Friday, July 27, 2012

Vegetable (AKA Potager) Garden Update July 2012

It has been forever since I've done a vegetable garden update so I thought I'd share some pictures from that garden with you today. Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is an excellent bloomer for late summer to early fall if it is sited in a watered area. I have several plants that have self seeded in the vegetable garden and I let them grow. They are delightful. The original seeds came from Catherine in Washington. I don't think Catherine blogs like she used to but when I see these plants I often think of Catherine and her blog.
A long shot entering the garden from the east gate. Here you can see many of the self seeded lobelias. I had to remove many more seedlings in this area too. Seeds love the old brick of the paths in this potager.
The tomatoes are ripening up. Due to the amount of shade we have on the vegetable garden my tomato plants are not very prolific but I do manage to get a few.
Cucumbers are very prolific this year just like last year. I can't keep up with picking them all but then I never have quite enough to make pickles. I usually just share the extra ones with others.
This is an heirloom squash called Lakota squash. I had received the seeds in a package from Seeds of Change. This is a cool squash and is doing quite well. One of the large squash grew on the fence. I had to pick it as it was actually growing into the wire fence. I can't wait to eat these! I hope they taste as good as they look.
A long shot of the lobelia growing amongst the brick pathway.
Blueberries surprised me by ripening up in a big way. I had actually pulled this plant and it was destined for a friend's garden. Unfortunately for her she waited too long to take it so I wound up planting it in a different bed in the garden. You may remember that I moved my blueberry bushes to the center circular bed in the potager just last year when I decided to grow not only vegetables and flowers but fruits as well. Well, that bed is really too small so the blueberry bushes are all moving again. While planting this one in its new bed I disturbed a paper wasp nest and was stung about 5-6 times by three different wasps. I consider myself quite lucky I didn't get more stings. One of the wasps stuck on my sock and I could not get it off. Hence the multiple stings. Ouch! Fortunately I am not allergic to bees and the pain and wounds quickly faded. The large orange blooms behind the blueberries are from the Lakota squash. Remember I companion plant and load up my vegetable garden using the French Intensive method of gardening. In this bed alone (which is 13'x3.5') I grow: Lakota squash, cucumbers, two blueberry bushes, cucumbers, and heirloom carrots-not pictured).
This is the same blueberry as above and is called 'Powderblue'. It is a southern highbush blueberry and bears fruit quite a bit later than my northern highbush blueberries. The other southern blueberry I grow (Climax) was a total wash this year. Once I move it to the new bed I will give it some time to grow and bear fruit. If it does not it will be given away. I enjoy eating these Powderblue berries but the skin is a bit tougher and seeds are a problem whereas with the 'Bluecrop' northern highbush blueberries I don't have those two problems. I do like the idea of having a long season for blueberries so I'll continue to grow both northern and southern blueberries.
The cucumbers growing in the bed I described in an above paragraph. The reason I can cram so many things into beds is due to vertical gardening and innovative use of my ground space. Under this trellis is where the blueberries, carrots, and Lakota squash are growing. There is some overflow to the brick pathways. You can just make out the carrot foliage behind the cucumber foliage. I have a problem though as the carrots grow right where the blueberries are due to all be planted. I suspect the carrots will be pulled before they are ready; which normally would not be until next year or perhaps late this fall.
I have tried forever to get a shot of a dragonfly and have never had any luck. While standing in the vegetable garden one landed on a nearby stool and posed for me. I believe this dragonfly to be a Common Whitetail adult male. He's a beauty. I have noticed a threefold increase in dragonflies in the garden since I installed the garden pond.
One last picture of the entire vegetable garden from outside of it. My vegetable garden is surrounded on two sides by a large perennial border.  There is not much blooming in the perennial border right now and it looks like a mass of plants but it really is not such a bad garden. If you looked at the backyard garden tour post you'll see the perennials a lot better....

in the garden....

Don't forget about Skeeter's great giveaway of a Troy-Bilt rototiller found here. Good luck! 

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. It is nice having such a large vegetable garden. So much is growing. I like your dragonfly photo. They are hard to photograph since they sit still very rarely. I get them in my garden, I think because they are more plentiful this year for some reason. I have a pumpkin or some kind of huge squash growing and may need an ID. I can't tell what it is yet, even though it actually has a 'pumpkin' growing. The leaves are mammoth.

