Garden successes

With all the things going on, sometimes it's hard to remember that I AM getting some things accomplished. For example, my vegetable garden has not turned out to be super-productive this year. It's our first year gardening at our new house, and the clay soil has not been built up enough. Also, we've had strange weather, super hot and dry interspersed with crazy-heavy rain- like 7 inches in 2 hours(!) - every now and then. But despite these challenges, there are some cool things that I want to remember about this gardening season.

I've always liked caladiums, but they are expensive as plants at my local nursery. I bought caladium bulbs in a spring-fever daze at a big-box store. I tried to start them early, inside under lights, but they did nothing. I stuck the shriveled lumps in the hardpan soil in my courtyard and now they are doing great! They make me happy every day.

I'd been wanting more houseplants and especially a nice aloe. Sometimes they are hard to find in stores. I bought a huge and healthy aloe plant and divided it this spring. It is loving the heat we are having and is growing more robust by the day. I'll move it inside soon. Now my family is set for burn-care (and sculptural houseplants!)

Michael and I both like sedums and I've always wanted to make a simple succulent centerpiece for our outside dining table. I've had a cool wooden box for years that would be great as a sedum planter. I finally planted them late this summer and they are already taking off. 

And tomatoes! My garden is pretty shady and I didn't know if I would get any tomatoes at all. I have some healthy plants and they are finally producing ripe fruit. Lovely. Laura's garden has been more productive than mine, most of these tomatoes are hers.

There's a rogue pepper in there, can you spot it? Hooray for garden successes, especially those unexpected!