Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

How does my garden grow? July 2021 edition #amgardening #mngarden


It’s about time for a garden update, as promised. So far, so good, though some things are a little behind because I had to replant them multiple times (I’m looking at you, cucumber!)

The tomatoes are looking good, and so far no signs of blight. I planted two resistant varieties, so we’ll see how they do. To hedge my bets, I planted a Brandywine in a big pot up by the house. Brandywine is an heirloom beefsteak-size tomato with incredible flavor. I haven’t planted them for years because those beefsteak tomatoes seem to split a lot, then those spotted black bugs move in and the tomatoes end up going to the chickens (who don’t complain about the bugs).

Experimenting with labels πŸ™‚

The peppers are coming along, and the kale is looking good. The onions look really good, and the beets are beautiful. However, I’ve cursed at the beans. Generally, green beans are one of the easiest veggies to grow, and they germinate fast. There have been years I’ve had to replant them because we had so much rain the seeds never came up (I suspect they rotted). This year I had to replant them 4 times! The 4th time I finally planted them in a different spot. About two-thirds of them came up. Sigh.

One lonely cuke

I was all excited to plant more of the variety I grew last year, the one with the thin skin that wasn’t bitter. Diva. Last year the seed pack said it had a low germination rate, so plant extra. I did, they came up, and were delicious. This year I got fresh seeds, and planted the leftovers from last year plus some fresh ones. I waited. And waited. And after a week, I replanted. And another week. And replanted. In the photo you can see the stakes that marked the spots where I planted the hills. And another week. So then I planted in different spots along the pig panel. One cuke plant surfaced. And because I had to replant so many times (I’ve never had to replant cukes more than once), it’s a little behind. Ugh.

Onions with volunteer dill and borage. Pumpkins on the right, lamb’s quarters at the bottom (weeds, but tasty weeds πŸ™‚ )

My mom always said you only need to plant dill once. It’s the plant that keeps on coming. Granted, I did plant dill last year because I made pickles, so there are a lot of dill volunteers coming up. Cilantro is the same way. And borage. I thought about planting borage this year; the bees love it. The local greenhouse didn’t have any seed and I had seen a few volunteer seedlings, so I figured I’d go with that.

Those plants are easily 2ft tall now, and bushy. Lots of pretty purple flowers, but the number of bees has been depressingly low in recent years. No thanks to the vast farm fields around us and whatever the heck they put on the fields.

Borage blue flowers

The pumpkins my sister-in-law asked me to grow for her are doing the usual pumpkin thing of taking over their corner of the garden. As long as they don’t encroach on the onions, I’m good with them.

I didn’t get any brussels sprouts plants this year; the greenhouse was out when I picked up the kale and Brandywine (that was the only tomato I didn’t start in the house this year). I did plant kohlrabi again, hoping again they lure the cabbage butterflies away from the kale. The jury’s still out on that.

I also planted marigolds again this year (since the seeds are so small, I have a LOT of seeds), but they aren’t anywhere close to blooming yet.

The potatoes and corn in hubs’ garden are doing well, but the weeds are also jockeying for position. He’s weeded once, I think. Oh well.

And that’s the garden saga so far.

In other news, three weeks until our Writing Sisters Reunion! In person this year! Woo-hoo! I miss seeing those gals in person. We chat via Zoom every other week, but it’s been what, almost two years since we were close enough to hug.

The job hunt is ongoing. I’ve had a lot of interviews over the past couple weeks, and multiple interviews with a few companies. No offers yet, but I’m still hoping a particular few come through.

On the writing front, I’m taking a break from Book 2 to focus on writing a short story. It’s not going as well as I’d hoped, but I keep thinking about it on my walks. I’ve been binge-reading a series for the third time because, well, I can’t help it. I think it’s the characters. If you are curious (@Marcia Meara, I blame you!), it’s the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I’m planning to reread the Harry Dresden series at some point as well, but I have my writing teacher’s new book to consume, and Writing Sisters’ pages to read and critique.

Hope your summer is going well. Stay cool, those out on the West Coast. Stay dry, those on the East Coast.

Stay cool and Write on!

A special appearance by Tibbers

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.

12 thoughts on “How does my garden grow? July 2021 edition #amgardening #mngarden

  1. Your garden looks fabulous, Julie! Even if there are a few things that aren’t going according to plan, it looks as though it’s flourishing. There’s just something very life-affirming about working in a garden, I think. And that borage blue flower is gorgeous! I wish you well with the job search. They can be so disheartening, can’t they? I hope you get exactly the right job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Margot! I agree about working in a garden; there’s nothing quite like learning in the middle of cooking that you ran out of cilantro, or onion, and all you have to do is walk out to the garden and get some more. I love the blue borage flowers, they seem almost electric in how blue they are.

      Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m impressed with your garden. It looks beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re garden looks great, Julie. No weeds! We’ve started harvesting and can’t eat enough. I’m going to load my daughter up with veggies today. Have fun out there in the dirt. I hope your job search lands you something wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, all the gardening you do leaves me mind boggled. And I actually had to goggle borage, because I’d never heard of it before. Keep going with your wonderful green thumb….and your writing. I hope the second book and the short story fall into place for you.
    Love the photo of Tibbers. Quite the photogenic kitty! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mae! Every year lately I think about forgoing the garden. Then I remember the only way to get good tomatoes is to grow them myself. I credit my mom; we always had a garden growing up (having five kids might have had something to do with that πŸ™‚ ). All my siblings have gardens, too.

      Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tibbers! What a delightful surprise!
    Blue borage flowers are beautiful. Sorry about your cuke woes. Had to laugh about giving tomatoes to the chickens. That’s how we ended up with 100 tomato plants growing in the then-empty coop area. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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