June is always the month that things really start to pick up in the garden, at least around these parts. This year we’re a little behind (story of my life. . . always a day late and a dollar short), mostly due to a wet and rainy spring that set us back. The excess water killed our first planting of corn and one of our first plantings of beans. Luckily our Provider beans pulled through, so we are harvesting snap beans out of the garden right now. Black beans? Not so much.
We replanted, and planted more, as we could. It’s looking pretty darn good (though there is more left to plant) so I spontaneously took some photos to share with you.
Don’t let the pretty pictures fool you. The garden has weeds, and squash bugs, and fungus, and blight. The goats escaped and ate half my carrots. A handful of chickens routinely fly over the fence — clipped wings and all — and wreak havoc of their own sometimes. Weeds took over my onions during the wet spell; I’ll have to try again for onions next fall.
It’s all far from perfect.
But I look at this way: gardening is hard. It makes my back and my knees hurt. Sometimes it blisters my hands. Sometimes I get a headache, probably from mild dehydration (I try to drink enough, I promise) combined with standing on my head to pull weeds. My arms and legs get sore. But each time I go out and bite the bullet, it gets a little easier. I like it a little more. I feel a little more accomplished.
Each year, something grows better than it did the year before. Each year, I learn.
Some failure is inevitable in the garden, but there is success, too. And that is enough.
These John Denver lyrics kept coming to mind as I captured moments from the little baby plants:
I hope your June garden is treating you as well, friends.
Hills of watermelon and a second succession of beans waiting to sprout.
A surviving carrot top.
Beautiful — and delightfully aromatic — lavender.
Our first year raising potatoes. Grow, baby grow!
Tiny green tomatoes.
I’ve always thought pepper plants were lovely, and they almost always do well for me.
Some weeds are welcome as far as I’m concerned.
They’re almost ethereal.
Gratuitous picture of Miss Mabel. She’s been enjoying her wallow, as you can see. I think we’ll have to hose her down to get the mud off!
For being planted late after our first stand didn’t make it due to rain, the corn is doing pretty darn good. I’m still a little bummed that the rain killed my only popcorn seeds, though.
This fig tree came from a cutting from my Granny’s. I’ve also purchased and planted two additional fig trees this year, too.
This vine is only two years old, but it’s doing GRAPE so far. Haha. . . I’m so clever.
Really, though, these vines make me want my own personal vineyard.
Sophie, along with our barn cat Mickey, is my gardening companion. Sometimes she steps on my plants, which I don’t appreciate, but usually she’s well behaved. She’s a great little farm dog.
Basil is one of my favorites. It’s begging to be pesto.
Chocolate Mint. It’s so amazing. It smells just exactly like, well, chocolate and mint. I have no clue what to actually do with it really, but I love to smell it.
This little tomato plant is still tiny but oh. my. goodness — it’s such an overachiever. There are seven total baby ‘maters on it. SEVEN. I don’t even remember what kind it is — I picked up up on a whim from the store. I think maybe Indigo something?
The bottle tree needs more bottles. So, by that logic, obviously I need to drink more wine. Hah!
Part of the garden beautification project I mentioned last time. We don’t live in the traditional “heartland” per se, but as far as I’m concerned the heartland is anywhere people take part in acts of agriculture, homesteading, gardening, farming, and traditional life.
I just love honeysuckle. It’s the quintessential scent of summertime in the south. I’m so glad this vine volunteered to grow on the maple tree right by our garden.
This baby tomato has a hat. I just can’t. Too. Cute.
Not an edible, or an herb, or even a pollinator plant, but I love the color and texture of the blue spruce.