Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Day

Winter Garden

We just ate one of our tomatoes in December!

Long time no post--mostly because I planted and forgot about it. The greens (kale and arugula) were not planted early enough. They are hanging in there, but so small I don't see how they can survive a freeze. Since we had tomatoes through the fall, I was reluctant to pull anything out to plant them. I also thought summer was too early to plant winter greens. Slugs are eating the kale. Lessons for next year's planning.

The greenhouse garden is doing great though, here's a look from late November. It's only a few weeks later, and the garden is currently covered in snow (pics of that later). The beets, cauliflower, lettuce, and parsnips are doing great.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Curb Appeal

Our continued efforts in the front yard must be paying off, because a neighbor asked if we want to be part of the garden tour next spring! Well, actually, he thought we should show off our backyard vegetable garden--something different from the usual flower gardens, but here is a look at the latest front yard improvements anyway.
The star will be this Viburnum. While riding my bike in spring, I could smell these things a block away, so I can't wait. It will also provide some much needed screening. We love that the house feels very urban, being close to the street and all, but staring from my window into a neighbors' window is too much sometimes.
We also planted a few Sedums--you can see the bright pink flowers. The purple grass makes me want more grasses. There were times I worried about the Pieris (Japanese andromeda), but now that it is full of next year's blooms, I think it is a keeper.

But Here Comes Fall

I don't know if I planted my greens early enough, but there's a lot happening in the garden--including the squirrels digging holes.cauliflower


beets (and mesclun)


kale--or collards? There's arugula and tat soi too. I'm also trying radishes again, a round variety of carrot, and onions--with seed collected from a past-prime onion I planted in spring.

Summer's Not Over Yet

The tomatoes are hanging in there, and the bell pepper is finally giving us something.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall flowers

...and foliage:


Dahlia with purple grass in background

the hydrangeas take on a reddish hue when they dry
Calendula and nasturtium

native honeysuckle



Mexican sunflower

Dahlia, Pieris, and Japanese Maple

...and flowers to come (Camelia buds):

Fall harvest

I am collecting green tomato recipes just in case.

The lima bean pods are slow to fill.

I thought eggplant was a summer crop, but mine did not thrive until September.

Friday, September 18, 2009


They smell amazing!

Winding Up for Fall

The garden has been in such a static state, I am actually looking forward to fall. The dozens of green tomatoes are starting to show some color, despite the cool weather we're having. The eggplants are still growing. But I am getting anxious--I am ready to rip stuff out and plant kale and collards. I just hope the peppers that finally started producing have time to mature.

Lots of limas. I pick, shell, and freeze one at a time.
My third raised bed--the one with a plastic cold frame--has seedlings! There is cauliflower, beets, and parsnips, with leeks and mesclun interspersed throughout.
It doesn't look like much now:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Curb Appeal

The heat also benefited the new plantings in the front yard. The dark-leaved Dahlias are doing well, but a cucumber beetle is devouring the petals. Those things are so cute (like big yellow lady bugs) they are hard to kill, but I've taken to smashing them. The pink and burgundy mottled dianthus is full of blooms, and I really like the big purple grass. I am going to dig up all that scraggly day lily soon and plant azaleas I think.


Next year I'll have an earlier start, so a much expanded flower garden. But I am pretty happy with the results this year: one mega teddy bear sunflower and Tithonia rotundiflora (aka Mexican sunflower).
Lots of nasturtiums, Calendula, Zinnia, and Echinacea round out the bed.

I pruned our sickly rose back completely and it has come back nicely--plus, a second rose has revealed itself (and a much better color than the red one):

A Peck of Peppers

Well, not quite, but we are getting some peppers. Check out the difference between these three plants.
The first is a variety called "Key Largo." It seems to be suffering some kind of sickness, but has 3 peppers on it.

In the other bed are two varieties purchased at the farmer's market, a red bell and a long Italian. I crowded the bell, but the Italian seems to be doing well. Overall, I think we just haven't had enough heat for peppers this summer.

While We Were Away...

... the heat finally came, and the garden really thrived. I'll actually have enough basil for pesto.

The blackberry, which I had pruned after reading about how at Vegetable Gardener, is twice as long.

A lone eggplant was picked before vacation, but with all this growth I think we'll have more:

The asparagus continues to grow!