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Garden Tour

July 21, 2010

It’s late July and the garden is full of life.

“A beautiful chaos,” someone once called my garden. Flowers hobnob with vegetables; volunteer plants are invited to stay if useful, even when marching up and down my garden walkways.

Malva sylvestris, sunflowers and hollyhocks crowding up a walkway (could you say no?)

broccoli, lettuce and cilantro all getting along

Here’s the winter squash in mid June:

The peas triumphed until the July heat, at which time the squash passed them up.

And now, a month later:

Can you believe that there’s 18 winter squash fruits on the make under that tangle? Varieties like buttercup:

And acorn:

We also planted spaghetti squash, sweet dumpling, pumpkin, and two varieties of southwest heirloom squash. We love winter squash around here. “It’s the meat of the plant world,” says Dan.

Oh, and our first beet harvest:

I am such a fan of beets. Once, after a 4 night solo backpacking trip, subsisting on power bars and dehydrated beans, I hitchhiked back into town, went right to the market and bought beets and white rice for my homecoming dinner. I love beet greens too.

Basil always cheers me up:

Cabbage row (I’m thinking sauerkraut):

And carrots, garden candy for the kids:

The purple cauliflower is almost too pretty to eat (thanks Audrey for the plants):

I’m very pleased that we’ve been harvesting tomatoes already. Here’s what I’ve done with some of them:

Roasted potato, chard, feta, basil and tomato pizza

Did I tell you about this awesome goat poop we got through freecycle?

It was filled with fat little grubs that the kids mined and shuttled home in a bag for the chickens:

Col kept saying: "The chickens are gonna think it's their birthday!"

I think all gardens should include a pollen snack for honeybees:

How does your garden grow?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 7:31 pm

    You have my dream garden!

  2. Ami permalink
    July 21, 2010 7:55 pm

    Oh my! How lovely and beautiful! :) Wonderful photos! I envy your summer warmth – just the thought of being able to grow a tomato turns me green with…. One day, apparently, we will have a greenhouse for such things – and how I daydream about THAT!!! Presently, the garden is much neglected and actually, tomorrow is a scheduled garden day – although the 52 degree fog does keep one from wanting to go “out” and pull weeds or what have you…. alas…. when fall is knocking on your screen door, summer will finally be starting here, and then, you will see what’s happening in my garden! Although – as usual – the kale is super happy… it always is! :)

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      July 22, 2010 8:32 am

      52 degrees? Wow. I just had to type that number, it was so crazy. Kale is good stuff.

  3. Jan permalink
    July 21, 2010 8:03 pm

    Your garden looks amazing! All we have is some overgrown and flowering basil that the Japanese Beetles have made into lovely lace, lots of weeds and our local Bambi has eaten all of our hosta (even coming up on the patio to get at it!), and even the sweet potato vines in our big wooden planters. The daylily flowers are her appetizer. Wish she’d eat the weeds. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of Bambi? From now on I vow to only plant stuff that Bambi hates!

  4. July 21, 2010 9:36 pm

    My garden definitely does not have silverbells, cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row. Nowhere near as beautiful and robust as yours. What am I saying? They’re not even from the same planet!

    I am so impressed I want to be your next door neighbor (so I can steal the fruits/veggies of your labor while you sleep).

    I love beets too. But grubs? I will be running the other way. I’m just a wee bit too squeamish for that.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      July 22, 2010 8:34 am

      Justine, those grubs completely creeped me out too. The kids were holding handfuls of their soft, wriggly bodies and I was both grossed out and pleased that they weren’t.

      • July 27, 2010 1:31 pm

        I can admit, among friends, of course, that I’ve never actually had a beet, right? What does one do to prepare a beet??

        • 6512 and growing permalink*
          July 27, 2010 2:37 pm

          Ooh, a beet virgin. Perfect. Okay. Go to local farmers market. Procure beets. Wash well, cut off leaves and slice beets thin. Steam for 10 minutes or until soft. Let cool and add to salad with your favorite greens, walnuts and feta cheese (or fresh mozzerella). Swirl in vinegrette type salad dressing.

  5. July 21, 2010 11:31 pm

    OH MY. I want to scream No Fair! I thought we were kinda in simialr places with stuff but, yo, you are LEAPS ahead of my plot! It all looks killer. Nice work, mama. I love that Col’s comment about the chicken’s birthday….that is the ultimate kid compliment. Margot thinks birthdays are the greatest thing in all the universe.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      July 22, 2010 8:46 am

      Nici, funny that you say I’m LEAPS ahead here. I was a little sheepish to post these pictures of my slowish garden when sea-level gardeners have been harvesting veggies that my garden is just starting to think about.

  6. Judy permalink
    July 22, 2010 12:53 pm

    Spectacular garden! Spectacular photographs!

  7. July 22, 2010 3:23 pm

    oh, man. so gorgeous. i’m going big next year, i think – messy. since june was such a mind-trip of a month, with only *one* weekend at home, the bind-weed and other stuff have totally taken over. but i kinda like it, in this zen sorta “ooh, how does that grow” way. i love yer hollyhocks. they’re beautiful and i like to say it.


  8. July 22, 2010 8:51 pm

    Always love good garden photos! Thanks for sharing.

  9. July 22, 2010 10:45 pm

    Chock full of weeds is how my garden grows! But with hope. Our first veg garden, delayed and disorganized and delicious. I’m inspired by your lush “chaos.” Reminiscent of English cottage gardens, don’t you think? Looks like a heavenly place to cool off. And I love that your children picked out the grubs for the chickens. Sharing the love. A pleasure to read as always.

  10. July 23, 2010 8:24 am

    Not so much like yours! But I am learning :) A lot of my stuff is giving up to the muggy heat of southern Louisiana…. but fall gardening is coming soon and I have high hopes for beets. Roasted beets & beet greens with a side of fresh mayo….. yum!! Any beet tips for a novice??

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      July 24, 2010 10:43 am

      Beet tips, hmmm. Plant a lot, and thin to give space enough to grow a nice, round root.

  11. July 25, 2010 11:31 pm

    Beets are maybe perfect, cause they are roots and greens…
    Oh my, your garden is making me feel kinda not good, we moved too slowly this spring, and as you know there is just no time to waste here. Still though our garden is feeding us quite a bit and bringing lots of happiness! Your garden is giving lots of inspiration!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      July 26, 2010 10:25 am


      I just visited Todd Anderson’s small farm last night. Do you know him? He’s just down the road from you at Bear Creek, sells at Bayfield farmers market. I learned so much about extending the season at high altitude; I’m super inspired! He’s at 8000 feet and has been harvesting broccoli, zucchini and cucumbers for a month!

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