Lots of photos ahead!
All the summer flowers are in full-bloom around here, and the vegetable gardens are beginning to produce abundantly. I'll take you on a short tour around our yard and gardens, which are now at the zenith of their growth (maybe even past peak). We've had a rainy season followed by hot weather, and it takes much attention to keep the jungle under control!
We'll start the tour near the house, where these shasta daisies bloom by the driveway.
Mom is the flower gardener here, and she creates many potted displays using unique vessels, such as this galvanized washtub full of begonias:
A hydrangea bush we transplanted from Granny's old house and a tiger lily plant grow in the flower bed near the daisies.
Another pot of begonias is perched on an old red wooden bench (yard-sale find) near the sidewalk, a red-twig dogwood and hosta anchoring the corner..
We take a look down the narrow front yard towards the area where our two enclosed gardens are located.
Tuning back to view the house from the first garden's edge, you can see the white fence that lines our property and the purple-martin birdhotel.
Cheerful yellow yarrow grows perennially at the outer perimeter of this picket fence garden.
Peeking over the fence into the garden, you see a burst of greenery in the 4 raised beds:
New this year is a comfrey plant with its fuzzy broad leaves, growing adjacent to the cucumber vines and marigolds.
Another new crop is tomatillo, or Mexican husk tomato, passed along by friends. I always like to try new plants, and now I have to come up with what to make with the harvest.
The cucumber vines are covering their allotted spot and more:
A zucchini is just about ready to be picked before getting too big! I'm also growing 2 types of yellow squash.
Several okra plants getting ready to bloom in this photo (taken a week ago) have since produced some pods:
Below are some sugar snap peas and beets.
I'm growing a few types of bell peppers, as well as some jalapenos.
Just dug and curing is this garlic, which I sowed back in October. It is very easy to grow and always used in cooking.
Rainbow Swiss chard is still nestled among the other spring greens, which have already bolted.
A red mailbox stores garden tools and is mounted on the garden post:
Purple coneflowers are prolific along the borders of our gardens.
We'll begin heading toward the larger garden, but I pause to look back at the picket fence garden through a blooming fennel plant.
This flowering purple bush is a vitex or chaste berry tree:
More coneflowers surround the garden shed in our lower field.
This is the shed where Granny will sometimes make her baskets as she watches us work in the garden.
Hollyhock is a bee's delight:
The hollyhock stalks reach toward the sky, and the airy Russian sage spikes are not far behind.
This butterfly bush gives off a distinctive scent as I pass by.
A clematis bloom accents the garden gate.
We have 4 strawberry beds, which contain ever-bearing varieties of strawberries. On the outside of the garden fence (nevermind the weeds) is a Rose of Sharon bush.
Below is pink-eyed purple hull peas in the foreground and tomatoes in the background.
Marigolds are scattered throughout the plantings; here it peeks out from the black-eyed peas, which are now getting close to being ready for harvest. Peas are one of Mom's favorite garden veggies and she loves when we cook them for lunch.
The tomatoes this year are only just beginning to ripen.
This is our flourishing rhubarb plant that came back strong after I cut back its flower stalks. In the background are some of our blackberry vines.
We also have a few raspberry canes. This year it was our 4 blueberry bushes that produced the most fruit.
Returning back towards our house, we find the blooms of a lavender tree, a new variety Mom added this year:
And finally, this silver wagon is just the right place for more begonias, and it rests on a rock alongside our driveway.