Early Summer Gardens

It is now June – a lovely month. Here in the northern mid west we move between 80 degree days and 55 degree nights. (We will not talk about the four days of 99 to 100 degree heat that showed up a few weeks ago.) There are cool mornings, sometimes with fog. IMG_5862.jpgThere are green trees and rich blue skies. There is moisture on the grass each morning when I walk the garden with a sweatshirt on. But at 10 am I am in short sleeves and starting to find places out of the sun to do my weeding.

The veggie garden is planted and growing nicely. Things are small but it is Minnesota we will not get our veggies until August. Although the salad garden is providing us IMG_5849.jpgwith lettuce, spinach, cilantro and radishes right now. We are eating lots of salads before the weather turns truly hot and everything bolts and goes to seed.

The tulips are long past and the Iris and Peonies have taken their place. They will last another week or so and then we go into the green phase. There is one last blooming bush. The Weigela is blooming with cheery red flowers.

The mid summer flowers will not bloom until IMG_5853.jpglate June so IMG_5846.jpgmost gardener’s have planted a few annuals to kept the color going until the cone flowers, begonias, and lilies are ready to bloom.

IMG_5856.jpgThis year the front garden looks great. The grass is green the beds are finally settling into a nice cycle of plants. There is weeding to do but most of the beds are just fine with a little clean up now and again.

The back garden is another story all together. First the grass decided to not grow. There are large spots of just a few weeds and dirt. The large perennial bed that borders the back fence was taken over by Creeping charlie and other weeds. We have also taken down the children’s play fort leaving a large dirt area to be taken care of as well. In other words it is a mess. IMG_5840.jpg

Some moments I am overwhelmed and think I can’t do this there is just to much here to tackle. Then I think wait a minute this gives me a clean slate to make big changes. I can IMG_5860.jpgadd bushes or a fruit tree. I could design a new garden. Then reality hits once more and I think about my age and I realize I am planning a garden for the 30 year old me. I have to remember it is tricky to lift heavy rocks with arthritic fingers, it takes longer to dig and turn soil when you are in your mid sixties then when I was thirty.  Everything is just a bit harder. It is not a – I can’t do – it is a remember to plan in small steps. It is a remember which jobs I can do and which jobs I need to hire someone for. The trick is hiring someone!

All of it is the life of a gardener. Each year begins the cycle over. There will always be new garden beds to make, plants that need replacing, grass that is not growing or growing to much and weeds to pull. It keeps me active and thinking. I think that is a good thing.

Happy Summer everyone! IMG_5859.jpg

This lovely little plant that is beginning to bloom is a Lupine. Remember the children’s book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney – she was planting Lupines to make the world more beautiful – one plant at a time and so am I.




About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in gardens, nature, Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Early Summer Gardens

  1. Adrienne says:

    So lovely!!! I only have planters and miss having a garden when I see (and read about) gardens like yours. Lupines are favorites!

  2. Ramona says:

    I love reading and seeing your gardening posts. Keep planning/planting in small steps and figuring out who you can get to help with the bigger projects. (This from the girl who still hasn’t planted her tomato plants in containers on the driveway) And have you seen “Greenfingers”? I definitely have to recommend it to my gardening friends. It’s available on Amazon Prime.

  3. Thank you for the lovely tour through you garden. I was curious to see what was in bloom where you are compared to where I am — Massachusetts. Looks about the same. I love this time of year. So much color!

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