Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Does My Garden Grow?

 I am re-posting this post from last year... and it is surprising how much behind my garden is this year from where it was last year. We have had so much rain and little sun...  Seeing these pictures from about the same time last year, shows a different picture. It is interesting how things can differ from one year to the next. :)
How does my garden grow?  Well, take a garden tour with me and see how it looks here in mid June....

 As I have said before, we live in the city and yet we also have vegetable gardens.... and flowers. :)  For one thing, living in the city, we have to be careful to keep things from looking like a farm.(By the way, I am in no way criticizing farms - I would LOVE to have more property and have a type of "farm garden", but this is what God has provided for us now and we are using what we have.. and I like to mix the beauty of flowers and vegetables, fruits and herbs all together.........

We now have cucumber blossoms and just this morning, I am seeing tiny cucumbers - about 1/2" long. We made quite a few jars of pickles last year and hope to again.... I still have had to also buy pickles, but the jars I did put up were a help.... and we enjoyed eating the cucumbers fresh too!
Here are the carrots growing between the rows of tomatoes..... there are also onions growing in rows in the same area.  

Here are the onions...... they are starting to grow quite quickly. I usually grow them for greens, but this year, I am hoping to also have some large onions to save for the winter months... we'll see how we do.

                                                          The tomatoes are growing quite fast also.... we love tomatoes. I have about 20 plants growing and they are all staked. I use strips of pantyhose to tie them up.... planning a post about that soon...... Anyway,  there are 10 tomato plants in a 4' x 8' raised garden bed. Then there is a 7' long row of carrots in the middle, with 2 rows of onions (one on either side of the carrots). I usually plant marigolds at the ends which helps keep bugs away... and looks pretty. I have 2 of these beds going as we really like tomatoes and tend to eat them as fast as they ripen.... so this year, I hope to can some of them.

Green beans are here in the form of bush beans.... I don't have many plants... as something ate them and only a very few survived. There aren't enough to make a pot of green beans, so I will plan to plant more and will use these cut up into salads.

I have a few pepper plants - mostly the bell peppers, although I also have a pimento and jalapeno plant.

There are 4 beds here and the first and 3rd are the same. The second one has cucumbers, green beans, beets (which have also had the greens eaten off and are just now starting to grow).

We do have to water the gardens and I am afraid we have gotten lax about putting the hose away...  As often as we have to water, it just hasn't seemed worth the trouble. :)

 I tend to use "odd items" to stake and trellis my gardens.  Here is an old metal headboard, coupled with another old metal footboard - for my cucumbers to grow up.
 These beds are 2' wide and there are two that are 8' long and one that is 6' long. I love these beds.... so handy and they frame the back of the yard which increases our usable space.

This is the melon and cucumber bed.... these cucumbers are my second crop and should be producing well by the time the other crop is fading out.
 Yellow straight necked squash and zucchini squash. I planted about 6-7 of the zucchini seeds and only 2 came up.... then something damaged one of them a day ago and I don't think it is going to make it, SO I will plant more and get what I can from one plant.

The red plants are amaranthus.

I have a large red clover plant spreading out in the one garden... doesn't look great, but I want to harvest it for tea, so am letting it grow. I don't have the room to allow it to take over this bed though, so will have to watch it. 
 I LOVE dill!!!  I love to pick off a sprig of it and smell it.... smells so good. :)  Last year, I started eating a sprig of it while gardening and do it many days now..... also started eating the young dill seeds while out gardening.... they taste good and are beneficial to eat.

We use dill in salads, casseroles, dill pickles, and more...  It is a plant that I have to keep planting though, to have some fresh all summer long...

Borage and one of my lavenders.....

 The back garden is in the process of being re-worked.... again. :)  We have compost containers and have moved them to the back fence now... and plan to put another garden bed where they were.

This is the new location of the compost containers, which I have found at garage sales and they work great-we have used them for years.

If I didn't have these, I would compost some other way... there are many ways to make compost.... and I am convinced that compost is one of the very best things for my garden... and it is FREE because we use garden trimmings, veggie scraps, leaves, grass, etc.
 This is the old location of the compost containers. We removed the martin house as we have too many trees to use it right now. I am planning a bed along that fence... not sure what I will put in it yet. :)

Here are baby's breath and garden phlox plants under the peach tree, with some blueberry bushes behind them and blackberry vines at the back.
 We LOVE blueberries.... and have to work hard to keep the birds from taking them all! 
 The blackberry bushes  have been another attraction for the birds... here in the city, we have a LOT of birds... but we are thankful for the fruit we get. :)
Elderberry bushes..... I make elderberry tincture and syrup from them and plan to harvest some of the flowers this year for tea.

 Sweet potatoes are just starting to grow - we started them from a sweet potato from the store and still have more sprouts to plants... there are about 8 plants growing in the garden so far. We really like sweet potatoes and they are so easy to grow... here we planted them in uncomposted compost.... we ran out of dirt, so did something different... working out okay so far. :)
 Echinacea.... a striking looking flower at all times of the year.... early, like this.... and when they are in bloom.......and even when they go to seed.... they also look so pretty against the snow in the winter. All that, plus the plant is great for fighting sickness.

A bit of whimsy...... :)

Some beauty.....
 Looks like a pretty typical suburban backyard.....

