Monday, June 4, 2012

The Country Garden Showcase #23

Welcome Friends!
This week we got our chicken garden started.  The hubby is working on an arbor/gate entrance while I till and amend the soil inside the chicken yard area.  
I have plants waiting in the greenhouse to get planted this week, hopefully.
The girls look on, anxious for things to get completed.
In the big garden things are sure growing...
 scarlet red runner beans are climbing 
 corn and pinto beans are reaching toward the sun
 I just mulched them with straw
 zucchini and yellow squash seedlings are just getting started
 My cherry tomatoes are full of blossoms and a few baby tomatoes.  I could pinch back flowers, but my professor told me that doing so does not really speed up growth that much, and I would like these plants to stay shorter than my trellis/support.  They're indeterminates, so they're going to grow all season.
 Here's the bed I recently planted with two rows of my home grown San Marzano paste tomatoes.  They're still a bit small, but they're in between my garlic.  Tomato hornworms are said to dislike the garlic smell.  We'll see.  I only found one hornworm last season, but if it helps, why not try it?

 I grew these homemade pickles heirloom cucumbers from seed.  They're compact climbers, only 4' in length, but they're already full of baby cukes.  I will be pinching these back this week to get more length from these vines.
 This is my asparagus.  They're growing steadily now.  I started them from Baker Creek Heirloom seed last year.
 Lettuce is still sweet and refreshing, though it's HOT this week and they'll likely start to bolt soon.
 Eggplant and garlic
 Sweet red pepper and garlic.  There's a volunteer sunflower on the bottom left of the box too.  Each year I look forward to finding the sunflowers the birds sow.  It's fun to see them move across the beds.
 Things are greening up nicely.
 One of my favorites.  My naturalized hollyhocks.  They're just starting to bloom.  My son and I used to drive around collecting the seed from local plants and spreading them in our gardens.  Now, they come up every year and in many colors.
 Such a pretty color.
 My honey bees like them alot.
 The bees like mustard too, so I have left a small patch above my berries.
 This celery I grew last year from seed.  It was one of my favorites.  I dried leaves and ground them into kosher salt for a yummy fragrant celery salt last fall.  They're now going to seed.  I hope to collect the seed to keep some for another year, and to dry some for seasoning meals.
 The grapes are doing well after severe pruning last Fall.  My poor hubby worries every time I prune plants.  He calls me "The Butcher", but the plants always respond well.  The grape variety above is a cabernet sauvignon wine grape.  It's always a prolific bloomer.  I have never made wine, I just collect them for summer teas and juice
 These are heirloom grapes, the golden concord variety.  They're old stock in my yard.  They never fail to amaze me with their abundant harvests.  Last year, I weighed more then 75 pounds of grapes from just one of the vines.  If you look hard you can see the tiny flowers.  I am excited to see if the bees increase my harvests even more.  
 Every garden needs onions...  I'm going to cover this flowering bulb once she starts to dry out with a paper bag and blue painter's tape to catch the seed to plant this Fall.
 These are naturalized raspberries.  They were planted in the back yard, but birds brought them here to the front a few years ago, and they seem very happy there.  They're under a butterfly bush.  It was dusk when I took this photo, but all day long the bees roam from flower to flower.  I have not had this high of fruit set before this season and I definitely attribute the increase to my bees having watched them there all day long, since the berries have been blooming.  This is an everbearing variety.  This fall, I plan to dig up and transplant some of it into my berry garden under the berry fence.
 Peaches are growing
 Nectarines are growing too
 This is a bechtel crabapple.  It makes medium sized apples that I love in pies.  Tart like a horse apple, but firm and they bake well.  Good apple flavor.  
 This is a traditional english crabapple.  The fruit is small, less than an inch across at maturity.  It has a delicate apple flavor and fragrance.  They make wonderful jam and jelly.  My Mom-in-law's favorite, so I mix her a batch every fall.  This tree also has the most beautiful foliage, there are reds, greens, orange, and rust colors on it all season long.  It's so pretty.
 This is my best apple tree.  It's hard to see now, but she's full of fruit.  We've been battling coddling moth for a few years now, and after all my classes in crop science, I decided to forego what I'd been taught and try to use natural products exclusively this year.  That means no Bt- bacillus thurengiensis.  It's a soil bacteria that is used to attack moth/butterfly larva.  While it may be true as is claimed that it is a less dangerous product than the pesticides (which kill all insects including honeybees) sold in nurseries ie: Imidacloprid, Carbaryl, or Spinosad, but it's a bacteria, so it's an antibiotic.  My never-ending ear infection last fall really gave me pause.  I was switched between 4 different antibiotics before it was relieved, and it took 4 months.  It seems to me that my "bug" was tolerant to several antibiotics.  I will just have to get used to a few stings on my apples again although I am using a homemade organic horticultural oil every 7-10 days.  
This is my small park inside our front yard.  If you look close you may see a few beehives.
Okay, that's how things are greening up around here.  Sorry for being so long winded. What's growing in YOUR garden this week???


  1. Wow...your garden looks amazing. Thanks for hosting and have a great week : )

  2. Oh, wow! I would love to have your vegetable beds!

    I've only grown scarlet runner beans once when we were living in the city. We grew them around our compost bin, and they did a great job of disguising the bin.

  3. Your post is inspiring! I love everything that you have going on. This is my first year for planting mustard seed and celery. Both are doing great, I'm happy to say! Last year, I planted Hollyhock from seeds and placed them along my back fence. This year they have presented me with an array of color and height ☺
    Currently, I am in the process of developing another site to include gardening, frugal living, and food preparation. I'm bookmarking your site so that I can come back and participate in your blog hop ☺ Thanks for sharing. I am visiting from the Homestead hop.

  4. Everything looks so good and is growing so well including you chicks!