Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Back Yard Vegetable Patch

Four Raised beds, extra planting space at the south end and another small herb bed at the north. We use the central pathway to play Boules in the summer.

In the foreground is our pea-bed. We put in the trellises this weekend and the peas shot up a 6 inches in a day. David has already had to add more wires at the top. Tomatoes and Peppers in the distant bed.

The foreground bed hold four varieties of potatoes (red, white, blue and yellow). The distant bed holds onions, garlic, leeks a brussel-sprouts plant and broccoli plants.

There are 5 tomatoes in the cages (red beefsteak, yellow, purple, zebra green and cherry tomatoes). Around the edges of the bed are a variety of bell peppers and the more hot variety.

On Sunday we put in a small little herb bed near the patio. It currently holds curly parsley, Thyme, chives, Dill and rosemary. I am on the look-out for a nice big basil plant to add and use with my summer rainbow of tomatoes

A couple of years we reclaimed this space from a hillside. We hired a concrete guy to redo our driveway and he used the reclaimed concrete from our driveway to build a retaining wall around the south end of our back yard. This year I finally got some decent dirt filled in and with the new fence from last year I was free to put in sunflowers, corn and bush beans (they haven’t sprouted yet).

Along the fence I put in a Suffolk Red Grape

Down in the new planting bed I put in a Willamette hop plant. We don’t make beer (yet?) but I do like them for wreaths and things. The poor hop plant took a bit of a hit when I transplanted it. I’m not sure if it was a water issue of a bit of frost. The plant seems to be perking up again though.

Problem area-This part of the yard holds a large old lilac and snowball bush. The problem is that they are right smack in the middle of the reclaimed hillside. I am going to hire a garden guy to help me tear them out so I can plant squash and hopefully a little watermelon. I don't want to sacrifice the snowball bush entirely so am hoping to dig up a start to move a few feet west into the side yard.

Close-up of the pretty snowball bush.

Some might think we are crazy for digging up our lawn for vegetables. We felt we were not sacrificing too much as just outside our gate is what we call greenspace.

The greenspace is owned by the local power company to hold their back-up power poles. I love the green grass that someone else mows and do think the power poles are attractive in a linear sort of way.

Step back down into the yard and turn right and you are on my back patio and surrounded by a bit of landscaping.

The hostas and birdbath island have taken 3 years of patience to grow.

My neighbors and family call the plant in the back of this picture my giant weed. It is really a bronze artichoke (purely decorative) that I grew from a 4 inch pot several years ago. It puts out a lovely lavender flower in July that looks much like a giant thistle.

Hanging on my patio is this bird house. In the past It had birds move in but beginning last year a community of honey bees made it home. They behave themselves and never bother us but are fun to watch in the spring and early summer when they zip in and out carrying nectar inside. When it gets hot they use their wings to make air-conditioning and the whole bird house hums like a box fan.


  1. Excuse me while I recover my jaw from the floor.

    Everything about your garden is fantabulous. I can only begin to imagine the hours of hard yakka that have gone into it - here's to reaping the rewards in seasons to come.

  2. Just found your blog through Reddirt Woman. I love what you have done with the backyard! Vegetables are much better than having to cut the grass! We had a pool in our yard, but due to my physical problems, we filled it in. Then to make gardening easier for me, my husband built me some raised beds.

  3. Awesome veg patch!!!

    That's reminded me, I was going to grow some artichokes, not sure I have room.
    Don't worry I love the camassia flowers too much to eat them!
    Enjoy your weekend

  4. Tina!!! My gosh what beautiful and well planned raised beds... I'm envious. You do much better on planning than I ever have done. I want raised beds. And I don't know if you like the idea of mixing in flowers with some of your veggies but wanted you to know, just in case you didn't know that if you plant marigolds around your tomato plants they help fend off some of the bad bugs that might prey on them. I want to learn more on plants that work well together. I think that besides enhancing the quality of the veggies and fruits we get that it would be really interesting.

    And I want your snowball bush! That's gorgeous. What wonderful work you are doing in your garden. I'll be over to get some ideas from you on raised bed gardening!

    Thanks for the tour. I loved it!