How Does Your Garden Grow–July ’14

It’s summer, and we’ve had blue skies and warm temps–totally shocking for our neck of the woods. That means the garden is growing extremely well.

At least the vegetables that survived the spring deluge of slugs, rain, and birds are growing really well. The broccoli was huge, but we had enjoyed first, second, and third pickings.  I figured it was time to pull it out.

broccoli row


But as I was cutting away at it, I noticed some little florets scattered here and there.

broccoli plants


So I cut back leaves, and looked for broccoli, and cut back leaves, and looked for broccoli. Let’s be honest, I didn’t harvest a huge amount, but it was nice to take a little bit more off those big plants.

Broccoli harvest


While I was in the garden in the midst of a heat wave, I picked a few carrots, too. And took a look at how the rest of the garden was fairing.

The asparagus (both old and newly planted) look awesome.



The red romaine was bolting in the background, but I pulled it all and made some wonderful summer salads.

Remember the hurking big tomatoes I planned to grow with the help of the walls ‘o water? It seems like I’ve done the trick. The plants themselves are huge, out-of-bounds, crazy. I’m hoping the harvest keeps pace. The beans haven’t kept up, but I have faith.

tomatoes and beans


I’ve struggled with the squash this year. Apparently birds are rather indiscriminating. They hope for sunflowers and pull up new plants at random. Coupled with a wet spring and an infestation of slugs, my squash and cucumbers have been pulled up and eaten. So when I found this random plant at the end of the carrot row, I just left it.

random squash


Some might call it a weed, but I’m calling it a blessing. With pulling out the broccoli, I was left with a huge amount of clippings. Maybe it’s time for a compost pile?

compost pile


Before we leave the backyard, let’s mosey on over to the orchard. I’ve picked a few bowls of blueberries so far, and if this bush is any indication, I have a few more to go.



An evil bird ate half of one of the two plums we grew this year. When I noticed we’d been giving out free samples, I figured it was time to pick them. Let’s just say the Shiro plums were delicious, and next year we won’t have to share two plums between five people and a bird.

Just take a look at the weeping plum we planted earlier this spring that will cross-polinate with Shiro and Beauty. Next year is going to be a good year.

weeping plum


While we’re still looking towards the future in most of the orchard, the grapes are growing like gang-busters.



And don’t get me talking about apples. In the last dozen years, we’ve never had any luck with apples. These fruit look amazing. Two last year has turned into buckets this year.

apples and valley


As I hike up the hill from the orchard to put my tools away, I see a strange sight. Do we have moles or gophers? Thankfully, the answer is no. lavenderThe MR and I spent an hour or so digging holes and planting lavender–I’ll let you guess who did the hardcore digging. Looking at the plants, I’m not sure how it will all turn out.

lavender close up


The green arrows are planting to the dried twigs that are hoping to some day be beautiful lavender plants. It was a mail order company. We’re experimenting with getting a large number of plants at a reasonable price. It may be a bust; we’ll just have to wait and see. The evil dogs have a thing for the fish meal in my organic fertilizer and have been checking on the plants regularly.

While I was pulling out plants in the vegetable garden, I was also planting some carrot, lettuce, and broccoli seeds. In the Pacific Northwest, we have a really long growing season with long days stretching through the summer. I’m not expecting a frost until late October, so I have two-and-a half months to see what we’ll be able to harvest.

Cross your fingers. I have faith in the lettuce and carrots; it’s the broccoli I have qualms about.

What’s growing in your garden? Enjoying a lovely harvest?

(I’m sorry my posts have been a bit sporadic. We were gone for a week on vacation, and I managed to keep up without wi-fi. But now that we’re home if I don’t abandon my family in the evenings to write a post, I find myself staring into the sun in the early mornings editing photos and writing as I squint. I guess a little grace is needed during the lazy summer months. Here’s the view from my office in the mornings, just so you can feel my pain.)

Sun in your eyes

It’s a hard life I lead. 🙂




3 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow–July ’14

  1. I do feel your pain with that darn ol’ sun beaming in all your window. Enjoyed our stay with you, and eating some of your harvest. Great blog, as usual. MeeMee

  2. Pingback: A Look Back at July ’14 | big white house on the hill

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