The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

June Observations: Oh Baby Baby It’s A Wild World


Just the other evening I heard the tell tale sound of banging and buzzing on the porch screens – a June Bug. This evening, July! June cruised by like a hawk on the strike – get ‘yer bunnies here, hawk! Things are unpredictable, out of control, lightening quick here in the wild world. Overnight, plants are sprawling. Others are devoured, covered, entwined. Nice things are turning bad out there. It is cool when it rains, hot and humid when it shines – inject growth hormone.

July 1 Jungle

Welcome to the jungle …

The garden, though cottage style it is, is more jungle than planned, or even unplanned, creation. I can’t seem to keep up with the weeding, pruning, editing … much less journaling and blogging. Instead of planting, I am ripping things out left and right, hacking things down. I have determined, aside from a machete, that I need to create paths in my large, deep beds for maintenance and some sense of order. The grapevines are lapping at my leaf trellis – where I still need to plant the Cypress, or Cardinal Climber Vines I started. The grapevines from there are leaping to the neighbor’s tree. I need to rein them in. I need to cut back the dead wood on the neighbor’s tree, too, what is hanging over my side of the fence. The maple I planted on my side of the fence has “jungle-grown” at least three feet this year and now reaches its canopy. Make way, make room, make paths.

July 1 in the Woodland Edge

I need to make a path to get through there.

And by the way, I don’t have any nice things to wear out there – I am muddy, gritty, sweaty and bug bitten.

July 1 in the Bird&Butterfly Garden

Who needs window blinds when you have Joe Pye?

Joe Pye is everywhere and getting taller by the minute. Towering over the driftwood heron and barring in the windows to our workshop. Plants I promised friends are now HUGE. Maybe if I dare to jump in, wrestle around in that jungle I can find some more “babies” to give away, preferably uneaten. The prolific plants like Black-eyed Susans, keep producing in spite of being on the rabbit herd’s menu.

Trumpet vine taking off

Must tame Trumpet Vine.

Not so in the Potager. There it is a different wild world. Things are eaten as soon as they sprout from the ground – except of course, for the weeds. To protect the peas and greens from the ravaging rabbits, I have resorted to netting but don’t have enough for everything. Plant more seeds, pull more weeds. But the trumpet vine is taking off this year, covering the arbor and looking for more. I need to whip it into shape, tame it, train it.

Compost full and growing

Compost full and growing.

The compost is full, overflowing, and growing. My back is aching. The gin is chilling. And I am getting by with a smile – it is sweet summer.


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

8 thoughts on “June Observations: Oh Baby Baby It’s A Wild World

  1. Oh Kathy I was laughing and shaking my head…it is the same here…like Jack and the Beanstalk everywhere…out of control and I am worn and eaten up by the skeeters who might just carry me away…I am feeling a little less stressed to know that a fellow gardener just N of me is dealing with the same stuff in her garden…we need jungle guides soon I think!

    • If anyone could write a jungle guide for us it would be you Donna! I am just thankful we don’t have black flies here like we did in Maine, but the mosquitos sure are thick this year. It is the year of the rabbit and mosquito!

  2. for me, your opening sentence would be about Christmas beetles.

  3. I keep waiting for a dry, but not too hot, day to get out and do some serious work — especially pruning. Today, I realized that the hemlock trees that used to grow behind the garden have now spread their branches into the garden. Add those to the pruning to-do list!

    I love the fact that our June bugs are Diana’s Christmas beetles.

    • Jean it is very wet and steamy here. I doubt I’ll find a dry-not-to-hot day but sure hope you do! It is fun that our June Bugs arrive at the same time as Diana’s Christmas Beetles. Christmas in June/July!

  4. Pingback: June Observations: Let the Good Times Roll | The Violet Fern

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