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Scenes From Tina’s Garden – FineGardening

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Today’s photos are from Tina Tyzzer.

We built a new home (Zone 6, Indiana) on 6 acres in 2016 that has been farmed for the past 50 years. Although I was a gardener for more than 20 years, I didn’t survive much in the first year. The vegetable garden had enough for the table but not much for the winter so I did a soil test and found we had a very high pH (8.0). We made compost and improved the soil from it and the litter from our hen houses. 2020 was a very sad year from all perspectives, but at least we had to spend more time in the garden!

I have grown African daisies (Osteospermum, annually) before, but never with this year’s success. They just fell on top of each other.

Moth on African daisiesAlthough I haven’t seen many pollinators on the African daisies, this moth appeared to be enjoying them.

SunflowerAll of our sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual) have self-sown and / or were spread by our free range chickens from previous years.

sunflowersA popular spot for the sunflowers is right next to the porch, where they are sheltered from the wind. There were hundreds of sunflower seedlings that needed to be thinned. There were still many left.

Sunflower just before bloomingSunflower flowers are amazing at every stage of their life.

red zinniaWe planted a lot of red to attract hummingbirds, but monarchs also enjoyed this part of the garden.

Bee gardenThe only garden that has thrived from the start is our bee garden, which was planted with seeds in front of our six beehives. It’s so rich in plants that we didn’t add anything to the soil, so nature has definitely taken over here. This year, the yellow lancet leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata, zones 3–8) seems to have taken over, but the Monarda (zones 3–9), Echinacea (zones 5–9) and the purple spider weed (Tradescantia virginiana, zones 4– 9)) hang in there. The surprising thing was that other beautiful pollinators were vastly superior to honeybees, so we will definitely be expanding this garden.

Lastly, we invite all kinds of wildlife to our gardens. There were twin fawns that appeared several times. This was the brave one; the other is hidden between the rows of corn. It is good that we are growing a lot to share! We used a chain link fence to keep the predators away from the chicken coops. I think we should have enclosed the vegetable garden too!

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Robert Dunfee