Thursday, June 30, 2011

Garden Dissapointments

It's the end of June and by now I expect everything to be fruitful or well under way.  But as all gardeners know somethings just never go as planned.  On the last day of June here are some of my garden's under achievements.

We will start with the morning glories.  When we decided to put up the decorative lattice fencing around  the beehive to guide their flight I thought it would be cute to grow morning glories that would climb up the fence.  It would be cottage chic and additionally attract beneficial insects.  However 6 weeks of growth has given me this.  They sprouted within the first week, grew for about a week and then have just sat there in this stalled state for about a month.  I keep hoping they will take off and give me the cottage beehive I have been dreaming of.

I transplanted all of my tomatoes, eggplant and bell pepper plant all at the same time.  After 2 months the tomatoes are growing like crazy, the borage and marigolds have filled in the borders of the bed, the green beans are full, the eggplant is blossoming and the raised bed is a beautiful sight to see.

That is until you view it from this corner and see this prized beauty in the front corner.  Yes ladies and gentlemen that is what two months of growing has done for my red bell pepper plant.  You know it isn't good when the marigolds are doing better.  The first year I had very mild success with peppers.  Last year I had the same problem that the plant did not grow more than an inch and output one teeny tiny pepper that never fully ripened.  This year I gave the pepper prime real estate in the Sun department thinking that would help.  Needless to say my pepper growing days are over.

Last but not least is my Vegetable Amaranth and New Zealand Spinach.  See those tiny pinkish seedlings?  They were planted at the same time as the lettuce below on May 20th.  They sprouted within the same couple of days and then nothing, they have stayed seedlings, if you can call them that, while the All Season lettuce has taken off.  This is not a year for lettuce in our garden at all.

Those tiny seedlings are in between the two rows of soaker hose above the growing All Season variety.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Newport Garden Walk 2 of 2

Here are some more pictures of the beautiful gardens we saw.

We saw plenty of gorgeous, large established hydrangea.

Beautiful Containers


One interesting gardener loves to bake bread and installed an outdoor brick oven as an integral part of their design.

And of course I got excited to see things like rain barrels and their newly installed community vegetable garden.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Newport Garden Walk 1 of 2

Over the weekend we had the opportunity to go to the Newport Garden Walk.  This was my second year, Andy's first.  It is quickly becoming a tradition to go with my Mom and then have lunch in Bellevue at Virgil's a French Creole inspired restaurant.  I love this garden walk because it is in a historic part of Northern Kentucky so the architecture is gorgeous and many of the houses have beautiful grand porches.  We are only 15 minutes from our house and just barely across the river but this part of town feels as if you have driven hours into the South.

Most of the houses have very small yards and thus are densely and lushly planted.  I love the character and vibrant gardening culture in this neighborhood.  Here are some of the things we saw:

Mirrors are used in interior design to reflect light and make small spaces seem larger, they can do the same thing for your garden.

 Edibles in the landscape
Instead of a climbing flower they chose grape vines to drape their fences.

Strawberries fill an entire decorative bed.

 Decorative garden ornaments are used to support tomatoes instead of the typical cages.

Fences aren't used just for privacy or property division.  These gardeners know how to use them as another surface to garden on.

 More pictures tomorrow!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Harvests

Last week I continued to harvest small amounts herbs and radishes from the second planting.  In the first picture on the right you can see my entire spinach harvest this year, not quite what I was hoping for but at least it is something.  The first green beans were harvested along with a few of the royal burgundy snap beans that were ready too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Goodbye Broccoli

I decided to pull out the broccoli.  I transplanted them April 10th, they have been slow to grow and now they continue to do nothing.  No tiny broccoli heads, nothing.  I have however been picking off cabbage moth caterpillars and checking them daily.  I'm afraid soon they will be infested with them.  Last year we had an unfortunate experience with broccoli from another's garden.  Even after three salty water baths I still couldn't get all the tiny caterpillars out and eventually we just tossed it all instead of risking eating one.  We decided to do broccoli this year, harvest them and then pull them before they got infested. 

When they were small I planted radishes in between and now the broccoli are stunting their continued growth by shading them.  I figured it was their time to go since they have produced nothing useful yet and at least if I give the radishes more Sun I will get something from this plot.  I planted some cilantro in their place for a late Summer/Fall crop and will probably sow Kale once the radishes have been picked.  We left one lone plant to see how long it takes before it finally produces some broccoli.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Turner Farm

Andy and I recently got a chance to visit a local sustainable farm.  We spent a Saturday an evening walking around, looking at what they grow, how they grow it, watching the animals and enjoying the open space.  Here are just a few of the things we saw.