Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A tour of the garden

I took these pictures the day before we left for California. Things sure have changed in just a short week! With 100+ degree temps, the tomatoes are taking off, and the lettuce is laying flat on the ground by mid day. Welcome to Western Colorado, where spring is already just a faint memory...

My garden is small. It's about four feet deep along the northern fence in our back yard. It runs nearly the length of the yard, making it almost 40 feet long. Instead of planting in rows, I plant in little clusters of plants with stepping stones every so often so I have a place to stand when I'm working in there. And now that the summer heat is upon us, hopefully a lot of this stuff will start growing up.

I'm starting at the west, and working my way to the eastern end that stops against the girls' playhouse. If you're not a gardener, you may find this terribly boring. I won't be offended if you skip it!

Green beans, set to climb up my yard-saled ladder. ($3 for the ladder, $3 for the can of red paint. Isn't it quirky? I love it.)

Next to that is the empty spinach bed, since the spinach is now bolted. I left the four or six plants at the back of the bed to go to seed to collect for next year. It was Bloomsdale - loved the variety, definitely worth saving!

On the other side of this bed are other greens - kale, chard, mixed mesclun greens (that have mostly bolted, but a few are left.)

Red Russian Kale and Rainbow Chard:

Mesclun greens:
Between the greens and the spinach on the other side are four tomato plants, different varieties. They're still pretty small, but by the time they get bigger, the greens will be bolted. There's also a couple of basil seedlings growing between the tomatoes.

I have some hanging baskets - one with cascade petunias, the other with a Tumbling Tom cherry tomato plant...

Cherry tomatoes make the perfect snack while you're working in the garden... or playing in the yard.

Beneath those hanging baskets is the broccoli bed:
Those enormous plants are broccoli. They'd be doing great, except that the weather went from 80 degrees - perfect for broccoli - to 100 degrees overnight. Broccoli hates heat. The teeny little heads that have formed are likely all I will get from them. Western Colorado + Broccoli = not a good combination. In this pick you can also see the garlic growing along the fence (60+ bulbs). Between the brocc and the garlic are nasturtiums, and just behind that pot of marigolds are two Ancho pepper plants.

A baby broccoli head:

After something - cutworms, maybe? - leveled half of my broccoli, I planted this Green Zebra tomato plant that already has it's first babies starting.

These squash plants are patisson jaune et vert - yellow and green scallopped squash. We're not squash eaters, so I decided to skip zucchini and plant these instead. At least if we don't eat them, they'll be pretty to look at! There are four hills altogether, running in front of the cold frame. These are the "half way point" in the middle of the garden.

And here's a shot of that first half - right behind Kiddo are the lettuce rows, two more tomatoes, and more garlic along the fence.

On the east side of the cold frame are four vining tomato plants - Polish Linguisa (a favorite from last year) Early Girl, and Brandywine. And on the other side of that are the root crops.

Planted in three successive plantings. The first are nearly ready to harvest and I'll reseed them one more time for a late fall crop.

And beets, also planted in succession.

I've estimated about 200 beets planted altogether... should be enough to keep us going for awhile!

On the other side of the beets, the kohlrabi is threatening to take over the garden... or maybe the whole yard.

Isn't it cool looking? They remind me of little alien heads. I finally harvested a few when we got back, and it I have to say, kohlrabi is pretty tasty. Not the best thing I've ever had, but I'm not sure why this vegetable is so unpopular. We chopped it up and ate it raw dipped in ranch.

After that is the onion bed, with turnips along the fence.

The turnips are doing surprisingly well, some are already two inches in diameter. The onion is all flowering, which means it probably won't store well - a disappointment, because this was supposed to be the winter's supply of onion. We'll see what happens...

Looking across the kohlrabi, beets and carrots...

Next to the bamboo trellis (where green beans are planted and have sprouted) is a narrower trellis built of last year's sunflower stalks and planted with cucumbers. I'll get better photos of that as things grow... assuming that they do.

And up in front of the root crops and the kohlrabi is the bell pepper patch. If you look closely, you can see the leek seedlings that are planted all along the edge.

One last shot of the root veggie area... just because I love it.
Decorating one's garden is a rather frivolous thing to do, and yet it pleases me so much! It also pleases the neighborhood sparrows, who spend a lot of time bathing in the bird bath, munching on the suet, and (hopefully) picking cabbage worms out of the kohlrabi.

So that's the garden... well, most of it anyway. there are a few things that didn't get pictured yet. Thanks for wandering through it with me!


Jamie @ Woodside Gardens said...

Very nice... great job! Your plants look very happy!

Anonymous said...

So cool!
The broccoli greens are great, too-- lightly steamed, they're a lot like kale or collards.
The gone-to-seed spinach is still good when it's steamed, too: it sweetens them nicely.
Sorry 'bout the worms this year-- bummer!
Hooray for the rest of it, though! :-)

Wendy said...

It's beautiful! Love your little signs.