Friday, July 24, 2015

Mid-Summer gardening in the Upper Midwest- MID SUMMER?

Hollyhocks starting to bloom along our fence.

These are so old fashioned and carefree, I just love when they start spiraling to the sky and blush into gorgeous blooms. The bees love them and the blossoms hold for quite awhile. Better yet, they reseed themselves, (I do help-by spreading the last of the seeds in the area.

After a MISERABLE cold spring and a record wet cool June, summer has finally decided to peek out from behind the clouds and visit us in Northern Illinois. 

And today---we are on our FOURTH consecutive day of sunshine, another record for 2015, LOL.  

Here is our back pond(non-pond) this summer, as our granddaughter likes to play--way too much--in water. So it is tipped over for the year. The pond is normally a nice size water trough, rigged up to a 1880 rusty pump found in the bottom of the well in the old fish store. (more fish store stories later)

The trellis behind, is just starting to fill with the purple blooms of morning glories. I have been doing my weeding early in the day, 6 AM actually, so I can visit them and say "Good Morning". 

Above, the mass of greenery to the lower right is the marjoram plant I have cut back twice this spring.
The purple Liatris are just starting to fill out and a basil in front has huge leaves, in fact anything green is overgrown to say the least, while flowers are small and late. 

Except for the Tiger Lilies 
which exploded this week in the front yard, like left-over fireworks. 

The Edible Garden
has not faired well either. Here is one of our new railing planters with herbs: basil, spicy globe basil and thyme. However they were slow to drain and quickly became waterlogged with our record precipitation, hence the wilt yellow leaves.
Quick Fix now---more holes drilled in the bottom. 

We splurged and purchased lettuce plants in May. (cold weather crop and all that) 

Today, this is the last of our six kinds of lettuce.

 We got three good pickings. Most drowned and rotted with the cool weather or the slugs and slime bugs took over.

This was the last picking yesterday as I pulled out the rotting stems. So sad to see our salads 
go. This was the first year we got celery cabbage heads --One and a quarter  out of six plants, the rest slug food. I will try and start some more by seed, if I can't find plants.


The happiest plants and I'm not sure why--are the Asian Eggplants we planted from seed. They are dragging on the ground with beautiful small, sweet, purple goodness, as many as five to a plant. Anyway we have had them stir-fried, in eggplant lasagne, and just grilled. They keep well and everyone eats them here.

The zucchini are just starting, but no pickles, beans or yellow squash, yet. Tomatoes are struggling-the plants are full of leaves (some spotting yellow-again water issues)-but have only small hard fruit. The last few days of breezes and sunshine have helped.  But, we are now twenty-four days past our normal first big red tomato. We have had 3 puny ones, this week, which really don't count. 


It has been a weird year! We start our seeds in February and moved them out to a small greenhouse end of March, then to the large greenhouse (shown above after the move). All the plants are huge by the  May and get planted as early as possible. Some poor shivering cabbage and broccoli babies even suffered snow. 

I blogged about surprises in the gardening. 
Anyone who saves seeds or starts oodles of seeds, knows what label screw-ups are. I planted
Zinnas *I thought* around the base of the flagpole. I had a sneaky suspicion as the leaves grew larger that it might be something else.

So really large YELLOW ZINNIAS-- snicker,  at the bottom of the flagpole.

Like I said, it has been a weird year.

Now, as I write this the Cicadas are singing their first song of the year, fading in and out like an old crank Victrola…yes it is summer, finally.

May the Sun Shine, on your world for you Everyday!

Thanks for stopping by 


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandi, You have the best garden. Love how lush your flowers look. I wish we could do a pond. My son tried in his yard but he has no shade and the poor fish just cooked in the sun. Love the eggplant and what a great crop you have. I love it for lasagna too. Your sunflowers are beautiful and I love Hollyhocks too.
    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your fish store stories.
    Thanks for stopping by for a swim. LOL
    Hugs, cm


Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi