July has brought some hot, sunny days to us in central Wisconsin. The warm, humid afternoons are doing wonders for the garden, though a little more rain would be nice! Luckily, we have had great success collecting rain water this year to supplement our watering. We have just been strategically place five-gallon pails around the house to catch the run-off from the roof. We then pour these buckets of water into a large barrel, that my husband has outfitted with a spigot, next to our greenhouse.
Here is a view of our garden showing the front of our greenhouse, which is like an island in the middle:
And this is a view showing the back of the greenhouse:
This year, we interplanted our corn with the potatoes. Our hope is that the corn will give the potatoes a little reprieve from the hot sun, while the bushy potato plants will shade the ground by the corn, helping to keep the roots moist.
We have planted French marigolds (Tagetes patula) throughout the garden, since they are a natural repellent to many garden pests.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a lovely perennial. I planted some last year, and it has done wonderfully. It is also helpful in repelling garden pests. Right now, it is flowering:
Here we have our beans: black beans and the tongue-of-fire beans. I had purchased some fresh tongue-of-fire beans from a lady at our local Farmer's Market, and thought they were just beautiful, so I dried some to plant. I am looking forward to harvesting these red-streaked beans.
At the end of the school year, my son's fourth grade class received cabbage plants to take home. We planted it in our garden, and it has been growing quite nicely.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a wonderful herb to grow. It is another plant that aids in discouraging garden pests, but it is also great for tea and medicinal uses. And, of course, the cats love it (which is why we have a cage around ours).
The entire north edge of our garden will have giant sunflowers lining it:
The yellow pear tomatoes are the first of our tomato plants to bloom:
We gave the kids a spot in the garden all their own this year, which they have been loving! Looks like the first one to harvest will be my youngest son; his peas are just about ready.
This year I have decided to grow peppermint. This is the first time I have grown peppermint, and I am keeping in mind all the warnings I've been getting about how it will quickly take over a garden if left unchecked.
There have been some volunteers (that most would consider weeds) popping up in the garden. We pull most of the weeds, but I allow some of them to go, like this red clover (Trifolium pratense). Red clover tea (made from the fresh flowers) is surprisingly tasty.
I also had some white campion (Silene latifolia) pop up in my "wild patch." This is an area that I have, for the most part, let go just to see what will pop up. Birds really like this spot.
I've enjoyed sharing scenes from my garden. Hope yours is growing well too!