Thursday, June 27, 2013

backyard gardening ~ june

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It has been while since my last garden recap...2 years ago to be exact. In addition to baking, cooking and photographing the food you see here on this blog, I have another passion; gardening. From growing the vegetables and flowers from seed in early spring while there is still snow on the ground, to carefully introducing the seedlings from indoors to out, planting, watering & weeding.- I love it all. Anything that involves, dirt, worms, flower and plants- you can count me in.

 Gardening is a release, it has always been very therapeutic if not meditative for me.There is something about getting down on your hands and knees in the dirt that is so soothing. Maybe it is the repetition of pulling weeds, dead heading flowers or staking up tomato plants, peas and cucumbers. Whatever it may be I can find myself lost in the garden for hours at a time. 
What would a garden be without a garden dog? My first pup Levi, absolutely loved being in the garden- she would pick cherry tomatoes and green beans right off the vine. Anna, adores being in the garden as well- her favorite, green peppers, I still can't figure how she gets the peppers off the pant without damaging the plant.
Growing up we always had a garden- I would consider my Dad a master gardener,  he has the most beautiful gardens both vegetable and flower that I have ever seen. I only aspire to have a garden as beautiful as his, granted his garden has been a work in progress for 31 years. Being in my own garden or my Dads brings out a sense of inner peace - I simply breath easier when I am there. The sweet smell of garden air after a rainfall, to me, is one of the greatest smells in the world.
This year mother nature has blessed us with an amazing growing season so far, it was a bit cooler at the start of June, however the cold loving crops were mighty happy. For the past three weeks we have enjoyed hot & humid weather with a very predictable afternoon thunder shower each day - the perfect garden weather.
If your curious, this is what you will find growing in my veggie garden. I practice companion planting, raised bed gardening, crop rotation and a loose square foot gardening plan:

Bed #1: Tomatoes, Basil, Borage, Sunflowers

Bed # 2: Jack Kale, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Nasturtium, Beets, Radish, Leeks, Zinnia, Borage, Parsley & Sunflowers

Bed # 3: Hot Peppers, Green Peppers, Oregano, Eggplant, Basil, Marigolds, Carrots & Onions

Bed #4: Yellow Summer Squash, Royal Purple Beans, Green Beans, Gold Rush Beans, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnia, Romanesco Zucchini & Nasturtium

Bed #5: Cucumbers, Zinnia, Marigolds, Peas, Chives, Spinach (fail), Winter Savory, Tarragon, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme

Bed # 6: Lettuce- Butter head, Spotted Trout, Arugula
The garden has yet to be mulched this year, this project takes up an entire weekend and we have yet to find ourselves with a weekend free. In addition to my vegetable garden, I also adore my perennial flower gardens - they have yet to disappoint and I have not experienced any major losses. Some gardening sites tell you to pass up on the clearance plants at garden centers, I am going to tell you different- don't. Give those plants a chance, sometimes they are simply past their flowering season or have been neglected. You will be surprised how forgiving most plants are- most often than not all they need is a little love, good soil and consistent water. See that pink rose bush in the back- it is a powerhouse in the garden and I bought it 4 years ago for $5, marked down from $30 and it has done absolutely amazing each year.
Another thing to keep in mind, be patient. Sometimes, for reasons unknown to me certain flowers will take a couple of years to flower or really commit to making their permanent home your garden. The False indigo above was planted 2 years ago, this is the first year it has showed its beautiful flowers, I also have a hibiscus tree that was planted 2 years ago as well, this is the first year it has grown leaves. My point is, don't give up too easily and yank a plant out of its home if it doesn't flower the first year- it just may need time. If a plant looks really unhappy, you may need to relocate it to a different section of the garden. Soil testing is also another good idea; some plants and veggies do better at certain PH levels than others- so do a little research.

Be happy and garden, it is cheaper than therapy!

Do you have a garden or consider yourself to have a green thumb?



  1. So beautiful! I love the results of gardening, but I'm not a big fan of actually doing the work... I wish I enjoyed it as much as you! I've begun enjoying it more in the past couple years, and have a few ideas for expanding my garden and devoting a little more attention to it. You're definitely an inspiration!

  2. thank you for the walk thru! i hope one day i'm an expert gardener like you!

  3. I'm super jealous of that gigantic garden! We just have one bed due to the perils of renting, but we'll definitely have tomatoes, basil, and jalapenos at least. :)

  4. that is indeed a beautiful and huge garden! i am totally non garden person. Maybe i would have been in my previous life, but now all that physical labor is not fun for me. But I love instructing hubbs to do things and then harvesting the results ;) he loves the rest of the part, so I think we still have some future in gardening :))

  5. I love gardens but i just don't like the idea of actually doing the work like planting and all that stuff. I just love how they look, with all those beautiful flowers, plants and others with green, leafy vegetables. Anyway, your garden looks nice and i'm impressed with what we can find in your garden. I envy you. You are great with this gardening stuff.


  6. I love your garden! I wish I had that much space to really get things growing... I'm attempting a patio garden and hoping to get some crop soon. The herbs are doing well!

  7. Beautiful, Heather! Thank you for sharing with us :)

  8. Oh wow what a beautiful garden Heather ;)
    Lovely and impressive for such a beautiful bounty of great veggies.
    Well done! ;)

  9. I guess I should have kept reading before making my last comment! I LOVE this post! Your garden is absolutely beautiful! I wish I knew enough about plants to do companion planting like you. I really don't know that much about plants at all. And at the moment with little ones running around it isn't really therapeutic time for me, unless I can get out there by myself which is heavenly :D We have a fairly large garden but it's mostly filled up with tomatoes. Tomatoes do really well in our garden so we're hoping to sell some this year, and if not at least we'll have plenty to can and for all our inlaws to can too :D

  10. Your garden is wonderful, Heather - truly inspiring. You should join the Garden Share Collective next month. :)

  11. Wow what a great garden! I've been working on growing and expanding our vegetable and herb garden in the backyard over the past two years, but it's nowhere near the awesomeness of yours :) I haven't mulched yet either... really need to, because I so despise weeding. Pulling a few weeds is fun. Pulling weeds for hours, not so much haha!

    1. Thanks Chris! With all this rain and hot muggy weather we have had in NH the weeds are out of control- you are so right pulling a few weeds - good times, hours not so much :) For every one i pull it seems as if 3 grow back in its place!

  12. I have always been so amazed by gardeners like yourself. I don't have that gift. Years ago, when I had a yard, I tried and everything died except for the tomatoes. I had the hugest, juiciest beefsteak tomatoes I'd ever seen. Now I only have a balcony so I'll live vicariously through you. :-)

  13. Gardening is certainly cheaper than therapy. It’s why they keep gardens in unconventional places like prison, retirement homes, and homes for troubled youth program. It does help heal a troubled mind, and likewise a great form of exercise while reconnecting with nature. Anyway, your garden looks great! It's good to know you’re yielding a lot of benefits from this hobby. Have a great day!

    Mitchell Knapp @ Scenic Landscaping

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  15. Fabulous post, you have denoted out some fantastic points, I likewise think this s a very wonderful website. I will visit again for more quality contents and also, recommend this site to all. Thanks. gardening

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