Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Midsummer Garden

I love my garden. It fills me with so much joy. I love looking at the different pictures over the years to see how it evolves. I remember when it was just this small section. 

I buy a lot of organic starts from a house that sells plants in the spring down the road for 1.00 each. I also buy my seeds from High Mowing Organic Seed. I don't start plants indoors, I just buy seeds that are easy to grow to maturity like zucchini, summer squash, nasturtium, carrots, lettuces, radishes, peas, beans, and pumpkins.  I am garden greedy so every year my garden seems to grow.

At first my garden grew to 5 boxes a chicken coop and the section by the fence. You can see how it look back then here. 

Our boxes have been great. We used 6 foot cedar fence boards and stakes. We need to make some repairs and are looking at using some brackets to help hold them together. The cedar fence boards are rot resistant and economical. At the time it was all we could afford.

After a short time though it wasn't enough. I wanted more, more, more, more,

 I went to work. I dug out all my grass and used recycled materials. I filled all the new beds with the sod I dug up, only I put it in upside down. Then I topped it all with a nice thick layer of compost. The chickens loved it when I dug, they chased my shovel and gobbled up the worms. You may remember how it looked when I finished before the plants grew from here.

One of the hardest parts was installing the drip irrigation system, it was confusing. I rotate my plantings and I still don't understand how to make the drip system flexible for that. I think I am going to have to hire our sprinkler guys to come fix it as I don't want to monkey around with it anymore. 

I hated the dirt pathways all summer and dreamed of gravel. 

Cucumbers on a trellis with greens below.

Lambs Ear, Daisies and Calendula.

Black eyed Susan, and pumpkins that got quite out of control.

I had a lot of volunteer tomatoes that I transplanted. They got out of control as well.

Peach, and Quince, and grape vines. I divide, and move, and transplant, a lot of plants each year. At first I got a lot of plants from my mom's garden and brought them here. I also planted a bunch of wildflower seeds. Now I have more control as the seeds make babies and the plants are getting big enough to divide. The flowers live with my veggies in the back and like a cottage garden out front.

There are those out of control pumpkins with some calendula peeking through. I started to utilize my herbs this year, making calendula salve. Next up on my list is to find a place to grow some comfrey.

And the clothesline is right in the middle of it all. Now when I want to send the kids outside I say "Go out to the Garden." I have wanted to dig up all my grass for all the years we lived in our house. My thoughts have always been that we should live here, really live here, regardless of how soon we may or may not sell it. At first I had some concern that the kiddos would miss the large hot swath of grass that sucked the best sun and didn't have any shade, ever all summer.

But like wildlife and habitat they have thrived and flourished in our garden. They play more and get less board. They get into trouble too, picking and eating all the cherry tomatoes, raspberries, and strawberries. They dig up the carrots and feed the lettuce greens to the chickens. They dig in the dirt and play hide and seek. We worried about the dog too. That she would not like the garden beds because she is not supposed to play in them. Turns out she loves it too. She sees it as an obstacle coarse and she runs and jumps all over the place. 

We truly are nourished by our garden even if it feels sometimes as if we don't get as much food as we would like. I am glad my kids will grow up having sweet memories of eating the cherry tomatoes and berries, even if I don't get any. It seems like a lot of garden in my pictures, but I am still stricken with garden greed. I still dream about even more. Front yard watch out!

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