Summer Garden Tour

Welcome to a photo tour of our gardens. Though it has been one of the least successful years ever, there are a few flowers about and an overabundance of ivy to fill in the gaps. So I will be thankful for ivy and the yellow blooms I do have.

With gardening it can be difficult to pinpoint exact reasons for how and why plants grow or die but I have a few things I can blame for my troubles this time around. Cicadas...

Why did they like our property so much and totally avoid other places? 

We swept up these piles in our patio every morning for almost a week. At first I asked for assistance from the men in the family but I got braver as time went on and ended up doing it myself after the second day. The good news is that they did not stay as long as I had feared. Within a few weeks the worst of it was over, though I still find shells.

Holes like this are dotting my landscape. When I first spotted them I was pretty sure I knew the culprits. They indicate the emergence of cicadas.

Moles. As if cicadas were not enough, I have had a terrible mole infestation, even though I treated the lawn for grubs several years in a row. I tell you, this was one spring I felt highly frustrated with landscaping and all the money I poured into it. But there is always next spring, when hope will blossom anew.

I've heard the reason they are burrowing around plants is because they find more moisture there.

Which leads to the third reason for scraggly plants. Drought. I have had to do a lot more watering than usual. The ornamental grass is suffering a bit, as you can see. 

I have not figured out why the yellow Bidens are dying. In the last few days I noticed a bit of a comeback though, and the ones I planted in the ground are doing a lot better than these pots.

The kitchen window box looked like this in June...

...and like this in July. One tiny ivy goes a long way and might be suffocating my flowers. 

Garage adornment...

Both plants were labeled Illumination Trailing Begonia, but they produced two varieties of flowers.

More evidence of an Ivy Take-over.

One consolation is that it has kept my container gardens from looking too pathetic and droopy. And I love greens...another reason to be thankful.

As a kind of afterthought I bought a few yellow zinnias and plopped them in the back garden. When the yellow Bidens and Dahlias in these two pots failed I replaced them with zinnias, which resulted in a cheery pop of color by the front door. Hurray for trusty zinnias!

Now we go to the backyard...

My lovely little Jacquelyn makes a cute enhancement to the garden photo. While I snapped photos of flowers, she settled herself on the lawn and talked to me about her day at work, completely oblivious to the fact that she was being photographed. 

There is a bit of yellow going on but the begonias have been a disappointment. I like waves of flowers in this bed but quite a few of the plants don't even have blooms. Can't have waves of yellow like that.

This is an example of how it benefits me when my neighbors paint their house. The white/gray painted brick is a nice backdrop for my border garden. They plan to add wooden shutters, which I think is a great idea. Here too, it is hard to find those yellow flowers. This is where the squirrels are particularly nasty, digging deep holes as if in a frenzy to bury any food they can possibly find.

This house plant was too huge and I could not keep it looking nice anymore. I think there were too many roots and not enough soil in the pot. I took the whole thing out and trimmed everything way back, then transplanted it into two pots. I worried that I had killed it when it looked like this...

Today it has come back to life. I'm especially happy about it because this is one of two plants Dale got for me about two years after we were married. We had decided we need live plants to spruce up our home.

It is a good example of what happens in our spiritual lives. There are seasons of growth and prosperity, then the cutting back and painful pruning take place, making us think all hope is gone. The best thing to do in that waiting period is to drink from the Word of God and stay in close fellowship with Him. He brings life again, in His time, more beautiful than before.

On another hopeful note, this container has shown promise of more flowers this week. Perhaps there will be a late burst of yellow blossoms. 

Happy Summer from Doverlee!


  1. What a beautiful house & garden, but yes - these cicadas can be a real nuisance! I read before that they won't touch "healthy" earth and lawns without patches, so maybe scan your lawn for any dry patches and ensure these are taken care of! Good luck and I hope the cicadas leave you in peace soon!

    1. Thanks! The lawn could certainly use help but I've never heard of that contributing to the cicada population. I'm hoping to get the grass in better condition over the next several years and I'd be happy if it also means less cicadas!


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