Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

How my garden does grow #mngarden


The fun has begun! Cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, kohlrabi. Come one, come all!

Seriously, though, it’s starting. The rush to pick stuff and use it before a) it goes bad, and b) have to pick more.

So, cucumber cascade anyone?

Everything is growing everywhere. The pumpkins are spreading, the cucumber plants are climbing and spreading, and I’ve had to prune the tomatoes a few times. It’s been hot lately, so the plants are a little wilted. We might get a storm tonight, but if not, I’ll water tomorrow.

Zucchini, with a background of tomatoes

The zucchini is, of course, prepping to feed an army. I’ve made a couple batches of zucchini/onion/mushroom sauted in butter (because everything is better with butter 😀 ), and the chickens have gotten a few treats already.

Diva cucumbers–spineless, non-bitter skins, tasty!

I was looking for the variety of cucumbers they sell in stores as snacking cucumbers. They usually come in packs of six or so. The closest one I found was a new variety called “Diva”.

Cucumbers everywhere!

The pickling cucumbers are starting to come in. The worst thing is you have to pick more than once to collect enough cukes to warrant a pickling session. So it means rounds of picking, refrigerating, and hoping to get enough cukes to pickle before the refrigerated ones go bad. The dill is at the right stage now, too (got lucky!).

Green beans and onions, with peppers in background.

This weekend we should get our first batch of green beans. My son loves garden green beans (he won’t eat canned or frozen). He’s home part of the weekend, but it sounds like he’s leaving before harvest. I’m sure we’ll have many more meals of green beans.

Green tomatoes not turning red fast enough!

I’m starting to think I have too many tomato plants, even though none of the fruit is ripe yet. Let’s see, I think I have ten plants. Erm, yeah, maybe a little overkill this year. The plants last year got sick (blight) and died earlier than expected, so this year I hedged my bets. So far, the plants are doing okay. I tried to get blight-resistant varieties, and so far only one is showing signs of blight. Crossing my fingers!


The basil is doing fabulous! Now, to figure out how to use it … Pesto, right?

Overheated brussels sprouts 😦

The brussels sprouts are weathering cabbage worm attacks, as usual. I’ve tried to get out almost every day to pick them (squish them!). The plants do not like the heat. At all. Members of the cabbage family prefer cooler weather, but if I planted them later in the season, I’m not sure if they would have enough time to grow. My beets are looking sad, too. I think I could plant them later in the season and they would be okay; they like cooler weather as well.

Marigolds in foreground, yellow-crowned dill rises above

I keep waiting for the marigolds to flower, but no buds yet. The dill is flowering, so is at the right stage to use for pickles. Hoping I get enough cukes to pickle while I still have decent dill.

And there you have it. Julie’s Jungle, with mosquitoes just to keep you on your toes. It’s been hot and humid, as in tropical hot and humid, and little wind, so the mosquitoes are out in force. Swarms of them. They sound like those old WWII movies with all the planes, but at a higher pitch. Ugh. Weeding (what little I’m inclined to do in the heat) is an adventure in micro-vampire avoidance. I think we need more mosquito repellant!

Hope everyone is doing well! I started my new writing class (yay!) and will be digging into Book 2 second round of revisions. My Writing Sisters virtual writing retreat is coming up as well. Man, I’m going to miss gathering in person, but this year it’s safer to Zoom it. Anybody know where I can return 2020 for a refund?

Happy Writing!

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, four 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.

34 thoughts on “How my garden does grow #mngarden

  1. Those signs of life and growth are so positive and affirming, Julie! You’ve got a fantastic garden, and I’ll bet there’ll be some delicious meals in your future… In the meantime, your Muse has bribed convinced me to tell you to get back to your wiring! 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Just … WOW. What a garden, Julie! I am utterly impressed. And I don’t even like very many vegetables. I eat them, but only a few varieties, really. I do, however, love green beans and tomatoes (though I can only have a few of those, due to sugar content), and broccoli. I do not, however, love them enough to grow them. Here’s how practical I am: I grow roses, instead. Oh, and herbs now and then. I love those.

