So I declared, upon the twitter, that my rappini is starting to look like rappini (unless, of course, it’s starting to look like Red Russian Kale but… I’m pretty sure I planted that elsewhere, so… we’re going with Rappini for now!) and Miss Sugar was all “I want pictures!” and I’m nothing if not willing to show off my garden SO here we go:
Righteo. So, as-you-know-bob, the lead content of our soil is high enough that growing food in the actual ground is not a very good idea. To that end, my lovely wife built me two raised garden beds this year (to be followed by one or two more, next year) which I, our sweetie, and a neighbourhood friend (who is also my wife’s GF’s room-mate) then filled with some super-gorgeous garden soil – a mix of mushroom compost, sheep manure compost, peat moss, and top soil IIRC. I made a point of throwing down some cold-weather-happy seeds – sugar peas, snow peas, kale, rappini, rainbow chard, fava beans, dill and cilantro (iffy on the herb seeds – not sure how they’ll do) – in order to get roots into that soild ASAP and then started adding to it.
So, above, we have a full-shot (more or less) of my second garden bed. I’ve got two, but the first one (below) is much less interesting since it’s an entirely from-seed bed (so it’s mostly tiny sprouts right now).
My second bed will, by this time next year (fingers crossed) be my official Perennial Foods Bed. At the moment, that means I’ve transplanted Vietnamese garlic (which I personally use like garlic chives more than anything else) from the yard in the hopes that it’ll (a) not have much lead content, but (b) root and thrive and spread – as it’s wont to do – so that I have a ready source of garlicky/oniony greens for months on end every year.
I’ve also planted a few herb starts (above) – sweet basil (which won’t make it through the winter, but which might self-seed), Greek Oregano, winter savoury, and sage (all of which stand half a chance of coming back next year on their own) – and a pair of strawberry seedlings which, hopefully, will root, thrive, and spread as well.
As you can see, above, we’ve been gifted a gorgeous heap of rhubarb from our sweetheart. It’s a “baby rhubarb” from her family’s rather well-established patch in their garden (it’s a historical property that her family basically inherrited – from a friend as opposed to a relative – and has spent the last 15 years fixing up. The rhubarb is from a plant that came over from Scotland roughly 200 years ago. Wah! I’d better be able to keep it alive, eh?) The strawberries are just beside the rhubarb (our yard is west-facing with a tonne of southern exposure – woohoo! – so I’m not particularly worried about them not getting enough sun). You can maybe make out the one or two fava beans that have sprouted, just ahead of the rhubarb, and the pole peas that are coming up under the trellis as well. In the foreground, you can see the Winter Savoury (r) and the Sage (l) as well.
I planted Jerusalem Artichokes in this bed, too, along the north side of it, but I’m not acutally sure if they’ll grow or not. I will probably cover my bases and pick up some sunchoke starts from a “flower starts” stall in the market.
Things I’d like to add include: Planting a couple of frozen red currants (and/or finding myself a start somewhere), transplanting a couple of raspberry seedlings from the alley behind our house into the perenial bed, throwing in a peppermint (or chocolate mint) start, as well as rosemary, lovage, and thyme, and planting some of Mrs Fratti’s grape seeds (Mrs F is the now-deceased former neighbour of my lovely wife – we inheritted her fridge and stove along with a handful of seeds – I’m quite, quite thrilled about all of this). I’m also considering digging up a little bit of the wild yarrow growing in the “lawn” (which is mostly dandelions that I hope will also seed my raised beds, so I can let them leaf all to heck, and then dig them up for greens and Fake Coffee) and transplanting it to the perennial bed as a food source for beneficial insects. 🙂
My lovely wife wants to plant pavement roses around the outside of the garden beds (we have cinder-block border, so we could use the ohles in the blocks as “pots” or a sort). I’m suggesting tea roses instead, because they need less space and will stay small enough to step over when I’m doing the watering.
I’d love to add some sea buckthorn to the perennial bed as well, but that’s a bit harder to come by and requires a polinator plant along with the plant(s) that actually bear fruit, so… That one may end up in a barrel or something instead).
Above, you can see a small section of my neighbour’s crab apple tree. It’s blooming like woah (the other neighbour’s tree, a pear, is also blooming, just not as much. Still: pear tree!) and it’s gorgeous. I’m mostly posting this because Pretty, but also because: Pollenators love apple blossoms, and I’m super-happy to have trees like this close by, calling all the bees to the yard and generally reminding that that “Here Be Lunch, Ladies, Come On Down!”
And, as you can see, my rappini is indeed starting to look like rappini, and my peas are totally looking like peas. I win at gardening, that is all. 😀
So there you have it. My (possibly first-ever) virtual garden tour. I’ll do a nother one (probably) when the squash and pole beans start coming up, and I have some cucumber and tomato (and possibly ground cherry, eggplant, and zucchini) starts to show off in the Annuals Bed. 🙂
Meliad the Birch Maiden.