That is how I see one of my other hobbies, gardening. I couldn’t help but think of that when working on the theme for this week’s #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge: “Labor“.
The full quote is: “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey
Except sometimes they don’t thrive. There are days when gardening frustrates me more than gives me enjoyment. It can be hard work, for very little return on the effort. (If gardening is not your thing, don’t worry, I included some dog photos in this post too!). I complicate things for myself by gardening organically, which is even more challenging. When insects started wiping out my kale plants this year, I couldn’t just dump chemicals on them to kill them. I lost it all.
It’s not only insects that present challenges to gardening. It is the weather, and wildlife as well. This year’s bean plants weren’t doing nearly as well as they have in previous years (though we were harvesting some). I’m pretty sure it was because the weather was cool this summer. When we got our hot spell recently, the plants started to thrive and had tons of blossoms on them! Apparently, I wasn’t the only one that was excited about that fact. The deer had stayed out of my vegetable garden almost all summer (we have a fence but it’s not high enough to keep them out completely), until recently, when this happened:
Here is a photo from last summer which shows what the green bean plants should look like.
Poor Luke. Green beans are one of his favorites. No wonder he barks at the deer. But they’ve been sneaking into the garden in the middle of the night when no one can see them. Oh well, at least I have my sunflowers, and the carrot crop did especially well this year too.
Speaking of labor of love vs exercise in futility, these photos are all taken (with the exception of last year’s) with my new Nikon D5500 DSLR with 18-140mm lens. It’s still a work in progress, I have a lot to learn about the camera yet. But I’m pretty happy with some of the shots I’ve been getting with it. Here’s another of my favorites of the sunflowers:
Last but not least, the promised dog photo. Yes, that is our arthritic and injured beagle barking at me to throw her ball while I work in the garden (I planted some fall radishes for Luke and me)!
Thank you to the The Lazy Pit Bull for hosting the#52Snapshots of Life photo challenge. Are you joining in the fun? Photos can be shared via blog or social media, just use the hashtags #52Snapshots and#PBSG. You can see other entries in the challenge through the links below.
Oh your sunflowers are gorgeous and I love the quote! I, too, garden organically in our little veg/herb garden. The herbs do fine but the vegetables are frustrating. Our garden doesn’t get enough sun anymore because the neighboring trees that line the drainage ditch (and provide tons of privacy for us) have gotten so tall. So next year we’re going to turn that side of the yard into a native shade plant/butterfly garden and put a raised bed on the opposite side of the house. PS> Toby eats the green peppers and tomatoes right off the plants; we were blaming the birds until we caught him red-pawed one day.
Thank you! Gardening is so challenging! I have more than one shade garden since we have so many trees around us. It’s tough sometimes to find more shade plants though. I find hosta lilies the easiest, but the deer love them too.
Oh, I bet Luke would eat his veggies right off the plants too, but that’s one reason I keep our veggie garden area fenced off from the dogs!
2 Brown Dawgs says
I do not have a green thumb so I will enjoy your pictures. I am sorry about the kale and beans.
I don’t really have a green thumb either, I’m just stubborn and won’t give up. 🙂
Miss Harper Lee says
Your sunflower photo is gorgeous, and I think that quote could apply to our pets just as much as to our gardens.
Thank you, and you are so right about that! Good thought!
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Love that quote and your photos are just stunning!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Caren Gittleman says
regardless of the garden’s output, your photos are GORGEOUS! You are lucky to have a yard to garden in! I am on second floor. I did a container garden a couple of years ago on our balcony that was so much fun. The past two years I just couldn’t afford to do it. I loved it though.
Thank you, Caren! I am lucky. I wish you lived closer, I’d let you come play in my gardens…there are times I really can’t keep up with them, and I’ve scaled back a bit every year. I could use some help! 🙂
Love the sunflower photos; it’s a shame about losing all the veggies though. We garden organically too, and last year we lost all our organic cucumbers to a particular disease caused by particular insects. We found out too late that we could have used a spray of milk and water early on and it would have killed the pests and kept others away. This year we didn’t get to plant cukes, but next year we’re going to try that.
Oh, I’m going to remember that too! I also didn’t do cukes this year, last year all my plants in the squash family got wiped out by squash bugs.
I do think I know the solution, and it’s the same thing for my kale too (and it also occurs to me it could keep the deer out of the beans as well).
It’s called “row cover” and it’s just like a filmy white cover that you put over the plants as soon as they come up. It’s light enough that they can still grow, and sunlight and water can get through as well. But the adult bugs that lay eggs can’t get on there to do so. I guess with cukes and squash though you do remove it once they are flowering so they can be pollinated.
Earl Lover says
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Beautiful shot of the sunflowers! I remember one year back home when we had a lone sunflower growing in the side yard between our house and our favorite neighbors. That darn thing grew to be as tall as my brother (6’1″)!!
It’s amazing how tall sunflowers can get without toppling over!
We don’t do gardening here, but those sunflowers are beautiful! Did you use your new camera? The photos look especially nice today 🙂
Thank you, yes, I did use the new camera! I’m so glad you saw some improvement!
Bell Fur Zoo says
The sunflowers are gorgeous. The squirrels always get ours :/
M. K. Clinton says
You have inspired me to work in my yard so I can have flowers next spring.
Yay! I’m sure you will be happy you did it when you start seeing the beautiful blooms!
Sand spring chesapeakes says
Wow love love love the sunflower photos!
easy rider says
oh that’s not nice from the deer to eat Lukes green beans. I wonder that they are brave enough to enter your garden, I bet they smell that dogs are around… deers with the sniffles or egg-stra naughty guys?
I think they are just extra naughty. They won’t run away if they just hear the dogs barking, they only run when they actually see the dogs!
They’re probably just smart too…they know the dogs can’t get to them because of our high fence around the yard.