Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Update, Spring '12

It's amazing to me that I took these pictures earlier this week and already the garden looks so different, so much more lush.  I'm also letting it overrun it's borders a bit - we planted the fig tree about 5 feet away where it has southern exposure but is sheltered from high winds, and planted everbearing strawberries (they produce May-September) along one side.  The two gardens that flank our driveway I am thinking of expanding as well, especially after going to a lecture at Longwood on "No-Mow Lawns", which actually had a lot more to do with not removing any greenery, even "weeds" from your lawn, and reducing the amount of lawn.  I also found out that our lawn which we had always called the "let anything grow that's green because we are both lazy and somewhat environmentally-conscious but mostly lazy" is actually called a .... wait for it, wait for it ....


Which sounds way better and makes us seem patriotic and awesome.

Soooo ... onto the garden!

From left to right - spinach, calendula, snap peas, garlic, carrots, lavender, kale, radish
 Slightly more planned out and well spaced then last year. In the background you can see the tomatoes that have gone in the ground, as well as the milk jug which is acting as upcycled mini-greenhouse and is starting my blondkopchen grape tomatoes. All tomatoes are going along the wall this year, for ease of getting to them and to keep them nice and warm at night. The 3 rows of garlic will be ready to dig up soon, and then I will plant additional carrots and radish in its place.. See? I have a plan. Kinda.

My kale plant that wintered over and kale seedlings, Mooch's planter of basil, and strawberries. The kale that wintered over keeps bolting and producing flowers and seedheads, which I just snap off and it continues to leaf out. The broccoli that wintered over bolted so badly I just had to yank out all 3 plants and compost them :-(
Side view
Close up of peas.  They need to have supports put up for them, hoping garden gnomes intercede.

Our fig tree. I was lucky enough to find an edible landscape advocate nearby who has a small nursery - this is a fourth year tree. It was completely happy after planting and really leafed out and produced fruits - and the dropped them all while they were still tiny. I contacted the grower and he said not to worry, this is typical when they go in the ground and it *should* produce another round of healthy, maturing fruits late summer.
In the meantime the ladybeetles are pretty happy.
 This is one of our front gardens. Peeking out from underneath the purple bush badly in need of pruning is oregano, behind the mum is a dandelion we keep for the greens, and there is my crazy rosemary that also needs to be pruned. In the middle is a knockout rosebush.

 From left to right, phlox with curly parsley below, a peony bush that used to be my grandmother's, chives, primrose, jacob's ladder, and stupid f-ing azalea. I don't like azalea. Too common and not that pretty .... but I digress. The chives and parsley both wintered over, and this will be the first season of that heirloom peony being in this new spot, with afternoon sun and slight shade.

Many more updates to come, of course - and if you are even slightly interested in food production, I cannot recommend this book enough:

I am tearing through it right now. Just read it, ok? Or I will dig up these azaleas and dump them at your house.

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