Mid-Summer Garden – Feeling the Change Towards Fall

The garden is always in a continual state of change.  We all know that.  But sometimes the change is so “present” that we feel it as we stand in our gardens.

That was the case as I stood in mine on Saturday, July 21st, in a misty cool much-needed rain.  The desire to garden that had been suppressed by July’s heat and dryness, came rushing back.  It seemed all the optimism and gratitude in the world was within my chest and I was filled with all kinds of emotions.

Gone is the youthful beauty of my spring garden and borders.  It’s been replaced with the beauty of a more mature garden.  A garden that is even more productive and bountiful.  A garden that is feeding me now and will feed me in the winter.

With the rain came the renewing of the ground for planting and certainly the renewing of my wanting to plant.  There are many changes and many beginnings in a garden.  Here in mid-summer is where the fall garden begins.

Come visit my garden:

Entrance to the garden – July 21, 2012


Certain beds have needed more straw but I didn’t want to add it until after a rain. Now is the perfect time!


Looking to the left as I enter the garden. The bees are still using the echinacea. So I can’t bring myself to cutting it back.


Butterfly on fading echinacea blossom.


Late potatoes in grow bag. I can hardly wait to see how many potatoes I get from this experiment.


These potatoes have about finished.  They were planted in late March.  I’ll leave them in the ground until I need them.


Komo eggplant in grow bag.  The flea beetle found them this year, but they grew anyway.


Lettuce starting to seed; eva purple tomatoes (new for me this year); diva cuke; top right is wall of tomatoes (brandywine and dafel) in front of asparagus.


Pepper and Russian Kale that volunteered.


Diva Cucumber – the Queen of the Mid Summer Garden


Asparagus and tomato.


Lettuce seeding, late tomatoes, radishes.  Looking toward the border in front of the garden. I used this picture to show you how the beds are raised.


This looks like a honey bee.  I hope so.  I’ve hardly seen any this year.


When these tomatoes first started — they were the most lush in the garden.  After a while it looked to me as if they had a blight and I’ve continued to pull the bad leaves off trying to keep it from spreading —- thus the bare limbs.  They look worse than any in the garden, but have produced more heavily than any so far.  The tomatoes have been delicious and picture perfect.  I’ll save seed again this year and eventually hope to have a tomato perfectly suited for my conditions.


I’ve planted squash 5 times.   I lost 14 plants.  These look like they might make it — but I’m checking for squash bugs twice a day.


It probably is a waste of space to grow these little window box romas, because a big tomatoe would take the same amount of space and give me more Return on Investment. But they look so wonderful and I enjoy them for roasting — so I can’t resist growing a few.  Next to this one you see radishes in bloom.  In the background you see grow bags (black) that I have along the edge of the garden.


One of my favorite spots in the garden. It’s shaded from 3:30 on. Chard, lettuce, snap dragons, chinese parsley and lemon balm.


This grow bag had eggplant last year. Extra peppers take the space this year. Late planted Opalka Tomato plant is to the left.


My favorite part of the side border gets afternoon shade. Tomato is circled in blue.


Close up of the tomato shown above.  It’s heavy with fruit.


Phlox and late blooming Daylily


This was a volunteer tomato in the side border and I just couldn’t pull it up! The lower right is where I had carrots.   I guess the rabbit ate the tops before they had a chance to grow.  A pepper is to the left and also one to the right.


Someone who had taken a “master gardeners” course told me that pink and orange was a no-no.  I disagree. This last of the season lily was wonderful with this phlox.


Five varieties of onions. Cured and ready for winter.


I keep my fig bush small. I enjoy eating them fresh from the tree when I’ve been working in the yard. I freeze a few for smoothies.


If we get a nice rain or two, we should have some nice raspberries.


Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.


