Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blooms... And A Garden Tour

 Hello Friends!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I know that most of my posts have been garden related lately, but I really love this time of the year.  My garden is planted and things are starting to bloom around here!  I thought it was time that I took you on a tour of my little wonky-willy-nilly garden.
 I have been so excited to show off these canterbury bells!  I remember the first time I saw canterbury bells-- I was working at a florist shop.  (Many, many years ago!)  I thought that these flowers looked like something straight out of a fairy tale or a Mary Engelbreit picture!  I've missed growing them and decided it was well past time to grow some at this house.  I'm so glad I did!
 My garden is kind of spread out... some of it's in pots, some of it is in a garden box, and some of it is planted in the side border next to the house. 

I like a bit of whimsy in my garden, and this year I added these fun skeleton lampshades into the mix.  I love them so much!  I found them at a vintage fair being sold by my-favorite-garden-art-people-of-all-time, Old Soul Studios
 Many of the plants that I grow are from heirloom seedlings that I purchased from a lady in my neighborhood.  She sets up her little heirloom plant stand on the sidewalk in front of her house, like a lemonade stand.  Don't you love that?!!  Her adorable little daughter helps her cultivate and sell the plants. This plant growing on the lampshade is some kind of an heirloom purple/scarlet bean.  I can't remember the name, and I've lost the marker.  It's just starting to bloom.  I've never grown these before, so I'm excited to try them.
It's crazy fun how fast things start to grow when they get to a certain point.  These are the purple beans, red and yellow peppers, sugar snap peas, herbs, and flowers.
 I like to mix flowers in with the veggies.  I try to companion plant where I can.  (Another link about companion planting here.)  Keeps everything happy and colorful.
Lots of herbs... I think that I really take them for granted.  I don't use them as much as I should, but when I do use them... yum!
 These peppers were starting to bloom here...
...and not long after, they looked like this!  These bell peppers will grow and turn yellow.  I'm not a huge fan of green bell peppers, but I do love the red and yellow!
 The sugar snap peas are starting to bloom here...
...and poof!  Seems like they turn into pods overnight!  These sugar snaps rarely make it into the house-- I love to eat them right off the vine.
  Every morning, usually in my pajamas, I go out to water and putz around in the garden.  This happy guy follows me everywhere.  It's kind of our ritual, and my favorite way to start the day.
 This garden box was already here when I purchased my house.  I've got about four heirloom tomatoes, a lemon cucumber, a dragon's egg cucumber, petunias, zinnias, sunflowers, and sweet alyssum growing in here.  The nasturtiums are from last year, so I let them stay and hang out with the others.  Oh, and there's a mystery plant.  I bought it from the plant stand. I know that it's "suppose to be good for the garden", but I cannot-for-the-life-of-me remember what it is.  Don't worry, it looks legal. (Ahem.)
The larger plant is a "Mortgage Lifter" tomato, and the one next to it is a "Purple Cherokee".  Do you see the chicken wire to the right?  I put it there so Hagrid wouldn't get in there and play "rototiller" like he did the day after I planted the garden last year.  Yep, he did.  The soil looked gorgeous-- so gorgeous-- but he dug up the entire box.  Seriously, the entire box.  Why couldn't he have done that before I planted?! Silly boy.
These two tomato plants are "Green Grape" and "Hawaiian Pineapple Stripe".  They're growing sooooo slow, and not doing as well.  I amended the soil before planting them, but some thing's off.  The nasturtiums are blooming like crazy and that's a sign.  Nasturtiums bloom well in bad soil.  I might also be over watering the plant on the right.  Any pointers, friends?  Although I've been gardening for a while, I'm still always learning.  I hope that I never stop learning.  I think that's part of the fun of gardening! 
I know, this ohm chime is kind of random.  I've had it for years and I love it.  I bought it at a Hare Krishna llama festival.  Yes, I did.   