    Having said all of that, I’m still impressed with your hard work and it looks like it’s paying off for you. Yay! A beautiful, bountiful harvest! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marcia! I always figure if I’m going to spend the time and energy weeding something, I better be able to eat it. Saying that, I always love seeing flower gardens (as long as someone else weeds them 😀 ). I’ve grown herbs every so often, but our growing season is short enough that indoor pots are more practical. We don’t have a good spot to put them where they get enough sun in the winter, so I try to dry whatever I can.

      Have a wonderful week!

      PS: I think I’m addicted to Kate and Curran …

      Liked by 1 person

      • As addictions go, that’s a good one. Right up there with being addicted to a certain wizard we know and love! 😀 I thoroughly enjoyed that series and I’m glad you are loving it, too. 😀 Happy reading. BTW I just started Peace Talks last night, and OMG. Talk about starting with a shocker! Butcher does it again! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooo, don’t tell me. Hopefully I’ll get Peace Talks this week from the library (I’m on a waiting list). In the meantime, I’ll have to reserve the next kate and curran book(s). 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, and also btw, I frequently drink tea with rose petals in it. It’s one of my favorites. Does that count? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • My lips are sealed. You will have to suffer through each shocking moment all by yourself! 😀 😀 : D

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What an amazing garden! Those are great looking veges.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t it amazing how gardens explode! Mine is going crazy too and we’re eating it and freezing it as fast as we can. Lol. I wish I could grow basil and tomatoes. It’s too cold here and the season is too short. But I got zucchini coming out the ears. Happy Gardening, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing garden! I want it. I still have plans to create more raised beds in my backyard but this 40+Celsiun weather is not cooperating! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh! Hot is not fun for gardening. And more raised beds are always good! A co-worker said her husband and son built raised beds for her for Mothers’ Day this year, so she’s enjoying those. Crossing fingers the weather gives you and your garden a break!

      Have a wonderful week, Marquessa!


  6. Awesome garden! I just finished a Zoom writing group session. It’s okay, but it’s not the same as meeting in person. Have fun pickling those cucumbers. Homemade pickles are SO good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Priscilla! Virtual is not the same as in person, so I’m really hoping we can get together for real next year. Homemade pickles = yum! The worst part is the work it takes to make them 😀 Actually, trying to stuff as many cukes as possible into the canning jars is the worst 😐

      Have a great week!


  7. I am always in awe of your garden. It is humungous, and the thought of all those fresh veggies has my mouth watering. With all the work you put into it, you definitely deserve to enjoy the harvests. I hope everything comes out as expected.

    And have fun with your zoom writing retreat. I know it won’t be the same but still wishing you lots of fun and productivity!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Picked cukes, more than expected, of course. And I can’t take the extras to the office to share. On the bright side, our head librarian said I could bring some to the library (thinking it was a hint 🙂 ) for people if they want. And zucchini.

      Looking forward to the reunion! A couple of my writing sisters want plotting help. There’s nothing quite like brainstorming a plot!

      Have a wonderful week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, the envy! What a gorgeous garden of goodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My girls enjoyed seeing the white tip of Zoey’s tail. 🙂
    Your garden is AMAZING! Mine doesn’t look ANYTHING like that! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That white tip is about the only place she’s that white. Even her belly is orange. And thanks! It’s ugly hot and humid today, but I’m hoping to pick enough cukes so I can do a batch of pickles. Oddly, they aren’t cooperating as well as they usually do in the “hurry up and grow” department.

      Have a great rest of your week, Betsy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Julie’s jungle shows signs of a green thumb! I’m with you I could do without mosquitoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a gorgeous garden! My mother always had a jungle of her own and enough zucchini to feed the whole neighborhood. Somehow I didn’t inherit her thumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope I am not prying, bit is this where you live? In the middle of nowhere with a garden all around? No wonder you are a writer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is all so cool! Just beautiful! Yes, I’m jealous and hope I can do, okay TRY, a real garden next year. It all looks amazing and delicious Julie though I’m not at all surprised:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya, Ang! It’s taken many (20+!) years to get it to this point. I learn something new every year. This year my lesson is: don’t plant two different varieties of cucumbers (snacking and pickling) next to each other, because yes, they will cross-pollinate, and yes, this year’s cucumbers will show it 😮


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