How the Garden Went On Without Us


It’s been one of those summers when we just haven’t done as much gardening as we’d like. One thing or another kept us from it. Things like me getting a rotator cuff strain from pulling out an exceptionally tough weed. That took a lot of ice and ibuprofen to get right. Or sinusitis that just left me exhausted and sore from all the coughing. So Bill ended up doing most of it and he didn’t have time for more than watering and a bit of compost control. Then there were the craft shows to do, and get ready for, more hours at jobs, well the list went on and on and on….

And in the meantime, the garden just kept on without us. Today I ventured out with my camera to see how it’s doing. And you know, it’s looking ok, well, kinda weedy and wild, but OK. And tall.

Our lovely cardoon is towering and blooming.


But ย the Fennel is just as high. I’m 5 foot 4 inches and I’m looking up. ย I had to bend the stalk down a bit just to take the header photo of that gorgeous cardoon bloom.


Here they are together, all as tall as a elephant’s eye. And what is that plant with the blue flowers on the right, that is as tall as the cardoon?


Well, here’s a close up. Can you guess? Would you believe it’s Romaine lettuce in flower? Now that didn’t happen from our neglect of the garden. We let the lettuce grow tall and flower every year. It blooms all summer and the bees just love it. No one ever believes it could actually be Romaine lettuce.


The grapes vines on the arbour are a bit wild and could probably benefit from a bit of pruning, but I like that look.


The squash plant is growing and looking happy. Please don’t ask what kind it is. We bought the plant at the Moss Street Market, and all I remember is that it’s an heirloom variety. I’m sure the tags are somewhere in the garden. But I’m also sure we’ll enjoy it later, no matter what its name. Just love those spiral tendrils.


Just caught the Gooseneck Loosestrife at its best today.


But the beautiful blue Hydrangea is almost done.


I leave you with this Honeysuckle bloom on our new vine. Poor thing spent ages in the pot until Bill managed to find a bit of time one afternoon to create a place for it and it rewarded us with some lovely blooms.


Hopefully, now that things are quieting down a bit, we’ll be able to spend a few hours catching up with the gardening again. Although I must admit, it seems to have done all right with out us.


18 thoughts on “How the Garden Went On Without Us

  1. Marianne says:

    Sounds like it has truly been a monthus horribilis for you, and I’m so glad that you are well on the mend!!! Thank you for the gorgeous photos of your garden. I’ve never seen romaine lettuce flowers before – what a lovely surprise!

  2. Jen says:

    I like your eloquent way of describing that you were not that well, and also very busy.

    Hope that things find a better balance for you soon. Gardens will survive, although they do become a bit of a jungle, but that’s our climate.

    Take good care of yourself.


  3. Meredith says:

    Lovely! Your squash looks like Ronde de Nice, which is a French heirloom variety. I could of course be wrong. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve never seen romaine lettuce flowering. It’s beautiful! Are the flowers edible, I wonder…

  4. Helen at Summerhouse says:

    Hi Marianne, It has been a no fun month all right. Glad you enjoyed the romaine lettuce flowers too. We’ve let them grow for years now, they come back each year, mostly because they just keep blooming!

  5. Helen at Summerhouse says:

    Hi Jenn, Well, of course I haven’t shown you the big picture. Just lots of close ups, easy to hide a mess that way. Right now, it’s looking like a lot of work to catch up. But the plants themselves seem to have survived and done well.

  6. Karen @Wall Flower Studio says:

    Helen, your garden looks spectacular. If I left mine for any period of time, it sure wouldn’t look as good as this!
    Wonderful colour on those Hydrangeas. And, I would have guessed Chicory in that close up. Had no idea Romaine lettuce has such a pretty flower!
    Hoping life settles down in a good & relaxing manner, so you can take time to enjoy the garden.

  7. Helen at Summerhouse says:

    Hi Karen, great to hear from you! But I must admit the close ups look good. I hesitate to show the bigger picture to show the overgrown plants and weedy paths etc. But hopefully, we’ll get back to it soon. Right now it’s just bare maintenance.

  8. Noelle / azplantlady says:

    Hello Helen,

    Isn’t it amazing how gardens continue to grow despite what we do or don’t do with them? I enjoyed seeing the large plants growing and the romaine lettuce flower….I’ve never seen one before ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Gary says:

    Hi Helen,
    I’ve just checked blotanical. There was only a couple of message yesterday, and now 22 dating from earlier in the year! Not sure what happened, but saw your welcome and Thank You! Great blog, I think that I shall be keeping an eye on you from now on ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Take care

  10. Lesley says:

    What did your squash turn out to be? I found your blog through Google images…I’m trying to figure out what I have growing from my compost.

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