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Traveling is fun and seeing so many fabulous English gardens was inspiring. I think many of us came home with great intentions of creating our own masterpieces. Greatness, for me, may have to wait. I have so many weeds growing, that it is maintenance time to get things in shape. I spent three days in the garden before the rains, harvesting, weeding, and pruning. I did harvest the last of the lettuce.

I have not had to buy lettuce since February. It is so nice to walk out into the garden and harvest as needed. It was still growing well, but beginning to stretch, plus I needed the space to plant squash and cucumbers.

I also harvested all my garlic and some of my shallots.

I planted both last fall. I had two varieties of garlic and I got a great harvest--not exactly uniform growth, but I have quite a bit.

I am now curing it for a few weeks in the garage.

Some of the shallots are still growing well, so I left those and just harvested the ones that were beginning to die back. I did much better than last time.

After renovating the vegetable gardens and replanting some, I spent time with the ornamentals, pruning some of the spring flowering shrubs that I hadn't pruned yet, fertilizing, edging and weeding. The garden is transitioning nicely from spring blooms to summer ones. The coreopsis

and coneflowers

are blooming nicely and I have never had as many blooms on my gardenias.

All varieties are loaded; this Jubilation which is in full sun, is so covered with blooms the stems are bending.

After it finishes flowering, I will do a little pruning--but a little. This one blooms off and on all summer. I adore the fragrance. Not only is it intoxicating outside in the garden, the bouquets I have scattered through the house are wonderful.

Summer spirea

and buddliea

is kicking into bloom (the purple is about a week away), and roses have bloomed and are setting the next buds. My big leaf hydrangeas

are blooming well and the panicle varieties are setting lots of buds.

I still have quite a few blooms, and more buds on my Calycanthus sweet shrub.

That plant has been blooming now for over 6 weeks.

The annuals I got planted shortly before I left town are doing nicely and beginning to fill in.

I fertilized them all. I really like this crossandra.

Nice color and it does well in partial shade. I am also duly impressed with the tuberous begonias and abutilon I planted out front.

I was told last year that the key to the tuberous begonias outside is to do your own watering. I have them planted under the overhang of the house, so they are somewhat protected. So far so good, and they are thriving and absolutely stunning. Hope this continues.

It has been great spending time in my own garden. Sissinghurst it is not, but it is mine!

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