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  • Thank you so much for the tour of your Mid-summer garden. I felt as if we were visiting and you were talking to me.
    I also experienced a renewed feeling in my garden this past weekend. We had “rain”, which we seldom get, expecially this time of year. The next morning it was a wonder in the garden. The smell was breathtaking, clean and fresh. The leaves were still a bit damp as the sun had not risen completely and the bees were starting to buzz around. You could hear the plants growing. I was so excited and wanted to dig somewhere. I had harvested the shallots and that space was empty so I played in the slightly damp dirt for awhile. That bed is now ready for fall planting.
    I have an overabundance of swiss chard this year (cool summer) and found a recipe for Swiss chard pesto. Substitute chard for the basil and add a bit of parsley. That is my project for today after I play in the garden for awhile. Happy gardening.

  • So glad you could take the tour Alice!
    I’ll have to try that Swiss chard pesto. Sounds interesting.
    Thanks for sharing. Have a great day and enjoy your garden.

  • Sigh, we all feel the same way about our gardens. You and Alice both put it so well. Exactly!!
    Thanks for the peaceful and beautiful photos. I’m envying your figs. I moved mine this year, and had to cut them way back, so no fruit this year.

  • Thanks for the tour Theresa. I’m out there checking for squash bugs twice a day too. So far I find eggs every day and have killed at least 5 squash bugs.
    My tomato plants are full of fruit but all green so far.
    Hard to believe summer is half over.
    No pumpkins or gourds for me this year. One butternut squash plant survived.
    Enjoy the garden while we can.

  • Hey Danita! All over the country it seems that very FEW people are having success with pumpkins or winter squash. For some reason — I don’t know what variable it is —- but they are just not producing. So it’s not just you. Take heart — we have next year.
    Also enjoy having you join the conversation.
    Oh – and by the way — killed only 3 squash bugs tonight. My squash might make it.

  • Hi Theresa!

    Great garden and wonderful tips! I guess one of my rabbits got my carrot tops also. I wondered why they didn’t grow! A way I’ve tried to overcome the decreased greens yield in mid-summer is using edible greens like broccoli, brussel sprout, cauliflower, echinacea, hibiscus, purslane, green amaranth, wild spinach, etc. Even hosta greens are edible and mine are behind my house so I don’t mind harvesting some leaves and if you use them mainly in smoothies, taste doesn’t matter much.

  • Hi Dennis,
    Glad you the garden Dennis. Nice having you visit.
    I didn’t know about hosta or hibiscus being edible. Interesting.
    I used my last lettuce at the end of July, but have been able to fill in abundantly with mizuna, Russian Kale, and Chard. This is the first year I’ve had enough greens in the garden to keep me from suffering “greens withdrawal” in late summer. 🙂
    Think I’ll try planting a few carrots again. I’ll put them in the garden this time to try to keep the rabbits from eating them.
    Thanks for commenting Dennis.

  • I was on vacation and am finally seeing your post. It all looks so gorgeous. I did the potatoes in a bag experiment too and harvested them a couple days ago. This was my first experience with potatoes. They were planted in April so maybe I harvest too soon? I got a couple handfuls of relatively small potatoes. The plants were mostly dead (though there was some life in them still) and I thought this indicated they could be harvested. How do you decide when to harvest?

  • Sure was good to see your name pop up on the comments, Steve.

    I am no where near harvest with the potatoes in the grow bag because they are still lush and green and even have blossoms —- I hope that means I’m going to get lots of potatoes. (Because the voles have been eating voraciously in one of my Kennebec potatoe beds!)(If you’ll remember, I have no place to store potatoes so I leave them in the bed and harvest as needed.)

    Since your plants were mostly dead you probably didn’t loose all that much by harvesting when you did.

    I’ll let you know what kind of luck I have with production when I harvest. Might be mid or late September. I can’t remember exactly when I planted in the grow bag— but it was late May or early June I think.

    Welcome home! Hope your vacation was great!

  • What a lovely way to end the day “walking” through your garden Theresa. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for sharing.

    Your garden is a sight for sore eyes.

    Have you had the rain the way we have in Central Virginia this year?

    It has really delayed a lot of my planting.
    I actually planted in a misting rain one day & they are still living.

    I read somewhere that you could cut the root end of celery & plant it and it would grow & produce more celery.

    I had a package of organic celery & I tried it. They are both still living & have some nice green leaves. Still very short.

    Have a great day.

  • Yes, Betty – this year we’ve had rain all summer. It’s a first for me! Sure makes things different.

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