Thursday, July 09, 2009

jungle stage.

The garden has been growing so much that if I take pix but don't post them, they are outdated in days! We are officially in jungle phase. Tomatoes are ripening, beans and peas are picked daily, raspberries are being eaten right off the cane, and the squash and cucumbers are sneaking their way around bushes and landscaping to snake throughout. There isn't an empty inch! I thought I'd post a few before and today pix - to see how the garden is growing!

The photo above is from the first week of May. Everything is empty! We have a very small yard, and have beds along the side - one side of the garden is against neighbors home, the other side against ours (we have side yards here).

This photo above is from mid-June. Filling in, but still fairly small.

And this is last week - definitely filling in. It has that chaotic beauty today, as everything is so tall and so green.

This photo above is from today - the beans have grown up the whole twine line and have reached the top of the gazebo, while below them peppers, calendula, borage, lemon balm, squash, beans and spinach are huge mixed between other flowers and plants.

Many of you asked about the rain barrel cover (yes, that is my shadow ;)). Well, in May I ran twine line from the ground and tied it into a piece of twine around the top. I just keep clearing the area just around the spout, but otherwise it is covered with morning glories. Next to that the cucumbers are vining up a metal trellis in front of our AC, and squash is going along the ground.

I was looking at photos from this time last year and can really see how much we have expanded the beds. It is amazing how pulling out a landscaping bed even just a foot can make such a huge difference!

So here is my updated list of what is growing right now:

Front porch/pots: potatoes (3 types in 5 bags), tomatoes (4 hanging, 2 pots), peppers (4), squash (1), and several small pots of herbs (basil, parsley, oregano).

Back porch/pots: shisho, oregano, marjoram, 2 types of basil, sorrel, strawberry spinach, lovage, tomatoes (3), peppers (3), savory.

Lower back raised bed: tomatillo (2), tomato (1), strawberries, raspberries, mixed flowers. Plus a small rain garden off of our downspout.

Square bed off back of deck: beets, carrots, garlic, shallots, peas, chives, mustard.

Along side of neighbors house: wonderberries, red currants, peas, kale, dill, beans (purple pole, scarlet runner), watermelon, melon, baby blue hubbard squash, butternut squash (2), tomatoes (orange flesh purple smudge (2), green zebra (2)), peppers (2), nasturtiums, lovage, cabbage, mesclun mix, calendula, chinese long beans, lemon summer squash.

Along side of our house: borage, calendula, peppers (5), tomatoes (3), cabbage, kohlrabi, peas, cucumbers (3), sunflowers, purple pole beans (3), scarlet runner beans (3), baby blue hubbard squash, butternut squash, lebanese bush marrow summer squash, white acorn bush squash (2), potatoes (in wooden barrel), white pumpkins (up arbor), lemon summer squash, raspberries.

Front raised bed: purple bush beans (4), green bush beans (2), strawberries, peppers (2), flowers.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that is a good list! We have fruit, vegetables, trees, bushes, flowers and more...all mingled and growing happily.

It sounds like we have a big space, I know, but interplanting small quantities within the landscaping rather than planting in rows really allows for a lot of variety in a small space. Having pots helps expand that too. I'm sure our neighbors are wondering what is going on ;), but by keeping the front and back smaller and neater with lots of colorful flowers, it keeps it looking more organized and neat, while the more gangly or bushy plants are behind our line of bushes at the arbor, not as visible from the street. It does also make it seem like we have a secret garden past our lush arbor too - with a center strip - yet plenty of room - left for little boys to, sprinkler, T-ball, basketball...

As we expanded the beds a bit this year, we are finding that there are a few things we will change next year to help keep the back areas a bit more accessible, but overall everything is growing great!

How is your garden growing?


steph said...

It's beautiful! The best of both worlds: lush garden on either side and an outdoor play area in the middle. I love it!! Good work Denise!

eidolons said...

I think it's interesting that everyone up North has these amazing gardens with everything blooming and growing fruit. Down here in Florida, mine is still just sprouting.

Marie said...


Thanks for the update photos and incredibly inspiring lists! Up here, North of Boston we're still struggling with alot of rain and things are just slowly starting to catch up on sun time. I love all of the interplanting and how well you are filling your space. You've got me thinking about growing more, adding a few more things to the fall crops list and expanding the list even more for next year.


Dawn said...

Oh that's wonderful!! I'd love to have a bowl of those raspberries :)

We have no garden but have been loving our weekly CSA! Purple beans and huge avocados were two of the highlights this week!

Happy Thursday~

STEPHANIE. said...

I love how is sounds like you are just surrounded by green and yumminess! :) how did you learn to garden?

RunninL8 said...

The side yards are so lush and gorgeous! I really would like to learn more about container gardening-since we don't have the usual garden friendly property! Just tundra.

Jenell said...

So Denise, how does that work with your neighbor? Do you share the fruits and/or labors of the garden?

It looks so lush and loved! I think it's cool, too, that you have so much in pots and work with the space you have. Inspiring....

denise said...

Jenell - Nope. That is how our lots work. Our yard goes right up to the wall of the next that is all our yard. We can fence the whole thing too - right up to the frame of their home. :) So that is all ours. Their yard is on the other side of THEIR house!

denise said...

RunninL8 - I grew a bunch in pots when I lived in diff. apartments in Chicago whenever I had a deck (no yard!). I just fertilized with kelp/fish emulsion more regularly and things were very happy in pots!

Stephanie - Trial and error. Just keep growing more things, reading books, and experimenting! :)

Marie - We haven't had anywhere near enough rain, but we did have a very cold & cloudy spring. Things started off really slowly here, but
we got a wave of heat two weeks ago which finally kicked everything into high gear! I'm amazed at how quickly everything shot up after the hot days.

Dawn - avocados? Ah, luxurious in a CSA! :) We are thinking of putting out a small lean-to on our deck this fall/winter to see if we can start & keep citrus...hope to keep it outside a lot, and only bring in for the coldest months. We'll see!

Sam said...

unbelievable! Your yard is the nicest I've ever seen. Unreal how you've used every last bit of space you can. I am in awe. Do I spot hollyhocks there? I want to try to plant vines up my rain barrel, thank so much for sharing.

Zachary and Jennifer said...

I love the random wildness of your garden. I think gardening in a small space looks more fun than all the space you could want to garden. Makes my standard rows seem boring. :-) Our plants are not as advanced yet, but will be getting peas and beans in a few weeks.

TheOrganicSister said...

it's all so beautiful!! our garden is slowing down with the heat. some things have even died. we've really been rethinking a lot of things lately but the thoughts are still too discombobulated (did i spell that right?) to put it into words. hopefully the hubs and i will be figuring it all out soon.

what i wouldn't give for your soil in the meantime.... ;)


Anonymous said...

I like the way you do and share. It's lovely and inspiring. I like gardening too and have many plants in my house yard. I try to post pictures on my block but have not been successful yet. tasana

Anne said...


mari said...

Wow. Amazing. How beautiful. My garden is on life support after 7 weeks of rain here in the NorthEast...

Alis said...

All your hard work paid off. Thanks for the yummy update.

jane said...

wow! it looks amazing! you are my inspiration! happy week denise!

Anonymous said...

It all looks great, Denise! I haven't been by your blog in ages--sorry I just stopped keeping up with so many blogs.

I love the idea of just expanding the landscaping beds by a foot. It still looks neat but has so much more growing space. Good for you guys!


Sam said...

It looks amazing, and it's very inspiring. It just show how much you can do even in a relatively small plot. :-)