Sunday, July 22, 2012

Garden Update, Summer 2012

Time for an update on our garden progress! Unfortunately, this year hasn't been quite as good as last (perhaps I can blame it partly on the moody, cool weather). There will be no homegrown watermelons or popcorn or broccoli gracing our table this fall; the spring lettuces never came in; the one artichoke that grew was infested with aphids. But, I remind myself, this is all part of the learning process. And besides, the season isn't over yet; we are still holding out hopes of harvesting a few tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, and maybe even a pumpkin or two (if we're lucky).

Rather than listing what didn't grow, it might be best to focus on what did, both for reasons of positivity and practicality (it's a much smaller list). One great success has been the fava beans. These were planted as a cover crop and have flourished. Here they are taking over the back hugelkultur bed:

For contrast, here's a similar view this spring, when we were building the bed:

The kids had their own garden this year. The soil wasn't optimal, since it was just a section of torn-up lawn, but the snow peas grew well, at least:

The overwintered garlic was also a success. We harvested 40-some heads, which are now curing in the basement. We'll see how long those last! (Some cloves will be replanted this fall, for next year's garlic.)

And perhaps the greatest transformation has been our front yard. Here it is before landscaping, at the end of last summer:

And here it is mulched with leaves, with the new paths and a couple of plants put in:

Here's the dwarf pear tree, when it was newly planted:

And here is the same area today!

Here's the pear tree, flanked by fava beans:

We also set aside a corner of the yard to be a little "hideout" for C&D. This is what it looked like last fall:

And here it is today, sheltered by a row of sunchokes:

This time of year, the crocosmia and hydrangeas are at their peak. Yes, it's all coming together nicely!

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