My youngest human chicken painted this "Welcome" sign a couple of years ago for a party, though I cannot remember the occasion now. I love it. I love the bright blue paint she used, and the polka dots, and I move this sign around all the time to have her and her natural hospitality near us.
The back door concrete corner is pretty much a landing spot for potted plants, seeds I need to plant (like the leftover wedding larkspur in that square metal can), and more. Much too much more. I can be a bit of a collector. The smallest clay pot here is loaded with seed-started scarlet Morning Glory vines that need to find a spot with lots of altitude.
I have had a pair of hardy hibiscus for about three years now, and every year they grow fuller and bloomier. Wait, is bloomier a word? Here they are sitting in suspense near the pool ladder, loaded in tight little packages of red tissue paper, just waiting to surprise me with summer color.
Sunflowers and zinnias. What a great summertime combination! For a long time I've been drooling over other people's successes with these two classic mid-America natives, and now I have a tiny but cheerful spot of it in the east flower bed. Yay!!
And yep, I do leave a few weeding tools hanging around for impromptu clean up. Also, I love that scroll-ish little tomato cage. We probably snagged it at an auction. I think when gardening season is over this winter I'll do something Pinteresting with it inside the house, for consolation.
I always love flower beds. The vegetable garden, though, is where most of my learning is happening this year. Here's where it begins...
I know I show this old rusty blue bike wheel a lot, but look! Her Morning Glory vine is blooming! And it matches the paint!
In the very front of this photo is a watermelon vine, thriving in the Oklahoma sun and sand. Its twin vine is on the other side of the garden gate, and they both whisper to me promises of red, juicy fruit. They seem happy to cohabitate with day-lilies and broken shovels.
Oh, I almost forgot. Beneath and between the watermelon vines are some tiny cantaloupe babies. Yay!!
Truitt, the smart and adorable son of some friends of ours, Trent and Carrie, was here recently. I think he's maybe about nine years old. We were walking through the veggie garden looking for frog habitat supplies (he and his brother Tate had captured some tiny frogs near the pond) when he spotted these yellow wildflowers. Truitt asked me if they were weeds and then before I could answer, he said, "Really, who cares if they're weeds? They're still pretty. Everything is pretty in its own way."
I am paraphrasing a little, but let me assure you that he thought he had only captured frogs that day, but really he captured my heart.
Behind the very pretty weeds-slash-wildflowers is a single thornless blackberry bush, a gift from my sweet Momma two summers ago. The berries are ripening slowly, and since they're not plentiful enough to harvest a bucketful for cobbler making, they are the perfect tart snack for passersby.
One of the four raised beds is filled with only soy beans. They are thriving so far too, and I am really excited to scoop up those tender green pods for cooking and snacking!
My one eggplant is offering up beautiful little purple blooms. The plant itself is thick and heavy, and around it is a necklace of seed-started baby eggplants. They are still tiny but growing every day. Handsome and I love us some eggplant. Good luck wishes accepted gratefully.
Lettuce, grown from the cheapest seed money can buy. I keep cutting it with scissors and it keeps growing again thick and tender. This makes a really delish salad.
Sweet bell peppers. These do not taste watery and bland, folks. These already smell heavenly and have the most profound crunch a pepper can have.
Cucumber vines, filling up the big rusty cages nicely. Seri, a fellow book clubber, has promised me a fantastic pickle recipe this summer!
Flat leaf parsley! This is so fragrant, so soft, and so fun to touch and dream about. Don't you love the way your hands smell after combing them through herbs like parsley or basil?
Corn! Sweet corn and more soy beans. The far south west corner of my veggie yard is just dug and scraped into a little corner of American effort, and I love it. More to come there, including weeding work. Try to ignore those weeds, I want to talk more about that some other time.
Sage. So colorful and, again, fragrant.
Another thing I love about gardening (there are so many wonderful details) is how certain plants co-mingle. It's kinda sexy. Here we have rosemary and zucchini.
Lift the leafy skirt and you can see young, sturdy squashes following the orange-yellow mammoth blooms. In the corner of this photo are some nasturtiums, grown from seed. I am so ridiculously excited to eat some of these peppery flowers in a salad!
Okay, friends, I hope your garden is growing and you are learning things this year and enjoying the journey! Determining to spend time in my garden every single day, at different times throughout the day, has been the biggest mark of progress for me this year. Remember that old adage...
The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
Wishing you a beautiful Monday.