Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How does my garden grow?

We got started a little late in the season, but we finally got a section of yard cleared to put in a vegetable garden.

It's an odd-shaped section that's on a slope, which was a pain to mow, plus it gets full sunshine during the day. I didn't want to give up any of the "play" area of the yard, so it was a perfect solution. Bonus: we took all of the sod we dug out and filled in a huge bare patch, so that you can barely see where it was!

After everything was put in, I sat on the sidewalk for a while, admiring the results and dreaming about a winter of not having to pay top dollar for a red pepper.

Sitting in the warm sunshine and watching the breeze gently ruffle the leaves of these young bell pepper plants just filled my soul with contentment.

In addition the bell peppers, we also put in two types of tomato, cucumber, broccoli, squash, jalapenos, zucchini, watermelon, and celery. It's been a while since we grew anything but cukes. I'm really looking forward to tender young veggies! The soil is very ashy, so we'll have to wait and see how well everything does.

I also planted lettuce. I was so looking forward to tender, tasty young leaf lettuce!

Apparently, so were the local critters.

Look closely: Former lettuce locations.
I suspect the chipmunks. Naively, I thought they only ate seeds and stuff. But I witnessed one of the little buggers take one of the two only strawberries from our three lonely strawberry plants, and eat the half-ripened fruit right there in front of me.

This is our answer to those lettuce-munching rodents:

We'll see if it works. So far it's been 20 hours and no munching.

Vegetables are not all that's growing. That large plant to the left is some sort of hosta. I have never seen anything grow as fast as that plant did. I literally measured the growth in inches each day. To the right are marigolds and my favorite little flower plant, the portulaca (which is not yet blooming). Not only do I love the hardy plants with their cheerful, colorful flowers, I also like to say the name.



In this shady spot, I planted (L-R) impatiens, marigolds and lily-of-the-valley.
When I was a kid, lily-of-the-valley grew in my grandparents' backyard, and I used to love picking those delicate fragrant stalks of white bells. It also spreads ferociously, which is what I ultimately hope it does in this section.

These "Wave" petunias were my Mother's Day gift.

This basket was hanging on a rack at the entrance to our supermarket. I fell in love with the multicolored blooms, but I didn't have any extra spending money with me that first time. A few days later, it was still there, and I knew I'd regret it for the rest of the summer if I didn't bring this home.

If anybody knows what it's called, please tell me!

Our yard is also now the part-time home to a feral chicken. It's a long story, but there have been a few chickens living wild in our town for several years. One of them has been frequenting our yard for two weeks now. I saw it, this morning, standing outside the back fence, longingly staring into my garden. It wanted with all its little heart to come in and hunt for bugs, but I was puttering around in the yard and it was afraid to come in.

We have also acquired two furry friends.

Total eating machines.
They are technically meat rabbits, but I wonder if that might change by the time they're big enough to eat. Our children, Theresa in particular, have really taken to them. They are nearly the cutest things we've ever seen.

As for other things that grow in my garden, there's some unidentified flower bush that I believe is in the rhododendron family. It's breathtakingly delicate and lovely.

There's also honeysuckle, another personal favorite, spilling over the fence in three places from the neighboring yard. It exquisitely perfumes the evening air. When we first noticed the blooms, Clare and Theresa spent an hour standing by the fence, dissecting the flowers to extract each delectably delicious drop of nectar.

What else grows in my garden?


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  1. I just love this post! (Although I've got to say . . . FERAL CHICKENS? MEAT RABBITS? Sounds like a horror film!) I'm impressed with all the veggies you've put in—or are ATTEMPTING to put in (stupid chipmunks ; p )

    That snippet of your girls playing with the ball in the yard is precious. On a technical note, I love the large size of the video!! I've always been irritated by the tiny size of the blogger movies that I post, and I'm going to go check out the place you're using for your videos.

  2. This is a wonderful post! It maust have taken forever to upload all those pics and video... or maybe my computer is just a hunk 'o junk!

    Good luck with your garden! I have only tomatoes and herbs in the ground this year and peach trees and blueberry bushes otherwise. My blueberried were off to a terrific start, but I didn't cover them and the stupid birds ate them when they were still green. They weren't even tasty yet :( Gardening is great but it's definitely a fight to the finish with all of the various critters!

    And love the feral chicken!!