Monday, August 29, 2011

Touring the (Non) Garden

I took a walk out through the gardens early this morning --- something I do just about every single morning during the gardening season of a normal year. I've really missed my early morning wanderings and talks with the vegetables this year since the garden was relegated to next to nothing status because of our huge remodeling project.

I know I post a picture every year of this silly Virginia Creeper that's planted next to our front deck. But I get such a kick out of the fact that it always makes a beeline for our little bathroom window and eventually covers it completely by the end of summer. This doesn't particularly please one member of our household, but I think it's cool.

My bed of salad greens has run amok. Of course, I planted way more than we could use.

I had to put a tee-pee trellis in the middle of the fallow field garden for the volunteer morning glories that popped up this spring. They've grown so tall they are about two feet above the trellis now and heading in an eastward direction. Doesn't the whole thing look like something out of a Dr. Suess book that is about to take off ga-lopping across the field?

The bed of volunteer cherry tomatoes are still green. They've been in this same state of un-ripeness for a month now. I think they will still be that way when the frost comes.

I'm still amazed at the growth of the Jerusalem Artichokes planted this spring. They must have about 500 pounds of artichokes under them. No?

Maybe I'll get a couple more small pickings off the blueberry bushes. This particular bush looks the most promising at this late stage of the season. Other varieties have as few as only 4-6 more berries coming on.

I could possibly get one more decent harvest from the raspberries if I wanted. But to illustrate how dry our conditions have been, can you see the half-formed berries here that have just dried up? In a normal year, we would have watered them, but have chosen not to take the time to do so this year.

The apple trees have a potentially nice crop on them but because of the very, very cold, late spring we had, they are still too small and under-developed to reach maturity this year, I'm sure. The killing frosts will get them before that time.

I'm actually going to take some time this afternoon to play out in the garden, mostly to do some weeding. Maybe the dirt will wear some of the ever-present paint off my fingers.


  1. Water them! Oops did I say that out loud? Sorry it's the one thing I do well and that is water the garden. It is so hot and dry here if we didn't water for a day or two everything would dry up and die. Our soil is mostly sand too so the water just flows right on through it. I'm always amazed that other people have gardens and rarely water them and they survive.
    Your gardens still look beautiful even if you haven't been gardening this year.

  2. I cant believe how neat your non garden still is! I kid you not, I have been outside all day today attempting to weed the mess that I call a garden. The WHOLE time I kept thinking, "oh what would Mama Pea think of this mess I let happen. I sure hope she doesnt see this" :)

  3. Your non-garden looks so nice! This was the year to skip, if you had to choose one. I feel like taking a torch to mine. Instead, I took a hose - or, rather, Irene did! I am ready to move on. Vegetables NEED to be talked to, you know. They have feelings, too. ;o)

  4. I always love having morning glory volunteers. They climb up and over and all about my compost heap. It makes it actually "pretty" back there. Of course, now I have a great crop of bindweed growing there too. What a mess.
    Your non-garden is so nice looking. My garden is just "tired" looking. Tired and in desperate need of water.

  5. I hate to be the one to inform you but Whoville has arrived and jungle of Nool [ I kid you not ] is arrived and setting up a town,along with Lorax and next it will be a pond with fish #1 and fish#2 along with blue fish&red fish I KNOW MY SEUSS IF NOTHING ELSE AND THE REAL PART OF MY LIFE I don't want to comment on

  6. And just think, you are getting better crop than some of us who did garden :0} Well not really, but I had to say it.

    Go play in the dirt! You'll feel great!

  7. Sparkless - Okay, you've ALMOST shamed me into watering the raspberries! But I keep hoping we'll get the thunderstorms they've been promising for all week. Not a drop so far.

    Jane - If Mama Pea saw what you call your "mess" she would love to help you weed! How 'bout this? You plant and I'll weed. I hate to plant, but love to weed. Plus, methinks you have about four times as much garden this year as any of us ever has.

    Susan - I know. I've wondered many times this year if I would have suffered all the garden trauma the rest of you have. 'Twas indeed a good year to non-garden!

  8. Sue - This is definitely the time of year when gardens are not purdy. Like they've given their all and just want to be put out of their misery! The only reason mine looks nice, if it does, is because there's nuthin' growing in it!!

    judy - Nothing wrong with living in Suessland some of the time!!

    APG - I did play in the dirt . . . and now am dirty and sweaty and stinky. And who knew I hadn't used some of those muscles in so long??

  9. You got a DEAL! And I even have lots of wine since I very rarely drink it but cant stop making it :) Anytime Mama Pea.

  10. Jane - Well, I'm a cheap (weeding) date . . . if I'm feeling particularly strong, I can drink two glasses of wine but that's my limit! So I have no doubt you would have enough to keep me going. :o}

  11. Yep, your "non garden" outdid my actively-trying-to-get-something to-grow garden by tenfold!

    Funny how you planted Virginia Creeper, I'm constantly pulling it off the house. I did let the Morning Glory vines stay in the garden though, although now they are choking out the squash!! Can't win.

  12. Carolyn Renee - I truly do feel guilty about what I've gotten from my non-garden this year when so many of you gardeners have had just an awful year!

    I love the Virginia Creeper and Morning Glories, too, although when I try to take the Morning Glories off the wooden tee-pee trellis so I can store it away in the fall, they are wound around it so tightly I almost have to use wire nippers to remove the vines!

  13. I think you need to come over to my house and set me up with an non garden! Your's it just too wonderful for words! And I'm tired of working on mine!

  14. We had no luck with apples this year...late frost...we then cut down the tree because the trunk was rotten and hollow...yikes...we are ordering new baby trees so maybe we'll have apples in 5 years...but your trees are beautiful...maybe you'll get some?

  15. I thought of you the other day when I made some applesauce using some apples from the tree in my friend's yard. My son said it was better than from the store, my daughter was not as enthusiastic!

  16. I actually look forward to those Virginia Creeper updates and am so glad Papa Pea hasn't gone on any covert Creeper missions at night to rid you of it, it will be so beautiful with fall colors very soon! Nice stuff you are getting outside as well, I hope those tomatoes ripen for you!

  17. Lynda - Well, this is definitely the time of year when the garden looks tired, bedraggled and like it needs to be put to bed for the winter. And so do we!

    City Sister - Aw, sorry about your apple tree. Our trees are healthy, but up here so often the season is just too short for the fruit to mature. But we keep trying!

    Jen - Well, regardless of the kiddlies' reactions, it was better for them than store bought!

    Erin - Yep, it is SO beautiful when it turns color in the fall. Now if my tomatoes would only turn color . . . :o}