Nature’s Miracles Surround Us!

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Ripe red cherries dangling from a branch.
Cherries ready for harvest.

Our summer weather hasn’t been exactly typical, but our garden is taking it in stride! Our cherry tree blossomed late with our cold climate compared to the rest of the country’s, but its beautiful blossoms gave us an abundant crop of cherries.

Our first cherry harvest!

This weekend my oldest son, my husband, and I harvested over three gallons of cherries. We left plenty of cherries on the tree to finish ripening, and we hope that the neighborhood birds and squirrels will gather what they need, too. We’ve had this tree only a few years, and the weather usually freezes just after it blossoms, killing our chances of fruit. Not this year!

Ripe cherries in a pale blue bowl
Maybe we’ll make a pie with these…

There are fewer grapes this year, as some insects ate some of the immature grape clusters. The vines have been so exuberant that we’ve had to trim them back quite a bit, revealing some green grapes that the insects missed.

Green grapes dangle in a loose cluster from the vine.
Grapes enjoying the sun

Our salsa garden is in full swing, with the tomatillos, peppers, and tomatoes in full blossom. We’ve already harvested one tomatillo and tomato, and we see many youngsters growing. Our season starts late and is relatively short, so I hope the fruit from the flowers we see now will have enough summer left to ripen. I added an eggplant this year, and it has blossomed prolifically, but I’m not sure I see any fruit yet. I’m keeping an eye on it.

We added a new raised bed this year, and I had a chance to add some vegetables I’ve never tried to grow before: green beans, cabbage, onions, spinach, and two squash varieties. The squash sprawl has been a real shocker, I have to say. I thought that squash plants were ground vines of moderate size. In some areas of the garden, our squash leaves are over a foot wide! Sometimes it looks a bit like Jurassic Park in that corner of the garden.

A small summer squash is nestled among the leaves.
young summer squash

I finally had to trim a little so that the green beans could get enough sunlight, and I almost can’t find the tomato bushes that are becoming overwhelmed by the squash leaves. Clearly, I didn’t research that sufficiently. They do seem to grow well around the onion plants, though, with the onions developing underground with the wild and crazy squash plants growing over them. Ever flexible, the determined onions find just the right route for shoots up between the squash leaves.

A small yellow patty pan squash is growing below a yellow and green squash blossom.
A baby patty pan squash is growing below the blossom.

Our apple and peach trees planted two years ago have a few beauties in the works. We bought the apple tree to cross-pollinate with our 20-year-old apple tree that had stopped producing. Sure enough, we have a few apples again on the older tree. Although a harsh late freeze killed its early blossoms, we have apples from flowers growing after the freeze. Our pollination plan appears to be working!

A large green apple dangles in an apple tree.
Large immature apple from our 20-year-old tree

What surprises me is that the apples on the new tree are relatively small and have shown a slight blush almost from the beginning. They are growing larger, but they are a bit different than apples on our older tree. I’m worried that we bought a crab-apple tree that the vendor mislabeled. These are the first apples to make it this far on the new tree, so we’ll have to check it out when they are ripe and see how they taste. They may just be a small variety or something.

Three small green apples with a bit of a blush dangle from a tree branch.
small apples on our young tree

I have my husband to thank for the new raised bed garden; he worked very hard to have that ready by my birthday. He has also been in charge of water management, working on all the sprinkler systems to benefit the gardens and trees. So, this has been a great co-creation between us and nature.  

two green, unripe peaches on the branch
unripe peaches

All around us, we see the Earth’s abundance of beautiful organic produce. I grew up in a very arid location where the town piped water in from a neighboring state, and any growing thing had to be nurtured and watered; we had very little rainfall. I often tried to grow vegetables as a child with little to no success. The soil was very nutrient-poor, the sun was scathing, and the water insufficient.

tiny cream-colored berries nestled among bright green leaves
white currants

So, when I see any growing plant or tree, I see it as a miracle. As I look around our house, I see many miracles in the works. My fingers are crossed that the hailstorms continue to go around us rather than over us!

