Garden Friday

We are both spending much of our days in the garden this time of year. Working outside is a huge part of our lives right now, and part of our seasonal creative cycle. Rather than being absent here, we thought it would be fun to share bits of our gardening with you. So occasionally on Fridays we'll show you what's going on at each of our places. 

Katie's Garden

Last week I shared a close up of this bed, this is a perennial and herb bed that I've slowly, slowly been trying to fill in. This space mostly used to be a compacted gravel driveway, so it's been a long process of adding many loads of compost and soil. The plants are a wild mix of herbs, perennials, fruits and even a few vegetables. I really like the contrast of the wild tangle and the crisp gravel edging.

I still need to add some shrubs or more woody perennials, so the bed doesn't totally disappear in the winter. But this time of year, it is looking nice. 

My straw bale garden is coming along, despite the fact that the spot I sited it has more shade than I figured. Here's what it looked like about a month ago. 

It's hard to tell because of all the greenery in the background, but in these four bales, there are tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplants and even a few watermelon plants I'm hoping will trail down the sides. I have GOT to stake those tomatoes today, they are tipping towards the sun. This bed is starting to require more water than the plants that are planted in soil, and I have fertilized them with an organic slow-release plant food. I'm hoping that will be enough for a while and I won't have to buy a foliar spray- the costs of fertilizers seems to really add up, and may make this a less economical choice than I figured.

This is the first year I'm trying celery and I am very pleased with how it's doing. 

Here's a shot with my hand for scale- 

Not quite grocery-store size, but still, pretty good! Because they are not blanched, they have a stronger taste than the kind you buy. I am planning to pile up more straw soon, to hopefully blanch them a bit more. I had two pull up two plants because they may have been showing signs of a fungal infection, so I hope that doesn't spread. 

Finally, I think we're getting ready to have a lot of summer squash! I planted Costata Romanesca zucchini and White Bush Lebanese Summer Squash. The zucchini is one I've grown in the past and it's a really nice variety. I'm very curious about the other one, it's my first time trying it. In the background of this bed are tomatillos that are struggling a bit to take off. I underplanted them with the peas, and I don't think they cared for the competition. Hopefully now that the peas are gone, they will really grow. 

Laura's Garden

I harvested my garlic this week:

Despite what Strider thinks about cluttering our construction site, it turns out to be super handy I'm already acquiring furniture for the house we are building. (ahem) 10 foot long walnut dining table? Perfect improvised garlic drying set-up...

I don't know why I've never grown tomatillos before, they are so delish, and apparently very easy to grow. These have been nibbled by flea beetles, but the plants are so vigorous, it hasn't seem to phase them. Look at all those baby fruits!

Katie mentioned basil chicken last week. I have to add-this dish alone is worth growing masses of thai basil. I only ended up buying three plants, and even though that will be plenty once they get going, I was anxious. Katie suggested I root some leaf tips to start more plants-I don't usually have a green thumb when it comes to this sort of thing, but look at the roots on these guys:

Adding getting them planted in soil to my ever growing garden to-do list...