With all the flowers in the yard doing their thing with the gay profusion of high summer it’s worth noting that there is that ‘other garden’ where all the veggies are coming into the house on a daily basis. Now that the vegetable garden is fully fenced off from the deer (thanks Benner Gardens) for the first time we are getting yields that are reminiscent of when we first moved here. That is to say more than any two people could possibly use.
Of course even though we relish the taste of the fresh beans,corn,squash, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, peas, and so on, it was never just about the food coming in. It’s the whole process of putting seed in the ground, feeling that fertile earth between your fingers (and under your fingernails), anticipating the rainfalls that make it happen, and then seeing the flowers that lead to the veggies. And along the way are all the birds and insects that come with the process.
Over time we have added more and more flowers to the vegetable garden. I guess it was a gradual recognition that a 5000 square ft garden produces more food than we really can use. I mean it’s hard to really justfiy 20 tomato plants… :). We now plant a large cutting row in the garden in addition to the sunflowers, dahlias, and gladiolas which have their own dedicated row. Both contribute to the birds and butterflies that we see in the ‘vegetable garden’.
The cutting row is chiefly zinnias, cosmos and marigolds, but any of the wildflower seeds that can compete with them are encouraged to grow as well.
Now it may be the careful digging of all those rows or just possibly one of the rainiest May-June periods that I can recall but the garden as a whole, flowers and veggies, is growing wonderfully well.