The Garden In June: Photo Tour

In a garden, some years things go smooth(ish) and some years things are a little bumpier. The biggest bump I’ve run into this year is cabbage maggots which decimated a full bed of nearly-sized-up broccoli and did a number on a few other spring brassicas around the garden.

The root maggots, combined with a few missed sowings in early spring, mean we don’t have much of a spring garden. But the nice thing about a garden is that, for as many things that seem to go wrong, there still always seems to be a head of lettuce to pick or a handful of peas or strawberries to munch on.

Hugelkultur Beds

Without a doubt, the stand-out growing area of the year are the hugelkultur beds I installed earlier this year. I went for a Three Sisters kind of planting, growing legumes, corn and squash in close proximity. Wow, that experiment seems to be working: everything is growing like crazy-pants.

The three various-sized hugels flank two concrete-mesh trellises we built a bit ago (a How To post on these is coming.) Beans and pole peas are climbing the trellises.

Winter Squash and Scarlet Runner Beans are in a race to the top of this side of trellis.

But they are both too late: the Romano Beans have already climbed to the top of the 6 1/2 foot trellis from the other side of the arch.

Look at that corn! You know the saying “Knee high by the forth of July?” Well, these cornstalks are about nipple-high on me, and I’m 5’9″ tall.

The shadier side of the trellis has the garden’s second planting of peas. I just picked the first few snap peas off of it last night.

Front Beds

Long season fingerling potatoes and hardneck garlic share space.

A recent transplant of “Homemade Pickles” pickling cucumber will be getting a trellis to climb soon.

Onions are rapidly switching from “leaf” mode to “bulb” mode now that we’ve crested the summer solstice. You can see the swelling at soil level increase day by day.

Full bed of Shuksan strawberries started ripening well 2 days ago. My toddler son has a nasty habit of picking not-yet-ripe berries and stomping on them. We’re working on that.

Random scatterings of lettuce are undersown throughout the beds.

Back Beds

A lot of my beds look messy this year. I’m going for kinda mixed up and low-maintenance and as a consequence it’s a bit hard to see what’s going on, but this bed contains garlic, tomatoes, and arugula I’ve let go to seed for the pollinators.

This one is two kinds of kale – Chidori and Tuscan Black – along with Italian Flat Leaf Parsley and more arugula.

Calendula is a welcome guest anywhere, and here has self sown alongside (or perhaps swamped is a better word?) the Lemon Cucumbers and dill.

Somehow a few of last years beets made it and are starting to size up. A nice surprise since I never did get a main sowing of spring beets in the ground.

Tomatoes in pots are trained up twine to save space. The first fruit is set but there definitely won’t be any Forth of July ripe tomatoes this year.

Last years bed of chard is being allowed to form seed, which I will attempt to save. It’s my first seed saving adventure outside of peas and beans – wish me luck!

I have potatoes growing everywhere and to my chagrin a few plots appear to be showing sign of early blight. Anyone got a good organic remedy before it gets any worse?

The peas are thriving. This is the first planting and I’ve already tipped back the vines at about 7 feet. We’re been eating off this row for at least a month now – Homebrew Husband says 6 weeks – and it’s still going strong.

The artichokes are taking off. I’ll be getting out there and harvesting a big feed of ‘em for marinating.

The fruit tree quartets are doing pretty well. Some minor leaf curl but generally filling in very well. I have gotten many questions about pruning these quartets and I’ll be posting about that soon.

I’m going to let just this one apple go. I’m a sucker like that.

Elsewhere

Most of the fruit and herbs are grown in borders around our property. Here a blueberry ripens with sage.

Just a few feet away, more blueberries are mixing with catmint and self-sown calendula.

I sure hope you’ve thinned your apples and protected them with little nylon footies. Do as I say, not as I didn’t do this year.

Bay, lemon verbena, chives, oregano and many other herbs just out of frame are planted right out the backdoor.

The first sowing of the fall crops happened a few days ago. The first of the eager little seedlings are up and growing.

How is your garden growing, here just on the far side of the solstice?

Big thanks to Meg at Grow & Resist for reminding me with her own mid-month meanderings that this month’s photo tour still needed to get done. Thanks girl!

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Comments

  1. Ok, I am feeling mighty inferior right now. Seriously. Damn. Your garden is AMAZING.

  2. Claudette says:

    Sigh. I admit to being TOTALLY jealous (in the best possible way, of course). Wow. That’s a beautiful garden!

  3. Gorgeous! I bow to you and your kick ass mesh trellis arches! Everything looks fantastic! I want to pop up sometime and get a personal tour!

  4. What a beautiful garden. I love how you have mixed some flowering plants in with you veggies and fruits. I start out every year with that intention and never seem to get it done. Your garden is coming along really well. In my area we will be another month or so before I reach they stage your garden is at. Everything looks really great!!