It is amazing how much can fit into a small yard... it takes some flexibility on how we grow things... but it works.  I tend to trellis and stake many of my plants as they take up less ground that way....and still produce well.

Our yard has  a LOT of shade, so we have had to be creative in getting "full sun" plants to thrive.
 At first glance, it doesn't look like there is much there........ we have had visitors ask, "Now where is your garden?" This is totally different than a big garden where everything is spread out and in rows... those are nice too, but we can't do that here....  This works for us and the nice thing about gardening is that there are SO many different ways to do it. I hope you enjoy your gardens.
 We have more "gardens" tucked here and there all around the property... I have started naming many of them so that we can discuss them and we all know what we are talking about. :)   We have the raised garden beds numbered 1-8, the back garden, the peace garden, the rose garden, rock wall garden,  herb garden, etc.  It is fun.

No matter how much space you have.... it is possible to garden. Even if you only have a tiny little balcony like we did in our first place... and no grass/ground, you can still container plant. I love how God has made such an abundance of plant life that we can enjoy growing on our property....the variety is incredible.

Thank you for visiting my blog today and "touring" my garden. :) Have a great day!

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  1. What a LOVELY garden!! I'm still in the phase of life where my hope is to keep ahead of the weeds - and the bunnies and chickens!! Someday, I hope to have gardens that are beautiful - in addition to productive! (And you actually have produce already! I live in the Pacific Northwest and we actually dipped down to freezing a few nights this week!)

    1. I am SO glad we are beyond the freezes!! You must have a very short growing season.... we are enjoying the garden although there is always work to do in it.The kids and I do most of it, as my husband doesn't care to garden..... but he has been working on the weeds in the pathways and that is such a blessing. :) Thank you for visiting!

  2. I enjoyed your garden tour! And to have an elderberry bush! What a blessing! Also, please join us for the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week :) I am sure others will enjoy your lovely garden as well!

    1. Thank you! I will plan to visit. :)

    2. Thanks for taking the time to link up your lovely posts this week! Please join us again next week :)

  3. You have a beautiful garden! Thank you for sharing at The Weekend Brew!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement... and for stopping by. It was so nice to read your comment. :)

  4. Very beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Thanks for visiting somuchathome.blogspot. Drop by often, and link up every Wednesday!
    God bless,

    1. Thank you.... we are enjoying it. I was glad to find your link up - thank you for it and I will plan to be back. :)

  5. Wow! You have quite a nice-sized garden area, for living in the city! We used to have a garden area similar to yours, but downsized a few years and now just have a small vegetable patch.Found your post over at "The Weekend Brew"
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

    1. Thank you..... we do tend to use about every bit of space we can! :) Thank you for visiting.... and I love the name of your blog - great name! :)

  6. Wow, you have a large garden for being in the city! I love the way you have re-purposed some things for use in the garden.

    1. It is pretty large for the city, but it is spread around the property so it doesn't overwhelm the space.... glad you recognized the re-purposed items.... they are a treasure for the garden. Thank you for visiting. :)

  7. Wow, you are such a talented gardener and photographer. Congrats on both achievements.

    1. Thank you... I do enjoy both... and I love your comment-such an encouragement. :)

  8. I am still laughing from that sign. SO CUTE and CLEVER!!! LOLOL

    1. My family loves that sign too. :) It is a great addition to our garden. :) Thank you for visiting... and sharing a laugh with me. :)

  9. My, what a stunning garden, dear friend! You have such a special touch with plants :) Thank you so much for joining Roses of Inspiration this weel.....I am always blessed by your posts. Hugs!

    1. What a wonderful comment... thank you for the sweet words. I do enjoy arranging beauty in the yard, even though I don't have enough time to do all I should out there.... :) Thank you for visiting... always enjoy those visits. :)

  10. Oh you have such a lovely yard, Joy, just beautiful! I love the rustic, yet classic look of your backyard. I hope our property looks as pretty as yours when all is said an done. :)

    Kristi@Stone Family Farmstead

    1. Thank you... it is certainly a work in progress, but I like that because I love changing things now and then. :) A little change here and there can make a big difference.... I hope you enjoy your yard and the designing of your gardens. :) Thank you for visiting.

  11. That is one beautiful garden! I enjoy my raised beds so much, seem to get a better yield then when I gardened in-ground. Your entire property is just fabulous.

    1. I think I get a better yield also... Thank you for the sweet comment... our gardens are a work in progress and I sure enjoy the various changes.... a little here and there. I am thinking about going to the nursery to check on discounted plants to see if I can find a couple of treasures to add to the garden. :)

  12. What a fabulous peek into your garden. You sure have a lot going on there! Too many to pick a favorite. So glad you joined us on The Maple Hill Hop today!

    1. Thank you... it is a busy place and we enjoy it. :)

  13. You have such a beautiful garden Joy! I might never leave if I lived there.

    1. Thank you... what a fun comment. :) I do enjoy it... well, except for the blister I am suffering from on my hand from too much digging yesterday. :) All part of gardening though.

  14. I love that you have so much growing in your backyard in the city and I love your decorative accents! So cute! Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!


    1. Thank you.... sometimes my kids (the guys, mainly!) laugh at some of my accents, but overall, it works nicely. :) They just don't think having a bedframe in the garden is a good idea... well, they DIDN'T think so, but now that we have been using that bedframe as a trellis for years and it looks nice, they are okay with it now. :)