Monday, May 27, 2024

The Back Garden in May

A View of the Back Garden in May

The back garden in May is also in transition from spring to summer with the spring flowers dying and the summer plants starting to grow.  What looks like a pile of dead branches in the middle of the picture is where I am hoping to have my corn patch!  We put the branches we cut from the curry leaf tree over the freshly planted bed of corn to keep Mama Cat from considering it a giant litter box and to keep Chicken Little from eating the corn!  Eventually, I want M to put up some chicken wire fencing around it.  He planted the corn a week ago and we have one or two seedlings making their way up:

The First Corn Seedlings

Phacelia and Celery Going to Seed

Just behind the newly planted corn patch, there is an Asian pear tree and these wildflowers called phacelia and the red stemmed celery which has bolted.  I am allowing the celery to form seeds and will try to collect the seeds.  The phacelia is there for the bees.

Nearby, in another newly dug planting bed, the okra seedlings are just starting to pop up:

Okra Seedlings

Last year, the okra didn't do well, at all.  Only a few seedlings grew and none of them grew taller than a foot or so and only one of them produced one single okra!  I hope that it will be better, this year.  Okra was selling for $5.99/lb. at the ethnic grocery store, the other day when I was there!  

Under the Orange Tree

We cleared the osteospermum plants that were growing under the orange tree as they had finished flowering.  They will return next spring, I'm sure, but, in the meantime, I am wondering if I should plant something else there or cover it with mulch.

The next photo is a close up and comes with the warning, "Objects in the photo are larger than they are" - baby oranges, about half an inch in diameter!

Baby Oranges 

Nearby, just behind the orange tree, the feijoa/pineapple guava tree is full of flowers:

Feijoa/Pineapple Guava Flowers

I am hoping that we'll get some fruit this year.  Last year, there were plenty of flowers like this, but, there weren't any fruits!  

There are lots of flowers on the gaura plant, too:


It is growing under the peach tree, where the peaches are starting to ripen:

The Peach Tree

The peaches are ripening later than they did in previous years, but, I am okay with that.

Apple Seedling

Nearby, we have the apple seedling I grew from a seed.  I've no idea if it will bear fruit and what kind of apple it will be, but, I'm thrilled to have another grown from seed fruit tree to keep the avocado tree (also grown from seed) company!

Another star of the garden is the dogbane/scaredy cat (it doesn't really seem to bother the garden cats); I just love their light purple flowers! 

Dogbane/Scaredy Cat

Just next to them, we have the Berkeley Tie Dye tomato plant with a couple of very tiny tomatoes growing!

One Tomato

Two Tomatoes

There are more flowers on the tomato plant and hopefully, we'll get a good crop of tomatoes!

Serrano Chilies

Also growing under the peach tree, I have my Serrano chili plant, with a good crop of green chilies to pick.  If I leave them on the tree, they will eventually turn red, but, picking them while green triggers the plant to produce more flowers and, hopefully, more chilies.  I use them when I cook curries or make egg salad for sandwiches or make cucumber salad to add a little heat.

In the meantime, the self sown mirabilis/four o'clock plants have taken over the area under the lemon trees where the chrysanthemums are planted!  They grow as weeds in my garden, but, their flowers are so pretty that I leave them in place.

Chrysanthemums and Mirabilis

Among the stars of the garden, right now, are the blueberry bushes:


Nearby, we have what I am calling M's "stonery". I collected some small stones and pebbles from the garden and put them around the post that supports the patio roof.  The stones are too small to be considered rocks, so I can't call it a rockery, but, M has been planting various plants he brings me among the stones.  The sedum had been growing in a pot, but, it is thriving in its new location.  The fern is a new addition as is the blue agapanthas "Elaine" that was planted last week.  There are some succulents growing there, too.  Maybe I need to find some bigger rocks and make it a proper rockery instead of a stonery!

"Stonery" or Rockery Wanna Be!

Or, maybe I should relocate the stumps over to this area!

Without the osteospermum flowers to distract, other garden flowers, such as this hibiscus, are being appreciated, more:


And of course, there are still some roses:

Pink Rose

There are also much clearing and tidying up to do.  The crocosmia have finished flowering and have set their seeds and have flopped over.  They need to be cut down and the area cleaned up; the bulbs will remain in place and will grow again in the fall.


