The Garden – late May

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking. We have all been working so hard out in the yard and it really is paying off. Everything looks lush (thanks rain!). I’m trying not to over plant and let things have room to grow (no promises!).
the yard may-15
This is the only area I’ve “traditionally” done veggies in, if by traditionally you under stand that I mean the last three summers. This is only summer number four in our yard (we re-did the yard summer 2010, so I had only two of these beds full then because we got everything planted so late). Yes, I know I need to go back and talk about how we did our yard, details, details on the shed, etc. It’s on my to do list!
the yard may-14
Bj built me a couple more beds for mother’s day, and three different types of trellises. This one is going to have cucumbers growing up it. The extra green cage is there to hopefully corral the butternut squash that’s in the corner of the bed. It might be too tight of a squeeze, but we’ll see. I grew my own starts for the first time this year thanks to my neighbor letting me use her outdoor greenhouse and only one butternut squash made it (plus cucumbers, basil, cilantro), so I feel like I have to give it a shot!
the yard may-13
This bed Bj made with a lip so that I can clip plastic on to help the heat loving plants I probably shouldn’t even bother to plant in our area…. but watermelons! cantaloups! I have to try them once! There is a big trellis in here with heavy duty metal for the melons. I will make little hammocks for the fruit to hold them up, should this experiment be successful. The green bag holds potatoes. I did two of these last year and they were just ok. I’m doing it again mostly for the fun factor of digging potatoes for the girls (I bought already sprouted potato plants). The strawberries have gone nuts. Also in the fruit department:
the yard may-11
Honeycrisp Apples… in my back yard!!! You have to click here and check out the wee stick it was when we first planted it. It is crazy how much my yard has filled in!!!! (and for really crazy, how about before we remodeled it????)
the yard may-17
Of course I just couldn’t do with those boxes alone after going to that crazy awesome master gardener sale so I have free range tomatoes. I put the ones I think the girls will be the most interested in here (early varieties and cherry type), that should keep them out of the others. I have 12 types of tomatoes this year, but sadly, not my favorite. Rose de Berne. I couldn’t find a start and I don’t start my own tomatoes (you need grow lights here and I don’t have/want that set up).
the yard may-1
You may have noticed that little house in the corner, it’s Tuesday’s fairy garden. We are in love with mini gardening and I pulled out an old half wine barrel that was a sandbox at one time to make another bigger one. I also got this book, Miniature GardeningΒ (affiliate link)Β and it is awesome. Total eye candy.
the yard may-3
On the other side of the yard I’m trying to grow some veggies too. I love the integration meathods championed by permaculture gardeners so I’m trying some of that. Here is a future bean tee-pee, a spiral of peas, I don’t know what on the right (but I love them), and on the left a beautiful ground cover that creeped over from my neighbors (lucky for me!). I do nothing to it, never water it and it just lives. Love stuff like that.
the yard may-6
(in case you’re wondering why I have all this stuff under a tree, I don’t, the walnut died, we cut it down but left a large stump. Bj has plans… tree fort plans). I was tucking some flowers in with my brassica (2 cauliflower, 2 brussels sprouts, 2 broccoli) and I got the best surprise ever. See that lovely little bush? It’s a honey berry. Β I impulse bought them three years ago after sampling some honey berry ice cream. I bought two, they flowered prolifically, I saw lots of bees on them… and then nothing. No berries. I was sure three years was going to be long enough, but oh well I thought.
the yard may-2
But look! Berries! They grow under the leaves so they are not noticeable from the top!! I think they need a bit more ripening time since they are tart, but yum! I did buy another one this year because I was afraid one of ours was sterile or something, so now I have three of these bushes.
the yard may-8
We had to cut this filbert tree down. It was always the plan, let the asian pear tears get bigger, than chop this to give them space (we never ate the filberts since the squirrels always got them first). It’s too tight to get a stump grinder in here so we drilled holes in it and are trying to kill it… we’ll see. Does any tree put out more suckers than a filbert?!?!
the yard may-10
In the very back of our yard I just can’t seem to get a handle on this bed. All morning it’s blasted with sun, and shady in the afternoon. So things that would be “partial shade” tend to get burnt. I’ve just put out loads of poppy seeds, so hopefully they will fill in, reseed year after year and be colorful and pretty. I actually do not like the poppies down here now, I prefer the Californian type. These are just two big and gangly for me.
the yard may-19
Just to show you how crazy I’ve gone, here are some bush beans squeezed under the fig tree. Hey seeds are cheap, why not try?
Phew, long post. But I’m doing it for me as well, to remember where every thing is and how it grows. Hope to keep updating through the summer. Now tell me, how does your garden grow?

