When I was a kid, I loved the veggies we grew in our backyard garden. Now that I’ve got my own patch of dirt to cultivate, I’m determined to become an expert at growing my own food. I love that I can grow things that are tastier, less expensive, and free from toxic chemicals. Naturally, I’m also interested in the other flowers, plants, and features that create a lovely garden and support wildlife.
A baby Ma-Zu Purple Chinese Eggplant grows in a home vegetable garden.
A scarecrow with a face made of a metal duct, stones, yarn, and black tape watches over a garden on a sunny afternoon.
A Black-Eyed Susan in full bloom, being pollinated by a green, iridescent insect.
Done blooming, a Clematis’ globe-shaped seed heads add interest to a garden.
A creeping fig vine reaches several feet out from a fence, curving around the trunk of a young longleaf pine. This Asian plant quickly becomes invasive, choking out other plants and damaging structures it climbs on.
A trio of ripe Matt’s Wild Cherries hang on a vine, ready to be picked. One of the smaller cherry tomato varieties, they’re exceptionally sweet and delicious.
In a home garden, a flower blooms on a Ma-Zu Purple Chinese Eggplant plant.
Poppies add a bright pop of color to a flowering herb garden.
A pepper flower blooms on a tabasco plant, with unripe tabasco peppers in the background.
A handmade sign painted with bright, cheery colors welcomes visitors to a community garden.
A cluster of purple hydrangeas in bloom. Popular in home gardens, this plant is native to China and Japan.
Shiitakes fruiting on an oak log, cultivated in a home garden.
Clumps of silvery blue needles on a branch of Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. Native to Morocco and Algeria, it makes a dramatic addition to a landscape.
A green Mortgage Lifter tomato grows on its vine, raindrops still clinging to it.
Bigleaf periwinkles in bloom. Outside their native habitat in the Mediterranean, they’re considered an invasive species.
Serrano peppers from a home garden sit in a bowl, ready to spice things up.
A Walking Iris flower in bloom.