And this is an “off” year for gardening?

I’ve had a feeling that my home gardens are not doing so well this year. It’s fitting, then, to take a look at what they’ve produced thus far.

Cluster of spring onions

This is a bunch of spring onions I harvested back in June. I’ve had about seven onions thus far.

More recently, I think that one onion plant has gone to seed. It produced a very tall stalk with a white flower atop. And look who came to visit one day!

Butterfly on a white onion flower

This beautiful red-orange butterfly picked the onion flower to harvest some nectar from when I was out one day. A colored-turquoise fly also landed there, and the two insects shared the flower without incident. Incredible!

Here’s a close-up of the butterfly:

A butterfly draws nectar from a flowering onion plant.

Look closely, and you can see the butterfly’s proboscis drawing nectar from the flowering onion plant.

Update: I believe the butterfly is known as a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). A fitting name for a butterfly in my gardens.

Have you ever seen an onion plant that’s flowering before? I haven’t until this year.

And my tomatoes… I say they’re struggling…Onion, tomatoes, and radishes

Right! Struggling. Above are a lemon boy (the large one), romas, bush, and lemon drop tomatoes. A spring onion is on the left, and three radishes that I picked today are along the bottom.

Not pictured are several cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cucumber, squash, eggplant, bean, and pea plants. Compared to some neighbor’s gardens I see, I think that mine’s just not producing. The above photo is a very strong argument against!

If this is a bad year, I’d hate to see a good year!

Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.