I’ve mentioned my garden a few times and people seem interested….or maybe I’m just assuming they are interested? It’s something I feel passionate about, and mostly I just love that I am doing something that I can see results in a somewhat of a reasonable time frame.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, caring for my 5 crazy wonderful kids, but seeing the results of that particular “labour of love” is not necessarily a short term thing.
I have quite a small backyard, but I love finding creative ways to be able to grow food and herbs for my family to enjoy and benefit from. I’d love to live on a farm – at least I think I would, but seeing as I don’t and I still want the fresh veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers….I’m doing my very best to have a “farm in the city”……sort of.
If you’re interested, I’d love to “show you around”…so to speak (or type)!
These first three pictures are a birds-eye view of my yard, starting from left to right…..
There is still some space that you can’t see, along the left hand side of my house and I haven’t included the front yard spaces either…
But at least this will give you a general idea of my backyard space and the chaos that I live in.
If you look at each of the pics, you can see where they would overlap. I tried to take a panorama shot, but it just ended up all warped and I figured that if I broke it up into three pictures, I could talk about each space separately. So, I’m gonna break this post up into 3 parts or maybe even more because I’ve taken so many pics.
In the first picture, you can see the left most corner of my yard. Each fence panel is 6 feet, I think…..and we have built a small picket fence from pallets to form a triangular space. We built the fence when we had a dog because I didn’t want the dog digging in the dirt…..and well, I just think it looks cute.
In the very corner, I have a raised bed that is 7 feet long one way, 5 feet long the other way and 2 feet in width. I use the square foot gardening method (sort of) and plant my plants quite close together. It ends up producing quite a bountiful harvest in a small amount of space. It also ends up looking quite wild and overgrown, but I like the untamed chaos….makes me feel right at home and mirrors my life. Ha!
I have a small box around the ornamental cherry tree, and a 6 foot long by 2 foot wide “green house. In between the green house and the corner raised bed, I have a large rubbermaid bin.
If you start back in the far left corner and look along the picket fence….which is hard to see in the above picture….I have a bare patch of dirt, and then a short box and then a taller box. Then, there is the gate. On the other side of the gate, I have a bunch of containers. The containers are easy to move (some of them) and mean that I can have a variety of plants or space in there…as I choose.
If you go back to the left most corner on the outside of the fence…I have a bucket of lavender plants that I started from seed last year, and then a patch of dirt which has a few echinacea plants that I started from seed this year. I have a giant container of rhubarb and a narrow planter with herbs and flowers. On the other side of the gate, I have my tomato forest, another narrow planter with more herbs, two large recycling bins that I re-purposed into planters and a pea cage.
If you walked into my corner garden space and turned immediately left, you’d see this box…
Along the back of it I have a marigold plant, 3 tomatoe plants (that were suckers that I pinched off the 8 that I bought this year) another marigold plant. Along the front of this planter box I am growing rainbow Swiss Chard. Some people eat it cooked, we eat it as part of our salads or use the large leaves for wraps instead of tortillas. I have tucked a piece of my Oregano plant into the closest right corner. It should grow like a weed, but I want as much Oregano as I can get to dry and be able to use for the rest of the year. We cook with lot of Oregano and I’d rather grow it, than buy it.
Immediately beside this box, to it’s right is a shallow box of Dill. I love dill in our salads and as a herb, so I am using this both fresh and drying some to use over the year….I really should be planting WAY more as Dill is a herb we use a LOT of.
To the right of the dill box, I have a patch of dirt that I just recently threw a bunch of kale seeds into and we are all looking forward to making Kale Chips. Judah asks every day if we have Kale to make Kale Chips. Silly Boy!
In the very left most corner of the fenced garden, I have a few containers that Jeremy is using (or not really using) but I’ve left them for him to “deal with” and so there is nothing actually growing in that space. I used the lid from a large rubbermaid container to grow radishes and some small round carrots. Last year I grew lettuce and salad greens in it. But this particular photo shows one of the HUGE marigold plants that is growing in my garden. It’s taller than my 5 year old nephew. I have a few of these monster plants growing. Marigolds are good because they stink and are supposed to deter or repel bugs. They’d also attract certain insects, like bees, which are beneficial to my garden growing healthy. They haven’t flowered yet, but I’m excited to see the blooms when they do – which should be any day now.
