You may be asking yourself one question: does this guy actually do any real gardening. After all, this might be one of those gardening scams. If you need entertainment, here are a few… https://www.growjourney.com/5-funniest-online-plant-scams-real-garden-alternatives/#.XvdcSZNKjUI
To allay your doubts and concerns, here are a few pics of the gardens under the conditions described in the previous post. A few things had made it outside and were doing some struggling, to be sure. In the next couple of days I will post some pics that are up to date so you can see how things take off here.
Two beds at the entryway. Spring flowers just about done. Rosemary and chocolate mint are coming in well (left pic). Right pic is the other side of the driveway with our sign “The Asylum” with some perennials coming in. The miniature lilac is dead from winter kill. Note the water standing there. This area will become a bog-based nature garden.
These are two of the first beds I built with cinder blocks. I love planting herbs and flowers in the cinder block holes. A great system for companion planting. On the left the huge plant is lovage (kind of like celery) which comes up every year. Note the weeds and the idle hoe.
On the right there are beans and carrots breaking the soil. Those bushy herbs are rosemary, which comes back every year.
Left pic is the rhubarb bed. There is some horseradish coming up. In the right pic is the mushroom bed, with morels (have not seen one yet, but they are finicky), oyster mushrooms the ever-present wine caps. All are edible if cooked. There are a few ragged sunflower plants that will help provide the partial shade the mushrooms prefer. The mushrooms, wherever they grow, break down materials into usable nutrients and provide coverage that helps keep weeds under control.
Left pic is fall garlic planted (you guessed it, last fall). We use a lot of garlic. We will have garlic scapes soon.
Right pic are the strawberry beds. More sunflowers to help shade those lovely berries. No walls on this bed, I just keep the sides hoed and mowed. There are three different varieties.
Both pics are of the same bed seen from different ends. Left you can see a screen cover I use for cabbage crops, as they seldom survive due to caterpillars without assistance and this is much better than any chemical solution. Note a compost bin, wood shavings and soil, all local materials.
Right pic is the old compost bin, which I built on top of a thick layers of twigs and branches. If you place those under a bed, they help with air supply and will provide nutrients for years. The bed is covered with horse shit to help get things rotting. The two plants are comfrey, which I have planted for the first time this year. More about that in another blog.
A couple of greenhouse pics. On the left, you can see the garlic test plants (I am trialing ten different types or garlic). Some garlics are best for roasting. Others are a little milder and gentler on those who have trouble with it. Then there are the really sharp garlics. Then I will see how the bulbs compare in storage. I do not grow spring garlic as it does not store well for me.
Right side shows some squash plants and some bachelor’s buttons that did not make the cut. If you want to garden, it is helpful to have a ruthless perspective. I will not baby and coddle plants. If they die, then I will grow something else that does not.
Left is one of the large back beds, which contains a number of fruit trees, the ever present sunflowers, a few potatoes sprouting and space for lots of squash, cucumber, tomatoes and peppers. They had not been planted at this time, due to concerns about the weather.
The right pic is the large front bed. Some peas will climb the trellis. This end is potatoes, which need to be hilled soon. I use a mix of stuff (another blog).
So you can see I have quite a lot on the go. As the plants develop I will share more pics and include notes on favourite varieties for our climate.
Hope to write again soon.
Here’s hoping you are connecting with nature.
St. John of the Asylum