Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Looking Down from Above

I've done overviews from my old house so many times. I loved the view from the dining room. The new garden also can be seen from above. This time I'm taking photos from the bathroom.

I think of the bed as being broken up into four sections. The first two are between the ends of the beds and a couple of gates in the fence. I was showing you the contents of the first section (left side) last week. It has my chard, herbs and tomatillos. On the right of that gate before the next gate are my cherry tomatoes with peppers in front.

The next section is also in the lower bed, but after the gates. It also has my tomatoes and peppers. I really tried to plant them from shortest on the left to tallest on the right. I did a decent job. Romeo is messing up the progression though as it is a lot shorter than I expected. I thought a plant with huge paste tomatoes would be huge. It seemed such a reasonable assumption. Well it is getting punished for not growing fast enough to keep up. Now it gets more shade from its neighbor.

The last section is the upper bed (about 8" taller than the lower one). It has two determinate tomatoes. I planted them in front of the Kentucky Wonder beans. Now I have no clue as to how the heck I'll pick the beans with the tomatoes blocking them. I guess I'll get some gymnastics practice. I also conveniently forgot how thick the Market Miracle tomatoes get. The lower leaves of the beans are all dead as they get no sun at all. I was out thinning the tomatoes the other day, but they are still horribly thick. Ah well the Kentucky Wonders are just beans and the tomatoes are, well, tomatoes - the king of the garden.

Farther along that bed and behind are my cukes. They are vailiantly trying to get taller than the bush beans. These bush beans are supposed to be "bush" beans, but if I had let them climb the trellis which they try every day, they would be at the top already. One tendril had made to to a foot of the top before I beat it back. So in the mornings I take all their tendrils off the trellis and shove them to the front of the bed. Then the next morning I do it again and give them a lecture about playing nice with their friends.

Farther along I have more beans, and more beans. I think I have seven varieties planted. Only one is a green bean. The rest are all dried beans. At the end where the car blocks it are my zucchini. I had the first bloom today. It is a female bloom. I just hope tomorrow a nice male comes out to court her. Otherwise I'll have to pick her prematurely. Better that then letting her rot on the vine though. Past the zukes are the butternut squash plants. They grow towards the zucchini all the time since that is where the sun comes from, but I turn them back in on themselves. There isn't much of a place for them to run. I guess I could let them take over the driveway, but my townhouse mates need somewhere to park.

All and all I'm unimpressed with my overhead view. The frontal view is much better. I think when the side yard garden gets up I'll get nice overhead shots, but a linear garden is just as good from the side as the top. You can't show the whole garden at once either way.


  1. THe dining room is more elegant than the bathroom, but the pictures are delightful either way.

  2. That's the same problem I have - can't get everything in one shot.

  3. Short of standing on my roof, I cannot get an overhead aerial of my garden - and even if I did that, I suspicion I still could not get it all in because of the way it is L shaped around the one corner of the house and because my house is not that tall. You have a nice amount of growing area in those linear beds. Do you know how many square feet of garden area you have in them altogether?

    My bush beans (Royal Burgundy) are acting like pole or half runner beans too - large top tendril that definitely would prefer to climb. First year growing this variety and I am suprised to find it is not wanting to be the "bush" bean it was advertised to be.

  4. Ribbit, thanks

    EG, I think if I did a panorama, I could. But then the photo would me a quarter inch high and you wouldn't be able to see anything in it. I think for this bed I'll stick to ground level photos from now on.

    kitsapFG, the rock wall bed has about 200 sqft of growing space. So it is a good sized garden all my itself. Or so I thought. Then I found out while planting that the first six inches has some of the wall under it. Sigh. That took a sixth of the growing space away for the roots. So maybe 170 sqft of real root space. It has a lot of sun space though as the back of the bed has the 6' high fence and the veggies can trail off of the wall if necessary. Its flaw is that it loses sun around 2:30-3pm, but at least it gets good morning sun.

  5. I'll bet you have all your neighbors drooling before long. The garden looks beautiful. I loved the rustic look of your old garden, but something in me screams for those neat borders. That retaining wall around your garden is the type of faux stone I would love to have around all my beds, only I'd want the tan kind.

    I did the same as you, planting beans in front of my tomatoes. Since my tomatoes are in buckets, it's working very well. However, it may pose a problem at tomato picking time.

  6. You managed to get quite a bit in there Daphne, I am impressed!

  7. Daphne, the way you planted (or at least tried) your tomatoes according to height just warms my OCD heart. I also love to organize things by height and/or size. It will be a while before I learn my vegetables plants enough to be able to plant them by height, though.

  8. I love that you've planted your garden in space that most people would just kind of let go to waste.

    I don't really know what a bush bean is as all of mine labeled "bush" put out very long tendrils until I supply then with a trellis that they happily climb...

    About the yellow squash (since many of mine rotted this year from lack of polination - as a fairly newbie veggie gardener, this is the first year I've had female flowers before male flowers; the previous 2 years, there was a proliferation of male flowers long before the first female appeared...) My question (I'm getting there): how do you know if the female flower was pollinated or not if there are male flowers open a couple of days later or even at the same time on a different plant?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  9. I'm liking your new garden, looks great. I have the same issue with picking things behind and beside things. Certainly provides some aerobics.

  10. Granny, I would like the tan kind too. Our house is yellow and it would go well.

    Kelly, thanks

    thyme2garden, I confess I did it so the plants would have more sun, but I do have 2 very OCD people in the house. They are probably wanting to dig up the plants and put them in the right order.

    foodgardenkitchen, a bush bean is not supposed to require a trellis. Usually they don't climb as well or as tall as the pole beans (which need trellises). These seem more like half runner beans to me, which are in between.

    Well you don't know until the little squash behind the flower starts to grow - or starts to rot depending. I tend to hand pollinate the early squash in most years. I just want to make sure and usually earlier in the season the bees aren't as active. But if I find a lot of bees in the flowers in the morning, I'll just let them do their jobs.

    Dan, I have issues with this bed too. It is three feet wide and my arms just aren't that long.