Monday, June 30, 2014

End of Month View: June 2014

I can't believe tomorrow will be JULY already.  It seems like we just flew through June!  But alas, the end of the month is here, and with it, the End of the Month View, hosted by Helen at the Patient Gardener.  The end of the month is bittersweet.  It is sad to think how quickly time passed, but exciting to look at how much the garden has grown in the last 30 days.  Let's take a look.

Veggie Beds

The veggie beds are doing quite well.  Every couple of days I harvest several pounds of fresh vegetables that make for some delicious recipes.  The decent rainfall this summer has made my summer veggie bed the best it has ever been in the past three years that I've been working on it.  I've been most impressed with the tomatoes, which currently are topping out close to eight feet tall!  Thankfully I have my sturdy tomato cages to help keep them propped up.  I've harvested the bulk of the early summer tomatoes.  Since I've never had tomato plants last this far into the season, I'm kind of at a loss for how much they will continue to produce the rest of the summer and into early fall.  I figure I will keep them going as long as the plants look green and healthy.

While the squash was a flop, AGAIN, after the squash vine borer infestation, I'm having another success in my cucumber patch.  I used some extra concrete rebar from my tomato cage project for my trellises - which the cukes are loving.  I think the extra rain this year has really done wonders for this plant.

Baby cucumbers and pretty okra flowers fill Veggie Bed #3 (above).  Veggie Bed #4 (closest bed below) could use a little TLC.  The green beans in the bed continue to produce well... I think green beans will be a staple in my veggie beds from now on.  They have been very low maintenance and decent producers.  The rest of the bed is looking a bit sad.  I tried some spring planted chard, spinach and collards, but none have taken off this season.  I'll turn a good portion of this bed soon for a few summer seed plantings.

Backyard Beds

The butterfly garden is being overrun with lantana and giant zinnias.  The butterflies and hummingbirds seem to love it, so I do too.

One of the sunflowers planted by the birds finally blossomed, adding an extra cheery flare to this part of the garden.  I didn't get around to planting sunflowers in my beds this year, so I'm glad the birds had my back.

Yet another garden bed that needs some TLC (a.k.a. weeding).  The wildflower mix planted in this bed is doing well, despite my dogs continually trampling over them in attempt to catch vermin.  At least they actually do catch some every once-in-awhile.  I could really use a barn cat, or maybe an owl or two to keep the rodent population down in my little ecosystem.  But, I guess my poodles will have to do for now.

In the bulb bed, you'll see the continuing theme...some weeding is a bit overdue.  The Black-Eyed Susans are still going strong, while the gladiolas and one dahlia are nearing the end of their bloom season. 

Front Yard

The plants in the front of the house, in the most recent landscaping project, are filling out well in the summer heat.  My favorite are the prickly pears and black and blue salvias.  I have a couple sparse spots in the bed closest to the street.  What do you, reader, suggest I plant that is drought/heat tolerant, deer "resistant" and would have some fall or winter blooms to add some color a season or two from now?

Thanks for stopping by for my end of the month view!


  1. That Sunflower head is huge! I dont know if you read Pam's Digging blog but you might find it helpful as she is based in Austin and is very experienced on plants for tough climates. Thank for joining in with the meme

    1. Thanks! I do read Pam's Digging blog, and find it very helpful for finding new drought tough plants that I want to add to my garden, as well as for pretty landscaping ideas.

  2. I'm just amazed by your veggie garden! Seeing your success, I need to work out a better plan for mine and a way to deal with the wildlife raiding what does grow.

    Salvia greggii is the best year-round bloomer in my garden. Needs little attention and even the deer won't eat it. Four-nerve daisy and Blackfoot Daisy bloom most of the year too.

    1. Thanks, Shirley. The veggie bed definitely takes more work than the flowers (constant planting and churning of the beds), but there is such a sense of accomplishment whenever I harvest my own veggies. It also makes me try new recipes with all the fresh veggies on hand that I need to use. I look forward to reading about your future veggie adventure on your blog!

  3. It's looking good.
    Your veggie bed is doing better than mine. I was a bit late with it.
    Now, the weeds have to be dealt with.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Linda. I've definitely had most of my focus on my veggie beds, which means some of the flower beds have become overrun with quite a few weeds. I know what is on my gardening to-do list for the next few weekends! Thanks for dropping by!