An entire flowerbed is dedicated to tall stalks with tiny purple flowers in clusters at the top of the stalks. It's is a luscious sea of green and purple.
Our oregano garden is a favorite of local bees, butterflies, and moths.

39 comments

        1. Yes, organic oregano! They do not grow in the snow, so the plants die off each winter and return in the spring. We have tried picking and drying the leaves, and one harvest would last us forever! We just pick a little every now and then. Mainly, we enjoy the lovely flowers and their visitors, blooming all summer long!

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        2. I should add that I have tried other herbs, but they usually burn up in our hot summers. I can grow some basil, in the garden in the back, which I replant each year. I could grow sage, but I’m allergic, so that’s not an option. So the oregano is definitely my herbal champ!

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  1. Your fruits and vegetables sure look like a miracle, Karel. We wished our cherries would had survived the aphids and ants, that would have been the first year for a bunch of cherries. We’re happy for you that you had such a big crop. Pawkisses for a wonderful week ahead🐾😽💞

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    1. I’m sorry for the ants and aphids. Some years are like that; we’re glad they aren’t all that way! This is the first time we got to eat our cherries, so we’re excited!

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    1. Those oregano flowers were a surprise to me too! I planted one or two of these and they took over the flower bed, pushing out all be the flowers except for the bulbs. The bees and butterflies love them!

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  2. I’m a bit jealous. I’d love to have a cherry tree like that. Our WV home has a pear and apple tree but this is our first fall owning the house and we won’t be there until late August so not sure how they are doing.

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  3. OH, I am so jealous of your cherries. And 3 GALLONS? I agree with you about trees and plants being miracles. But it is really the food ones that blow my mind. You are doing an amazing job!

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    1. It’s a small tree, still, so we didn’t expect to get so many! The birds are feasting on the cherries in the upper branches. We don’t mind sharing!

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  4. Charlee: “Our Dada is saying something about ‘Do you remember the cherry blossoms in the market square? We thought it was confetti in our hair.”
    Chaplin: “He always says that every time cherry blossoms come up. You would think by now he could tell the difference between cherry blossoms and confetti, but apparently not.”

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    1. Well, if you walk under our tree at the right time of year, those cherry blossoms do become confetti in your hair. So maybe Dada isn’t all that wrong!

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  5. Wow — nature is doing its thing around you. Wonderful produce. The cherry season here has just come to an end. We’re heartbroken! Our grapes are doing well — the ones that the snails didn’t eat at least.

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  6. Everything is looking so good! We planted two cherry trees this spring. We did manage to get one little cherry this year so that was fun! Hopefully more in the years to come 🙂 🙂 As for my tomatoes, they have REALLY taken off lately, we’ll have plenty of those come late summer!

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    1. It always makes me happy to see such miracles. Your first cherry! That’s so fun! Our first handful of cherries made a great birds’ breakfast! Keep us updated with pics!

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  7. What a fabulous garden you’ve got. Those cherries look amazing. It’s lovely to be connected here again. I lost a few of my followers when I updated my site and now they get my old deleted site. My updated site is https://walesforever.cymru/ Enjoy the wonderful harvest.

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    1. You are probably right. I had planted squash once many years ago and it was dead within a week. So I planted extra, thinking that some wouldn’t make it. No such luck!

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  8. I am amazed and jealous of your garden. As you know this year is a year of learning for me. New house, different conditions. I had planted fruit trees at my old house and although I had a good crop the groundhogs (yes they do climb trees) and deer ate most of them. I love your cherries. My mom had cherry trees when I was a kid. We loved them.

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    1. We are lucky not to have groundhogs here, and the native deer are not in the suburbs where I live. We have raccoons that could climb the trees and eat the cherries, but I’m mystified that we still have fruit on the tree. The birds and squirrels have been largely absent. I see a bird there now and then. I don’t know if it’s just to hot or what. It makes me sad to think our bird population has maybe dwindled too much. But we will eat what we can, and the vegetable garden is off to a good start!

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