Sunday, July 14, 2019

Summer Gardening

 This is my first large vegetable garden in three summers now, and I can't even describe how happy it makes me to have one again!  I have missed my vegetable garden so much. But, you know, when you move into a new home and are left with a big plot of dirt, priorities.  ;-) 

We started landscaping our home in the spring of last year, starting with some raised brick beds we had built around the house for shrubs.  I don't think I've shared them yet, so I'll try to do that.  Next we had concrete poured around the back of the house for a patio and did a little landscaping back there.  We still have a pile of dirt and a pile of gravel in our side yard... the outdoor projects have been a lot and I lose sight sometimes of all the work we've already done!  Anyway, back to gardening.  By July of last year, a vegetable garden just wasn't in the books, but Justus felt sorry for me and did put in a small 8x8 raised bed for a late summer garden (which I used every square inch of).  Funny story, my grandparents visited shortly after he built it (and before anything was planted).  When they saw it, they said, "Ooooh, a sandbox for the girls!"  Haha.   

This year we added on four more 8x8 raised beds.  The beds are all adjoining and are terraced down our side yard to accommodate for the grade change.  This is an unfinished project... we have plans to add in some raised flower beds, and some pavers, but for this summer, I am so thrilled to have vegetables planted and growing!

We ordered all cedar wood for the raised beds from a local sawmill.  This particular sawmill down the road was significantly more affordable, but I had to wait about three months to get it. My constant nagging got the order filled though.  ;-)

A cell phone shot of Justus working hard, making sure everything is level and square.  ;-) 

  And another cell phone shot of the finished beds before planting.

The garden is busily growing now and actually even better than this as I took these photos a couple weeks ago.  Justus recently built a couple climbing fences for the peas and cucumbers.  I love how they turned out.  :-)   


 I happily live on garden veggies all summer.  I don't ever get tired of eating veggies straight from the garden and in my opinion, all the hours weeding and picking bugs off is so worth it (a farmer's market is nice too though - haha).  We've been harvesting daily cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, squash, and some of our spring plantings (like carrots, beats and cabbage).  Our okra is almost ready and I just shelled some peas yesterday evening. 


 Cucumbers (these rarely last more than an hour with the girls and I around)...

 Yellow squash and zucchini (always abundant until the squash bugs get them)...


 Purple hulled peas (my first time growing)...

 Cabbages... the only reason we have cabbage to harvest is because the girls have helped me hand pick off caterpillars and eggs every time they come back.  Yes, we actually keep tweezers outside, thanks to the cabbage caterpillars and tomato worms (yuck).  But, we had our first cabbage last week, and it was so delicious (and rewarding?), we decided it was totally worth all the worm picking we've done. 

 We planted some blueberry bushes in our middle bed.  I've been babying these bushes as in the past it seems like it's difficult to get them to take off.  Here's hoping all the attention helps them!  And I'm always open to tips if you have them!

 Around the rest of the yard, our Annabelle hydrangeas in our front flower beds took off and gave us prolific blooms this year. 


 Even all the boxwood we planted are doing great (23 shrubs I think?).  Actually, as I was downloading these pictures, I went back and looked at some pictures I had taken last year when we started planting, and I can hardly believe the difference a year has made.  Always good to be reminded!

 And, in other gardening news, the flower garden that my mom and I grow is doing beautifully.  This is our sixth summer growing flowers that we sell and we still love it.  It's a huge amount of work, but getting to spend time with my mom and daughters each morning is such a gift.  


 I've slacked off so much in my blogging, and I haven't shared much about our flower business, which is so disappointing to me.  I really wish I had written down all the memories from each summer working out here.  It's hot, sweaty, and tiring, but it's also one of the most peaceful places to spend each morning.  Hopefully I can share more this summer, but here's a few pictures in the meantime for my memories.  :-)


 Happy summer gardening!  Do you have a garden this year and how is it growing?! 

(P.S. You can see pictures of our old garden here!)


  1. The flower stand is beautiful.

  2. Lovely garden. I know it takes work but it exudes serenity like everything you do.

  3. We had better luck with our squash and zuchinni this year. My husband wrapped the stems with a strip of aluminum foil. We think it prevented the squash borers from entering the stem and killing the plant.
    I always enjoy your posts of your lovely home and family.


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