Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gardening is Up

pictured: pak choi, five varietals of lettuce, celery (under cloches), acorn squash, vidalia onion, marigold, nasturtium, beet, tomatillo, spaghetti squash, spinach, fennel, black valentine bush beans

Here are some shots of the front gardens. My ailing camera went kaput on me, asking for more energy (shaw! who needs recharging?) so I really didn't get much taken today. Even people who know me well will see things they won't recognize. P-daddy and I have been very busy during these troubling months. Focusing on life and beauty helps us through.

Our Lady of the Spent Rhododendron

We took Food Not Lawns seriously and built a number of raised beds in the front yard. We're experimenting this year with square foot gardening. I have been pretty enthusiastic about it, doing everything Just Right. Shortly after I installed everything in the front, I began reading Gardening When It Counts, written by a PNW gardening guru who founded Territorial Seed Company and now resides in Tasmania. He leads his book with why bio-intensive gardening (SFG) is a Very Bad Idea in poor economic times. Le Sigh.

The fruit trees in among the garden boxes.
Foremost tree is from the Cherry Deer Incident

I still have huge honking garden beds in the back, and I had already planned to row plant them anyway. It assuaged my anxiety as I read the book, making me feel like I wasn't totally off the mark. I haven't ready something so down-to-brass-tacks about horticulture since college. This is a garden writer who takes the reader seriously, which I certainly appreciated.

The Rose-Herb Garden remains a thorn (haha!) in my side. Reclaiming this huge, broad bed from the manicured rhododendron-in-beauty bark bed that was there before has been a monumental task. We haven't spent one month ignoring it since we moved here nearly four years ago, and we're still slogging it. This particular bed will have the biggest visual impact of anything we have done when we get it finished, but it's the worst kind of thankless work getting it there; it's the sort of task-set people who don't like to garden think about when they say "I don't like to garden." Fortunately, I do like to garden. To that fact, add that I also love herbs and roses AND I like a good challenge, and it's ~L~ versus the garden bed. Along with some (finally! finally!) earthworms, ~L~ may be winning at last.

Rose bordering the herb gardens

pictured: salad burnet, lemon thyme, culinary thyme, chives, oregano, chocolate mint

A few from the back:

We're trying to grow some tomatoes upside down this year. We have two topsy turvies, with a roma in each. In the background you can see the sunflower house and beyond that, the net we're planning to use to grow the snap peas we have started and waiting.

The sunflower house is all volunteer this year. The cherry-eating deer literally slaughtered our sunflower starts. (We have to start them because of the slugs there in the rock wall adjacent to the sunflower patch.)

The strawberry patch is perennial now. It needs some weeding attention, but otherwise, it pretty much does its own thing now.


  1. LMAO LMAO Our Lady of the Spent Rhododendron. LMAO LMAO LMAO

    But OMG the beauty!!! Work has paid off, it's gorgeous. Can I come retreat there?

  2. I am sooo jealous! Its so blessed hot here I just rarely want to be outside except early am and late evening. I know you know what I mean. Enjoy your gardening and keep posting your goods :)

  3. Neato! I near you on the Gardening When it Counts thing. But Steve had a little more than 1/10 of an acre to work with (which is barely what I've got here in suburbia, including open grass/space for the kids to run). We're attempting some upside-down tomatoes this year, at my 5.5yo's insistence. :D