It’s the end of May and there has been so many things happening in the garden that I thought I would do a garden catch up with you as well as share a brief description of some of my growing spaces.
I have been changing things up again in my gardens, something I seem to do every now and then. The main parts of the garden stay the same, but I add in or change the container garden and water gardens. I replaced my old, small greenhouse shelving unit whose cover had been gone for a long time now with a new small greenhouse that I can walk into. (The old one was just a single set of shelves that had the greenhouse cover to go over it.) It was good for a small amount of plants, but would easily overheat quickly. The first year we had it, we lost a ton of seedlings because we forgot to roll up the opening or move the plants out of it on a hot afternoon. It was a hard lesson learned and from that point on I made sure that anything growing in it was moved to the shade or we took the cover off when the temperatures were warm enough. The new greenhouse is bigger, but still a small foot print. It has just enough space to put a single chair inside and sit in the rain. I plan to add a shade cloth over the top of it this weekend to help keep the temperatures down. It now houses a few of my sons nepenthe plants as well as trays of soil blocks for succession planting. We made some modifications to it so that it won’t blow away on windy days, which happens a lot to these kind of greenhouses. Crossing my fingers it stays put all summer, but has already made through some pretty crazy windstorms!
When I first renovated my garden and yard with the major overhaul that made room for the new kitchen garden I installed back in 2020 I thought I was going to put in a she shed/office space where my old garden had been for so many years. Then I thought about putting in a “real” greenhouse that was either a dome or polycarbonate tunnel, but ended up keeping the space as a garden space to grow my larger plants like squash, melons and cucumbers. I also moved my compost bins back there. This year I am transitioning it to another container garden, because I am absolutely done battling the bindweed that comes up every year as well as the rogue mint. I have many 15-30 gallon grow bags, a single 110 gallon grow bag and many various sizes that fit together in a wild manner fitting to the way I garden. In this space I am growing a few different kinds of squash, melons, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, and pumpkins.
The troughs I added last year in another garden area that gets over run by bindweed and mint is doing well with various sweet peppers, flowers and a few tomatoes. This space has also seen many variations over the years, including being dug out by my boys for a small pond that never made it past the giant hole in the ground phase.😆 It does have alliums and other perennial flowers that come up making it a wonderful spot, but the bindweed is relentless. (Our house backs to a field and anything growing on the other side of the fence tries to grow in all along there in our yard too.) We also have added another trough that is destined to be an amazing water garden that my son is putting together.
My raised bed kitchen garden area hasn’t gone through any changes since we installed it in 2020. It was a planned install long before the world changed in 2020, but the install did take far longer to do due to lumber shortages. It is everything I wanted it to be and I don’t feel the need to change anything about it. (Yet.) I currently have sugar snap peas, beans, chard, beets, various garden greens, peppers, tomatoes, flowers, herbs, etc. growing in the raised beds. With intensive succession planting I am able to get a lot of harvests from this garden. It isn’t enough to feed my family only from the garden, but it is enough to make me happy. The container garden which sits on our boys old play fort decking is right next to this area and is growing in size too. I keep adding grow bags or containers in various spots in my yard as long as the space has sufficient light. (I am mindful to leave enough grassy areas for my dogs, but my gardens seem to grow every year.) The container garden has a variety of plants and houses the main supply of kale for my dogs.
The area just west of this is our 300 gallon trough pond that is dug into the ground and has many fish and water plants. I love this spot so much, it is the spot my son has taken charge of building and planting out. He knows far more about water plants and marsh loving plants that I do! Right next to this space is my beloved meadow garden. It is growing well, but I am now battling bindweed in this area too! I keep pulling it out, but I know it doesn’t really help that much. It is a beautiful space and a perfect backdrop for the pond. This year I installed a flagstone pathway within the meadow, I previously couldn’t get to the inner parts of the garden. Before I had a few stepping stones that would get covered by growing flowers, I am guessing the bigger flagstone will help, but still be overran with flowers. This area may change in a few seasons, we’ll see. For now I am so excited to see it towering high with flowers this July/August.
Last but not least I have 3 GreenStalk original planters on my patio that are growing both culinary and medicinal herbs as well as garden greens. I recommend these to anyone looking to add more growing space in just a 2 square foot footprint. There are 30 pockets total per tower so I am able to get a lot of plants into a small space. These towers are so beautiful when full of big growing plants. I like to use them for garden greens because I can pull them into the shade during hot days.
Tending to all these garden spots is a highlight of my day and this doesn’t even cover the front and side yard! I have been nourished so much from the time I spend in my gardens. I love knowing I can provide some of the food my family of 5 eats and this is just the start of the warm season! If you have any questions about any of the garden areas, let me know!