I Love My Garden!

Last year, the garden went in between cold spells.  And rain.  And wind.  And thunderstorms.  Tornadoes ravaged the area, our state, and other parts of the country.

One of our raised beds in April.

We planted the spinach and lettuce to feed the baby bunnies.

The bunnies even built a nest under my sage plant.  Our efforts to deter them have failed.  We have used Liquid Fence successfully the past two years and did not understand why it wasn’t working this year until it occurred to me that our next door neighbor’s outdoor cat, Noni, died this past winter.  I now believe that Noni, rather than the Liquid Fence, was the bunny deterrent.  This belief was enforced when we saw a cat carrying a baby bunny in its mouth as we were pulling into the driveway late one evening.  Go cats!

This year the garden went in early, and we (pretty much) survived a frost which is the danger in planting too early.  We didn’t have a lot of rain or wind or thunderstorms or tornadoes this year.  At least not like last year because even one bad thunderstorm or windstorm or tornado is too many.

Last year, when Springtime storms ravaged the garden, our zucchini and tomato plants were almost completely ripped out of the ground, and we nursed them along most of the Summer.

This year our zucchini blossoms are the larger than a man’s hand (all the better to make Fried Zucchini Stuffed Blossoms), our zucchini plant is taller than me, and the leaves are enormous.

This year, our one zucchini plant is also producing enough fruit to feed the entire county, and it has grown like it’s on steroids.

Zucchini – there are not enough ways to make zucchini to use what we are growing.  I have made grilled zucchini and need to make some Zucchini Bread.  I need more zucchini recipes!  Recipes for zucchini that my family will actually eat!

The bunnies not only ate my lettuces and spinach, but they ate my dill and cilantro and parsley.  They ate the tops off my jalapeño pepper plants!  Not my peppers!  I almost cried.

My plants have peppers!

It’s actually pretty amusing to see these dwarfed, lopped off top, plants producing peppers in abundance.  My brother loves my jalapeño jello so much that he is also growing peppers, and we are planning a day of making and canning them.  Hurray for jalapeño jelly!

Cherry tomatoes.

We are already harvesting cherry tomatoes.  DSH ate the first batch before I could take a picture of them.  The nerve! 

Brandywine tomatoes – good enough for Fried Green Tomatoes.

I am going to be gone for nearly three weeks, and that is when I believe that most of my tomatoes will be ripening.  DSH and the girls will have something to eat while I’m gone, after all!

Onions and leeks.

I have harvested my onions and some leeks.  Leeks are my new crop this year.  I love leeks!

I don’t have a large garden, and I’m learning more and more every year.  I would love to plant more vegetables and have some berry bushes and a strawberry bed and to have an official herb garden.  I’d also like to have some chickens and fresh eggs.  A girl can dream.

In other words, I would love to expand.  But we live in a “nice” subdivision in the ‘burbs and there are “rules” for things like this, and we keep talking about downsizing and moving, and I don’t want to invest more in this space until we decide what to do so we will keep plugging away with our few tomato plants, my herbs, and my peppers.  I love my garden!

Do you have a garden?  What is your favorite thing to grow?

P.S. Sorry for all of the exclamation points.  I think.

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