Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome to My Garden

It's been a little over two years since I first plunged my hands in the fertile Northern Californian soil, but I feel like I just started gardening.  I'm by no means a master gardener (I hope to be someday), but I do my homework.  I hope all you gardeners out there, especially the ones in zone 9, consider my garden journal entries a kind of garden club where we can share ideas, tips and stories together.

Let's go on a little stroll through my garden.  It currently consists of seven raised beds, a white picket fence, and a garden gate with thornless roses creeping up the arbor that shades the gate.  I'd love to take credit for all this, but besides the abandoned, overgrown beds, the garden was this gorgeous when we moved in as renters.  You'll have to use your imagination for the entry because I couldn't capture a satisfactory photo of it.

Here is bed 1.  This was taken August 8.  We've got about 8 pumpkins so far.

Bed 2 is a currently a gourd bed.  We planted decorative gourds and crafters gourds.  My plan is to make bowls, serving ladles, and birdhouses out of them with my children.  Depending on how they turn out, they could make sweet gifts.  I got this idea from P. Allen Smith. (I've wanted to do this for a while.)  This was also taken early August....

.. and here are some cutie little gourditas that we've got growing now.

Bed 3.  I just seeded it yesterday with celery and heirloom Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach Seeds.  Anticipating the sprouts is so much fun!  There are tomatoes finishing their summer run up at the top and at the bottom are canteloupes who decided to show up late in the season...
They are small, but soooo goood.

Bed 4.  For some reason, I love this bed.  I think it's the way the light hits it.  I've had the hardest time growing anything in there due to mimosa runners and once free-roaming chickens deciding it looked like a great salad bar, but I keep weeding, fertilizing, and planting.  Right now, it has Danver's half-long carrots, Dolla Rossa Lettuce, Dutch cabbage, and I just planted kale in the places where the chickens had there way in it (they are now happily free-ranging in a large chicken run constructed by my handy husband).

Bed 5: The corn is obviously done, and we're getting the last of the Contender Bush Beans, which are really tasty.  I'll be replanting this bed in a few days.

Bed 6.  This is my second favorite bed.  Parsley, anyone?  That's what's growing to the left.  The open patch has cilantro seeds hopefully germinating, then there are some tomatoes finishing up, some basil behind the tomatoes, and more cilantro seeds to the far right.

Bed 7.  Lots of happy little kale and cabbage sprouts!

That's my garden for now.  I love how gardens are always changing, growing and yielding little nourishing treats with the seasons.  It doesn't get more fresh and local than the backyard.  :)

I'm sharing this at Barn HopFarmgirl Friday.


  1. Loving the bowls and ladle idea out of the gourds and crafters gourds. You MUST tell me how you do those. Sounds too fun! ZANN

  2. Thanks, Zann! I just posted a link on this post where I found the idea.

  3. Super! I'll tell John to take a peek at this.

  4. Looking real good, Katie. I'm growing 4 or 5 kinds of lettuce, spinach, sugar snap peas, broccoli, radishes, and carrots.I found some "certified organic compost" at Lassen Landscape Materials. I've been making my own, but the buying it sure is easy. The worms have really moved in after mixing in shredded leaves from last fall.Very encouraging. I've noticed a small amount until now....Happy gardening....John

  5. Hi. My name is Charity, and I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago, and let me just say, I love it! I have a question for you. I am about to start my second garden and my first was a disaster. Moles ate just about everything (I wanted to try it without raised beds--mistake!). I really want this garden to work out, but the problem is I know very little. What resources would you recommend to learn what to grow and when to plant, what to fertilize with, and how to mulch? Thank you so much! By the way, I live in zone 9 too.

  6. Hi, Charity, nice to meet you. :) I'm still a novice gardener, too, but what seems to have helped our mole problem was getting two mouser cats and putting a sort of mesh at the bottom of our raised beds. A book I really enjoy is "Easy Garden Projects to Make, Build, and Grow" by Barbara Pleasant and the editors of Yankee Magazine. I'm planning on blogging about it soon. :) Also, I picked up some great charts at a master gardener's stand at our farmer's market that show specifically what to plant/transplant for our region, week by week. I'll look for links and include those on the blog post, too. :)

  7. Thanks so much! By the way, It is fun for me to to pop in on your blog and see what is going on here. I had the realization that I am becoming a hippie (who likes to look pretty) too :) I am a nutrition major and recently had all of my thoughts realized while watching Food, Inc. I had been thinking a lot about raw food and grass fed meat before this film, but now my husband is on board too. So i feel somewhat akin to you :) It is so exciting to see that you are a christian too! Anyway, I will have to pick up that book and plan out our garden #2. Thanks again!

  8. Everything looks very good! I've never done much in raised beds, but I'm starting to think about it with all the beds I've seen in blogland. That and I'm getting a bit old and achy with weeding! LOL

  9. Karen Jackson-SimmonsJuly 1, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    You have a beautiful garden! We're just getting our started here (short growing season). I'd love to be able to grow cantaloupe...those look delicious!

  10. Green Bean ChroniclesJuly 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Love the gourds and canteloupes! I'm so jealous. I'm in Nor Cal too and zone 9 or 10 depending on where you look. I'm going to grow with 10 after seeing your garden because you are way ahead of me. And I cannot grow melons here to save my life!

  11. Great looking garden!


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