarily for my picky-eater daughter. They are one of the few veggies she enjoys! We grow the shelling version because she loves splitting the pods and plucking the peas out one by one. As long as she’ll eat them, I’ll grow them!

DSCN7920 (800x600)This would be cantaloupe. Please, before you laugh at me for trying to grow melons in the PNW, hear me out. Every year, I try to grow one thing just for the fun/experimentation of it.

When selecting cantaloupe, I looked for a fast-maturing variety and also went for a miniature variety (I figure if they are small, they won’t take as long to ripen). When ready, these melons will be only 4-5″ in diameter. In checking the plants yesterday, they had several blossoms – so here’s hoping.

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This is my favorite garden bed! The sorrel has made a real rally and filled in beautifully. We have tons of loose leaf lettuce, the borage is ready to topple, and the nasturtium is going crazy!

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Here’s a close up of one of those nasturtium flowers. Have you ever tasted one? They have a distinctive peppery – almost spicy – zing. I mostly leave them for the beauty they provide to the garden and how they attract bees. Last night, I observed a hummingbird move from flower to flower. This was the case last year, too. I’m happy to provide a hummingbird feeder in my backyard, but I love it even more when I can attract these beautiful birds with more natural sources of food.DSCN7925 (800x600)

The tomatoes are getting big and fat… now, I just need them to turn red! This year, I’m hoping to make some of these delicious open-faced broiled tomato sandwiches with some… YUM!

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It was super nice yesterday so I mowed the lawn and then set on the sprinkler to water the squashes and herbs on my new sloping garden bed. As a bonus, the kids got to enjoy the water (and they insisted on bringing out the dog, who was less than thrilled about the whole thing!)

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So here’s an updated view of that sloping garden bed. You may recall, a couple months ago I shared with you how I “constructed” it using mostly free and recycled materials. (I say “constructed” loosely here because there was actually no building involved. You can read more about the steps I took here.)

It’s turned out to be an amazing place to grow some of my veggies this year! Most notably, the pumpkin plant which did exactly what I wanted it to – cascade down the slope and put on a show for the kids while they played on their swingset.

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The zucchinis are really taking off, too! I got a bit of a later start growing them, but I imagine we should have some to harvest within a few weeks.

DSCN7931 (800x600) (2)This totally surprised me – my goji berry plant (that I planted just a few weeks ago), already has some small berries forming on it! I planted this on that slope, in between a couple mature flower bushes (to bring in the pollinators, you see!). I’ll have to let you know what happens here. I’ve never tasted FRESH goji berries and can’t wait to do so!

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My dog has been enjoying the weather, but mostly he loves to just lay in the grass and have his belly rubbed.

DSCN7935 (600x800)I finally got around to cutting my garlic scapes! These are one of those edibles that will never grace your grocery store (although you may find them at a Farmer’s Market). They make a delicious pesto or you can saute them with a little bacon. They have the texture of asparagus with the flavor of mild garlic. Very good. Mine are currently crammed in my fridge, waiting to be eaten.

You might recall that a couple weeks ago I had the unfortunate experience of cleaning up a nest of dead baby birds in our hanging fuchsia basket. And, it had come shortly after I found an empty bunny nest in our backyard. I wanted to tell you that life goes on. Since I last posted about the garden, hummingbirds have discovered the fuchsias! And two nights ago, I spotted a bunny in our backyard again. This morning, I found a trail of rabbit pellets across the grass. Now most people wouldn’t get excited about rabbit poop, but you know – I kind of was. Well, at least for now.

I’d love to hear what’s growing in your garden? And, if you have a frugal gardening tip or trick, please consider emailing me at angela@thecouponproject dot com for consideration for a post idea!


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