A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, July 8, 2011


The time has finally arrived. I'm starting to get big harvests of vegetables.....weeks (months) after so many others. But, heh heh---it's been cool, so THBBBBBBBBBB.
I cut my first 2 heads of broccoli this morning-one batch blanched for Broccoli/Pasta AuGratin, the rest made into Cream of Broccoli soup-all within an hour of cutting.
The peas-I started to shell, but realized at the half way point that I was only going to end up with about 1/2 cup. I'm saving them for fresh eating whole instead. Much easier, and frankly, much tastier.

Yes, strawberries are STILL coming in. This is by far the longest harvest I've ever had.
I've got enough frozen to last the whole winter. We are now SICK of strawberries. Even the neighbors got at least 6 quarts each. Successful, despite the mold issues. And yes, Mama Pea,
as soon as that precious grandbaby goes home on Monday, I'm going to take GOOD CARE of my patch. Lesson Learned!

The only rose I've not been able to successfully anihilate. The miniature rose is one of those from the grocery store. Plant them!!! They are tough as nails (I'm a Zone 4, I don't fertilize, I don't spray!) Positively Sue-Proof roses!!

The Heliopsis has just opened.

The "Major Wheeler" honeysuckle from High Country Gardens. Beautiful. I'm planning on moving it to the new trellis early next spring.

One of the Dahlias. Sorry-I wrote in marker on the label. It faded. Rats.

My crazy Delphiniums I grew from seed. They're in their second year and are well over 5 foot tall. Some of the stems are as big around as corn stalks (I remember corn. Long time ago.....)

A full lush garden.

Nights have been in the upper 50's, daytime temps at 80. Mosquitoes-ACK. A half inch rain for the week.

Hope you all had a fine week. Enjoy the day!


  1. If you have a flower garden theft in the night -don't blame me,I live to far away,but beware ,because you are showing them some pretty precious cargo there! lol

  2. Oh, yum, yum, yum! I think it's the greatest thing when a head of broccoli, for instance, is less than an hour from garden to freezer or soup for dinner. No commercial outfit (even an organic one) can do that. But we can!!

    With a grandbaby to hold and love and cuddle, the strawberries will gladly wait for you. Don't put that baby down!

    Your garden, as usual (sigh), is magazine worthy. My delphiniums haven't even budded out yet. And someday I'm gonna learn how to grow roses. Yep, I really am.

  3. Awesome! Your broccoli is huge! I gave up planting any as I couldn't find a way to keep those green wormies out. They would be so pretty and then once they hit the pot...ewww!

    Your gardens always look so pretty!

  4. Looks beautiful! I like the little rock border! What do you have down in the walk paths? Sand? We will be expanding our beds next year and I'm trying to decide how to do the paths. We hated weed eating around the boxes this year, it throws grass everywhere.

    Your carrots look great. How do you know when to pull the carrots?

    We had fresh broccoli last night too! It was wonderful. My cauliflower is not doing well though.

  5. I'm going to quit reading your blog. It gives me an inferiority complex ;-)

    I agree with those miniature roses from the grocery store. You can't kill 'em.

  6. My word, that dahlia is stunning! Your garden looks like it's ready to burst ... mine is still behind (thanks to a son who picked off most of the baby tomatoes!). Lovely photos. I'm now hungry for strawberries!

  7. No kidding! My gosh it all looks beautiful! Love the Delphinium, do you stake them?

  8. You are really raking in the veggies. I can't imagine being tired of strawberries. It is nice to freeze some and to share them too!

  9. Look at those pretty veggies and blooms! How cool that those delphiniums are doing so well. I planted a couple grocery store roses in pots after they were stressed and looked like they may not make it. They are looking better, and one of them has a couple blooms on it. They are smaller than yours, though.

    Yes, your garden is full and lush. Happy Summer!

  10. What a gorgeous display! Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

  11. Judy-I already have a garden thief-he lives down the road and steals my veggies when we're in town on errands. Now we put a LOCK on the garden.

    Mama Pea-EVERY year, I buy some drop dead gorgeous rose--and it does just that-drop dead! I have amended the soil (um, sand) , tried everything and still kill them, yet these little miniatures thrive on neglect. My kind of rose!!

    APG-I use that Agribon fabric covering darn near everything now and haven't had a single worm this year (should I say YET, now?)

  12. M-we have sand on the paths (which is , for us, our soil too) and I love it. I use the back of an iron rake once in awhile to "scrape" down the paths and remove any weeds, but most things won't grow in that sand so it stays pretty weed free.
    The carrots usually show a wee bit out of the soil-or you can gently dig a finger in there to see how big around they are-I pull mine at about 1/2 inch to 1 inch diameter.
    And cauliflower likes cool, but not too cool. Fussy stuff, kinda like me!

    AG-hubby gives me one of those when I'm nice.
    I have ONE in the garden.

    Jennifer-I'm happy you have your son out in the garden. They make mistakes, but what a great "classroom". Hope you have a good (even though its late) harvest!

    Erin-I staked them last year and it worked great. I intended to get that done this year but , well, um.......you know how that goes. I'm ticked off, too, because I've lost a few to winds because they weren't staked.

  13. Gardener on SS-I didn't think you could tire of berries either, but dealing with an average of 5-6 quarts a day for over 2 weeks-yeah, I'm sick of them!

    Corner Gardener-The only way you can fully kill those roses is to take care of them. Stick them in the ground and forget them. They'll do great!

    Daisy-thank you-we're looking forward to something else BESIDES strawberries.

  14. Oh my goodness your harvest looks amazing!! I am really envious that you are still getting those beautiful strawberries! Your flowers look amazing. You really do have a green thumb!!

  15. Wishing we had that beautiful weather you're enjoying ... thanks for stopping by!

    City Roots, Country Life

  16. Did I miss a joke somewhere or do you REALLY have a thief who lives down the road and steals your veggies when you're gone???? If so, I am aghast!

  17. Sue, The gardens are just gorgeous. What a wonderful harvest of vegetables and so many strawberries. Just herbs and lettuce leaves here in Maine...tomatoes are weeks away.

  18. Alicia-I checked my journal-we've been getting berries now for 17 days. I picked varieties to bear early, mid, and late season. I guess I succeeded, but poor hubby is so tired of hearing I brought in another couple pans full........

    Emma-hope you get some fine temps soon. I do wish for a bit more rain for here. Its sooooo dry.

    Mama Pea-yes, we actually have a neighbor who sneaks in when we're not home. We have a LOCK on our garden gate, if you can imagine. Worst part-it's an old gentleman (I'm using THAT term loosely!) in his late 70's. He told me once that it was ALL GOD'S BOUNTY. Yea. Well, that may be so, but I planted it. It's on MY property. And please stay home.

    backroad-we're a long way from tomatoes too. I'm so envious(but also happy for) those who are already raking them in. Our time is coming though.....hang in there!

  19. Hi Sue! Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog! I think I need to visit yours more often so I can steal some ideas;)

  20. I covet your calabrese! Mine has been a none starter due to the crappy weather this year!

  21. Kristi-thanks so much!

    IdiotGardener-I think northern Michigan is the ONLY place the weather has been decent. I think gardeners around the world are having a very tough year.