A common question I get a lot of from friends and acquaintances usually in my age group is “why?” Why do you garden? Why do you waste your otherwise precious time growing your food when you can conveniently purchase them at the store where all of the hard work has been done for you? Wouldn’t you rather spend your time doing other productive things? Aren’t you already busy enough as it is? The answer is simple: gardening is what I love. And of late, during our growing season it has become the thing that I live for. Not only does it give me the control over what I eat but it also affords me the pleasure, luxury and freedom of trying healthy new foods that I otherwise would not have access to, all while optimizing my health as a direct result.
Thus, Spring time is most often synonymous with happy time here at the homestead. The birds are out and catching up on what seems like endless chatter, the trees boast shiny new leaves and have seemingly forgotten the shame of their Winter nakedness, and the garden sits pretty with produce, beckoning the curious glances of the unsuspecting eyes that befall it. No doubt a more welcomed season than the bitterly cold months prior, it is without a doubt my most looked-forward-to season them all.
So the immense excitement that I’m harboring inside for sharing this reveal should come as no surprise to you.
We started our garden prep earlier than usual this year and were pretty much completed way before the recommended plant out date of May 17th. As a result, the plants (which we all start from seed) were already in the ground by mid-April and have grown leaps and bounds since then. And after weeks of digging, raking, pouring and pruning, we’re finally ready for the preliminary reveal. Preliminary because as with just about everything else in life, gardens are a work in progress and ours is no exception.
You can compare this year’s reveal with last year’s here but keep in mind that 2016’s was done three weeks later into the season which makes some aspects of the garden appear more advanced than this year’s. I’ve also made an uncut video tour that shows a more detailed layout of the property which you can view here. * I apologize in advance as the video viewing screen of the tour may appear narrow on some desktop devices. For a more pleasurable viewing experience, try using a mobile device instead of a computer for a full screen view.
Ok, let’s go!
On the far end of the lot bordering the property line, the fruit trees are doing great. Pictured here are two apple and pear trees each and behind them are a pomegranate and fig tree as well.
Off to the left side of those are the five peach trees that appear to be open for business this year with the cutest of fruits suspended on their branches.
And then there’s the main attraction, the veggie garden. Properly sitting in those unpainted boxes are the beets that have just started to take off and a few radishes that are ready to be harvested and replaced with some corn.
Pictured here are some baby bak choi interplanted with garlic. To its left are some more radishes and to its right we have some kale. These are just about ready to be harvested and will soon be replaced with bell and seasoning peppers. Behind it are eggplants that were transplanted roughly 2-3 weeks ago and some zucchini directly started in the bed by seed.
Then there’s the amazing rhubarb plant that I’m ever so in love with; I still can’t believe how much it’s grown in such short a space of time.
The back row of the garden houses some green, red and orange amaranth along with potatoes which we decided to grow in beds this year instead of the customary buckets or bags.
And this bed is sort of a combo box containing peas that we teepeed with upside-down tomato cages and bamboo for aesthetic pleasure, a couple kohlrabi, some radish and a bunch of overwintered onions.
After the rhubarb, these tomato plants are the glory of the garden. We initially buried them up to their first leaves and they have since tripled in size and now each have a few flowers on them. They look a little closely planted here but because they’ll be getting their leaves trimmed on a bi-weekly basis and be trained into a vine, they’ll have just enough space for good growth and fruitation.
From front to back, in these half boxes lay some dragon beans, provider beans, okra and glass gem corn in that order. Behind the bed of corn I planted 2 pots of blue potatoes only because I ran out of space. They need to be moved though as they’re shaded quite a bit by the trees overhead. To the left of the boxes and along the walkways of the garden are several varieties of perennial herbs including sorrel, bloody dock, sage, anise hyssop, pink clove, oregano, chives and lavender and to the right are groups of garlic.
Moving closer toward the house we have an insane strawberry situation going on here. This patch started with maybe 15 plants but have quadrupled since then and keeps multiplying by the day…literally!
And of course, my most adored bed, the lettuces. If you follow me on IG you already know how obsessed I am with these!
Then there’s the recently updated weed-wack patio patiently awaiting the arrival of its new furniture. It’s covered by grape vines that have just started filling in and a precocious climbing rose bush off the the left corner of this picture. It also houses the three of our herb beds that mostly contain perennial herbs like chives, oregano and mint but this year also has a few tomato and okra plants playing in them.
And there it is. For a more detailed look, be sure to look at the uncut video tour version.
Questions or comments? Let me know below. Until next time, happy growing and happy living to you!