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June 24, 2021-Summer garden with fruits

No doubt, summer is here. Its arrival is self-explanatory: the hot evenings, the dark green foliage, strong storms, the thirsty soil that requires frequent watering, the dream-like lighting bugs’ orange lanterns blinking in the dusk, the large Cana and Banana leaves, the spider webs glistening in the morning light, and, of course, the annoyingly itchy mosquito bumps all over our legs and arms.


Georgia peaches
We have about 6 peaches survived so far

We started to keep lemon water in the fridge and eat ice-cold watermelon almost every evening. Peaches are in the season already, even though our own are still quite small and green, tucked in the thick peach tree leaves. The flower seeds that we seeded this early spring are in full bloom now. Many of these flowers have tall stems and are perfect for cutting. Matt used some bamboo poles and green threads to create a few supporting lines to keep these long flowers from falling. We plan to let these perennial flowers self-seed and hopefully, they can re-appear every year in this flower bed.


wildflower bed
We set up green supporting lines to support the flowers

Last fall we bought some clearance Mums from Home Depot. Mums are usually treated as annuals here and are often discarded after the bloom. Another myth is that all the Mums in the center gardens are always sold as a perfect round shape in the pots. Matt once thought that Mums were an annual flower plant that grows in the form of a ball. Anyways, we planted these round-shaped Mums along our flower bed, deadheaded all the flowers, added a thick layer of mulch, and let them rest in the winter. Now these “mums,” or to be specific, Chrysanthemums, have returned to their natural status: thick, bushy leaves on the stems growing upwards like a normal Chrysanthemum. They are easy to care, hardy, and will reward you with lots of bright-colored blooms. When you group them together, these flowers form a strong color impression that I think quite fitting to the summer vibe.


garden mums
our mums growing happily in their natural form

It is so hot in Georgia, so we are slowing down a bit working at the garden. Instead, we take more time to sit by the pond, walking along the garden path, and simply enjoying our garden. We moved out most of the plants from our greenhouse to let them get tough and have a taste of the free wind, sun, and rain. The only plants that we keep inside of the greenhouse are succulents, a few tender seedlings, and some extra tomatoes. You always hear that fall is the season of harvesting, not until you have your own garden you would be obsessed with checking fruits daily to see if they are ripe. It is just so much fun and full of hope.


Endless Summer Hydrangea
Hydrangea -Endless Summer -- just as it promises

Our grapes enjoy the heat! They grew so much and so tall that we had to set up a trellis using tree branches. It will take a while for the grapes to fruit. But the other fruits cannot wait: Peaches, Olives, Blueberries, Blackberries, Figs, and one tiny Hana Fuyu persimmon! We had about five persimmon fruits in the beginning, but four of them dropped to the ground prematurely. It is probably caused by Parthenocarpy, the development of fruits without fertilization. Well, our bees may be too pricky and distracted by the other flowers especially clovers, guaras, and bee balms.

Hana Fuyu Persimmon
Hana Fuyu Persimmon

Arbequina olive
baby olives! This Arbequina Olive tree is also self-pollinating and is doing really well in our backyard!

We also have a Loquat tree, but it may never fruit in zone 7 due to the cold weather. Oh, how I miss this childhood flavor! My hometown has mountains of loquat trees. The fruits are juicy with a subtle sweetness mixed with a tint of sourness. The fruit meat is a bit firmer than peaches. No matter where you are, childhood tastebuds stay with you. I am always drawn by Asian plants and have grown quite a few edible plants in our backyard. When I look at them, it takes me back to the safe, sweet, carefree, and reassuring memories.


Weather report: H:81°F, L: 66 °F. Cloudy all day long

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