Around The Yard | Mid Summer 2012

Last week I was having a conversation with friends about some things that have been happening in my life and a piece of the story included me going outside to water my plants as a way to ground myself in the present.

There have been times I needed that literal connection to the earth - where I felt outside my body either in sadness or in joy or in that place where it's hard to tell which emotion you are experiencing. Whether it's digging, planting, pruning, or caring for my yard - there's definitely something mutually beneficial about the whole process of being and working out there.

Here's a look at what's happening around the yard right now:

The raised beds are exploding.

Six tomato plants, three basil plants and a bunch of strawberries. The first of the tomatoes were just starting to look ripe today. I need to harvest some of the basil - pesto soon.

Cucumbers ended up being the only thing I added to this side of the second bed.

The view of the beds from the other side. Growing up in between the two poles (there's wire attached to both ends) are sweet peas (flowers not peas that you eat). Just saw the first one bloom yesterday.

These dahlias are as tall as me.

And they are an intense deep red-purple.

Along the fence on the far side of the yard I decided to try some corn.

Last year I was using this area as a compost pile and am now remembering that I put a couple pumpkins there to decompose. Those pumpkin seeds are now growing again right underneath the corn.

And I planted a few other pumpkins too. This is my first time growing pumpkins.

A very big mint plant on my backyard table.

A shady area alongside the house.

Blueberries. They love this spot and have been doing really well here - producing delicious berries. I've got two different varieties and one is just about done and the others are just getting ready to be picked.

A single yellow rose off an old rose bush I thought would never make it.

Pink lilies that are out along a big grassy area.

Astilbe - these are in the shaded area along the house. I love them. May try to plant more of these perennials next year.

And a few beautiful mini calla-lillies. I forgot I planted these last year - love seeing them come up.

45 thoughts

  1. Felicia Young

    2012-07-18 19:52:19 -0400

    Love your yard!

  2. madeline St onge

    2012-07-18 20:04:16 -0400

    your yard is beautiful Ali, good job

  3. KazT

    2012-07-18 20:06:35 -0400

    Thanks for sharing your lovely backyard. It's winter here so everything is closed up and hibernating. I've been looking at my vege patch thinking it's time to attack it ready for spring planting. Last year my tiny little patch kept us in cucumbers and tomatoes across the summer. Your photos tell a lovely story.

  4. cindy trimble

    2012-07-18 20:08:47 -0400

    Wishing you peace in your heart!

  5. Brooke

    2012-07-18 20:37:40 -0400

    Wow your garden is really coming along. Love the mix of plants and veges you have. I wonder if blueberries would grow here?!

  6. Christine

    2012-07-18 21:33:01 -0400

    Love how your garden is looking this year. My garden is pretty much in containers this year. I actually have tomatoes this year unlike two years ago when I ended up 2 tomatoes when we had a very cool summer up here in Puget sound.
    Gardens are like children, they need consistent love and attention. It's a wonderful thing to pour your energy into something that gives and gives and gives. :)

  7. Deb

    2012-07-18 21:47:07 -0400

    Hi Ali. Your pumpkin and corn remind me of a garden planting strategy called "three sisters". The concept is basically growing corn, something that climbs like peas or beans, and a ground cover like the pumpkins. It's pretty neat idea. Your garden and yard look great. I'm def envious. Our yard is scorched from the drought but I'm still able to water my garden boxes. Thank gosh we live right on the shore of Lake watering ban yet.

  8. HeatherOz

    2012-07-18 23:07:29 -0400

    Your blueberries and the fence behind them remind me of the book If You Give a Moose a Muffin.

  9. Eva

    2012-07-18 23:50:51 -0400

    I love dahlias - and yours are such a gorgeous colour. Thanks for sharing.

  10. kathyg3

    2012-07-19 00:22:56 -0400

    Sweet peas are my fovorite flower! It seems so odd to me that you grow them now! In Arizona, I plant mine in September for an early spring bloom. As soon as the heat hits, they're gone. Enjoy their delicate scent for me!

  11. mel

    2012-07-19 04:14:15 -0400

    So wonderful. It is a an amazing feeling being out amongst things you have grown. I know its hard work but I feel lucky that I discovered gardening and veg growing I would be a different person without that pleasure in my life.

    Thanks for sharing your appreciation of it.

  12. Marie

    2012-07-19 05:59:27 -0400

    Your yard is beautiful Ali, and oh! the dahlias... I'm in love! :-)

  13. Alida

    2012-07-19 08:46:06 -0400

    Your design sense shines through here too.

  14. Mallory

    2012-07-19 08:47:10 -0400

    Goodness, Ali! I'm very impressed! The yard in our new home has so much potential, but I don't have a green thumb at all. I really, really want some beautiful flowers, and I want to try my hand at fruits and veggies. But I just don't know how to go about it. I did my window box, with very easy flowers that like shade, and those are doing well. But I feel so overwhelmed with starting anything else. Plus, south Florida is too hot/wet for a lot of plants, don't ya think?

  15. patty

    2012-07-19 08:50:08 -0400

    great home garden you have going on...LOVE it!

  16. Claire

    2012-07-19 11:38:24 -0400

    Your garden is absolutely beautiful. Here in England it has been so wet that everyone's garden is struggling. I have heard there are up to 1,000 slugs per square metre! Everything I plant is eaten straight away, it's so frustrating. So it is lovely to see everything flourishing in your garden. Can't bear to look at mine!

  17. sheila

    2012-07-19 11:58:17 -0400

    Simon and Anna will certainly love picking those pumpkins...I remember as a kid we had our own pumpkin to take care of...a friendly competition among the siblings to see who grew the best one...great memories for sure!

  18. jen

    2012-07-19 13:55:34 -0400

    Love the pics of the garden. Be careful with pumpkins they are naughty. The grow out and can takeover everything. My family grows them every year. We put them out in our pasture because they take up so much room.

  19. Roni Hunt

    2012-07-19 15:07:03 -0400

    First of all your plantings are amazing!!!! I have to tell you that nothing sooths me more than working on planting and nurturing my plants. I think you totally hit the nail on the head by saying it grounds you! I am totally in agreement!

    You can add 'Mother Nature' to your aka's!!

  20. Carolyn HP

    2012-07-19 17:27:23 -0400

    Love all your photos, we're having a very dry summer here in Canada, so we're doing everything we can to keep our planters and flowers alive... especially since we're trying to use some for our ceremony space for our mid-August wedding. Crossing my fingers! Love that your are enjoying your space and we all need to find the little things that help us remember to breathe, good for you Ali :)

  21. sophie

    2012-07-19 19:30:15 -0400

    Ali, i just LOVE your backyard. i'm sure it smells amazing out there on a perfect day. thanks for sharing! ps: do you have any tips for someone who's just starting out and wants to grow something in a pot? we have dogs and they love to pee in our backyard, so planting in the ground is out of the question.

  22. Kim

    2012-07-21 00:37:41 -0400

    You seem happier. I'm very glad of that. It's a new beginning.

  23. Kimberlee

    2012-07-21 09:40:46 -0400


  24. Bev Mascara

    2012-07-21 11:52:50 -0400

    Just so peaceful brings JOY!!!

  25. Radish

    2012-07-21 21:06:36 -0400

    Next you may find the joy of preserving foods.

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