 These are the lemon and dragon's egg cucumbers.  The dragon's egg cukes are new for me this year.  I'm kind of curious about trying them.
Nasturtiums... they're edible and taste kind of spicy, like a radish.  I love putting the blossoms and leaves in salad, especially my favorite tomato salad.
I had extra sunflower seeds leftover, so I threw a variety of them in here.  I'm so glad the birds didn't eat them before they germinated.  (I think they got to some of them in the box.)  The small pot has bee balm.  It comes back every year and I love the blooms.  So do the bees!
This is the first year that I've cultivated this border along the side of the house.  Everything looked so small when I took this photo.
This is what it looks like today.  That's a "One Ball Summer Squash" there.  C'mon, (nudge, nudge) I know you want to laugh at that name.
 The shasta daisies have been taking their sweet time.  I'm eagerly awaiting the first bloom.  Hurry up, shasta daisy!  How is it that some things seem to bloom overnight and others take forever?  Gardening teaches me patience every year.  It's all good.
 The summer squash blooms are huge and abundant!  (Watch out neighbors... someone could accidentally leave a bag of squash on your porch.  I have no idea who...)
Hello, cosmos.
 This "Dinosaur Kale" came from the plant stand.  I kept the original marker.  The plant lady's daughter drew a tiny dinosaur on it and I love it.  It makes me smile everytime I notice it.  This plant was teeny, here when I bought it, and has taken it's own sweet time to grow to a whoppin' five inches or so.  Right now it's struggling with a hungry pest of some kind.
Well, here I am.  After hunting for quite a while, I purchased a vintage lounger this year at the Sacramento Antique Fair. At the end of each day I try to spend some time out in the garden lounging and decompressing.  Hagrid looks for squirrels, visits (through the fence) with the neighbor dogs, plays with his toys, explores the garden, and lays around. 

Well, if you're still reading, thank you for hanging in there.  I hope that you've enjoyed this little tour.   It's a funky, wonky garden...but I love it.  It's my little piece of this big planet.  It's where I work out my stress and anxieties-- and find my calm and happy.  It's my happy place.



Teresa said...

Your plants look nice and healthy! I am waiting to see what your dragon egg cukes look like. I have never heard of this cuke. I like trying different things in the garden. I love looking at your picturesI really have a hrd time reading the word verification words though. But then again I have to read and paint small items without by bifocals. lol

Lisa Leggett said...

Lookin' good ladypants! We should have a "from the garden" dinner party ~ yum, yum!

suzitee said...

What a perfect garden Jill! I love gardens with bits and pieces, and yours has just the right amount of whimsy :) nothing nicer than eating the produce too! I am not a gardener myself...that is my husbands specialty so I leave him to it! Hagrid is just the cutest dog!!!

Tracey said...

and what a delightful happy place it is. Thank you for sharing your lovely garden with us, its been nice to sit a wander through your garden while its rainy and windy here.
Thanks for your lovely comments about my cards and blog, it is very much appreciated.
Love me :-)

gillyflower said...

Thank you for sharing all your garden photos - I have enjoyed my tour ebing a keen gardener myself!
You have some interesting varieties of tomatoes there which i have not heard of - i look forward to seeing the fruit.
The canterbury bells are so pretty! And your Cosmos are flowering already - mine still have a way to go yet.
Gardens can be such special places of peace and tranquility where every day life can be forgotten for a while whilst you focus on the green life around you - I know just how you feel as I feel that about mine too!

Claudia said...

I love your garden, Jill. So many wonderful little touches, some whimsey, heirloom seedlings, little pockets of wonder - it is so you. I can't believe you have a neighbor who sells heirloom seedlings in her yard! i went to her blog and I've bookmarked it.

The skeleton lampshades are perfect. Is your garden secluded? I'm just asking because I wander out to mine in pajamas, too, but unfortunately, all the world can see me! Oh well. One of the perks of getting older and not caring anymore!

Thanks so much for your wonderful photos. I wish I could see it all in person.


Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

Beautiful garden, Jill!!! Ha ha, if we were inclined to have one, Sophie would dig it up. We have to be a wire fence around the tomatoes so she won't eat them!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the garden tour. I just mine started this year and I love spending time out there. It is so relaxing.

Debbie said...

Enjoyed the tour of the garden Jill. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Lynnie @ Ramblings from Vintage Gal said...


I so love flowers too and my garden really needs more weeding, oh well what can you do but keep plugging away. I adore your doggy Hagrid, he is so darn cute...and looks very cuddly.

Kindredly Lynnie

Kim said...

Jill- your garden is so adorable- I love it! The cantebury bells are so pretty- and I love that you mix flowers and your veggies all in together. My favorite kind of garden is the one that has everything all together in a happy jumble. I've been gardening like crazy too- I'll have to get some pictures up on the blog soon :) Happy Gardening to you!!! ( and a hug for Haggie too-that smile!!)

Perfectly Printed said...

Your garden is lovely! Thanks for sharing!


Beedeebabee said...

Hi Jill! I think your garden is looking just fabulous! I love your happy mix of flowers and veggies...and that little poochie companion of yours is so cute! What a lovely place to sit and relax...with that smiley furry friend!
xo Paulette :)