The garden is always teaching me lessons. One big lesson I learned this year is to let the climbing peas have their own bed because they don’t play well with others. I thought planting the fava beans on the perimeter of the bed with the peas was a logical plan since the peas would be climbing up the trellis I had placed in there. Even with as much space as we have in the garden, I try to companion plant when possible to maximize what I can grow. At first things were great but then the peas got a little greedy with their space and their little tendrils grabbed the obedient fava beans and created an unsightly mess. Lesson learned and duly noted.
Can you believe it’s July already?!? Since we started with such a cool spring in my neck of the woods, the growing season has been extended for things we don’t usually get to enjoy this late into the warmer weather. Like those peas, for example.
The garden is changing quickly and every day brings a new surprise. Here’s how it looked on July 1. A lot has changed from 30 days ago!
It’s hard to believe that we started this garden 8 years ago!
The blueberries are slowly ripening. A few years back, I planted a few different varieties which allows us to extend the fruiting season and enjoy fresh blueberries for as long as possible. Blue Jay, Blue Ray, Blue Crop, and Earliblue are the varieties we grow and though it took a few years for them to get established, we are getting enough now to preserve, freeze, and enjoy fresh.
I always enjoy the flowers in the garden. I’m not talking about just the roses and peonies but the flowering vegetables that either turn into fruit or indicate their life cycle is coming to an end and they’re blooming to produce seed. This year I decided to let some things like radish, cilantro, and parsley go to seed so I can collect and save for next year’s garden.
We’ll soon have green beans and one of the first things I plan to make is Dilly Beans! This year I mostly planted Haricots Verts. I always thought they were just immature green beans but they are actually a different variety. I love them because they are uniform in size, easy to pick, and are incredibly tender. This year we’ll have green, purple, and yellow ones to enjoy.
I am so ready for tomatoes I can almost taste them! Among the smells of summer — ripe cantaloupes, hot asphalt after a summer rain, fragrant roses, and suntan lotion, to name a few — none is more redolent to me than the acrid smell on my skin that occurs when I brush up against a tomato vine.
The big news is that we have broken ground on the potting cottage! Since the garden is on an incline, an incredible amount of preparation had to occur before the foundation could go in. Two new beds were built just to have a place to move the soil that was dug out to give us a level spot on which to build. We’ll plant in one of the beds but the other will serve as the chicken run and will be attached to the coop. Rich took a week of vacation to get this project started and was a one-man show digging the foundation, setting the piers, etc. It is a certainty that I’ll be paying for it. 🙂
So that’s how the garden grows at the beginning of July, 2014. How’s your garden growing?