Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer's Simple Things - The Garden

We had a fabulous weekend here!  But, I don't have pictures of most of it.  Unfortunately, I was not on the ball.  You see, the person who mostly takes the pictures around here is Nick, and he wasn't on the ball either.  I have to actually think to bring the camera.  And then think to get it out and take pictures.

The 4th of July celebrations are always fun - the picnics, the family, the sparklers, the fireworks downtown.  We did them all this weekend.  And we spent a large amount of time in the garden.  Mostly working while the kids ran around and played with whatever they could find.

But, as hard as we were working, we managed to take the time to stop and relish the...

We weren't the only ones taking the time for the flowers either.  There are tons of little wasps that hover over these parsley flowers all hours of the day.

It's nice to stand back and look at all that you have accomplished.  All the hard work that goes into the "simple" life.  The beauty of the plants that will feed your family all summer and much of the winter.

At this point, it's time to sit back and let some other creature take care of the work.  The bees, that is.

Enjoying the beauty of the flowers and the plants themselves.

As promised, I took some pictures of my pea/tomato beds.  The beds would have made better pictures a couple weeks ago when the peas were at their best, but, as I said above, I have to think about taking pictures...

This is one of the two tomato and pea beds.  Our beds are permanent beds that measure approximately 4 feet by 20 feet.  In the early spring, we plant 2 rows of peas about 6 inches apart down the center of the tomato bed.  Once they sprout, we put a fence down the center.  That red post doubles as a fence post for the peas and as a post to hold the bucket of our new watering system.

When it's time, the tomatoes get planted on either side of this pea fence, and eventually they get mulched and caged.  Tuck a basil or 3 onto each end, and perhaps a cosmos here and there, and the bed is complete!  It's not difficult to harvest the peas through the tomato cages while the tomatoes are still small.  Once they become monster plants, the peas are done anyhow.  The fence down the center helps keep the tomato cages upright and stable.  And the decomposing pea plants help keep the weeds down in the center of the bed, while providing nitrogen to the soil for next year.

Now we have this loveliness!!

and this...

I can hardly wait for that first ripe tomato!!!

Don't forget to check out The Inadvertent Farmer for her fabulous Summer's Simple Things series and much much more (including a camel - and if that doesn't capture your interest, I really can't think what will!!).


Maria said...

Thanks for sharing about the peas and tomatoes! I am definitely going to do that next year!

inadvertent farmer said...

Brilliant use of space with the tomatoes and peas...genius!

Great post and yes it is a lot of work living the 'simple' life! Kim

alayne said...

Maria - I hope it works well for you! We've been doing it this way for about 3 years now, and each year it gets better and better!

Kim - Thanks! Even though we have a large garden, I always try to squeeze as much out of it as possible. Less weeds - more food. What could be better?!