May Mid-Month Meanderings III

Come on in!

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

I think Seattle is gearing up to have a real, true summer. With tomatoes that ripen, sun-kissed noses, and calloused gardener hands that never get clean.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

The pollinator garden is already a jungle of awesomeness and bearing now-hidden rhubarb.

The skies are promising and blue.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Spring peas, reaching for the sky

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

First pea of 2012

Think thinning out lettuce or carrot starts is difficult? Thinning out fruit trees, like the apple below, is nearly heart-wrenching.

grow and resist mid month meanderings may 2012

Columnar apple- full of baby apples

Tayberry (below) is planted hedge-ish style next to marionberry and boysenberry canes– all blackberry derivatives. If you are planting any of that type of berry, I suggest planting them somewhere you don’t plan on sitting close to. In hindsight, right next to a small patio was perhaps *not* the best spot.  They tend to get very thorny, tall, and wild in full summer.  That being said…I kind of like where they are and how wild it gets.  The berries- they let their freak flags fly.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Tayberry blossom buds

I am totally tickled about the black currants that are growing! It will be our first year with any appreciable production and I can’t wait!

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Black currants

We planted 3 more blueberry bushes this year. In a few years they should bear fruit as heavy as the Duke blueberry bush below. Can you believe the blossoms? I adore blueberries!

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Could there be more blueberry blossoms?

But strawberries…I also adore strawberries. I’m forever spoiled…even organic store-bought strawberries in season taste blah-bah-bleck when you are used to eating fresh-picked-still-sun-warm strawberries. The only edible I can think of that sports this intense degree off fruit-to-store difference is tomatoes.  Some items spoil an edible gardener forever: tomatoes and strawberries.  If you are just starting out, consider yourself warned!

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Strawberry blossoms

Gardeners often talk about an abundance of radishes and needing to preserve them. No matter how many I plant, I can’t keep up.  The Babylady is a prolific radish eater. She has a system: wipe on pants or dunk in watering can, snap off the root tail, bite the radish, and toss the greens to the chickens.  It works. Except she doesn’t always wait for them to get fully ready for picking. And I have to sneak them out to procure enough for my beloved radish & butter sandwiches. Or radish & peanut butter. (Don’t knock it until you try it. It is really good.)  I plant radishes every other day, and still- not enough radishes.  Next year?  A dedicated radish bed and her own stockpile of radish seeds.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

radishes

The radishes above and the beets below are in one side of the raised beds.  Other current residents are and assortment of carrots, spinach, chard, peas, nasturtiums, some lettuce, and cauliflower.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Baby beets

The other side of the raised bed is garlic and a few other alliums  (a couple random leeks and shallots).  For some reason the stalks look enormous this year compared to last.  I don’t know if they like the soil in the raised beds better than their home last year, but they are noticeably ginormous. So much so that I pulled one last night (even though it has an obvious garlic scape) because I was convinced it was a giant leek. Nope, green garlic. Which I made into a chimichurri sauce with parsley and mint from the garden.  For tonight’s lamb, not from the garden.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Garlic bed (and seeded planting hole in blocks)

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

First garlic scape

The espaliered pear trees are going to produce this year!  We have several small Bartlett pears. It is a combination Bartlett/D’Anjou pear.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Tiny Bartlett pear

Oh, chives! You look so pretty, taste so yummy, and repel so many icky things.  Things like aphids, cabbage worms, and slugs all despise you, and for this I love you even more.  I recently heard that a tea made with chives can protect against powdery mildew. I haven’t tried it yet, but if there is something gardeners in the pacific northwest battle it is slugs and powdery mildew on our cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, and the like), so I can’t wait to try it!   Stay tuned!   Anyhow, we have chives planted all over. The Babylady walks around with chives hanging out of her mouth most of the time in the garden. Yes, she is a 4-year-old with chive and radish breath (and arugula, lovage, and fennel).  She forces necklaces of chives strung with mint and chard leaves on visitors.  If you come over, just take it and toss it discretely to the chickens and tell her it was delicious.

grow and resist may mid month meanderings 2012

Chive blossoms

I don’t post pictures of this view often. Mainly, the sun is always in this position when I think to take a picture, but it has also been more work-in-progress.  There are small (but growing) grape plants on either side of the arbor, apple, espaliered pear, and apricot tree on the left.  The grass is “eco-lawn” and micro-clover mix that doesn’t need watering and only gets mowed twice a year. It is perfect if you don’t require a perfect patch of grass but want something a bit more wild (as well as softer and environmentally friendly).

grow and resist mid month meanderings may 2012

The grassy patch and on to the patio

I look at this picture and I’m shocked. It has come so far (see here for a look at 5 years ago). The aspens whispering in the breeze always calm me and fill me with a sense of wonder. In a few months, probably by July, we won’t be able to see the cute turquoise chairs and bistro table. They’ll be tunneled in by berries on one side, daisies on the other, and aspen leaves above.  It will be cozy and shaded from afternoon heat.  The ladder will be covered with beans.

grow and resist mid month meanderings may 2012

Looking back

Summer. Bring it!

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18 Responses to May Mid-Month Meanderings III

  1. julia christine stephen says:

    You have a beautiful garden. :)

  2. wow, what an incredible garden! great pictures, too!

  3. Lise says:

    The garden is looking gorgeous! What a lot you’ve managed to get into your space! And oh, how I envy those blueberry blossoms. I have 5. Yup. That’s 5 flowers, not 5 bushes. :-)

    I’m an early childhood teacher who has 6 kids running around my yard with chive breath. This year, there’s some parsley, and they’re munching that, too. I wonder if it will balance it out?

  4. emmycooks says:

    I love your garden! And I DO want to come in. I’m having trouble getting motivated this year but seeing your peas is going to give me the kick I need to get out there and clean up another bed. I am up on my radish plantings, however, because they are so satisfyingly quick to grow. My own almost-4-year old prefers the kale flowers, so I do get some radishes for salads. :)

  5. Mary Brown says:

    It looks beatiful – I had forgotten how there was nothing there to begin with except space! You have doe such an amazing job!! I love to roam the yard with Lucy!!

  6. Inder says:

    Wow, it really does look like SUMMER, doesn’t it? We’re having that down here too, although I keep reminding myself that come June, everything could change. But last year, we never really got our late Spring heat wave at all, and the summer was still overcast, so I’ll TAKE IT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    Being a coastal-dweller is awesome in many respects, but I could do with a little more sun!

    Everything looks so beautiful, and it’s awesome that Babylady is running around eating radishes, chives and arugula!! Way to go! Joe will eat strawberries?

    Our garden is still a bit bare and needs more established plants, but it’s looking pretty great and the raised beds are EXPLODING with greenery. I’m up to my eyeballs in lettuce, arugula, and mustard greens. It’s about time I posted an update on it as well!

  7. Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen says:

    So lovely! I always love your meanderings :)

  8. Tanya says:

    I demand the chive tea anti-powdery mildew recipe! :) Lovely photos!

  9. Marisa says:

    Your garden is my personal idea of paradise. I can’t wait to see it in person!

  10. lillywarner says:

    I’m so jealous of your fruit trees. Someday!

  11. Hay Dios mio! It looks awesome! I am excited to get about 10 blueberries this year! yay!

  12. Pingback: Radish + Peanut Butter= Sandwich Greatness | Grow & Resist

  13. Pingback: June Mid-Month Meanderings III | Grow & Resist

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