Well, it's trying hard, the garden really is. What a summer it has been! The flowers have all done well despite our very late start to the summer. This lovely Hydrangea was once in another area of the garden. We tried to dig it up to put elsewhere, and ended up using an axe to cut it out. We then planted it where the plant could get better sun....not even thinking that it would survive. It did not flower the first year, but I kept watering it...at times I wondered if the plant was dead. Then the following year, the plant showed a few flowers, and now it is in full bloom. What an amazing, hardy shrub! Also the herbs are doing great: Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, and Chives. Katie at Thyme For Cooking has done an amazing post on Freezing Herbs, such a unique great way to freeze herbs - worth checking out!
Here is the lovely Rudebeckia that self seeded in the 2nd veggie bed, now in full bloom. I love these flowers. Again a very hardy plant, which is deer and somewhat drought tolerant. The flowers are very easy to dry, from which you can then pull off the seeds to plant next year.
The Echinaecia (not sure of this spelling) is just now coming into bloom. This flower is also late in blooming, but the strangest thing is they like to be on the dry side. We had a lot of rain this spring, I am surprised it survived.
See this Bee Balm? Another strange thing. Normally it is alive with Bees. Not so this year, we have hardly seen any. Honestly, it is startling. A friend of ours used to keep bees. He finally had to give up because the bees kept getting a virus and dying off, despite his huge efforts in trying to save them. Another interesting thing is the Ever Bearing strawberries we planted. The plants look really healthy, but they are only about 5 inches in height, and there are no flowers yet. So it is quite likely we won't be getting any strawberries this year. Hoping for next year?
This year the garden has taught me much. I have learned I can no longer just put vegetable seeds into the ground. Some like chards, spinach, lettuces, radishes are fine to put from seed into the ground. I used to do the same with Zucchini, squashes, beans - not so any more. I had to start seedlings in our coldframe/greenhouse, and then plant. Even so, with this summer we will not get very much.
And finally, the tomatoes. Despite using all the right fertilizers, careful watering, it does not look like we will get many this year. My fingers are crossed they will ripen. Last year we had so many tomatoes, we were able to freeze quite a few bags for soups, and sauces throughout the winter. The other important thing I learned, is that next year I will start my seeds in small pots one month earlier - end of February early March. We will also build a bigger green house. As an amateur gardener, I sure have compassion for the farmers out there who work so hard creating wonderful food. Yes, this year has taught me much.