Life has been full and the weather has been warm, so I'm spending little time in the garden these days. I'm very grateful to Dear Husband, who keeps the water flowing as best he can in this desert land; water management is a significant job in Mafraq during the summer months. Dear Husband waters the garden twice, maybe three times a week, in the early morning or evening hours, when the garden is out of the heat. Though it is hot during the daytime hours, the garden has been a welcome refuge for Dear Husband in the early morning hours and for both of us in the evening.
I've done just a bit if dead heading, fertilizing, and I've had the joy of harvesting basil on a daily basis. It's basil in sandwiches, salads, pesto, and our favorite summer recipe, Basil Balsamic Chicken.
We have begun a daily harvest of tomatoes. They're not as sweet as I had hoped they would be. Some in our family say they enjoy the tart flavor, but I'm already exploring strategies to grow sweeter tomatoes.
The first summer bloom of my new-this-year coneflowers, begun from seed this winter. I think this is the Mama Mia variety, which I expected to be a darker pink, but as it has bloomed it looks pretty much like my other standard variety coneflowers.
The lily border blooms are brightening our front walkway.
My flower beds are still sparse, but the perennials I started from seed are starting to take off. The Jupiter's Beards bloomed for the first time last week.
I think that Verbena Bonariensis will win the award for the Best New Perennial. It is easily and quickly grown from seed, enjoys full sun, and is relatively drought tolerant once established. These plants are already mature even though I began them from seed this winter. I've heard they re-seed themselves, offering many new starts each season, so I plan to share this one with other gardening friends..
Our little fig tree, planted by Dear Husband in the fall, has already begun bearing fruit. I enjoyed the first ripe black fig from the tree at breakfast this morning. It was delicious. It looks like we'll get about twenty more figs this summer.
It doesn't look like much yet, but I am hopeful that this perennial sage bush will amount to more by next spring. Begun from seed this winter, it is on it's second summer bloom. It's another hardy, sun loving, drought resistant plant.
We've enjoyed moderate summer weather this far, but the temperatures are heating up. August and September are the months the garden usually goes into survival-mode. It will be interesting to see how things fare this next month.
Edit: I just noticed that I missed making a Garden Journal entry for June. That must have been due to traveling.