Wednesday, June 08, 2011
With the heat comes a burst of growth. It feels like we went from March to August in one week. We haven't even gotten peas yet! But the greens are finally growing and we are cutting cutting cutting to get as much as we can before they bolt. I love how things look in May, er, June. When things leaf out, flowers bloom, and everything is still small and neat. I do love the jungle of late summer, but I like beginnings and how I can see everything!
I get a lot of emails asking about the garden - size, beds, etc. since I post mostly close-ups. So a mini tour with some big picture photos. Of our mini yard/garden.
Our house is almost on the sidewalk and street, but we have a small area around the porch where we grow golden raspberries, lemon balm, chocolate mint, some flowers and flowering bushes. There is one bed up front with strawberries (can't wait!). We also have a wall of bushes with a 'door' entrance into the back - it keeps out sound and separates us from the sidewalk nicely.
This is a view from the short hill to the alley, looking towards the front. We have a strip of grass down the center, and beds on left and right. The sides also have utility meters for two houses, air conditioning, etc. And our rain barrel. The neighbors house is on the left, ours on the right. The yard is between 12-14' wide. The left gets afternoon sun, the right morning. With shade on the whole thing early morning and after 4PM or so.
The left has a few lilac bushes near the neighbors garage, and then goes into the white currant bushes with squash plants in between. Further along is planted beans, peas, tomatoes, kale, chard, broccoli, onions, hydrangeas, melons, squash, cucumbers, amaranth, cutting flowers (around the bird bath). It is also interspersed with herbs such as valerian, lovage, toothache plant, feverfew, dill, stevia, parsley and flowers like calendula, german chamomile, and nasturtiums. Along the whole edge is marigold and onions to keep the bunnies back a bit.
The right has a few areas - the deck is lined with clematis, morning glories, and lemon balm. Throughout I have radishes, kale, spinach, carrots, borage, sunflowers and marigolds next to a few huge rhubarb plants. The rain barrel is surrounded by lemon balm, fenugreek, sunflowers, nasturtiums and whatever else I can't fit anywhere else. Along the raised A/C there is a flowering bush on one side with peas and mixed greens along the front. Under the flowering bush is broccoli, beets, head lettuces, squash, and chard.
Further up from the bush is a small strip with a barrel plopped in front of the gas/electric meters. It contains radishes, dwarf peas, carrots, kale and parsley. Around that is a few tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, calendula, onions, a blackberry 'bush', squash, cucumbers, kale and cauliflower. There are herbs interspersed such as anise hyssop, yarrow, feverfew, amaranth, and a few others.
Scattered throughout all the plantings, anywhere there was a space, I put squash and melons. There is no plan but to stick it where there is room. Butternut, fordhook acorn, white acorn, patty pan, charantais, sweet siberian, pride of wisconsin...some are bush some are vine. With the vining types I weave them as they grow around this, under that, along the edge. Wherever there is a space. By summer they are usually going into the yard, up the deck, into the bushes.
Next to the steps on the deck there is a square bed which is full of chives, marigolds, peas, radishes, beets, chard, onions, garlic, spinach, arugula, and some mache. I will re-plant this area with fall goodness in a month or so!
In the very back is a bed with rain garden plants by the downspout and a raised bed containing red raspberries and strawberries. There is a weird hill full of spearmint and landscaping trees/bushes with a compost pile in the middle, lined with two more rhubarb plants, and some flowers.
The deck is now full of pots - peppers, tomatoes, basil, celery, thyme, marjoram, fennel, kohlrabi, cilantro. More will come.
It sounds like so much in a small space and I guess it probably is. But I don't grow a lot of anything, but a bit of everything. It fills in the gaps of our CSA share, and provides extra of our favorites and gives me a good variety of herbs, fruit and flowers that we can't get with our CSA. Here's to a good season, hopefully!
How does your garden grow??