It's done. Kind of. Actually it's not done. A vegetable garden is never really "done". It's what's known as a constant work in progress.
So, more preciesely, it's done more than the last time you saw it.
I welcome you to (but keep your paws off my vegetables) my Front Yard Vegetable Garden.
As you can see, I ended up leaving some grass. I went back and forth about whether or not to have grass but finally ended up deciding, even though I know it uses up a lot of water, it's a lot of work and prone to up and dying ... I like it. I mean, those things don't stop me from owning pets so .... I'd like to introduce you to my newest pet; Blade.
It adds a nice amount of green and it's soft on my feet. Plus it plain old looks pretty.
If you read this, you know the baskets all around are filled with seed potatoes.
The left side of the garden has radishes, beets, Kale, spinach, swiss chard, all kinds of lettuces, herbs, peas, fennel and to the far left, a couple of the heirloom tomatoes I grew. Unlike regular tomatoes from the garden centre the heirlooms will grow very tall. Heirloooms are "indeterminate" which means their height and size isn't pre-determined. Most garden centre tomatoes have been hybridized and genetically altered to make them "determinate". A specific size that they grow to and then stop. I knew heirlooms could grow very tall, but was shocked, stunned and kind of frightened when a reader commented that hers had grown to 14 feet. That's not a tomato. That's a character in a Brother's Grimm story.
Of course the height is determined a little bit by the length of your growing season. So hopefully mine won't go too far past the 6 ft bamboo tee pee I'm supporting them on. Eep.
You've probably noticed my wooden board in other pictures. Because I only have access to my garden from one side, I've left strips of soil that aren't planted with anything. I can then lay the board down onto any of those strips and stand on it to weed and pick the vegetables all around me. Otherwise I'd be stomping down and compacting the soil. Works great.
The right side of the garden also has radishes, beets, peas and swiss chard. Then there's carrots, zucchini, acorn squash, potatoes, and a spot where sweet potatoes will go once the soil gets a bit warmer.
This I am proud to announce is my first pick from the garden. A French Breakfast Radish as grown from seed. (purchased from Cubits)
The entire outside of the garden is still filled with perennials like roses, phlox, lavender and other english garden staples. BUT ...
I've also filled in areas with rows of a variety of potatoes. They're planted in baskets and right in the soil.
Seriously. Wherever I could shove a basket of potatoes I did. In this case the potatoes have lupins on one side, peonies on the other and ...
Peas right behind it.
The general look of the garden is organized but not pretty, perfect, cutsie. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it is to come out and see how much everything has grown overnight. In a few more days I'll have more radishes to pick and the lettuce is just about ready to use tiny bits in salads.
I'M FREAKING OUT. It's so very, very exciting.
I grew 80% of the plants myself from seed, like the heirloom tomatoes. The two at the front are Black Krim (a dark, almost black tomato) and Costoluto Genovese (a large irregular shaped, scalloped tomato).
As the tomato grows I'll just loosely tie it to the tee pee to keep it from toppling.
The basil I grew from seed ... the parsley I did not.
This big, puff of a bee was with me ALL day. He didn't bug me, I didn't bug him. It worked out.
Buttercrunch lettuce. Grown from seed.
Mixed heirloom carrots. Seeded in garden in April.
Freckles Romaine lettuce. Seeded in garden in April.
Red and Green leaf lettuce. Seeded in garden beginning of May.
Red and yellow onions. Planted from dutch sets in April.
MY POTATOES ARE ALREADY GROWING!!! Planted in baskets beginning of May.
French Breakfast radishes. One of the many radish types I'm growing. Direct seeded into garden in April.
And finally ... one of the plants I bought at the nursery 'cause I just couldn't help myself. I love growing everything from seed, but there's comes a time in gardening when you're sick of waiting and you want some INSTANT gratification. I got it in the form of celery.
I planted the majority of it in the garden, but decided to throw this one in a topiary cage. Just for fun. It'll probably die.
But until then ... I will sit, relax and enjoy looking at it.
This isn't every plant I've stuck in the ground, but the majority of them. I also have jalapeno peppers, green chile peppers, zucchini, a few more tomato plants, a bunch of acorn squash, some fennel (did I already mention the fennel?), and the plant I'm probably most excited about ... a Bay Laurel. Yup. Growin' my own bay leaves.
This long weekend in Canada I got everything planted other than the Sweet Potatoes which I'll put in next weekend when the soil has warmed up a bit more. And then ... it'll be done.
Wait. No it won't. I already explained that.
