This is my monthly post updating you all on my vegetable garden. While the vegetable garden is fairly empty I thought it would be a good time to show you another vantage point of it. I have already posted about the fact I had to shift it over in order to allow Mr. Fix-it access to his garage, but I never showed the vantage point of it from his garage.
Our backyard slopes slightly down and to the south (the right of this picture is due south). So we are looking east up toward the house and drive through gate. I had a hard time designing this garden with a new outline that was not unsettling to me. The initial design I came up with had the outline in the form of an off balance medieval shield. With some more adjusting, I wound up with the outline of a simple shield. The point of the shield is closest to the camera. It is a bit odd, I know, but the site demanded this shape.
The rhubarb both here and in an ornamental bed out front are slowly growing. I will have to wait until next year to harvest some canes for strawberry rhubarb pie as it generally takes two years for rhubarb to establish itself.
Every vegetable garden needs a scarecrow. In my case, an old dress draped over a PVC person form is my scarecrow. Though, honestly, the birds just love it and perch on her arms quite frequently so she is not very scary!
Just on the other side of the hypertufa pots is a small ornamental bed. This bed serves the purpose of filling in an awkward spot in the shield, while providing me with the ideal spot to grow zinnias, marigolds and a small flowering shrub, Indigo amblyantha. I am looking for good things from this shrub. When I purchased it last summer it was blooming pink blooms all over. It has already budded out this spring and I look forward to all season color mixing in with the zinnias.This little garden also has some other flowers including Love in a Mist and Iris reticulata.
Looking past the point of the shield, you can see a few of the beds, there are a total of six not counting the ornamental bed in the point of the shield. In the center of the vegetable garden beds is the round millstone bed; which contains Musa bajoo, my hardy bananas. The hardy bananas are the focal point of this garden as they make such a tall statement each summer. They are just beginning to make their appearance. As you can see, they suffered no ill effects of being left in the ground all winter. These are hardy bananas and I have grown them here for two winters with no problems.
The outside left side of the vegetable garden is reserved for two things. Species tulips grow in this bed during the spring, and during the summer I grow orange cosmos. The cosmos are butterfly magnets and serve to provide me with all season color in a nice bright orange color. Once the seeds are up and growing, weeds stand little chance of growing in this bed.
My red cabbage is coming into its own. I have the cabbage, radishes, onions and lettuce growing under the gourd trellis. I am hoping shade will help keep them cooler this summer. The broccoli and peppers planted in another bed are also doing well. I hope the cabbage loopers stay away from both the cabbage and broccoli long enough for me to harvest some.
The peas are up and growing well. I will be planting gourd seeds in here soon. The gourds will grow up the same trellis the peas are just beginning to climb. I intensively plant and oftentimes vegetables share the same space. The peas will be declining by the time the gourd vines get big enough to be a problem for the pea vines.
Here you can see some lettuce I started from seed back in February. It is not doing well at all. Mixed in with the lettuce are carrots. The carrots are actually growing well. I planted these carrot seeds last fall. Amazingly they have wintered over and are now beginning to show some signs of giving me some nice baby carrots.
Finally, lest you all think I only grow vegetables to grow vegetables, I do actually harvest and eat the vegetables. I love radishes. Fresh radishes are best, but I also purchase bunches of radishes when they are in season. Radishes are a cool season crop and conditions need to be right for them to do well. The trick is to get them to grow quickly with plenty of moisture and comfortable weather, not too cold and not too hot. If they don't grow quickly, they tend to get quite strong tasting. I prefer my radishes mild. I harvested this small bunch of radishes for lunch today. They were pretty good, though small.
I also have potatoes growing in odd places in this garden. The potatoes are volunteers left over from over potatoes I planted two years ago. The potatoes I actually planted this year, in the Jimster's garden behind Mr. Fix-it's garage, were nipped by the frost we had last week. No matter, they should bounce back. There are also strawberries and gooseberries growing in that 'overflow' garden I call the the Jimster's garden. More on that garden in another post. For now this post is about the main vegetable garden. While preparing this post I realized I have neglected posting about the vegetable garden in favor of more ornamental postings, but really I think all gardening starts with the vegetables so I should pay more attention! Don't you think?
in the garden....
Wordless Wednesday 30/7/14 – North Hill, Malvern
8 minutes ago