Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grumpy Gardening

Garden Club.
The first rule of garden club, is you don't talk about garden club.
At least about the utter failures of the garden.

Well, kick me out. It is all I have.

Maybe it was that I suffered from the loss of Fred just days before planting the garden.

The distraction of planting during this time was about the only good thing the garden gave me this year.

Other than tons of cherry tomatoes and experience in disappointment.

It started with aphids. Aphids on my kale, aphids on my collards, aphids in my broccoli and aphids on my cabbage.
Next up my 2 plantings of snap peas all became ripe on the same weekend and I barely managed to harvest any of them before they tasted terrible.
With so many snap peas they shaded out my first planting of green beans.
2nd batch of green beans did alright, but the 2nd batch of snap peas didn't grow....

I planted more than twice as much this year and harvested less.
I am sorry to say I am quite familiar with the produce department this year.

Hard to imagine something so pretty causing so much misery.

These garden gnomes just sat back and laughed. They were supposed to be helping!

I got a lot of lettuce, a few peppers and a few zucchinis. My pumpkins didn't make it.

Final harvest of the peppers
And carrots! Oh my--what am I going to do with 10lbs of carrots?

The carrots did amazing. I over planted...failed to thin enough and ignored them til late November!

This is why you thin your carrots. But you only need to thin them if you didn't sow them 1 inch apart   (then find that 5 went in each hole and you couldn't see where the seeds were anymore so sprinkled them all over!)

Unless of course you like oddly formed carrots--they taste no different!

Fun fact: Travis did not know carrots came in other colors than orange til he was 35yrs old.

So you can see why I didn't post a lot on the garden this year.

I guess try, try again. I learned something...
I will definitely be planting a smaller garden next year!
And potatoes! Plants that like good soil and neglect I seem to do well with.

Here is what it looks like now:

Bliss! No work to be done for several months! Hoping to keep the patio table semi weather free.

Oh wait--the asparagus, since I didn't expect to eat any this year it is doing great!!
Now it is time to chop it down and protect the bed for winter. I hope to enjoy some asparagus next year!
I have stumped every single visitor to Castle Debauchery with asparagus growing. No one has ever seen it before.
It is not the most beautiful crop when it turns to ferns, but it sure is interesting.

Look at this! Know what that means?

We are done sifting!!!

No more dirt, no more stones and the pile killed all the weeds underneath :)

Here is the dirt in Travis' garden, levelling it out and growing more grass!

Another sad subject: Ground cover!

This patch here is Elfin Thyme. Slow growing but very steppable. They came back this year and spread quite a lot.

And here is the little star creeper.....
Can't see it?


After planting it last year the snails became fond of it in February...
So I replanted early spring....
And then again early summer once we finished the patio(well almost!)
And then it mostly died back in the heat, because living upstairs(a plus!) we didn't remember to water our patio( a minus!) every hot day.
A small bit is growing in now in the fall--so we will see how that goes.

Travis gave me permission to spend 2x as much to get this planted successfully in 2012.
I think I will give the Elfin thyme more of a thought then. Even though it is slow growing and pretty ugly come January--at least it doesn't disappear in the night!

This is the Lavender plants I bought last September for my wisdom tooth extraction.
When I got around to planting them, they were sooo root bound, I vowed not to buy cheap plants any more(a lie). But once they got in the ground, they have doubled in size!! This isn't there final resting place, but I haven't figured out where I want them yet.

I also never got around to exacting a plan for the upper moat/garden of weedin. I did managed to weed, remove the weedy soil, fill with nicer soil and a layer of newspaper to keep out weeds!
 But this a brave soldier just got a late start.
It is past the sunflowers time, but I managed to catch it in the sunlight.
Poor little guy.

A beautiful ending note for the garden of 2011

Now it is December and time to find a Christmas tree on Sunday!!

Let's just hope it snows a bit this year to make winter fun!


  1. I was just thinking about you tonight, and here I come to Blogger and see you've done a post. I've been gardening for over 20 years and every year is still a learning experience. Your garden was pretty and lush. So what if it didn't produce.

  2. April, I think your vegetable garden was a veritable cornucopia of produce! Compared to mine, wow, you had a beautiful garden despite the aphids. I don't know what it is about the bugs that have to pop up and ruin everything.

    I tried potatoes a few years ago, oh dear, the spuds.....I had NO luck with them at all but the potato bugs were a bumper crop. I had never seen so many of them, despite daily hand-picking of the buggers, they were still reproducing at epic rates.

    I feel the same way you do; tomorrow will probably be the last day I can do anything out in the yard and I'm really ready for a break from the outside work, too. There's always next year, right?
    Winter has to be good for something!

  3. Oh it's really, really beautiful! Good thing about pics from a distance - you can't see the aphids :) That sifting table is genius - I wish we had something like that at our community garden. Can't wait for spring!

  4. I have that thyme all over my front low flower beds. I love it. You can wander all over it and it doesn't care one bit!

  5. A clean slate for next year. It's different every year. Hope you find the perfect Christmas tree.

  6. It does look really pretty, sorry it wasn't as productive as it looks. We didn't have the best year either with our new veggie beds. Lots of cherry tomatoes, few zucchinis, lettuce... about the same as you. Maybe the weather will be a little more helpful next year.
    I've had good luck with baby tears between our path pavers, it looks like Blue Star Creeper, but doesn't bloom, also Corsican Mint is pretty easy and smells really good.


I always appreciate input, advice, ideas and telling me I'm doing it wrong. So chime in!