I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been so busy gardening! Pictured is my daughter by the garden. I always garden with sunflowers because they are so magnificent. Even if nothing else grows, glorious sunflowers will loom large over the rest of the garden and provide food for wild birds in the fall. (Remember the dying husband's comments about sunflowers in the movie Calendar Girls?) Sunflowers are also useful for shade. They help provide shade (heat relief) for the other plants, which is especially helpful for squash & zucchini. Next year, I will be more careful how I place my sunflowers so that they will shade my squash better than this year.
This year I'm using tarps to give some relief to my cucumbers and squash. Below, I'm 5' 2,'' gives you an idea of how tall they already are. Last year, the highest measured at 11 feet tall. The rusty car is Yellow Bird, she's a 1976 Honda Civic. I'm a firm believer that we should all own something older than we are that's in good working order.
I make room for pretty flowers too. Zinnias are now in full bloom, and marigolds are just starting to open. I plant marigolds throughout and around my garden as they are natural bug deterrents. You can also see the straw mulch I use from Bob Due's terraced farms. I place it (or regular mulch) on top of newspaper and cardboard to keep down weeds, retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil each year. I add leaves on top of the garden in the fall.
Above are cucumbers, squash and corn plants. I also have tons of tomatoes planted this year. (Many thanks to my friend Sarah for loaning me some tomato cages.)
What will I do with all this food? I just made my first ever batch of pickles--12 pints worth. I sure hope they taste good!