Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Garden, and yard, becoming a pride and joy!

Four or five years ago, our yard was a barren wasteland! I'm not kidding. The ONLY thing growing in it was grass and it didn't even grown everywhere!
But now- there's a main garden and this year we added another in the back of the yard.

There's fruit trees and berry bushes growing.

There's willow trees that are big enough to house that wicker swing and shade a picnic table!

And green grapes growing on a vine! Wow!

A neighbor gave me these tiger lily bulbs years ago, when she thinned hers. They are growing in several places in my yard, and in the yards of both my neighbors on either side of me. Very pretty and we all match :-)

DD wanted one to bring in:

On one side of my house, in the front, I've put in a blackberry bush and four cherry trees. So far, 2 of those trees haven't made it, one looks like its struggling, and the other is very happy. It seems that there's too much clay in this part of the yard and it may be holding water, drowning them. This is also the side where all those pretty violets grow that I showed you!

On the other side of my house are two apple trees that are four years old. One is winesap and the other is golden delicious. The winesap has several apples on it this year. Its 2nd year it had a few but they all fell off right away and last year, we had a frost that dropped the blossoms. I can hardly wait to see what happens with these! (especially since I've been waiting for FOUR years!)
On the chain link, in front of the main garden, are the 3 grape vines, planted last year. There's 2 green and one red. I hope to get concord one day and have some sort of arbor, but for now, this is a great frugal way to grow them.

I'm shooting for a rustic (and frugal) look in the main garden. Think I've got it?

This side of my yard is in progress. It is becoming my "mini-orchard". This is a result of Brandy's suggestions! Fruit trees in the back yard: cherry, winesap apple, pears, one cherry, apricots, peach, figs, plum, and berry bushes.

A view from our back porch of the main garden and the back garden...and the monstrous 4 yr old willows! (or are they five now? I forget.)
We've cut about 4 huge heads of cabbage so far. We have about 4 or 5 more that are ready that we'll be eating soon. I also have 9 other plants growing that a friend gave me that I hope will begin to be ready when these are gone. I also have one strange loner, that I let go through the winter that has two small heads on it, another interesting experiment!
We had about 3 or 4 good-sized batches of sugar snap peas and then they were gone. We had to rip them up the other day. We replanted okra in that spot.
We've had 3 pots of green beans so far. I planted bush beans- oh the bending! I've got to try pole beans one day!
The first little cucumbers and I couldn't wait- I brought them in and ate them and gave a couple to the neighbors. I'm trying hard to get these to grow up, instead of out! But - they are about as unruly as my oldest yorkie!
Gasp! Would you look at that! Little yellow squash!
Little bell peppers starting to form. We've actually picked several banana peppers and chopped them up in salads- but still waiting on these. But bell peppers- once they start- they keep going and going until your start freezing, stuffing, stir frying, and everything else, to use them. But I love them!

My wild looking tomatoes. Some of these are heirloom and some I actually got to come up from sowing seed right in the ground this year; they were organic seeds. See my frugal "stakes"? We got some flats from our local newspaper company (free) and pulled them apart and split the boards and drove them in the ground and we tie the plants up with thread, breaking and retying as the plant grows.View of the back garden while standing in the main garden. A farmer was mowing hay behind our fence while I was taking some of these pics- ah the smell- if only I could share that! ;-)

I wanted to try these this year. They are purple hull cow-peas. The hulls are rich purple and the peas look like black eyed peas. I can hardly wait to see what happens!
This area of the main garden is prolly my fave right now because its so full of life. See that pretty cabbage?! (..then okra, brussel sprouts, more cabbage, squash, and green beans)
Young beets. It took me forever to get this area planted because it kept raining, and raining.. Here's some very pretty and colorful swiss chard. Its called 'bright lights'. I wish I had pulled back the leaves so you could see the stems. They are yellow, orange, and deep pink. Very pretty. See green beans? See hot sweaty little boys in the garden?
This is the back garden, originally just supposed to be a "corn patch"...but with much begging ;-) now houses Big Max (I've had much fun teasing about Big Macs growing in the garden- enjoying the play on words) pumpkins, cantaloupes (praying the dogs won't tear them up AGAIN this year), watermelon, and a few potatoes just to see what happens!
This corn is extra special to me this year because I was able to get an heirloom variety, non gmo, yah!
These are blackberries and as you can see- they are picked as soon as they turn black! This bush is a year old and not bearing very much yet; just enough for a nibble here and there- but one day.....
Here are a few blueberries on the bush that was planted this spring. I have 5 blueberry bushes that I hope will one day bear more that we can dream of eating! (And I do dream of eating blueberries-yummy!)
This blackberry bush was planted early this spring. It has several cups of berries. I also have one other blackberry bush that was planted last year.
These pretty little beauties were growing wild right up the chain link fence- that is until dd had to have them. I haven't dug around to find out what they are yet. Anyone know?
There's pears in that there tree! :-) Woo hoo! This tree was planted last year and has really grown remarkably. It has several pears and so far, the tree seems strong enough to leave them and let them grow. I have a kefir and Bartlet pear tree.

This maple tree will one day serve as a little privacy as well as shade but the unique thing about this silver maple is that it started under our willow as a little sapling. The seeds fall from our neighbors trees- and well- here's junior!
We've worked hard, but we've come a long way- and now we're making our yard work for us!


Kari said...

Thank you so much for the tour of your garden and orchard. :)

They're quite inspiring and you should be proud of your efforts!

Donna said...

Thank you for your kind comments!

We are having so much fun with all of this, this summer. We truly feel so blessed!

But this is what's keeping me away from my blog a bit ;-)

The Prudent Homemaker said...


All that rain and humidity really makes a difference! I planted (plants) in February, but your tomatoes are bigger than mine. And it's getting too hot for them toe set fruit, so we don't know if we'll get many this year. I can't imagine never ending bell peppers; I planted the plants months ago, but they are still tiny in the ground. I am hoping for cucumbers, but the plants are just struggling. And I've never been able to grow geeen beans here, other than just a handful, because they cook (the leaves) in the heat.

I sure hope we start getting a bit more from the garden!

Yours looks wonderful. I am very excited about your trees and grapes and berries!

Donna said...

I have you to thank!

Ah, your post has made me re-think the humidity! Its miserable to work in- but I now see it as a blessing in disguise as it keeps moisture about.

So much so, that when its up- it can be 90 and an hour before sunset, and not rained in 2 days and our feet will get wet in the grass.

Bet your heat is so different -dry.
No wonder your green beans cook!

I've grumbled much about that humidity lately- shame on me! :-)

Joy said...

Oh your garden looks good. Mine is just now starting to come back after we planted. We haven't been able to harvest anything since the storm! Yours looks wonderful! So happy for you all!

Donna said...

Joy, I hope your garden makes up for lost time!
We are truly being blessed so far with good growth!