Then, there is the wilderness at the very back, behind the garage and the shed:


Root Stock Roses Growing Among the Weeds

It's a mixture of root stock roses, gazania, and grasses.  M doesn't have enough time to water and clear the weeds.  I must start taking over the watering so he can weed and tidy.  There's an even worse area, where the Martha Washington geraniums are growing!  We are waiting until it has finished flowering - M wants to dig up the plants, clear the weeds, and then, replant the geraniums.  Until then, I'm just calling it my patch of tall grass prairie!  

Patches - hiding from Mama Cat

And that is the back garden in May!  Thank you for strolling around the garden with me.  


  1. There is always plenty going on in your garden. I love seeing the different plants, as well some of the more familiar varieties.
    I wish you much success with your corn. I grew some in my raised bed, last year. It tasted delicious served freshly cooked, with a little melted butter. Xx

    1. Thank you, Jules.
      I grew some corn, once, a long time ago; not sure why I didn't plant them again, but, I'm looking forward to fresh corn.

  2. And doesn't Patches look quite comfortable in her hide out :)
    Thanks for taking us on a stroll in back garden (& front) it's a gardener's delight being able to wander about such a diverse growing space, so many things to discover.

    1. Poor Patches made the mistake of coming out from her place in the very back of the garden to follow me as I walked towards the peach tree. The next thing I knew, there was some hissing and scurrying as Mama Cat came running at full speed to attack her! Mama Cat is not happy to have another female invade her territory!
      You are welcome; glad you enjoyed the stroll around the garden. :)

  3. You certainly have a lot going on in you garden. Thanks for the tour. Four o'clocks took over one of my beds last year, and I'm trying to get rid of them because they are crowding out everything else. They have quite large and deep roots and a great will to live. I'm meeting only with moderate success at this point. We have very rocky soil here with both small and large rocks. I started piling them up around a tree when I dug them up and there is quite a large pile there - several feet worth. I quite like my rock pile.

    1. The roots of four o'clocks can form fairly large tubers which are almost impossible to dig up! But, the plants eventually wither when the summer heat is on and then, we clear them out. You rock pile sounds quite impressive! You must post a picture of it when you are able to do so. :)

  4. Such abundance of plant growth! The blueberries are amazing and so, already, are the peaches. It’s very cool to see the tiny oranges starting and I think all your readers are anticipating the Berkeley tie-dye tomatoes. I hope the corn and okra take off this year, as well as all the flowering fruit trees producing. Even your wilderness has blossoms. There is beauty everywhere!

    1. Thank you, Taconix. The rains we had over the winter and early spring really brought on a lot of growth and we just couldn't keep up with the weeds! I do love to see the garden producing fruits and vegetables. :)

  5. So nice to see the new seedlings coming up, and fruit forming on the trees and other plants. The blueberries are exceptional! We have a lot of milkweed coming up in our garden and it amazes me how fast these huge seedlings appear. I am forever pulling them out of the "lawn" and they are back the next day, just as big if not bigger! I think there are some creeping roots, as I have not been allowing the fully grown plants to go to seed. It's a toss between keeping a garden under control and favouring the Monarch butterflies, so I do have areas where I allow milkweed. Besides, the flowers smell heavenly in the evenings!

    1. It's very exciting to see the garden growing. I love the fact that you let the milkweed grow to nurture the Monarch butterflies! Yes, milkweed do spread from the roots which form rhizomes, as well as from seeds. :)

  6. It's lovely to stroll around your garden with you. Nice to see those unusual tomatoes forming they will be very interesting to see. Patches looks such a sweet little cat such a shame Mama Cat won't accept her.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. Yes, those tomatoes will be something to look forward to! Patches is very friendly, now that she's getting over her initial fear of me. Mama Cat is being plain mean!

  7. Thanks for taking us around the garden. You really have a wonderful garden

    1. Thank you, Sharon; glad you enjoyed the tour!

  8. The feijoa/pineapple guava tree - is it a hybrid? Or? Feijoas are my favourite fruit. Their season has just finished here.

    1. No, it's not a hybrid. Feijoa are also known as pineapple guavas, here, so I call it by both names. :) I'm looking forward to the fruit - last year, I didn't get any fruit from that tree. A couple of years ago, there were so many that I made jam and gave them as holiday gifts.

  9. Some really lovely plants growing in your back garden.
    It's going to be so much fun watching that corn grow! I'm excited :)
    I hope you get some okra this year.
    Momma cat looks so cute in that picture.
    Your blueberries look so pretty this year with the color variation in the berries while they are ripening.

    1. Thank you, Debra. I am hopeful that there will be lots of okra and corn, although the corn seedlings are taking their own sweet time to sprout! The blueberries do look very pretty, don't they? I have some of the pink blueberries, too, which are starting to ripen!


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