Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Garden Update–because inquiring minds want to know #mngardening #garden


It’s about time for an update, right? Especially since I just finished weeding again, and everything is doing pretty well. (yes, even the weeds).

By request, I have a lot of pics. You can thank one of my writing sisters for that (CH, you know who you are πŸ˜€ )

Note to self: Taking pics before the sun is behind the trees might work better πŸ™‚

I’ve learned that the more mulch, the merrier. I have soaker hoses under the lines of mulch between the plants, which works great, until a hose has a leak. Sigh. New hoses are in order, but they’re getting tough to find.

I have three surprise potato plants, as in “Surprise! You didn’t plant potatoes, but we’re here!”. Luckily they’re all at one end of the garden, so they’re not in the way too much of other plants. The pumpkin (lower right by the potato) might think differently when it gets going.

Mulch to the left of me, cukes to the right …

And yes, you do see radish carcasses. I plant the radishes with some of the seeds, like beets and dill, to mark the rows. We don’t eat them before they get too big (radishes grow FAST), so I pull them and discard to give the other plants more room. Sometimes if they aren’t in the way, I’ll let the radishes go. They get pretty tall, and flower. The seed pods are edible and taste like mild radish.

Cucumbers and tomatoes

This year I’m planning to make pickles, so I have three (not 10 like last time!) pickling cucumber plants, along with a few of a new variety of regular cucumber (which I don’t normally plant). The biggest difference between pickling cukes and slicing cukes is the texture: pickling cukes are less watery, more crunchy πŸ™‚

L to R/front to back: Dill/basil/onions, kale/pepper, volunteer borage/kohlrabi

I learned a couple years ago that starting kale in the house helps them survive attacks from cabbage worms because they’re bigger (I also found out cabbage butterflies prefer to use kohlrabi over kale and brussels sprouts). I started my black kale, and planted seeds for the curly stuff. I prefer the black because it’s easier to clean, and find the caterpillars.

Way in the back you’ll see some tomato cages. Those are my peppers, which could look better. My peppers seem to tip over when they get bigger and have fruit, so I started using the cages (which, by the way, are worthless for tomatoes).

Brussels sprouts and green beans, with onions on the side

The brussels sprouts are looking good, but the cabbage worms haven’t started their main offensive, yet. I try to check them every day to pick (squish) the caterpillars. The green beans are doing okay, but I’ve seen them in better shape in the past.

Better shot of peppers, with kohlrabi and beets in the back

I also have two pumpkin and two zucchini plants this year, a pie pumpkin variety (supposedly somewhat sweeter than usual, but the jury is out on that), and the usual dark green zucchini (mostly for the chickens; I’m tired of zucchini).

Since we’re still all working from home for the foreseeable future, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the extra cukes, zucchini, and whatever else. Those are the things I like to bring to work to share, and my co-workers appreciate it, since a lot of them do not have gardens of their own for various reasons. Which means canning, pickling, or freezing stuff (provided my hubs doesn’t fill the freezer with other things like chicken breasts and whole turkeys and frozen hashbrowns).

The corn and potatoes are doing well in hubs’ garden, and yes, I did help him weed once, because he asked nicely πŸ™‚ . No, I didn’t take pics of those.

The dill, cilantro, and marigolds are doing well, and I planted a second run of dill and cilantro, because experience tells me the first sowing doesn’t time right with the cukes or tomatoes. Basil is the only herb I’ve planted for years, and I did this year only because I got seeds free when I ordered others.

I’ll remember to take pics before the shadows reach the garden next time. I’m a lousy photographer to begin with, but at least the lighting should be better.

Hope you all are doing well and writing πŸ˜€ I’m working on pages to submit to my writing sisters for our virtual retreat. We’re planning to return to our favorite B&B next year; crossing my fingers that works out.

Happy writing!

Zoey sitting outside

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

18 thoughts on “Garden Update–because inquiring minds want to know #mngardening #garden

  1. Oh, your garden is doing so well, Julie! And there’s nothing like fresh herbs and produce for great cooking. Funny how those potatoes started up, although you didn’t plant them where they are. Just goes to show you that Mother Nature always wins… I give you credit for keeping this going – gardening is not easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Margot! Every year I think, “man, the garden is a lot of work, and I’m tired.” And every year hubs says, “Yes, do a garden, you’ll be glad you did. And tomatoes.” There’s nothing like fresh garden tomatoes. So, here I go again πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your garden is doing so well and I got hungry thinking of all the good eating ahead coming from it. My kale fizzled out this year so I will try in the green house instead of outside. Our weather’s been all over the place. Happy gardening:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoey looks like she spotted a bird. πŸ™‚
    Your garden is amazing! Always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Betsy! Woke up this morning to the remains of a mouse on the floor. So, one less mouse in the basement, I guess. I just wish she would leave the entrails on the wood floor, not the carpeting.

      I can’t wait until I can harvest something–makes it worthwhile πŸ˜€

      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great that she’s still a mouser, but, yuck. :/ I watched “our” cat eat a butterfly the other day. She left it for me, but when I walked right by, she decided to finish it off herself. Both disgusting and fascinating. Wouldn’t have minded if she’d eaten the gophers completely, but we were still super grateful she killed them!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, wow! This is a small-holding and I love all the variety of vegetables you’re growing and you are so knowledgeable about them all! You could write a gardening book, so incredibly informative and descriptive! I’m smiling at the three potatoes sneaking in! Have a lovely virtual writing retreat and Happy Writing! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden is so impressive. I didn’t know you could eat radish seeds. I hope your virtual writing retreat goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed seeing your rows of crops. I agree, those tomato cages are only good for peppers or eggplants, although I’m using some this year for mini cantaloupe that are short-vined. We’ll see how that works, but I think it will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carolee! I remember trying to stake tomatoes in a tomato cage years ago. Added that to the “don’t do this again” list. Finally came up with the idea of using pig panels or cattle panels (we have a lot left from the previous owner, as they used to raise pigs and cows on the property). They work pretty well, and are sturdy.

      Have a great week!


  7. Your garden looks great, Julie. You’ve done a great job keeping the weeds down. We had a deer invasion a couple of days ago. Two brothers with fuzzy little antlers starting munching on my rose buds. We went out on the deck to shoo them away. They looked up (about ten feet away from us) and kept eating! We herded them out, loving the closeness with nature, and then woke up yesterday morning to see that they’d returned and ate all our kale and lettuce! Jumped into my raised beds and pooped. What the…?! The cute little guys met up with a new gate yesterday. πŸ˜€ The joys of gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How rude! Trespassing AND stealing. Serves them right to be barred from entry πŸ™‚ I’ve seen deer tracks on the gravel road during my walks, but I haven’t seen any actual deer for years. I’m wondering if that’s what the dog barks at five o’clock every morning. At least we still have the chicken wire on the fence around the garden. The rabbits are so brazen I can get within five feet of them and wave my hands, and they look at me like I’m crazy. Nature at its snobbiest πŸ˜€

      Have a wonderful week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s fabulous! I can’t keep up with the little weeding I have to do here. I’m overwhelmed just looking at your garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We just got a bunch of rain the past few days, plus heat, so the garden is now fully weeded (as in, lots of weeds πŸ˜€ ) Most of it is purslane, so I’m thinking of leaving it. Purslane grows along the ground, so it doesn’t shade anything else. I mean, why sweat in tropical heat when I can (should) be writing? πŸ™‚

      Have a great rest of your week, Staci!

      Liked by 1 person

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