Friday, June 6, 2014

What does a garden mean to you?

When you hear the word "garden", what do you think of?  Some people think vegetables, others picture flowers, maybe you think of both.  Depending on what climate you live in, the plants will vary too.  There was a time when I used to only picture flowers, more specifically an English garden full of flowers.

I have always planted flower gardens up until 4 years ago when I took the leap into vegetable growing too.  I live in an area full of deer, rabbits, ground hogs and other animals with voracious appetites that strike in the middle of the night.  Having anything grow in my yard is a challenge.  We moved into our house 11 years ago this summer and I'm still trying to figure out what will grow in my yard under the soil, sun and animal conditions that I have.

For me, a garden is a great escape.  My yard is a lot of work but it's also so rewarding.  This is my favorite time of year.  Everything is so healthy and full of life.  I took a walk around the yard this morning with my ipod as my camera and here is what is happening...

My 4 year old vegetable garden.  Deer fencing all around with added chicken wire on the bottom buried into the ground to keep the ground hog out.  The first year we just had deer fencing and he laughed at us while he was running away with our tomatoes.  Now, we laugh at him.

This is the second year for the strawberries.  Last year I didn't net them because we have always been so focused on the four legged animals that we forgot about the berry eaters with wings.  I'm not sure how I forgot about the birds because I have 7 blueberry bushes that give us a handful of blueberries.  You need to wake up before the birds if you want to pick a ripe blueberry.  They don't like the unripe kind either.  It's a race to see who gets there first. 

So far... the netting is working for strawberries!  I'm going to leave the blueberries for the birds again this year.

We also plant tomatoes, lots of basil,  snap peas, yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers.  Nothing too complicated.

Paeonies are one of my favorite flowers and by a strike of luck none of the animals around me like to eat them!  I have them planted all over my yard and every year I add more.  This one shows the tragedy of not staking your paeonies.  I ran out of stakes and this one suffered from the rain we had last night.

I'm trying foxglove this year.  It's supposed to be deer and rabbit proof.  We shall see...

Last but not least... As I've mentioned in a previous post... My husband's hops.  There are so many invasive weeds in our yard the list is too long, and even knowing that, my husband decided to introduce another one!  They are somewhat contained to an area near our driveway and you can almost watch them grow!  The hops will be making their way into a batch of beer at some point.

I'll try to post some more photos as the summer moves along.

Happy Friday!

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