Behind that mammoth Marigold plant, I have some salad greens, a bucket of green chives and some cosmos….another flower……and then to the right of the Marigold is my cucumber tower of happiness.
I have 8 cucumber plants in 2 of my “squares”. It’s probably too many plants, but they seem to be growing fabulously and I am pulling at least 1-2 cucumber’s off these plants, almost every day. Fresh cucumbers taste SO DELICIOUS! And my kids eat them as fast as I pull them off the plants.
I have beets planted under and beside the cucumber plants, nasturtium (an edible flower) and arugula and then a whole bunch of different salad greens. If you look in the very first photo again and manage to peer behind the ornamental cherry tree in the center, you may see that I have more cucumber plants mid-way along the box at the back of the yard. Beside them, I had a patch of carrots, and some green onions, I also had radishes and then 2 squares full of tomatoe plants that are a combo of suckers and random plants that grew after my tomatoes last year went to seed.
In the center box, around the tree I have more salad greens….this particular kind is called Mizuna…pretty, isn’t it?
I have a few kinds of Choi (pak, bok and something else that I don’t remember…)
This is a small container of the herb, Rosemary, that I desperately need to plant in the ground but haven’t gotten around to it, yet! I LOVE Rosemary and managed to grow 4 plants from seed this year. I’m just hoping that they grow strong and hearty enough to last over the winter.
You can see the tomatoe plants to the left of this next picture, but the main focus of this photo is my black Rubbermaid container of carrots, and more Oregano. I’m trying to propagate the herbs that I use the most so I can have TONS!!!!!! I believe that is Marjoram or Summer Savory in the small pot in the bottom right of this picture.
Next up is my “Greenhouse”. I use it to start all my plants early in the year and because our winters are mild, I may try to grow some veggies in it over this winter. I have 8 Tomatoe plants, 2 large Basil plants, 2 Habenero Pepper plants, and 2 Marigold plants. I did have a bunch of Romaine Lettuce in there, as well, but in the heat it has bolted and so I’ve pulled it out and haven’t planted anything in it’s place.
I bought the plants inside of this greenhouse. I have 4 Roma tomatoes and 2 Beefsteak tomatoes. They are growing far beyond what I had hoped and the size of the tomatoes are a bit overwhelming….
These Romas are as big as my hand and I’ve had to tie up the plants twice because they are so heavy with fruit that they actually broke the twine I was using.
The Beefsteak Tomatoes are even bigger than the Roma’s and are starting to ripen….YAY!!!
I’m looking forward to canning all of these tomatoes and using them in sauces and soups over the next year. They are so much better than buying the canned ones, I think, anyway!
In front of the greenhouse, I have 3 more containers of varied tomatoe plants, both from suckers from the greenhouse tomatoes and yellow plum tomatoes that reseeded from last years plants. I have a container holding a blueberry bush that I bought on clearance last year. it made it through our mild winter in it’s tiny pot that it came in and I should have put it in the ground, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted it, so I just put it in a larger container. We managed to get a handful of berry’s from the tree this year and I’ll find a place for it before winter comes, this year. (Apparently, I am growing some seriously wild grass too. Need to trim things up some…but not right now.)
Beside the blueberry bush, I have a container with a zucchini plant in it….it’s just kicking into high gear and between the 4 zucchini plants I have growing in various places in my yard….I am typically picking 1 zucchini per day. We are eating a lot of it, but what we don’t eat, I shred and freeze and we use in spaghetti sauce, soups or baking over the rest of the year. It’s a great vegetable to add in and some complain of an overabundance of zucchini, but I love that I can shred and freeze to use year round….so no complaining from me.
We’ve made our way all around the triangle garden, and the final plant, which I don’t have a picture of is a HUGE Comfrey plant, which is a great topical medicinal herb for wounds. We’ve used it fresh, and I’m also drying some to be able to make a salve.
I think I’m gonna stop there for today and maybe my next post will start on the outside of my “triangle” garden.