in the garden, August 6

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view from the alley

2014, the year I grew a jungle

from the back corner

there are A LOT of beans out there #garden2014

from the driveway

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early this morning

I love this spot where the beans and cornichon cucumbers meet in the middle of the trellis #garden2014

the trellis arch is my favorite spot, with the cucumbers and beans hanging

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parisian pickling cucumber vines, from under the trellis

so much love in this variation of a three sisters planting: purple pole beans and boston pickling cucumbers climbing lemon queen sunflowers #garden2014

boston pickling cukes and purple pole beans climbing lemon queen sunflowers

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this space filled in so nicely with borage, strawberries, pineapple sage, and other herbs

borage is so lovely

lovely borage

this beauty fell over, so I brought it inside. 12 inches across! only a few mammoth greys bloomed this year, I've decided 2015 will be the summer of sunflowers.

one of only a few mammoth grey sunflowers that bloomed

it didn't take long to gather a gallon of beans this afternoon! plus enough parissien cucumbers for a batch of sweet gherkins and two nice straight eight slicing cukes #garden2014

I love those purple beans

backyard cucumbers, pickled two ways. soured dill chips on the left, sweet gherkins on the right.

backyard cucumbers, pickled two ways

I cannot believe it is August. Summer is passing in a blur.  Purple pole beans are attempting to take over the backyard. We stashed the freezer with twenty pounds of local blueberries two weekends ago. A fresh jar of kosher dill pickles from backyard cucumbers is constantly in rotation, fermenting in a dark corner of the counter. I pulled the spent, bolted broccoli plants yesterday and am awaiting a seed delivery from Baker Creek. There will be fall beets, lettuce, snow peas, bush beans, basil, and peppermint stick zinnias. I need to start canning tomatoes and freezing corn off the cob. 

There is borage everywhere, which means there are bees everywhere. Borage is so neat - grows well from seed, is impressively large, and attracts so many pollinators. It's a companion plant for strawberries, so I tossed a handful of seed out into the rows of everbearing strawberries I planted earlier this year. I also scattered seed throughout the tomato, cucumber, and perennial flower beds, as borage is said to improve the flavor of tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Three tiny kittens are camping in my strawberry/herb/flower patch. Their little faces peeping out from under the hollyhock leaves are so adorable.  I can't get near them, they scamper away into the bushes. I have 300 fall planted bulbs coming from Holland Bulb Farm in September and I'm still not sure where they're all going to go.

I've been sweater knitting in the evenings, aware that fall is all too quickly approaching.  I feel like the garden has grown itself this year; I've rarely needed to weed and it's rained frequently enough that watering hasn't been necessary in weeks. It has been so nice after a rough day at work to come home to my lush backyard, the sunflowers hovering over the lush bean forest. Such a happy sight.

~RLM