In the Garden

The first round of tomatoes didn’t fare so well during my absence, so a few days after I returned from Scotland I went to the Greenhouse and purchased a few plants to replace the ones that were dying or stunted. They had a hard time at first in the extreme heat, but soon after our days were filled with rain and some cooler evening temps and the tomatoes have been thriving since then. Except for the flea beetles and my homemade organic insect spray. It was close to the miracle recipe I used last year only I think I went a little heavy on the clove oil. That’s how to burn your plants, folks.

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The plants that are doing the best in the garden this season are the mint and sunflowers — thanks entirely to me being lazy and not cleaning out the bed after last year’s harvest. That’s most likely the reason for the flea beetles as well. Learn from my mistakes.

I’ve got a ton of mint and all these big sunflowers that are very close to blooming and if that’s the most I get out of my garden this year, I’ll be thankful because it smells nice and sunflowers make me happy.

Also in the garden – peppers (jalapeno and bell), lemongrass, dill (it came back to life!), and chives.

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This is Clare, eating bermuda grass that’s growing up in the sides of the garden. It’s her way of helping.

Over on the west side of the yard next to the shed I have my butterfly garden. It’s grown quite a bit since I planted it last year and it’s served its purpose in attracting pollinators and covering up the dilapidated part of the shed.

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There’s sage and bee balm and echinacea and zinnias and coreopsis and sunflowers.

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I noticed the leaves of echinacea withering, looking lacy, and turning brown. Investigated further and found a few plants covered in frass (that’s fancy talk for insect poop). This was terrifying thanks to my long struggle with pests, but instead of jumping the gun and spraying it with insecticidal soap I turned to the internet and found that I’ve got a nice little colony of Silvery Checkerspots.

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It would be nice to see them make it to adulthood, but for now I’m just happy that my butterfly garden is doing what I wanted it to — attracting butterflies and giving them a good place to lay their eggs. Even if they are making an absolute mess of my echinacea. That’s why I planted it!

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5 Comments

  1. Elizabeth, I think your garden looks wonderful! (This from a ‘not’ green thumb…) My lil’ patch of grape tomatoes and lone tomato plant have produced a few gems so far, and our summer squash is almost big enough to eat, yay!

    Flowers don’t seem to be my forte’… planted a butterfly/hummingbird mix, but only a few are sprouting. Is it too late to throw in some zinnia seeds? Your back yard looks so peaceful! And, if Clare hasn’t had her fill of Bermuda grass, I’ve got plenty. 😉

  2. Your garden looks great. This year’s weather has done wonders for my garden. My sunflowers have bloomed and have done really well.

    You have a wonderful butterfly garden. The caterpillars are cute. I would have sprayed them and killed them off without thinking. I’m sure you’ll be happy when they grow into adults.

    i’m here from the Oklahoma Women Bloggers Sunday Potluck. It’s great to stop by and visit.

  3. Your garden looks great. I had high hopes of planting a garden this year and growing some of my own food but instead I extended one of my existing flowerbeds and just planted lots of pretty flowers. I guess there is always next year.

    Stopping by from the Oklahoma Women’s Blogger Sunday Potluck!

  4. Your garden is lovely, despite the pests. I seriously pine for the day I can actually have a yard and hence, a garden. Meanwhile, thank you for sharing photos of yours so that I can live vicariously. Echinacea is one of my favorite blooms!

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