It honestly took me a little while to get going on the garden this year, but after several days of clean-up, planting, and weeding, I’m officially ready! I wanted to take some time to update you on my plans and progress.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed this year: tons of ladybugs. As in, more than I ever remember seeing in the garden! They are all over everywhere in our yard.
My husband joked that maybe one of our neighbors bought and released one of those ladybug “kits.” Who knows? But I’m loving it. I haven’t detected many aphids this year, and I’m hoping with my army of ladybugs at the ready, we’ll keep it that way.
For the past 5 years or so, we’ve found these clusters of baby yellow spiders in the spring. As the summer moves on, they’ll spread throughout the garden and yard, helping me keep the insects at bay. Yesterday, my daughter found two clumps of them – one on the yard waste bin, and another in a planter on our deck. Using a stick, I carefully recolated them to our honeysuckle, tomato, and gooseberry plants.
Want to save big money on gardening? Learn to plant perennials and self seeding varieties! I sowed some borage seeds along my fence last year and what do you know, they’re back for more action this year. Apparently the flowers are edible, and have a light cucumber taste. I’ve not tried them, but I’ve noticed the bees love them.
I added this serviceberry about 2-3 years ago and it was pretty sad looking last year – so much so that I thought it was a goner. I told my son, let’s not pull it up just yet – let’s see what happens. This year I’m seeing all kinds of new growth off the top and some new suckers at the bottom.
You might recall that a couple years ago, I turned a weed-covered slope in my backyard into an herb and vegetable garden. This space ended up working out SO WELL that I decided to expand it a bit this year. I spent several back-breaking hours weeding and adding garden dirt over the weekend. We then planted giant pumpkins. We’ll see how this goes (and of course, I’ll keep you updated).
Here I am next to my current favorite plant in the garden: angelica! (It seemed fitting to do a selfie since my name, Angela, is so similar.) It’s an herb and edible, though I’ve not done anything with it. Apparently it lives until it seeds/flowers, than dies. It makes me sad to know it’s going to die because it’s just a spectacularly beautiful plant with huge, fragrant flowers. The ladybugs and spiders love it, and we’ve found chickadees fly under it to eat something at the base (bugs, maybe?). I’m going to save the seeds in an attempt to grow a new one next year.
We added an espalier pear tree to our backyard last year (it was my son’s birthday present)! Lookie here, a baby pear!
Mint! Mojitos, anyone?
I’ve officially arrived! I figure with all the money I saved on my garden this year (I spent a fraction of what I did in prior years thanks to my seed collection, perennials, and self seeding varieties), that I could splurge on this cute lil’ gnome.
In the 6-7 years I’ve been gardening, I’ve learned a few things. Among them being this: the main reason of my garden is not to save money. I’m not going to grow enough food to be self-sustaining, if I’m being completely honest. Nor do I care to garden year round. I have other goals and wish to live a balanced life. The main reason I choose to garden? Enjoyment. It is a stress reliever, a place to build memories with my kids, and observe nature. It feeds my soul, not just my belly.
Now it’s your turn: what are you growing this year? How far along is your garden? I’d love to hear about it – leave a message below!
PS for more gardening posts, please see my Gardening Page – I’ve got lots of them!