Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What was I thinking?

We were out of town last weekend (here), and what a difference a few days make. For one thing, our chicken sitter gave the girls their first night not locked in their coop; happily they didn’t have any visitors.

Also, the garden grew. A lot.

One of my planting challenges has always been leaving too much space between seeds/seedlings, making for a sparse-feeling garden. I was determined not to do that this year, and boy howdy, I didn’t.

The back plot, planted with corn, squash, beans, and cucumbers, is in a tangle. I can’t tell where one squash ends and another begins; some intrepid plants are climbing right up the apricot tree and the corn, elbowing the pole beans out of the way.

That squash is about 4 feet off the ground, climbing the corn and anything else it can get its tendrils around.

The lemon cucs are making a valiant stand against the zucchini.

I planted three zucchini plants (I know, I know---stop laughing), two butternut, and a few Lakota and Delicata. Now, amusingly enough, I can’t tell which of the latter I'm seeing everywhere. I have a bunch of these, and I’m thinking Lakota:

Meanwhile, the walkway is now a vine-tangled “walkway,” with the vines reaching for the chicken coop. I just hope the chickens don’t sit still too long, otherwise the squash constrictors might get them.

We’re toying with the idea of training the vines onto the roof of the coop, where they can reach the neighbors’ bamboo. From there I guess the sky's the limit.

The squash isn’t the only thing overgrowing its bounds. Here’s a shot of the pathway between the garden beds.

The tomato plants are so tall and so dense, I can crawl in among them and disappear. The scent of tomato foliage is one of my all-time favorites, though, so I could be pretty happy in there.

And behind them, the sunflowers are having to reach pretty high.

The fruit on one of the potted bush Early Girls has this wrinkled patch that’s beginning to brown:

The vines are so heavy with fruit, though, that if even half of it ripens healthily, we’ll have a bumper crop. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

We harvested most of the True Siberian kale, much of which had bolted while we were away, and finally had to admit that the edamame were done. They came to this:

And lastly, another gift from the ground:

The last flush was inadvertently trampled by little feet harvesting plums---who could resist?---

so we’re pretty tickled to see these.

As to what's going to become of the tangle that is the garden, we'll just have to practice patience. And maybe get a machete.


Sheila said...

Your garden is lovely in the summer!

Ribbit said...

Oh the tangled web we weave, right? And what a web you've woven!!! I'm so excited that things are growing as well as they are for you even with the close spacing. Now you just have to dress up in all the leather you have to get in there with that squash and zucchini. They bite back!

kitsapFG said...

My squash patch is taking over the walkways too. Happens every year, and every year I lose the battle trying to redirect the growth to keep it from becoming impossible to get through the walkway. (sigh)

You have to love how squash plants grow. They are incredible growers and so prolific.

Mr. H. said...

Your walkways look very familiar, I'm struggling to get through my rows as well. Sometimes i drag a chair out into a particular row of the garden and just sit and watch all the bugs and try to enjoy my little Eden while it lasts.

It sounds and looks like your garden is doing fantastic. Just be careful you don't get lost out there.:)

patricia said...

It's all so lush and beautiful.

Do you ever stuff and fry your squash blossoms? I planted four zucchini plants *just* for the blossoms. You just can't buy blossoms as fresh as the ones you can harvest yourself, and the more you harvest, the fewer squash you get. Plus, they're so darned delish.

Kristin said...

Whatever you were thinking, it worked! But did you imagine it would work so well?

Soon you will be reaping the fruits and veggies of your labor in great volume.

If you need to borrow my food dehydrator for "sundried" tomatoes or anything, just let me know.

Denise said...

Thanks, Sheila, it is lovely and I'm more laughing than complaining. Ribbit, leather, huh? Not a bad idea---I'm itchy all the time from tiny scratches, and that's just trying to walk by the squash.
kitsapFG, I am indeed grateful for the prolific production. It took us about 5 months to get 25 lbs of kale and about 5 minutes to get the same weight in zucchini.
Mr. H, if I dragged a chair out there they'd have to send a search party! But really, I do enjoy the view, especially when I see butterflies and bees fluttering everywhere at the same time. Eden indeed.
patricia, can I trade you blossoms for your recipe? I popped a squash blossom in my mouth and popped it right back out. Not yummy. But I did get a gorgeous book from the library yesterday, Rosalind Creasy's Recipes from the Garden---total foodie porn. Her recipe for stuffed zucchini blossoms with goat cheese sounds great.
Kristin, it's the "great volume" that's a blessing and, not a curse, but a minor inconvenience. And yes, please, I probably would like to borrow your dehydrator. Has anyone had any luck dehydrating squash?

Helen said...

Wow, you really have a forest growing there. Can't wait till my little babies reach that size.