Just as I was recovering from my own medical issues, my wife went and landed herself in the hospital too. We’re both okay, but I bring this up to explain the lack of progress in the garden this month. You’d think it would be really easy to plant go out and plant a few okra seeds in even the smallest amount of free time, but by the time I get outside, there are more weeds to pull and a lawn that needs mowing.

Chili Pepper

Pineapple Sage

On the bright side, I now have lots of room to plant warm season veggies. Even though I’m a little late, I’m still planting that ‘Baby Bubba’ hybrid okra in the reflected heat against the side of our house. I’ve all but given up on tomatoes this year, since I found them rotting in wet soil upon returning from the hospital last month. Instead, I’ll plant snap beans like ‘Purple King’ and ‘Trionfino Violetto’. They’re easy to grow, ornamental, yummy, and appealing to my toddler since he can pick, snap and eat the purple pods. Best of all, they fix nitrogen in the soil. Even though I’ve had lousy luck with zucchini in my spring garden, I’ll probably plant it anyways in the hopes that they’ll do better this time around without all those weeds. In October I’ll probably plant elephant garlic, since it does a lot better in Florida’s climate and my clay soil than all those smaller, fancier ones they grow up north.

Bam Basil

Shade Garden

My herb garden has done remarkably well considering all the heat, humidity, weeds and missed waterings, so it’s a shame that I haven’t even found time to use them in the kitchen! I have parsley, rosemary, oregano, pineapple sage, Mexican tarragon, garlic chives, and lemon basil going full steam ahead out there, but the plant that’s really knocked my socks off was ‘Bam’ basil. I was skeptical when it was advertised as being bolt-resistant, but lo and behold, it’s still going full steam ahead without a single bloom to slow it down. The only vegetables left in my garden are Thai chili peppers and a handful of Burpee’s new bell pepper hybrids, and all of them have thrived without any real issues at all. Bell peppers are usually considered to be warm-season veggies, but it looks as if they’ll soon give me a crop of peppers in spite of the season.

Front yard

Path

Despite our busy month, I did find time to revamp the front yard’s landscaping (somewhat). I probably wouldn’t have even finished renovating the front yard’s plantings if it hadn’t been for the fact that I worked well into the evening, but it was well worth the effort. I’d still like to extend the planting further out near the trees, but will save it for a cooler season. I’ve kept my plant palette refreshingly limited this time around, so hopefully the end effect will be more unified and leave a bigger impact – especially when the sunlit foxtail asparagus glows between the purple leaved Dyckia and Azalea plantings. I also managed to make headway (somewhat) on our path in the backyard, although I still need to add more leveling sand and stones. Come to think of it, I haven’t really accomplished much there, but now that the pavers are in place I can imagine what it will look like – whenever I get around to finishing, that is.