  2. I like all your old brick and the stones--it really does make your vegetable garden look like a potager. Look at those cucumber vines! They are certainly doing well for you this year. I haven't done much at all in the vegetable garden for the past week because it's been so darned hot, but last night I checked everything out. I had planted some late summer squash and zucchini because the first planting never germinated--or so I thought. Apparently, I wasn't patient enough--I might have another "zucchini explosion" again this year:)

  3. Tina,
    You mentioned how the plants remind you of Catherine. Isn’t that wonderful how they make you think of folks? I have plants in my garden from several bloggers. You just about enter my mind every morning when I walk out the door, because of where the irises are. I have plants from Phillip, Frances, Darla and Freda and I think of them each time I walk around and enjoy the garden. As well as a lot of other gardeners that have given me plants as well.

  4. Tina, I love the photo of the dragonfly, complete with the pattern of the metal in the background. That shot stirs some sort of (very dormant) creative impulse in me!

    Your brick paths are just the sort that I'd like to install somewhere around here, with the brick that was left in piles from the previous owners. I think a path with plants coming up through the spaces is so much more appealing than one which is "barren."

    And while I love the trellises and the fact that you underplant them with carrots and blueberries and so forth, how do you reach the plants in the middle when the trellises are so full of vines? Can you squeeze underneath them? Do you have them hinged somehow? Just curious, because that also looks like an interesting idea to copy - under trellises like that might help me get a fall garden started during this horrible, horrible heat and drought.

    1. Hi Gaia, I have access on both sides of the beds so I can walk around the bed with the trellises and reach to the ground to weed and harvest and plant or whatever. Since they are slanted I do have access on the back side. I change up the direction each year as part of my rotation process. When I pick blueberries and the cukes I just reach through the trellis because the concrete wire holding up the cuke vines has large square holes. My vegetable garden is very tight and every inch has to be used in order for me to get anything from it. Good question! I did post on how I built my A-frames. Just search for it on the search bar and the post should come up.

  5. Love the dragonfly!! Your veggie garden has produced a good bit. Love seeing the cukes....we haven't eaten enough this summer. Miss having my own veggie garden. Not enough sun.

  6. I love your veggie garden and those lobelia are wonderful volunteers.

    I just read a post of Catherine's the other day. She has chickens now and her gardens look as wonderful as ever. I enjoy them any season.

    Her blog is called : A Gardener in Progress. Here's the latest link.

    Happy gardening and enjoy all of the goodies you are growing.


  7. I am seeing more different types of dragonflies this year. wonder if due to a mild winter. Hum.... Cool shot you got of this one! They dont sit around long for good pix.....

    I just love the rustic feel to your brick pathway. I have a lot of bricks looking for a project, I should give a pathway a go....

  8. Love your potager! I planted lots of tomatoes this year so am expecting a bumper crop...hopefully the paste ones won't be ready to can until after the first school bell rings!
    I'm always looking for new ideas and materials for trellising... Thanks!

    P.S. You will often find me knitting or crocheting when not in the garden.

  9. I loved seeing your vertical gardening and how you created the trellis I am so showing this to my husband so he can get started for next year!!

  10. Your garden looks great! Love your bean trellis. I wish I had self seeded lobelia. Lucky you! :o)

  11. I love your brick paths too!
    Those cucumbers look especially yummy. And, blue berries would be so tasty too.

  12. I think the wasp incident must have been quite scary standing there not knowing if more stings were to follow. My blueberries are not doing well and need to be moved . I have yet to figure out exactly what they want.

  13. I like how you've let things grow between some of the bricks in the path of the potager and that you have self seeded lobelia. Another nice glimpse into your garden Tina.

  14. For all your shade you have a wonderful garden...I too love to let the blue lobelia seed around the blueberries had a hard time with the drought and because they were small and hidden by other taller plants, i didn't notice them browning...we hope we saved them with watering. I do love blueberries.

  15. Love your cucumbers! I love how full your garden looks, What perennials do you have on the borders?

  16. Good question Ruth. Let's see if I can think of them all: daylilies, black and blue salvia, Culver's root, asters, rudbeckias, roses, grasses, veronicas, phlox, asclepias, daisies, meadow rue, Maltese cross, alliums, crinums, helenium, dianthus, calla lilies, lilies, blue eyed grass, heucheras, cannas, ratibida, and I think that is it. That is probably too many as the border is crowded.

  17. Thanks for sharing. I find it fascinating to see how people grow their vegetables, I particulrly like the way you grow your cucumbers up the trellis

  18. It all looks so good. I just picked my first tomato the other day and will have my first cuke this week. Love the dragon fly. We don't seem to have as many as we used to.