Ben took advantage of the cool and beautiful day today and took some photos of the vegetable garden to show you. And he found the first ripe tomato!! Yay!!
I'm very glad we kept the two trees that flank either corner of the garden. They don't shade it much and really pin the entire garden to the landscape. My dad teased me with the payloader when he was shaping the garden last spring...holding the bucket up to the tree and saying "knock it down, right?" lol Oh dad....
The garden is quite lush and I let a few native vine grow along the stone steps...
The garden may be a little too lush! There's scarce a place to walk in some areas. The cabbages and parsnips didn't bother to stay within their row and are intermingling with the broccoli and brussel sprouts, which in turn are invading and being invaded by the potatoes. It's all good though...there's not much weeding to be done when the vegetables shade the soil.
The dry beans seem to be doing amazing well. I experimented by planting a big patch of beans I bought at the grocery store. Turns out they are climbing beans, so they've flopped over and are all atangle in one big square...invading the carrots, but on all other sides keeping to themselves. Look at the black beans!! There are soooooo many pods and they grow plumper by the day! I also planted kidney and pinto and they are doing fabulous too...the kidney bean pods are huge and long!
I also planted soybeans for the first time this year. The flowers were these queer miniscule purple things growing right out of the stalks, but alas they've finally turned into mini (and very hairy) pods!
Some crops have come and gone (like the spinach), and so I've sowed round two. Spinach is finicky in the heat, but a good bunch of it has managed to pop up! I can probably over winter it again this year.
The tomatoes have all but taken over the garden as well. I planted two long rows of brandywine and romas, but last year's crop seemed to want to play a part this year too and I had hundreds of volunteer plants pop up all over. I transplanted many of them and some I staked where they grew and they are doing far better than the new tomatoes I planted. Most of the volunteers are these small roma like tomatoes with pointy ends. Very similar to some of the fruit we had last year...but a little bigger. I actually like this variety....whatever it may be... It grows plentiful, is easy to pick, and I can just throw the whole thing in the food processor when making sauce...no need to take that hard stem thing out.
Yay!! An almost ripe one!! It's a good thing too. With all the rain we've gotten this summer, all the tomatoes are suffering from a fungus that I think is septoria leaf spot. It halted during the heat wave, but seems to have started to spread again with gusto after a few rainy days. I have so many tomato plants though that until it starts affecting the fruit itself, I should have a good harvest (fingers crossed).
I love the round leaves of this plant...and it protects the squash plant growing next to it...the bugs don't like the smell of it. The flowers are good in salads too.
The sweet basil I planted from seed is doing very well...even better than last year. I'll have to share Ben's recipe with you when we make it...it's sooooo good!! Seriously better than any other sauce anywhere ever in the world. And it calls for tons of fresh basil.
My sweet neighbor shared her funny multi petaled daylilies with me last spring and they have been blooming beautifully for the last few weeks.
The wall garden is quite overrun with plants too...mostly herbs.
The tarragon is a huge bush now and could use a nice trim. The oregano needs to be picked and dried. The thyme too. And Ben has been using the parsley quite often in his cooking...there's nothing like fresh parsley! And it's super good for you too.
The perennials have been taking turns blossoming all summer long and look nice as a group.
The chickens have been enjoying the outdoors too. Sometimes I let them into the garden, where they like to dig up my seedlings...but for the most part they have free reign of their new enclosure...safe from the foxes! Of course they still would rather follow me around.
After the tragic fox attack, I got three more chickens from a nearby town on craigslist. Ben didn't take photos of them all, but Tina is a polish and is more petite and noisy than the others. Jenny is one of my original chicks that I raised in the studio. She's got a bit of attitude, but is still sweet. Poor Tina though...when I first brought her home, I noticed that she was practically blind. She kept losing the flock and calling for them in distress. After a few days I had Ben hold her and I gave her a bit of a hair cut. She had feathers growing directly down like window shades covering her eyes. After a few snips she was a new chicken and went running after her flock mates. She still can't see as well as the others, but she's does much better now.
Hoped you liked our little garden update!!! :)