Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Garden

This is my garden. It's true.

I wish I could just leave it at that. And I suppose I could. But what kind of friend would I be if I didn't tell you the whole story?

So let's just chalk this photo up to "The Power of Masterful Cropping" combined with "Eerily Gorgeous Sunset Lighting" and keep moving.

I know you can handle it.

It's not that I don't entirely adore my garden. Ya'lls - I entirely, swoonily adore it. It's just that it's not perfect. It is a work in progress, just like me.

Cory built 10 raised beds last year and they revolutionized our gardening. And by "Revolutionized", I mean that for the first time ever, we had more edible produce and less Amazonian Weed Forest.

The whole idea behind these boxes is that you cram things in very tightly and weeds just don't stand much of a chance.

But, seeing as how we have issues with authority, we don't plant in exactly the way we have been directed, so we do have weeds.

And it's a darn good thing, because how on earth would I ever solve any of my life problems without my beloved weeding time?

If you only remember one thing I say, let it be this: Weeding a controlled area is supremely satisfying and acutely therapeutic.

Repeat that 20 times, go build yourself a box or 10 and tell me if it isn't so.

Your zinnias are counting on you.

(Is it just me, or does she look almost plastic? Word on the street is, she's had a little work done...)

This year, I twisted Cory's arm into edging my boxes with this cute wire stuff. I forget what it's called. We got the first two done, then all manner of mayhem broke forth (more on that another day) and that was that. Two boxes cutely edged. Eight boxes left with an inferiority complex.

We also need to get around to filling the pathways with sand one of these days.

Here's what we planted this year:
Box 1 - Herbs
Box 2 - Green beans (bush variety)
Box 3 - Cutting garden (should be interesting...)
Box 4 - Tomatoes
Box 5 - Zucchini*, Cucumbers*, Okra
Box 6 - Sunflowers, Tomatoes
Box 7 - More Tomatoes
Box 8 - Sweet Peas*, Peppers, Red Beets
Box 9 - Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots
Box 10 - More Flowers

*In these confined spaces, it's important to provide climbing structures for rambly vegetation.

We also have a long row of blueberries, raspberries and black raspberries on one side, with a row of strawberries on the other side.

The main thing to keep in mind is that this size of a garden is not adequate for canning and such. It's just enough to eat from.

And I'm just giving you fair warning, come July and August, you'll probably be sick and tired of hearing about the blasted garden.

Until then, I'll just be hovering over my baby plants, doing my part to thwart the weeds while I pluck the cobwebs from my mind.


  1. Awesome garden, love your plastic flowers:)

  2. Your raised beds look great. We have a garden that I am very eager to begin producing. I am hoping to have enough to can and freeze. I am praying for a bounty.

  3. I love your garden...very contained. Something maybe mine needs.

  4. I just love it! so much! I had every intention of doing this very same thing this summer but time got away from me. plus we've had so much rain that no one wants to be outside! Not even the zinnias. but~ to make you swoon~ I have the largest bouquet of peonies gracing my kitchen table you've ever seen and it's all from my garden. neiner neiner. :) just kidding. I saw your lovely peonies in the background. I'm just having an inferiority complex about not having raised beds right now. um... i have a play house with a window box... is that cool? :) oh wait, I can't have that smiley face messing up my comment! I totally forgot.

  5. ps okra??? I've never even tasted it. I thought that was only something that Martha stewart grows. Next thing you know you'll be showing us pictures of your plantains.

  6. You have an amazing garden! I agree, raised beds are the way to go. We have three (because we live in the city of Chicago and our yard is the size of a postage stamp) and I'm always amazed how well they do.

    Love your zinnia - used one of my beds for those and glads this year. Love that the centers look like little stars. :-)

  7. I like the raised beds idea....!

  8. I love your raised beds as much as I love mine! Mine don't have the cute white fencing though. It's surrounded with ugly chicken wire to keep the bunnies out. I would love to hear more about your garden!!!

  9. wow! I love it. I am coveting your garden. good job!

  10. I am "green" with envy!:) I have been working so hard in my garden but it still looks so pitiful!!!!

    I love the wire fencing around your beds... it looks as if they are dressed for party!

