Monday, June 29, 2009

The Garden

Mi Casita!

I haven't posted much about my gardens, even though they've always sucked a lot of time from me! But that's okay. Gardening is like hiking: work, but fun work. When I first bought my house in 2004 (egads, in August it will be 5 years!!) it had one small garden along the front enclosed porch. Now, I have several: Front and side house flower gardens, a flower garden in front of my shed, potted gardens on the back patio, a Strawberry patch, a Blackberry (blackcap) patch, a raspberry patch, a Bean patch and my main veggie garden.

My strawberries are done for the season, but while they were here, they were wonderful. :o)

I have to say, strawberries are hard to grow. You constantly monitor them for the right time to pick, but it's a race against the field mice and voles, too. My patch is now 4 years old. Last year I thought they might be giving up the ghost- they produced SO POORLY. I think I got 5 berries the whole season, and mice got them before I could pick them. This year the strawberries had a comeback and I think it was the best season yet!! I had a nice after-work-snack every day for a couple weeks. Mmmm.

And now that Strawberries are done, Blackberries (Blackcaps) are up on deck!:

I love my Blackberry patch, even though it is wild,shaggy and messy-looking.

My favorite flower used to be Peonies. Now it is Euphorbia:

The "common name" for this plant is "common spurge" but Euphorbia sounds so much better, don't you think? If you run your hand over the plant, it is as soft and silky as velvet. And it grows in a big yellow soft mound. This pic was taken a few weeks ago in May.

Now who doesn't love Hens N'Chicks? And blue hippos??? I planted these in May too. They are a bit bigger now.

I have two Pontatillas (sp?) in my flower gardens along the front and side of my house. I love the little flowers they sprout!:

Bright red Easter Lillies. Mom cleaved these from her Lilly Patch, and gave them to me. Last year (their first year) they barely grew, but now they are going strong and I hope they continue to spread along the front of the shed!

Lavender. I don't like many herbs (I prefer salt on my food- salt, salt and more salt) but I have a 3-year old lavender plant, an oregano plant that WILL NOT DIE, and chives that also WILL NOT DIE. The Lavender is the only herb I have that I am trying not to kill on purpose lol. So fragrant and beautiful.

Okay. Now on to the veggie gardens! These are Italian Pole Beans growing up the fence in the backyard. The fake owl did not scare squirrels OR birds away while the beans were tiny, I might add. But I keep it there because a)I like owls. A lot. and b) it's a nice yard decoration.

My tomato plants, growing on the back patio. I just discovered last year that I like tomatos, so I planted three. Not sure what variety, maybe beefstake? Beefcake? Something like that?? Also a few petunias in there, as well as a pot of Chives.

My pathetic back veggie garden. This year I planted the first weekend of May, since the last part of May is WAY too busy at work. In our region, they say to plant no earlier than Memorial Day weekend so I was pushing it a bit. Most of my plants survived the on/off May cold snaps, but my Bell Peppers did not, so I had to buy some new seedlings. In the ground, as of today: 4 bell pepper plants, 4 brocollie plants (can I eat the leaves? Is that what Brocolli rabe is??), 6 brussell sprout plants, 2 rows of peas, and 4 purple Kale. I also have 2 cantalope plants that seem to have sprouted again from last year's seeds. I don't have the heart to kill them, even though NONE of my cantalope were edible last year. The reflectors and pathetic 1-foot-high fence is to keep the dogs out.

And we'll end this post with photos of Bee Balm, such a FUN flower. You can use the leaves in tea too, I guess:

Baby bee balm!!


alex said...

Thank you for welcoming us into your garden. I LOVE your blue hippo.

Carrie said...

I love the hippo, too! Your stuff is so pretty! And the strawberries look fantastic! We tried to try a garden for the first time this year, but it didn't work out. We are going to try again next year, though. We have blackberries in the three surrounding fields here, and I just noticed them this year! I've lived here 10 yrs now, DUH!!

Hiking Hounds said...

I also love the hippo! Your garden is beautiful! I really wish I lived somewhere that was so nice and green.