My Family Garden

A Blueberry bush that still has a few blueberries left. They look like mangy sticks but they produce the best wild blueberries I have tasted. We have three near each other. A bush won't fruit unless it has another opposite-sexed bush nearby.

Lots of tomatoes this year, but these are not as good as the ones we planted two years ago - beefsteak. Those tasted the best for us. These ones are very bloody. I think they would be good for soups and sauces.

Lots of these cucumbers for pickles. Although, the cucumber that comes out of the plant on the label is hit and miss for us. Maybe it's because of the insects and the cross pollination.

Castor plant. During hot days in the summer grows about 6 inches a day. The seeds in those prickly pods can give you a mighty case of Montezuma's revenge. I think these are the seeds that the Jack and the Bean Stalk story are about. It's a native of North Africa and the leaves there grow to the size of patio umbrellas.

My mother-in-law started planting a lot of ornamental grasses. This grass seeds and dies and does not return the following year. When you think that corn, rice, wheat, bamboo and oats are grasses, and almost every large mammal lives off of grasses or the animals that live off of grasses, you gain a lot of respect for this stuff.

Angel's Trumpet. Grows from seed every year. Native of South America. I consider it a weed, but my mother-in-law loves it. She will water it growing in the middle of a walkway or in a crack on the edge of the patio. It opens up large (6 inch) flowers for about a day, droops down and then dries up. Then they produce these prickly seed packs like the castor.

Some herbs in a planter (from left: rosmary, basil, parsley, purple sage) and in the back there's some lavender that the bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love.

We have a 4-in-1 grafted cherry in the front, a mulberry, and a service berry tree - but they are not fruiting anymore. If you go to my address in Google street view you can see the cherry tree blossoming last year. We have strawberries and we're looking at getting a couple of hardy raspberry bushes from one of our neighbors. Anyway the garden is a great place to see the wonder of nature and appreciate how much we should be in harmony with it. Our neighborhood has a summer-long garden competition where all the homeowners visit gardens on the weekends and vote for the best garden of the week. If you think my garden is nice - you have to see the others. They either excel in size, wide plant selection, depth of single variety of plants or type (flower, vegetable, ornamental). It's quite an adventure. I must say that most of our community is retired. When they see me packing up in the morning to go to work they give me a wave knowing I'm paying in to the pension plan. [In the winter they make sure my drive-way is plowed so I'm not late for work!]

Jeff a runner from Phoenix has an interesting blog about gardening as well called Gardening Through Phoenix.