June 29, 2014

Welcome To My Garden!

Welcome to my garden!

I really needed to post some most amazing photos... before something tragic happens to my vulnerable vegetables.  Everyone, yes everyone, knows that I tend to kill living greenery.  So this is why my garden makes me smile!  It is still alive and actually thriving.  Who knew?!

I have admired gardens from afar for so many years, especially my Grandma Luci's.  A visit to her is not complete until I can feast my eyes on her ever growing garden.  I have always said that "one of these years" I must grow a garden.  Actually, I have tried - and failed - in the past.  There is something about making sure a garden has sun and water and good soil that make it productive. Just because my yard is a sand dune, full of shade-giving trees, and I get too busy to water plants, shouldn't deter a garden from growing, right?  If any plants begin to survive, regardless of not having the essentials, rabbits and deer quickly devour the tiny shoots.

My owl - a gift from Steve - has been waiting to be my garden guardian.

With the ravaging of the fire a couple Springs back, my yard is now quite sunny in some spots... a blessing for an opportunity to try a garden again. With the replaced septic field tearing up our yard and sprinkler system, another blessing of necessary new top soil and sprinklers that automatically water my garden have arrived!  
As far as varmint control goes, let's just say I have Elmer Fudd on it.

I told Grandma my garden plans.  She patiently listened then gave me some quick advice:  Go visit my local nursery and purchase starter plants, giving me a better chance at success for my garden. She personally collects her seeds and starts her own seedlings every year.  Yep, my plant-killing reputation didn't escape her notice either.  Just get the nursery-starters.  I was good with that.

I love pole beans.  I've had a one-time limited success of growing them in pots with trellises on my deck.  Here is my new system for pole beans - it's so cute!  Thanks to a friend, some dead trees were cut down to use for the posts, ten feet apart, and both trunks had v's, perfect for adding a cross limb.  The starter pole beans were spaced and planted a foot apart.  Above each plant on the cross limb, I tied jute hanging down to the ground, "puddling" around each bean plant.  Such smart beans! They just knew how to climb the jute :>)  Hopefully this system will make for easy harvesting.

I mounded extra soil when I planted the vegetables then mulched the hills.  Maybe I'm a little carried away now on those bare necessities (soil, water, sun...) lol! Having the automatic sprinklers has been a lifesaver for the garden. And Miracle-Grow once a week is sealing the deal.  

Looking ground-up at the pole bean vines

Pickling cucumbers were a garden must.  During one of my pregnancies, a friend graciously shared her pickling cucumbers with me.  I don't know if it was just because I was pregnant, but wow - those were THE BEST cucumbers I ever ate, and after all these years I still think about how deliciously crispy they were.

Pickling cucumbers growing up the trellis

I have two types of trellises for the cucumbers.  One I fashioned from an unused fence gate, supported by thick branches and some grape vine. Cucumbers aren't quite as smart as the pole beans; they needed a little training to get the idea to cling to the trellis.
The second trellis is a tripod tepee crafted also with branches.  These needed extra help with some tied jute to train them to climb. But, hey, we all learn at different rates.

Tomato blossoms and buds

Ask my boys what should be grown in a garden and they will say tomatoes and hot peppers so salsa can be made.  Roger was sweet enough to track down some colorful tomato cages to satisfy my dream of a garden with a bit of whimsy.

Habanero Peppers
Colorful tomato cages

So there I was at the garden center, selecting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers...  and then I walked past the cantaloupe.  So I popped a little tray of those onto my cart.  And then rhubarb! OK, confession here.  It really wasn't rhubarb.  It SAID rhubarb on the top of the tag, but it was really swiss chard with red stalks called rhubarb.  But... in the end, it was a peace offering with my yard's resident rabbits.  As long as there was swiss chard, which I don't like to eat, the rabbits would feast on that but leave the other vegetables for me.  I thought we had a good understanding between us, until one day the swiss chard was completely devoured. Cantaloupe was the second most tasty morsel on their menu.  Enter Elmer Fudd.  In the mean time, the cantaloupe is making a come-back.

By the way, I did go back to get true rhubarb... and a little parsley.  They're at the other end of the garden.

The come-back cantaloupe in the corner of the garden.

The garden has been such a pleasant place to keep and to "visit" during the day; I'm enjoying it so much.  I am planning on adding a permanent chair - painted in a vintage blue - to the garden so it is welcoming and inviting to others who drop by.  But for now, this works for me :>)

Next year I plan on gardening again (assuming nothing tragic occurs to damper my enthusiasm), adding zinnias and daisies around the perimeter to use as cut flowers in my kitchen.

My little garden may not be the most efficient garden, but it is cute and makes me happy :>) 


  1. I love it, Karen! I can't wait to come and see it in person!

  2. lol! Let's make it soon before something happens!


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