  11. Hooray for organization in all forms - gardens included! Thanks for sharing the pictures, it really motivates me to keep trying to make things grow here in my tiny Seattle yard...my tomato plants fell victim to the rain we had for nearly two weeks straight. But I will persevere! :)

  12. thank you for visiting my blog. i hope you stop by again. i definitely need to get me some of those raised boxes. the weeds just love me. i will get out there are tackle them as soon as the mud subsides a little and therefore won't entirely cake the bottom and sides of my shoes.


  13. Just tonight, my mama was heard saying, "Is there anyone on earth who loves weeding as much as I do?"

    : )

    Julie M.

  14. Your garden is gorgeous. I love the raised boxes, too:). I am in my 7th year of gardening and it is still a work in progress. I think that is where the joy is...every year it gets better:).


    PS: Zinnias are my favorite. That color is beautiful.

  15. I love your stories- your descriptions of everyday life are wonderful & i love your contained garden. It is so organized and beautiful.

    Zinnias are a favorite of mine.

  16. oh you are so lucky...
    i'm jealous of your raised beds & your weeding therapy...
    there's always next year for me.
    keep the garden stories coming...

  17. I love your garden! So cute...in boxes is such an out-of-the-box idea...and I LOVE out-of-the-box ideas. They inspire me. Weeding is SO best friendish...there when you need it, a good listener, not pushy...unless you haven't visited in a while (you know, as long as you take out the whole "trying to destroy your plants" fact)

  18. Olรก or Hi...
    You have such a lovely and blessed life!
    Your kids are the most adorable thing in the world.

  19. Gardening is very VERY therapeutic! Next year, if all goes as planned, I will have my raised beds! My back yard is too shady now, but the DirecTV guy says the big bad trees must go! This is the only way I've gotten hubby to discuss cutting down a tree - (Thank you Mr. DirecTV man!) - so next winter we will be taking out about 10 (less than 1/3 of) our trees, and the sun can reach the back yard, and I shall have four 4 X 8 raised beds for veggies. I can't wait!

  20. I built my first raised bed this year and started gardening. Ate my first bowl of lettuce from it just the other day. Wht a wonderful feeling of accomplishment... and yes, the weeding is definitely manageable! I keep posting pics, too... It's like my own children growing as babes :)

    Jealous of be berries.... maybe next year.

  21. ahhh! we need some land tp spread out.... we have one raised bed with a bit of everything vegetable wise. yours looks great! have fun and hears sending you fertile wishes. er, that didn't come out right...

  22. I much prefer a work in progress, life is much more exciting that way. : )

  23. I wish we had space for raised beds! The weeds have been AWEFUL this year! Or maybe I've just been a lazy weeder?

  24. i love gardening, and long for raised beds...your cory is a good man!

  25. Gorgeous! I dream of having that kind of space for a garden again...

  26. Love it! I planted my first garden this year and am excited to see it grow. So far off to a bit of a slow start.

  27. Beautiful garden. I just threw some seed in my planter box when my folks were here and haven't been back there since. I am such a lazy gardener. Now I'm scared to go. Tell Corey he needs to put that cute wire fencing around the rest...if you have it. It's sooo stinkin' cute.

  28. Wow girl, you've got mad skills!

  29. I'm jealous and want something just like this! I'm going to send this link to my hubby - tack on another project to the list baby!

    Plus we decided to get "healthy" and by golly we don't have a garden - stupid stupid on our part!

  30. I think it is so great that you have a garden that you can eat from, and nurture your children...you did a great job in deciding what you want to plant...i wish we had land like that to have a veggie garden, and yes I agree that flower looks plastic, are you sure you aren't playing with us and really you have fake flowers in your garden.. ha! :)

  31. Your garden looks amazing! I am fortunate that MY garden is contained within the greenhouse walls and we have a lot of employees to keep it looking good :)

  32. I see the plastic flower, but where is the pink flamingo?
    Dear Martha:
    Question: How do you deal with snails?

    Question: why is your lettuce SO beautiful?

    Question: BLUEBERRIES!? lucky.

    Question: are pincher bugs bad? Do they eat stuff or something?

    It's beautiful.

  33. I have raised beds myself, but haven't much hope for produce this year as it hasn't stopped raining in the Pacific Northwest!

    I was also wondering if you would show better pics of what you used for the climbing plants? I would love to grow sweet peas (if we ever see the sun)but haven't ever learned to make a trellis-thingy.

