The pictures that I am sharing today are showing our biggest garden project for 2013: the vegetable garden fence. We had been growing vegetables since the first year we moved on this property 14 years ago.
Here is a fall view of our house and garden from the street. The garden is located on left side of the house as you look at the property from the street.
We had been building about one raised bed every 2-3 years but in the recent years we had difficulty protecting our crop from the deer. Here is how it looked before the fence:
After I found all of my first green tomatoes gone each year I would then install a temporary bird netting around each individual raised bed! Don't ask how I worked the garden with all that!
As you come from the backyard you approach the vegetable garden through a narrow shade path built by hubby years ago. To the left you can see our rain barrel dressed in moss sheets this year to blend in with the natural look of the area.
We added one sitting area by the garden two years ago because it was such a shady spot, not even grass grew well there. We painted the bench and chairs in blue, olive and orange and added several bird houses in the tree above in matching colors. The inspiration for the colors came from the wooden garden sign on the table.
This early spring my husband enrolled two friends and my 11 year old daughter in building the vegetable garden permanent fence. Before you see more of the pretty pictures, let me show you the hard work of the "work crew":
|Digging in clay to place the poles are friend Brian and hubby Nick|
|Brian cutting wood with assistant Ali 11 years old (she was excited to help "the guys")|
|Our very handy friend Gabi designed and built the entry gate among other things|
|Ali fell in love with the nail gun! Nobody could touch it after that!|
Ali and hubby Nick at the heart of the project
So you may wonder, what did I do to help this project? Well, I cooked for the "crew" and cleaned tools after they were gone. Packed and moved the leftover clay and fixed the grass. The easy stuff!
And then I planted my "babies" (tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers and cucumbers). All started from seed under a lamp in the house during the month of March. Here is a top view from the roof of the sun room a few weeks after Alexis and I planted the garden. It was evening but it gives you the best view of the finished product.
And my favorite picture of the garden is here taken in July:
So lets go inside the garden, shall we?
When we are away from home for a week in the summer, I attach the stretchable hose to a sprayer pole strategically located in the middle of the herbs bed. We then set the watering timer to turn the water on for 30 minutes each morning. It worked so well this year and we didn't have to ask anyone to water for us.
As you walk in the garden, the herbs bed now consolidates all my herbs. They used to be spread everywhere. During the summer garden tour, I labeled each herb using forks and old wine corks. I also had some ceramic labels but were not as showy. The white flowering herb is new to us: Valerian. I didn't use any of it yet. It is suppose to be good for sleeping and calming but I enjoyed the fragrant blooms that attracted bees to the garden.
Here is a detail:
This large bed had lettuce and green onions earlier in the season and then we added the carrots, sweet and hot small peppers and cucumbers. The hard neck onions I grow both from last year shallots or seed and I had for many years going and going here in the garden.
With the extra cedar boards, hubby built a corner box that allows us to grow more vertical plants. This year we tried the pole beans for the first time in years and we were very happy with how well they did. To decorate the box, at the base I planted begonias that flowered in orange.
I don't know about growing zucchini again next year. I pollinate the flowers manually and I picked squash bugs daily. The three zucchini plants shared the 2 by 4' bed with two rows of green onions and lots of bush beans but took a lot of space. The three squash plants I also grew didn't not do as well as the zucchini and I will definitely not grow them next year.
Bellow, the square box is the kids garden. The front has Alexis' choices: Jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, basil and catnip. The back has Luca's : gourds and sunflowers
In addition to adding gravel between the raised beds my husband also brought a water line with a faucet right in the decorative pot you see below holding the butterfly nets. In there we are hiding the stretchable hose and when not in use you can't even tell that is there.
|Tomatoes ripping on the vine|
|Raspberries flower buds|
|Figs in a pot|
|Cucumbers! We had lots and lots until October!|
|Alexis' hot peppers and basil|
|Flowering Maple or Abutilon - annual in the pot|
|Alexis' cat Oreo, testing the strength of the fence while on the look-out for voles and moles|
|"Marvel of Venice" pole beans|
Not shown here are the alpine strawberries and the blueberries that I planted this year by the street fence and produced a few hand full of fruit to my surprise. I can't wait for next year!