I like to head out in the morning and do a garden tour. I don’t always get to do this – sometimes a shower feels more important, or we’re all running late and can’t spare the time, or it’s pouring rain. But when I get the chance to look over what I’m growing, I feel happy. I call myself a black thumb but I semi-secretly think I’m actually okay at not killing everything (I’m grateful for well-timed thundershowers this year, however, and I freely admit that I’m not growing anything challenging, and all of the well established perennials have nothing to do with me).
Here’s a picture-heavy virtual tour!
My first stop is the firepit garden. I grew the peas there, on a whim, and I’m happy with how they turned out. Matt built a little ladder out of twigs and they really took off! They’ve topped out and I think we’ll let them stop there this year. Next year I have grand plans for a lot more peas. Next to the pea ladder I have nasturtiums, which just started flowering, and zinnias, which are slowly growing. Beside that I threw down a ton of basil seeds – I need to thin these guys out but they’re also growing slowly so I’m not quite ready to dig them up. All of this stuff came from seeds!
Next to the basil is the sad half of the firepit. The pink impatiens are sometimes happy and sometimes sad, but not growing very large. The purple and white alyssum is pretty much dead but still improbably hanging on just enough to flower sadly. The creeping thyme that was there last year is doing well, though!
After I check out the firepit I head up to the garden tiers, which are immediately to the right. On the way I take a look at the creeping thyme – I want it to creep more! I also have no idea what to do about all the grass growing throughout it.
These freaking tufted vetch weeds are everywhere. I yank and yank and yank and they keep on coming. Apparently bees like it so I won’t complain.
I planted some sedum at the top of one of the thyme patches. I can’t tell if it’s spreading out but I like it and I want to plant more next year.
One more plant in the ‘things that creep’ category! I bought this creeping jenny on a whim, hoping it would fill in some of the bare spots around the thyme. So far it has nearly doubled. The biker frog is Noodlecycle. My dad got him at an estate sale and he’s quite happy in those fern things (which I spent a month attempting to dig out until I decided they could stay there and go nuts even though I have not a clue as to what they are).
I showed you the tiers last week but here’s a look at some of my favourite container plants. The red begonia is gorgeous, although it’s still rallying back from an incident in which the flowers and leaves turned brown and wilted and dried up while we were out of town for a weekend. That tiny tomato is planted in a waaaay too small container and still managed to flower! And my one healthy broccoli plant may just give us a veggie.
After looking at the tiers (and usually some quick deadheading and weeding) I hike over to the dug-in vegetable beds. These are two small little beds – next year we want to till the entire platform. It’s partway up our backyard hill and I’ve almost fallen down dozens of times, especially when the ground is wet, but it gets a lot of sun. On the right we have tomatoes, and on the left, kale and peppers.
I’m thrilled with how well the kale is doing, and even Matt is impressed with my tomatoes (he thought it was weird that I picked a determinate variety – next year I’m going to get indeterminates and deal with staking). The peppers, on the other hand, never really took off. Cats keep digging at them and they’re small. I’d be surprised if they are successful.
Just a few more feet up the hill is the raised bed. Matt put this together one evening when I was lamenting the lack of garden space in our yard. It isn’t pretty but it is definitely doing its job. The radishes, bush beans, lettuce, carrots and cucumbers live here.
I can’t believe how well the beans are doing! I swear they shot up overnight. I’m gonna highlight the lettuce, too, because I’m salivating over it every time I head up to check on it. I can’t wait for salad!
On the way back down the hill there are a few more garden beds I occasionally check in on – I’m not as invested in them, but I’m interested to see what’s happening.
There’s the rhubarb plant, growing next to our broken shed. We’ve harvested it three times now, but I’m not sure if we’ll harvest any more this year or let it store up its energy to get through winter. Once we get the shed situation sorted out – it needs to be repaired or scrapped – I wouldn’t mind dividing this guy and having more rhubarb!
There’s this sad, neglected garden bed in the very corner of our yard by the garage. I didn’t get around to weeding this – or doing anything with it, really. Matt wants to take out the L shape and make it a solid rectangle, and I’m fine with that, but it’s a lost cause until next year – we used our garden energy on the other half of the yard this time around!
And, there’s Matt’s experimental garden. He keeps rescuing sad seedlings and bits of fruits and vegetables from the kitchen. I don’t know what half of this stuff is, but he faithfully waters all of it.
That’s our backyard garden so far. I’m loving seeing everything grow and bloom – I’m hopeful we’ll have more bright, sunny days, and just enough rain to keep me from having to bust out the watering can.