Join the Conversation


  1. Wow, I’m impressed! πŸ™‚ Hubby and I both love Honeycrisp apples and we’ve talked about planting a few trees, but our yard isn’t that large. Seeing how small of a place you have for your Honeycrisp tree gives me hope – maybe we do have enough room!

  2. Love, love, love that fairy garden!! I will definitely be checking out the miniature garden book. In your bean teepee photo, the one plant looks like Solomon’s Seal: I know the golden groundcover as creeping jenny. I bought one little pot years ago, and it now fills in and brightens two of my gardens. It spreads a lot, but I find it easily controllable.

  3. Everything looks so good…I just love your backyard.
    And Tuesday’s miniature garden would have been my dream come true as a little girl…she looks so especially cute in that photo. πŸ™‚

    1. Nora come hang out any time! And I really don’t think you’re too old to have a fairy garden. Seriously check out that book from the library, eye candy!!

  4. You were able to cram a lot in there–love it!
    I want to try those honey berries…can you buy them anywhere? Otherwise I might have to stop by and try a few when they’re ripe πŸ˜‰
    I had bigger plans for our “garden” but I’m not sure if I have time to plant anything else. We just have potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries. I don’t think the zucchini start I bought is doing well. Or the watermelon (Jake really wanted to try..)

    1. Mary, I hope I have lots of those berries to share next year. You know, now that I know where they are! I have never seen them for sale. Everyone I’ve had try one this year says they taste like tart blueberries, I think they’re right. I love that the plant is different though, very pretty leaves.

  5. Looks great! And Honeycrisp apples are my absolute favorite!! When we buy a house, I’m getting a honeycrip apple tree. I love the mini garden too! Cute!

  6. I love it! I am jealous, I have only 4 beds (up from 1 last year!)… We are just down the road in Albany, I planted a single cantaloupe plant last year and got TONS of melons, something like 30, this year I did seeds and have 5 good sized plants, so hoping for another good crop (I did no covering or anything special last year), fingers crossed! I’ll look forward to updates

    1. What!!! 30 melons?!?! I’m still on the fence about pruning back to just one plant per hole. I know I should I just can’t make myself do it! Ah! Now you’re making me think I should, what to do?!?! So you got 30 with one plant and now you have five plants… I might have to drive down to Albany… maybe we can do a swap! Want some apples? πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Amber!
    Maybe you have some miracle cure…….I’m way on the other side of the states and trying like crazy to keep critters out of my beds!! They are eating everything!! I’ve tried chicken wire, organic repellants, netting…….etc. The problems are bunnies, woodchucks, chipmunk’s…..
    I saw you had forks poking out. Is that helping? They have even eaten some of the flowers off my perennials. They are about to win at this game. Your garden is glorious πŸ™‚ Any tricks?? Amber has got so big!!

    1. Ugh! I am so glad I don’t have this problem. I have nasty neighborhood cats that POOP ALL OVER EVERYTHING and rip up beds that have just been seeded, that is what the forks are for (and they sort of work, not 100%). I have been reading lots of permaculture books (Gaia’s Garden and Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist). Both have ideas about the critter problem. The most common thing I’m reading is to use plants they don’t like (not real helpful if you want something they do), hardware cloth, or plant something they like better to deter them. Good luck!

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