  5. I’m beginning to wonder if you live in some kind of bizarro-world miles from me, instead of actually miles from me! I do have peas… and lettuce…;)

  6. Beautiful and inspiring!

  7. Melanie says:

    My garden is coming along. Harvesting a couple hundred gorgeous garlic heads. Our first tomatoes and peppers are starting to ripen. Our tomato vines our so loaded with fruit a couple of them couldn’t be trellised because they are so heavy. It’s my first year mulching with the vermicompost made with our bunnies’ manure and it seems to be working. :-) I think I will have the ingredients to make my first salsa by the end of the week. Lots of broccoli and beets coming in. And I’ve been drying lots of herbs for use in the winter. Peas are finished and in the freezer. Lettuce bolted weeks ago and beans are in its place. Continuing to hill potatoes with straw mulch. Froze pounds of raspberries but the birds have found them now so I don’t know how much more I will get. The cherry trees got powdery mildew and I don’t know if they are gonna make it. The peaches have got a blush and are getting bigger. Groundhogs, raccoons, and opossums have found our garden. That’s the highs and lows of my spring garden. Thanks for sharing yours.

  8. I’m so scarred by the tomato blight that decimated my Could Have Been Stellar crop of Moneymakers three years ago that I’m fighting the urge to say PULL OUT THOSE POTATOES STAT! lol I did some googling the next year and heard that sulphur sprays had some limited protection value, but again, my terror of that dreaded blight is too intense to try anything if it affects my crop potential.

    Lovely garden! I love seeing other people growing lemon verbena.

  9. Just Nick says:

    These are always my favorite posts to read – sitting at work all week (particularly with the way the past week’s gone!) I often don’t really get time to just look around and to see what is happening out there. When I am outside, I’m heads-down on a project, looking at some tiny little square of soil or wood or PVC. Nice to look around and see what is happening!

  10. Beautiful pics! You should really do a High Brix Garden soil test & recs for that cabbage maggot bed! :)

  11. I’m a little jealous to see some of this—a lot of this stuff is long gone for me and the heat is about to wipe out the tomatoes. 100* this week in Texas. But our melons? They are monsters!

  12. Mmmm. I’m drooling. Not jealous because I know that I have the garden I deserve (better, really considering how little work I’ve put into it this year). But how I would love to wander in that lush green goodness. My little guy would be in heaven. Over 100* this week and last and he worries desperately about the garden. “The food is thirsty,” he tells me with big eyes. “The food is crying.” Yours is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Wow, everything looks so green and lush!! Beautiful. I came home to our garden Saturday and, after being up at Camano for two weeks, was shocked at how absolutely dry and dusty and ugly everything looks down here in the Central Valley. Definitely made me long to be back up in the PNW! But…I am harvesting plump tomatoes, watermelon, cukes, etc. already, so I guess that makes up for the parched look of the yard. :)

  14. Wow! Your gardens are beautiful and bountiful. Mine is so far behind yours (we live in Woodinville). Lots of great combinations, colors, textures and flavors. I need to study your post and come up with a better plan for getting higher production out of my space. Thanks for sharing your talent!!

  15. Your garden is growing fabulously – like a food forest. Those peas look so tasty, and you are going to have bumper corp of corn. I remember when you created those hugelkulter beds – they sure look different now!

  16. dixiebelle says:

    Nipple high. Now that is a new gardening measurement. Depending on how perky or droopy you are, I suppose!!

    Everything looks fabulous, and I am decidedly green with envy!

  17. Oh, I’m so jealous of those strawberries! We got hit pretty hard by the cabbage maggot, too, and lost almost half our broccoli seedlings. It wasn’t even on my radar, but at least the kale emerged unscathed!

  18. I put my garden in pretty late this year so everything is still small. Oh, I do have 3 small zucchini. I’m really glad to see your hugelkultur bed doing so well. I’m considering putting some in. I live in so cal and we are pretty dry. Thought I might try planting raspberries and blackberries in the hugelkultur beds.

  19. Claudette says:

    As I was browsing through your gorgeous garden pics AGAIN, it just occurred to me: These pics are total garden porn for us mere mortals!

  20. “Be not discouraged…” blah blah blah…. I hate you and your gorgeous garden that you magically grow without sunlight. ;) <3 (Can you hear the stink of jealously in that comment?) Right now, anything not dead from the heat is a victory where we live!

  21. It’s all so purty! :) Mine is doing ok, and I have few enough brassicas growing that I’ve been able to more or less keep the cabbage loopers under control by hand. But my big problems right now are garlic rust and strawberry grey mold, neither of with I’ve had to deal with yet (by some miracle?). Did you do anything special earlier in the seasons to protect against those particular diseases? Ah, gardening in Seattle.

  22. I found your blog by accident, and I am happy I did! Your garden looks so lush! I am gardening in the Netherlands and mine is about a month behind yours (and how the weather is been going, its not going to be much better this year). You have some great ideas, I will definitely use some of them next year.

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