    Love your blog and the beautiful faces of your littles.

  34. While I don't have a farm, raised beds can be snuggled into small spaces. You've given me an idea. Thank you,

  35. Uhm, I have major garden envy now :)

  36. the domestic fringeJune 16, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I am way impressed with your garden. Seriously, that is one good looking garden. I love the idea of all the smaller boxes. I'd be happy if I just had one of those boxes growing alongside my house. Maybe next year. Your garden will be my inspiration for this year!

  37. Aren't raised beds the cats meow? It's amazing the difference they make weed-wise.
    You need a picture of Ruby and her special smile holding that particular zinnia.

  38. Ooooh, I'm jealous! My sweet hubby built me two raised beds this year and they're...still empty:0( I'm thinking a fall garden! LOL! I love your garden.

  39. I've always done raised beds until this year. I'm gardening on someone else's land. - and glad to do it, but wow- the extra work traditional gardening takes!

    Your zinnia had a great surgeon, it looks so natural:)

  40. Can I just tell you how inspiring it is to see your garden! You're amazing!

  41. I just wanted to thank you for your blog roll. Any of the ones I've tried visiting have been absolutely wonderful. It's as though a whole new world has opened up!

  42. Oh I have raised beds too- only we didn't plant much because we have no clue where we are going to be around harvest time, and I didn't want to go to all that work just to leave it! After seeing your post though... I'm kind of wishing we'd have just done it regardless.

  43. OMGoodness your garden is huge and amazing! I love all the raised beds! So are you making homemade salsa? I know you like your chips and salsa! I've missed popping over. For some reason I keep missing you, but I'm back!

  44. I am so envious! That is a gorgeous thing you've got going there. You must not have deer..? We are building Fort Knox around our garden-in-progress right now--they're affectionately knows as "DamnDeer" around here.

  45. Shannan,
    Your garden is beautiful!
    My sister alerted me this morning that you had posted about your garden. It is amazing. Your farm is so beautiful! You inspire me in so many ways.

  46. Wow -- I am so impressed by your organization. The raised beds look great! I just started a garden this year and there is sooo much weeds. I don't even know where to begin with the weeding. Here's a link to pics from the garden: http://ske1806.typepad.com/what-to-tip-the-mailman/2010/06/hoping-for-rain.html

  47. Oh garden! How I can dork out on garden talk forev. You've got some beauties there. Yes, similar (and diff!) lives indeed. Happy to have found you!

  48. I love your garden. Raised beds are the only way to go. We have had them in every apartment and house we've ever lived in. But yours is so impressive. If we had land ours would look more like yours. We do have a large lot so we are able to have three boxes...we hope to get some crushed gravel around them this year. We just harvested the last of our lettuces(too hot here to grow them in summer, so we grow them in winter) and our red onions. Now we have herbs, white moon squash, yellow crookneck, red and yellow bellpeppers, lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots of strawberries. I love growing our own food...and the veggies out of our gardens over the past 20 yrs are the only ones my four children(now adult teens) will eat!

  49. Wow this is what I call a garden,it's amazing and beautiful! I'm coming over from Maria's so glad she linked you, I'm really enjoying your blog! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

  50. Swoon Swoon ~ envy envy envy! the garden is always greener in someone elses yard, huh?! seriously... Fantastic garden!! ;)

    not only do I Love weeding... there is nothing more therapeutic to me than a shovel and some dirt... or a paint brush!! it is a sickness I think...

  51. Shanny - I love your raised beds. About 20 years ago - I did that - but not knowing any better back then, I just slapped them on the ground and filled them with dirt. Quack grass filled them, and I had 10 of the lovely boxes of thick weeds. I heart your garden, and I heart that you heart it. Weeding is very therapeutic. I have an appointment with them in about a half an hour.

  52. Beautiful!! You are living the life I dreamed of 30 years ago.But, God had other plans and we have had a fantastic life and now have 2 grandsons. So blessed with good times and always there in the not so good times.
    I love the photo vignettes of your home. It is sooo charming and loved.
    The gardens are amazing I love all the seperate raised beds. How do you water them all, or did I miss that? Anyway, I pray God goes before you as you travel together through life.
    Faith and Joy, LindaT