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Garden Tour: Good, Bad, and Ugly Edition

August 28, 2011

Gardens really are  a reflection of the gardener, I believe.  Ranging from fanciful to utilitarian, and everything in between.  My gardens are like me; a little ragged around the edges, but for the most part pretty solidly productive with room for improvement – I’m already studying seed catalogs for next year.

Here’s the tour, I’ll just go row by row, its photo heavy and light on commentary.

An embarrassed sunflower too ashamed to face the sun and all the headland weeds.

The squash and pumpkin rows got away from me this year.  It seemed each week I would be putting out weed fires in a different vegetable row thinking I would get over there and weed those rows.  By the time I got around to it, it was too late.  Tender cucurbit tendrils tightly wrapped around tall weeds.  I’ll be paying for this for years to come.  When you figure a mature red root pigweed has at least 35,000 seeds that are viable for 60 years, you quickly do the math and realize why sweat equity when it comes to weeding is the way to go with a garden.

Lamb’s quarters, literally.  I am using the sheep to weed my headlands in this garden, and they are doing a good job, they relish tasks like this.

Naked seed pumpkin.

Sweet Meat squash.

Storage Kohlrabi, and Jane’s parsnips.

Jane’s parsnips.  (Some are for us too.)

Parsnip seeds.

Jane’s carrots.

Dry beans.

Dry beans.

Hybrid Sweet Corn.  It has actually grown a foot since I took this photo and I think it may mature.


This garden is in a little better shape being older and more established.  Read less weed seed bank.

Shelling peas.

Snap peas.



Rutabagas, and Mangels.



Savoy cabbage.

Garden guardian.


Pole beans and volunteer cilantro.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2011 11:58 am

    Oh! …. …. (!!) … … to be young again.

  2. August 28, 2011 12:58 pm

    You have a lovely garden! I hope I live long enough to ammend enough soil for, say, two of those amazing rows. And @Risa, I would settle for feeling young again; I was a bit stupid when I actually was young, and hoping less so now.

  3. August 28, 2011 1:56 pm

    Your crops are so beautiful and I so enjoy your blog! I have one question, though, as someone most of the way through my first summer of organic gardening: How do you keep all the insects from eating your crops to shreds? This year I lost pumpkins and squash to squash bugs, and my kale and chard and beets succumbed to something that ate the leaves into lace. As this is my first season gardening in this spot, I suspect it has something to do with soil fertility that’s not yet built up, despite my amendments. Do you do any treatments (neem, insecticidal soap, row covers) to keep the bugs away, or are you just lucky?



    • August 28, 2011 9:30 pm

      Erika, there are a lot of factors, one is a healthy soil, but lots has to do with location, we don’t have squash bugs here in the PNW, but we have other common pests that make hash out of plants like flea beetles, cabbage moths, root maggots, and slugs. Healthy plants are more resistant, usually the bugs attack the stressed out plants and leave the healthy ones alone…sometimes. I don’t use anything religiously, but have used row cover, and bt once in a while. This year I have weaned myself off these products, and am living with the damage, which is pretty easy since the damage is miniscule. Birds, and beneficials help too, the cabbage patch is full of birds these days eating cabbage moth caterpillars!

  4. August 28, 2011 2:46 pm

    Those weed seeds! It sounds scary hearing about their long term viability like that. But oh how I envy your parsnip seeds. Parnsips never go to seed here, it’s too hot for them. I love your garden and as you say, it’s a reflection of you – free-ranging, productive and cow friendly.

    • August 28, 2011 9:20 pm

      Rhondajean, the parsnips are biennials, so to get seed I have to dig, select uniform roots, store them and then replant the next spring for seed. Would that work or do you think it is too warm for parsnips to grow well? My goodness, weeds are the experts, and the vegetables are the interlopers and it is a battle for sure.

  5. August 28, 2011 5:34 pm

    Your garden is beautiful. Great pictures. Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  6. Jenj permalink
    August 28, 2011 6:15 pm

    How beautifully productive. I’m so envious! I had really wanted to do a fall garden here, but with the drought and the heat (110 today) – it just doesn’t seem right.

  7. Christine permalink
    August 29, 2011 1:21 pm

    I was curious what seed catalog you use. You seem to have so much variety. Also, what pesticides and fertilizers if any. We were doing so great and had a fabulous garden and then it was ovetaken by so many things. It is very dscouraging. Not sure what all we will get from it at this point. Thank you

    • August 29, 2011 1:50 pm

      Christine, I buy seeds anywhere (almost) and I save seeds too. But Johnny’s, Fedco, Territorial, Seeds of Change, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Turtle Tree and Wild Garden are my favorites 🙂

      We don’t use any pesticides and have only used Bt sparingly. And we use composted farm animal manure for fertilizer.

  8. September 1, 2011 5:45 pm

    Great tour. What beautiful gardens you have both outside and in the greenhouse.

    How large is the greenhouse?

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