• Garden update

    I think it's fair to say that we haven't had a lot of time to work on the garden this year, but we're finally getting around to making some progress. We did plant a lot of vegetables earlier this year, and they are really thriving now. Not surprisingly, the tomatoes have gone NUTS.

    The red cherry tomato plant got so heavy it toppled the cage and I've had to cut it back several times.

    The orange one spread out a lot, but hasn't gone quite as crazy. It makes these huge bundles of tomatoes.

    Then we had this volunteer pop up next to my pot of lavender. I probably should have pulled it out, but I just left it, and now it needs its own cage.

    It kills me that Harper pulled all the blooms off that orchid (above left) since it only blooms once a year. It looks healthy enough to come back next year though. 

    I'm not really sure what kind of tomato this is.

    The tomatoes are medium-sized and kind of orange-red in color, so it's hard to tell when they're ripe.

    The sauce tomatoes are looking good. Hopefully I'll have my first batch ready to roast soon.

    And then we have these regular round tomatoes that should be ripe soon. I see a lot of caprese salads in our future!

    This is the first time I've really successfully grown bell peppers. This one plant produced a bunch of good-sized green ones, so I'm leaving them on there in hopes that they'll turn red.

    We also have some jalapenos that I used in tortilla soup last night. I'm not sure why they're turning black, but they taste good.

    I also had a purple kale plant that did really well, but I just cut it down because it was overtaken with bugs. Does anyone have a good remedy for that?

    One new addition this year is rhubarb! Mike got this plant from a neighbor and it seems to be happy.

    We bought 2 other baby plants at the garden store, but only one has survived so far.

    Our berry patch is not faring as well as the veggie patches.

    We have three raspberry plants that have produced a few berries, but the blueberries are mostly dead. I think the soil pH is off, so I will work on that.

    The strawberries have done well and I think they are coming to the end of their season. I froze a bunch to make jam or some kind of dessert later. Maybe something strawberry-rhubarb if the rhubarb gets tall enough?

    The orange tree has some oranges starting to turn yellow, but overall it seems to have a lot fewer than last year. Since the tree looks very lush and healthy, I think it just might be cyclical.

    Our neighbor's apple tree is full of yummy looking apples right now. Hopefully some fall into our yard!

    This area is kind of a work in progress. The flower bushes took a big hit during the drought last summer, and never really recovered. Basically, they dry out and then become vulnerable to fungus. By fall they look like they're dying, but then with winter rain they come back.

    I really want to save this one because it has such pretty flowers and smells like lemon when you touch it.

    And of course I love my red and white fuchsia.

    I bought another hanging planter with fuchsia and it got fried in the sun. But I moved it to a shadier place and it's coming back now. I feel like our yard needs more shade generally. Even with our moderate temperatures, things get fried in the full sun.

    One bright spot is our hydrangea (two actually). They were looking pretty bad last year, but with some pruning and extra water they filled out this year and they're looking great.

    And then there's this amaryllis my mom planted forever ago. It finally shot up into this brilliant bloom.

    And now it is blooming again.

    We have a plan to completely redo our front yard and make it into a succulent garden with a citrus tree, but we're waiting until we get some rain so the ground isn't so tough to dig into. Mike also wants to build a little fence for it. I'll update when we get to it!