My winter garden...

Monday, February 07, 2011

I have been racking up the fitness minutes lately in my front yard. This was a project that I planned for years-it involved killing the grass-not a pretty sight-and was delayed by financial and physical limitations. This time last year my front yard was dirt, the whole thing.

The were several reasons for the new garden plan, We live in a part of the country where it doesn't rain for 5-7 mos out of the year, there is a normal 7 year cycle of droughts, I was tired of paying for water that watered the grass. My backyard is shady, not good for growing vegetables and I like to grow what I eat-as much as I can anyway, raised bed gardening is a really productive way to grow vegetables and I don't have to get down on my knees-they haven't been happy on the ground for years. We also wanted to create a social area in our front yard, we don't have a porch for sitting on, so we made a patio.

I had a young man help me clear the weeds, level the areas and lay the pavers which I found on Craigslist. DH built me the beautiful planter boxes and I started planting, I planted tomatoes and peppers and herbs and lettuces on July 4th. We didn't have a great crop of tomatoes but the peppers were extreme and awesome. In October I planted my winter lettuces, sweet peas, onion sets, carrots and cabbages. I also planted the plants in the yard with my new and better shoulder. I waited until fall so that I could take advantage of the natural rainfall to settle the garden in. Those plants are established now and will need very little water this summer, they are native plants that normally survive without irrigation. It will start looking full this spring as the plants really begin to grow.

So here's some pictures so that you can see where I hang my hat and what I do in my spare time.

The front of my house from the street.

Here's a closer up view of the patio.

This is my succulent bed, I'm trying to locate some cheap tumbled glass for mulch. No luck yet, I may just use sea stones to mulch, the plants made it thru the freezes tho.

In the center of this picture is my Sicilian artichoke. I'll have to wait till next year before it bears fruit.

This box has sweet peas and onions in it, today I planted carrots that will be ready to eat at Easter. They are multi-colored carrots, purple, red, orange and yellow-they come mixed in the seed packet and you don't know what color you have until you pull it from the ground. It's fun for me, I think kids would love the surprise factor too, if you have little ones to garden with.

This box has cabbages and green onions-the cabbages make beautiful plants, I planted fava beans in there with them today.

This box has onions and sweet peas and today I planted leeks and beets, may not get leeks this year-I should have planted them in the fall-didn't read the directions, but the beets will be ready to eat in April and May and I love them!

This is the fourth box and it is my favorite, I have herbs, Italian parsley, thyme, tarragon and sage in this box. I also have beautiful colorful mixed lettuces growing in this box. The mix is called "cut and come again" so I pick fresh leaves every day for salad and it is quite remarkable just how tasty really fresh lettuce is. The plants with the red ribs are Swiss Chard, another one of my favorites. It is a very mild tasting green-like spinach, but so pretty. In the last picture you can see some baby plants in the left hand front. That's radishes I sowed about 10 days ago.

So that's the front yard, my winter garden, my produce bins. Now I really do have to go and weed the back!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love ALL of it! It's just wonderful! I can picture us sitting on the patio with our limoncello...ah, bliss. You've been really busy creating a functional space that will give you opportunities for exercise, fresh air,stress relief, and not to mention, yummy produce. It's a winner!

    Thanks for sharing this Susan...I don't know how I missed it earlier, but I'm so glad I found your garden blog!
    3542 days ago
    Suz, what a lovely, inviting area you've made! It's perfect at the front of your house - really welcoming to people coming in! And like you, my knees don't take kindly to kneeling anymore (unfortunately) so if I grow anything, I want raised boxes and planters that I can get to. you'll be posting recipes that make use of the vegetables you're growing, right? :-D
    3544 days ago
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    WOW! You have been busy. Your winter garden looks fabulous. I can't imagine the amount of work you must have put into all of that. Oh, to have fresh veggies and spices! YUM.
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    3544 days ago
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