I meant to post about the garden all summer long, but life was so busy that I had no time for this blog. I was first consumed in home school planning, then theological editing for the new small group studies published by Blessed is She (Blessed Conversations–link here), then we traveled, then we came home, had two weeks and then started school.
I also researched and wrote a Bible study to give at my home parish in every free moment I had between everything else. The monthly Bible study started last night, and there is a bit of relief as it went really well. I have always been intimidated by the idea of public speaking, but I guess being a writer makes people want you to speak. It seems to be a skill worth developing.
Now that everything is becoming beautifully Autumnal in Minnesota, it is kind of fun to peak back at the heights of our summer garden.
The gardens which I planted in May were lovely all summer and peaked in July and August. We added black-eyed Susans and a few other plants to our flower beds along the driveway, and they filled the garden so beautifully, that I am planning to put in black-eyed Susans and cone flowers along our front walk next summer. I am trying to pace myself with our garden additions even though I just really want my yard to be full of ALL THE FLOWERS now. I just love having flowers everywhere.
I have always put in annuals in the beds along the side of the house. They are so narrow, I do not think that I could put perennials here in addition to the tulips that come up every Easter. The girls helped me pick out the snap dragons, allysum, vinca, and marigolds. We also did our traditional morning glory window cover.
I added some potted flowers to the edges of our patio, and I loved having flowers there. I can’t remember any of the names of these flowers, but the little purple ones were my favorites.
I added some raspberry bushes along the edge of my yard (you can see our neighbor’s ferns and hydrangeas)
In the first food garden bed we had an abundance of mint, oregano, and basil. I planted some cabbages that we will probably harvest this weekend. The squash plant you see to the left voluntarily grew out from under our compost pile and ended up taking over much of the garden and crept into the yard. It gave us gorgeous ornamental gourds in great abundance.
Our tomato plants were so abundant that we made salsa (twice). We might can some green tomato pickles this weekend as well, since the frost will come eventually and this weekend we have time to can pickles. We also had the glorious time of harvesting a cucumber a day that we have been always delighted to have each summer. We just slice it, salt it, and eat it fresh!
Our sugar snap peas and green beans did not do as well as I had hoped. We were out of town for most of the pea harvest, but the summer was so mild that the peas trickled on into early August. Our beans kind of wimped out, and I am thinking of not doing them next summer. Maybe double the peas and freeze the ones we can’t eat… though we can eat a lot of fresh garden peas.
We also grew broccoli (which I have let bloom at this point), carrots (which the girls harvested and washed for me last week), and Swiss chard (which I largely neglected, but it is a forgiving plant and does not mind). I meant to plant collard greens, but never got to it. I also planted rows of lettuce between all of these things which finished up by July before these plants got too big.
The garden is slowly dying these days, and I am thinking about winterizing. I am always grateful for the end of the garden season where we can just sit tight inside and enjoy being warm. Yard work is wonderful in summer, but when it overlaps with school time, it makes things a little too busy.
My plans for the colder months are to focus more on being patient in home schooling and putting my energy into reading and writing. I also am looking forward to the liturgical season changes as we end this year in November and dive into Advent, then Christmastide, then Lent, and finally Easter. When Spring comes I am sure I will be daydreaming about what flowers to plant, what fresh foods I cannot wait to feast upon, and warm Summer days.