I love this time of the year. When it’s warm outside, and we can enjoy the backyard. Everything is green and growing and flowering. This is the time of year that our backyard becomes our own little oasis. This year should be even better because, as I mentioned last time, we built a pergola on our back patio to help block some of the intense sunlight and have a place to relax while the boys play.
We’ve been able to harvest a few things from the garden recently but should have a lot more in the upcoming weeks with how much everything is flowering right now.
And speaking of the boys, their gardens are growing much better than I had anticipated! None of the pepper plants seemed to sprout, but they both have their tomato and zucchini plants flowering. On the evenings that they go out with us to water, we try to let them water their gardens to take responsibility for it, but there are many nights that we don’t water until after they are already showered, so we do help them when needed.
This week we decided to pull everything out of the lettuce garden area. Not much ever grew in there, and the few things that we could harvest were starting to turn bitter. Last year we learned that meant that it was getting too hot for those plants. Next week we are going to plant watermelon seeds in that area since they do like the warmer weather and it should (hopefully) be enough space for them to vine.
Justin goes out every couple of days to harvest mint, and you can’t even tell! I’ve been offering it to local friends, we make mojitos and creme de menthe, and have been trying to find new recipes that use mint. Justin put some in a berry smoothie the other day, and it was delicious. I’ll have to do it again and get his measurements and make a recipe post for that soon.
Do you see that tall plant? We can’t tell if it’s a weed or a pepper plant, so we are letting it grow for now until we figure it out.
A bunch of our lilies are starting to open up, and they are gorgeous! T asked me about them the other day, wondering what they were good for and if they were a vegetable to eat. I told him they are only flowers and just to look at and he commented on how pretty they make the backyard. I love the splash of color they add.
The banana trees continue to grow, and for the first time this year, I noticed that they had grown a few pups as well! This means we will have even more banana trees growing. The largest one from last year didn’t grow back since it had fruit on it, so these will start to replace those. We don’t have the trees for the fruit (although that’ll be a bonus if we can harvest some) but I love the large green leaves and tropical feel they give the yard.
Our blackberry bush has had flowers on it for a few weeks, and small signs of berries. Today I noticed a few of the berries are starting to turn red. So, as long as the birds don’t get to them first, we may get a few blackberries off of it this summer! There is one blackberry plant that was the first we planted, and then we added another a year later. Trying to trace the stems with berries back showed us that most of the ones producing look like they are from the original one. If that’s the case, then by next year we should have a lot more growth from all of it.
Squash is on the left, zucchini on the right. I was finally able to figure that one out this week! If you look closely (I tried to take a couple of close-up photos), the flowers on the left are starting to grow the vegetables on them, and they are clearly the yellow color of the squash we planted. There’s no sign of zucchini yet, just the flowers. The same thing happened last year so we’ll have to see what happens with that.
I don’t take photos of the rose bushes often, but we have so many in bloom right now. These were at the front of our house when we first moved here, but they aren’t very pretty when they don’t have flowers, so we moved them to the backyard. The boys will often go out, with Justin’s help, and collect flowers to put in vases in the house. We also trimmed some this morning to give to their teachers along with some chocolate chip cookies for teacher appreciation week.
T found this lizard on the bench by our picnic table and insisted I take a photo to show everyone!
We got the pergola in place and bolted it to the concrete, so it’s not going anywhere now. Last weekend we did a bunch of shopping and errands, and ordered this outdoor furniture from Lowe’s and had it delivered. It’s very comfortable and was a reasonable price. The boys especially like the chairs because they can spin.
My next outdoor project is filling those planters that my in-laws gave us. I want to plant some of the plants that will help keep away the mosquitos and wasps such as citronella and eucalyptus.
This key hanger was given to me by a friend, so we attached it to the side of the pergola. I am going to use it to hang my small gardening tools from so I can quickly grab them when needed.
My little helpers have so much fun watering the yard (and themselves)!