This is it folks, the grand finale!
This post is so chock-a-block full of pics you will need to grab a snack, get comfy and snuggle up by the glow of your computer to marvel at my magical garden paradise.
When you’re done, be sure to check out our line-up of upcoming workshops!
Happy reading my friends!
By midsummer the garden began to grow in thick, green and plush. Quite the difference from the sparse, barren plots of the spring.
Seriously, these guys were expanding by the foot daily! You can see the encroaching tomato plant on the right covering the kale and imposing on the peppers and melon vine. When we first put in the garden I decided to stake the tomatoes rather than use tomato baskets. With the rate they were growing I didn’t think it was likely that they would grow one foot never-mind the 7-8 feet that they did. A few of the stakes eventually broke, fell over or bent with the weight of the fruit.
Not sure what to do with them next year, bigger stakes maybe?
On the left of the gravel pathway you can see the cauliflower expanding widely, smothering the sage below. To the left of the giant cauliflower leaves the swiss chard and arugula grew abundantly. The red kale got swallowed up sandwiched between the tomatoes and the chard – will definitely give it more room next year. The chard was and is still amazing but right from the get-go the arugula was crazy hot, loco caliente!!
On the left you can see the intense density of the zucchinis. I will certainly be spacing those puppies out next year, and possible try the tomato cages as per Candice C’s suggestion (thanks for the advice).
The picture above is from the middle of summer where you couldn’t get to the composter that you can see hiding in the back.
Below you can see the same picture from a few weeks ago where you can’t even see the composter through the wild bush.
The tomatoes on the ground were sacrifices to the mice gods. Not actually, but they were eaten by our local mice friends who curiously enough would nibble on one side while pooping on the other. It gives new and true meaning to one meal in, and one meal out
When you garden vertically it takes up much less space and adds lots of height and dimention to your garden. Can you spot the butternut squash on the stake?
At this point I had already harvested a good quarter of the delicious creamy potatoes, yum! Digging for them was one of my favourite tasks, like digging for buried treasure me maties, argh!
This terribly long cucumber vine decided it didn’t wish to grow on our soil and would like to head for the sun across the grass. Seeing as it was in imminent danger of being mowed down, I staked them growing them vertically. Growing vines vertically worked quite well and I will definitely do it again next year.
Below you can see how it has grown into a beautiful cucumber xmas tree, complete with beautiful yellow ornaments and gifts attached under the leaves
This pic is for you Candice!
This cucumber vine (above) is one of the many random seeds that I had strewn about the garden. It has been such a wonderful surprise to see these lush, fruit-bearing plants doing so well in the most unusual places.
Below: Two of the many cucumbers growing on this one vine. These guys are absolutely delicious! There is zero comparison with store bought and home grown.
Above is one of the many beautiful flowers on the cucumber vine. Always so bright and cheerful, it never ceased to make me smile!
After staking the tomatoes, this delicious kale finally had enough room and sun to begin to grow strong and tall. I can’t wait to make it into the most decadent sour cream and onion kale chips – deeeelicious!
Growing my own lettuce I marvelled at how nice it was not to have to peruse the produce section of the supermarket. In fact I barely even stepped into a supermarket this summer. I loved being able to pick my salad from the backyard, and it didn’t end at the lettuce: anything green was up for grabs. I picked beet greens, chard, spinach, herbs and weeds to go along with my wild heirloom greens.
There were a lot of vegetables I have never witnessed in their natural state before. Watching the evolution of our plants growth has been such a wonderful adventure. Above is the beginnings of a beautiful purple cabbage.
Hmmmm, purple, cabbage, purple beans, purple carrots….. do I sense a theme here ?
Above, you can see the squash a little bigger now. I love the way these vines look wound around the stakes!
Below is a picture I took a couple of days ago of my peppers finally turning red. Did you know that red peppers are just green peppers that were allowed to fully ripen?
Peppers you can almost never find organic in the grocery store. This is too bad because red peppers are one of the most heavily laden with pesticides.
You can see the cauliflower finally beginning to peek its head out from between the leaves. Unfortunately there have been several white butterflies fluttering about lately. Great for my cat who loves to hunt and pounce on them but very bad for my kale and cauliflower.
These rather pretty white butterflies love to lay their eggs in the brassica family and eat their green leaves. I had quite the infestation on our kale plants earlier in the summer. I was constantly picking off little green camouflaged wiggly worms off the kale leaves.
The devastation that they can do when unmanaged is pretty astounding. I left them for a few days and they took down an entire kale plant I am crossing my fingers that the cauliflowers will be fine.
One of my greatest challenges has been dealing with this mysterious mould that has wiped out about 1/3 of my garden.
After chatting with one of my favourite local farmers I discovered that I have a leaf mould that affects the Cucurbitaceae family. It grabbed ahold of all my pumpkins, squash, zucchinis and cucumbers (not terribly on my cucumbers). I tried my best to contain it and strengthen the soil to strengthen my plants but, alas, the leaves were overwhelmed by this unwelcomed growth.
But not all was lost, with very little of the produce being affected. All the plants rendered a bountiful harvest, even the afflicted ones.
On a funny sidenote, I was searching through my photos but found very few pictures of our delicious, colourful harvest. I think it is because they barely made it off the plant before landing in our hungry bellys!
Below are a couple (literally 2) pictures of our spoils. This year we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, beans (purple and green), zucchinis, squash, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, spinach, arugula, potatoes, pumpkins, carrots (orange and purple), peas, beets, lettuce (several varieties), peppers, parsley, Brussel’s sprouts, kale (curly green and red, dinosaur), radishes, coriander and basil! Next year, I’ll make sure to take photos of them all before they are eaten.
Below is the garden just a few weeks ago. Beautiful. Some things are just beginning to flourish and others are beginning to go to sleep. So symbolic of the ever evolving flow of life, arising and passing away, changing, changing, changing.
All in all, the garden has been a smashing success. I look forward to next year, with the opportunity to correct the mistakes I made this year, while making new mistakes to learn from.
Wishing you all much deliciously green and sunshiney happiness!