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Perspectives on Gardening Results in the Face of Disappointment

The straw bale squash plant has powdery mildew.  Half the tomato plants were removed due to some virus and the others are barely producing.  Green worms and aphids are wreaking havoc on my cabbage.  The weeds got a definite advantage while I spent time trying to take care of other responsibilities AND process what produce I do have.  It happens every year.  Reality crashes in on my gardening dreams.  I know it’s going to happen and I try to brace myself, but I do want my nearly acre garden to be beautiful and bountiful.

Then I saw some photos that my Natalie had taken (like the opening photo of one of my dahlias grown from a cost effective bag of tubers from Costco) and I began to remember my successes.  A saunter through the many sections of my garden with the camera produced more photos of my own.  Some show the results of problems, and others zoom in on specific spots of beauty or vigor.  Here, for instance, is the wild approach to the front door.  The show of color and variety at the beginning of fall is due to research so as to have both perennials and annuals planted that like the heat and the fall timing.  I’ll get around to pruning the suckers from a rose that died last winter.  Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the color before the first frost kills it.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Seeing this makes it easier to look at this:

I have been so looking forward to eating some of my Sweet Dumpling squash.  There are some that may yet reach maturity:

I belatedly remembered there might be something to do for these plants, but I hope it is just related to our unusual summer weather this year.  Even my bind weed has it, as do many other plants, so it would take a lot of spraying. has a good article about it.  One of their suggestions involving a baking soda/soap spray is similar to what is said in my latest garden read, The Truth About Garden Remedies, page 127.

Meanwhile, I will concentrate on beautiful images like these:

Vines of Spanish Eyes

Purple centered perennial African Daisy which I purchased at Greenhurst Nursery a couple of years ago. They are lower growing than the arcotis annuals I’ve grown. And, yes, those are bind weed leaves mixed in with the foliage.

Leeks in the middle.  Midsummer starts of broccoli, hopefully for a fall harvest.  They are looking very healthy!

I’ve never grown or eaten endive before, but there it is all in a row on the left of my version of a trellis for peas that have since been cleaned up.

Fall blooming crocuses in unlikely places bring cheer.  I think it’s this one.

It seemed like it took a long time for the soft yellow blooms of the Rudbekia hirta to bloom, but they were worth it. I grew them from seed and they started out very small. They are planted in small groups in about three different spots.  Right in front of them are several kale plants for winter eating.  They are from midsummer starts, also.

The petunias and snap dragons that I grew from seed are flourishing, as are the weeds creating the fluffy border in front of them.  Maybe I’ll pull them tomorrow.  The glads behind them all are spent, but were gorgeous, as seen below:

Also from an economy pack at Costco.

Sunflower seeds ripening for the harvest are fun to look at.

Most of the hollyhocks have progressed to seed pod stage, but this fresh pink bloom attracted me and a busy bee.

Plants heavy with bell peppers; and they are heirloom, so I can collect the seeds!

Onions that I grew from both seed and start, in order to compare.  They didn’t get as large as I would have liked and I will try saving some for starts for next year.  I have already been cooking with them, which is great fun.

Another of my dahlias “from the bag.”  Happy bee -

These were volunteers.  Bicolored Four O’clocks are very reliable.

And here are some late Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.  Those in the full sun have given up for the year, but these add the perfect dash of blue to my barely functional garden gate.  These particular flowers remind me of stories I’ve heard about my great grandmother, as I’ve been told they were her favorite flower and that she loved to garden.  I didn’t see her much and she died when I was young, but she planted a seed in my mind.  As she knew her time to on earth was nearing its end, she wrote a page in a small notebook that clearly and succinctly told of her faith in Jesus Christ.  She asked that it be copied and handed out to all of her descendants, to make sure they knew.  I was already a believer, immature as I was, but her message had impact on me, seeing how warmly she wrote, how substantial her faith was.  These were no idle words or ramblings of an old, hopeless person.  These were the words of someone who knew what to expect next and looked forward to it with peace.

God blesses us while we are here, but there are ever present reminders of the effect our sin has brought to earth.  May all your gardening bring you full circle to true hope.

  Winter Shapes of the Straw Bale Garden

  • Mom

    Enjoyed the stroll through your picture book garden, and the hope it gives: bringing forth crops to enjoy and sustain you and your family. Tears welled in my eyes reading about Gr.Grandmother, her love for gardening, and her strong faith in Jesus; wanting everyone of her offspring to be able to join her in heaven when the time came. Tradition and hope continue.

  • Heidi

    No wonder you wanted to upload pictures! These are beautiful.

    My bindweed also is all moldy. Weird, isn’t it?

    I’m sad about your squash. :-(

    Our onions are small, too, even though they were from inch-diameter bulbs. Maybe another issue with the year?

    And do I get a copy of the page? I don’t think I have one …


  • Jc

    Hey, you got a picture of yourself in one of those photos, sneaky ;)

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