The 2021 Gardening Thread - what's going on in your yard?

Speaking of counting, I just did the very boy thing of counting the number of common spotted orchids growing on our front lawn. I should say that these are wild plants that just invited themselves over and appeared one year. I counted over 120 spikes, and they look very fine indeed.

Screws up mowing the lawn, mind.


My update:
Asparagus - started in mid-May this year. Went strong for a good four weeks. It’s starting to slow down. Maybe another week left.
radishes - most of them were all tops and barely any root this spring! Maybe too much nitrogen in the soil
sugar snap peas - just started flowering a couple days ago.
spinach - in Michigan you pretty much only get one big harvest in the spring. It’s too warm now and bolted about a week ago. I intend to replace the spinach with green beans (Blue Lake bush variety)
wax beans - sowed mid-May, and are about 8-10" high. No blossoms as of yesterday
tomatoes - I’m single stemming a single variety of tomato this year: Mortgage Lifters. They were transplanted mid-May and at 18-24" tall are ready for staking.
lettuce - sowed a variety mix this year. It’s going great guns. Having salads at least 2-3 times a week.
zucchini - sowed in late May. It sprouted slow and the plants are only 3" high as of this morning.
peppers - I bought transplants around Memorial Day. They’re coming along nicely. No blossoms yet.
winter squash - off to a slow start. I don’t think they’re getting enough direct sunlight in the location I chose.
strawberries - planted 20 bare root this spring. Only 14 lived. Lots of crown rot. Wasn’t planning on getting any harvest this year put a couple of plants are starting to produce small berries.

The deer ate the potted pansies and the ends of my potted raspberry bush. Time to either cover them or move them somewhere inaccessible.

Tomatoes are starting, but it will be awhile until anything gets ripe. Ditto with the peppers.

Strawberries are done, I’ve collected a fair amount of blueberries. Probably about another week to go on those and then they’ll be done too.

I’ve got loads of herbs, and I’ve been drying some of them to save for winter.

General guideline: harvest at no more than 6 inches long for zucchini, cukes can be a bit longer.

Morning glories are sprouting along the fence, and by my steps (the fancy striped ones) along with clumps of very small-leafed seedlings for something unfamiliar. Maybe the bachelor buttons?

I saw a clump of sulphur cosmos, too, which should hopefully mean there’s more popping up here & there.

Inspired me to plant some sunflowers (plain black oil, literally out of a birdseed bag - I’ve found these do best, or least worst, in crappy soil, way better than “fancy” sunflowers) plus a precious packet of my favorite cosmos: “Seashells Mix” which features rolled-up flower petals.

One packet of moonflower seeds is soaking at the moment, and will be entrusted to Mother Earth (and the vagaries of unfamiliar-to-me weather patterns, and the previously-mentioned crappy soil) shortly.


I went to the perennial sale this morning and it turned out better than I thought. Her ad said all plants $7, but those were only the massive hostas. Everything else was $2-4 each. I went a little crazy.
Here’s my quandary- I went for variety versus quantity. Instead of buying, say, six geum so three on each side of the stairs, I bought two. The stairs pretty much evenly split the beds. Ideally, I want structured “messy” loose almost cottage gardens.
Would you mirror, so one on each side, but varying the positions or would you co-plant so each side is a mixture of different perennials (but trying to height match across the beds)?

Ooof. Tough call.

Personally, I’d co plant. Individual plants often look so lonely, even in a bed with other plants. A clump of similar groupings just looks “more full” to my eyes.

It’ll all fill in within a few weeks anyway. But that’s my IMHO.

I’m kind of leaning that way. We got back to the kids’ house and I began kicking myself. However, the thought of another 40+ minute drive back to the sale on switchback after switchback and then the 2.5 hour drive home…

Special day today - first new potatoes of the year. The lousy cold spring has delayed them by a couple of weeks. Still, finally, fresh Charlottes, whipped out of the ground, cleaned off and in the steamer now - I can’t wait.


When you want to eat them.

Edible at any point from flower on up until they start to get hard and weird tasting (they’re probably edible then too, you just won’t feel like eating them.)

Tiny little zucchini are good sauteéd. Great big ones are good stuffed, or for zucchini bread. Adjust the recipe to the size.

Ideal size for eating cucumbers depends on the variety and individual taste.

That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.

It’s not a lawn that needs mowing, it’s a naturalization project, and bird habitat.

You’re supposed to remove the flowers the first year (or the first several weeks if they’re dayneutrals) so the plants will put the energy into vegetative growth and do better in the future.

I need to get going on irrigation. Maybe that’ll make it rain –

I’ve been trying to figure out posting pictures from google photos. You’ll probably have to click on the photo to see all of it*, but here is said lawn, resplendent with orchids, as a backdrop to my new medlar tree doing what she does best:

Google Photos

Close up of an orchid. Perhaps not a bird habitat but certainly a bee habitat - see top left of the spike:

Google Photos


* - if anyone knows what I’m doing wrong, please tell me!

ETA - as posted, pretty much all you can see is top left of the spike - yup, that’s a bee.

That works!

Very cool having all those wild orchids in your lawn.

I was just reading Christopher Lloyd’s The Well-Tempered Garden where he talks about that (orchids popping up in the lawn out of nowhere, lasting a few years and then disappearing again).

A few years ago we had a patch of the garden where a different orchid grew - broad leaved helleborines - they appeared from nowhere, invited themselves in, flourished for a few years, and then disappeared.,.


Yes, that is cool! We get tiny little wild violas and violets in our yard in the spring, but you have to look for them, they don’t announce their presence like your orchids.

Hundreds of wild crocus pop up in my lawn every January. The Texas Deep Freeze in February this year knocked them down, but they sprouted anew and were blooming again in a couple of weeks. I always try to delay mowing until the blooms start fading, but sometimes the grass is too raggedy looking and I have to cut them down.

The cucumber plant has stalled out, no new ones for a week now.
The jalapeno plant has only produced 3 or 4 and one habernero has produced zero, the other has produced 2 and had another 5 or 6 fruits gettin yellow. The plants looks fine, the leaves are all healthy so all a bit odd. They may just be in too much shade.
Potatoes seem to be coming along and the tomatoe plant, planted from a old tomato seems to have finally got growing but no signs of fruits yet.
The carpenter bees that were making a home in our lean to shed have been absent for a while as well.

How hot is it? Peppers and tomatoes often won’t set fruit if the temperature’s too hot at night. I think cukes can start producing only male flowers, which has the same effect.

As I mentioned, this is my first venture into my garden in (actually) 6 seasons. Told myself in the fall that if it wasn’t spitting ran or too cold, I’d go outside for at least an hour (we will not go into the sad decline of my health) and what I got out of it was a lovely, if overgrown, front yard AANNDD, this bed of veggies. My husband was very happy and encouraging of me actually leaving the inside and got me 3 pepper plants, one tomato and one cucumber plant. Do not ask me what variety of each veggie they are because I’m not sure. They were gifts that were not clearly labeled.

Back in the fall I did not allow for days of 90 degrees with humidity way over 50% in my vow to go outside every day. We have gotten a whole lot of those this year and summer JUST started. Still, I have kept up with watering and weeding but for sure not the pruning. I really should clip the flowers on the peppers but it is 94 friggin’ degrees right now, so no.


Texas , Houston getting into July , so yeah it is hot, and humid, and hot.
Thanks for the info , that’s good to know.