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Great job!!!!!! With all you've planted think you'll be feeding the whole neighbourhood this summer. What's even better is when that first knock comes at your door from a neighbour that forgot to buy something at the store. Your work has just begun think keeping up with the weeds and canning will be the next thing your going to be dealing with.
Janet - Not true. Sadly ... I have *many* things I'll be dealing with before those things, LOL. ~ karen!
Amazing job Karen! I knew you would be able to pull off a beautiful front yard garden. Hopefully you are starting a trend. And my first veggies were radishes as well. Have you ever tried radish pickles? I am thinking of trying them......Congrats on a job well done!
Yay, I can see ALL the comments! No problem with deer or moose? I have to grow most of my veggies in containers. Experimenting with a 17 foot sunflower this year. Last year, we had a successful crop of eggplants under our mailbox. The leaves were so lush it actually looked nice and some Japanese striped eggplants were both delicious and decorative.
Your garden is amazing! And what is more amazing is that you are proving to people that gardens can be beautiful, functional and 100% urban! Great job, I'm sure you and the fella (and all your neighbors) will have plenty of wonderful goodies all summer.
What do you do if your peas get a bit sunburnt? Anything you can do to revive them? They are sad looking and limp and are whiteish tinged. I have watered and shaded them with an umbrella for a day in hopes they would revive, but they're looking sadder. Is it time to replant?
I'm so jealous and inspired all at the same time. And, a bit overwhelmed. Your site is like Pinterest. I love everything. Want to try it all. Get all excited about how I can do it now that I have instructions/motivation...Then, I realize I barely have time to do laundry, so when do I have time for all of this fun stuff. I really need to figure out how to be a homemaker, so I don't have to work and my husband can come home to all sorts of cool projects I'm working on;)
Exceptional job! Here in the states, some subdivisions do have by-laws against gardens. (Stupid by-laws.) Friends got by that by planting veggies in among their flower beds and it looked gorgeous. Tightly spaced colorful peppers look great. Because I seed so much extra lettuce, I make hanging lettuce baskets and give to friends. They can hang on a porch or in the kitchen for that "fresh-picked" taste... lol!
I was angered by the "no chickens" by-law in my municipality. I would have thrown a big, old fashioned FIT if someone said something as stupid as "you can't plant vegetables where other people can see them"! I got my first 2 bowls of salad lettuce last night! A mixture of pretty much everything. It was great. ~ k!
I LOVE how this is coming along! Wondering where all of the squash varieties are going to grow (those things get BIG), but it's looking gorgeous! And very homey.
And now I have to go plant some sweet potatoes. Because that sounds freaking awesome.
Natalie - I'm pretty excited about the sweet potatoes. If they don't work out I'll probably dive into a deep depression. Where/how I'm growing my squash is a secret. Once It looks purdy and proves itself to WORK, I'll show it. ~ karen
Oooh, a secret? I can't wait to find out! In years past, those bad boys have taken over though. There have been summers where I have had to ding dong ditch zucchini on people's doorsteps, they got so out of control.
My white whale this year is cantaloupe. I tried it last year, and it died, but I know plenty of people grow it successfully in Zone 5.
I'll be right there with ya on the big garden project though. I have this massive undertaking going on right now. http://www.leavemetomyprojects.com/topics/grow/garden/the-retirement-garden-project/
And the maples just dropped all of their little a-hole helicopters, so pulling baby trees out of the garden will be a top priority for awhile. You wouldn't happen to have any brilliant weeding tricks, would you?
Mmmmm. Don't bother to get manicures? Does that count as a tip? Love your hair by the way. And I took a look at the retirement garden project. Yup. It's a big one! Nice beds. :) ~ karen
LOVE the teepee trellis. Very cool
How lovely! Can't wait to see how everything is growing soon. I wish I had the nerve to plant in my front yard instead of hiding in the back. I suppose I just don't want anyone to see how bad of a gardener I am. ;)
Oh I'd be hiding in the back too if I could Rachelle. No sun there though. ~ karen!
Beautiful! I would also be very excited to have that lovely, cutesy, very nicely organized and happily growing garden. Good job!
I know you have a house Karen, but somehow your vegetable garden makes me realise you really are an adult! Love it!
Your garden looks so nice and neat. How large of a lot do you have? I am afraid that mine is a mess compared to yours. I invite you to check out my blog. I love the idea of growing your potatoes in the baskets. Were you able to find them used or did you have to buy them new? I found you through Pinterest. Nancy
Hi Nancy - My front lot is quite small. If I remember correctly my growing space is apx. 110 square feet. The baskets are peach baskets which I got from my local produce market for free! Good luck with your garden. :) ~ karen!