Welcome to my Sustainable Urban Garden

My garden is a work in progress, always growing and changing within itself.

My gardens include many herbal beds, raised vegetable beds, raised "citrus heights" citrus tree bed, berry beds, fruit trees, grape arbor, rose beds and many perennial flower beds with annuals too. My greenhouse is still in the transformation stage,
as well as some planting areas.
Enjoy your journey through my gardens, I do!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We skipped Spring and jumped right into Summer !!!

I can't believe that it has been 16 days since I have posted. The garden is mostly all planted now, the peppers, tomatoes, basil, eggplant ( Japanese, Black Beauty and a White Japanese shaped one ), peas, bush and pole beans, carrots, luffa, green zucchini and golden zucchini are all planted. Earlier the leeks and onions, spinach and lettuce was planted. We have been eating salads every night from the Four Seasons lettuce, America spinach, some onion tops and nasturtium flowers. Yesterday I noticed the the Stupice ( an early 60 day ) tomato has flowers. That is exciting ! It is really stimulating to grow these heirloom tomatoes and other veggies. It is almost time to fill in some of the leek trench.

I got the drip system going again, but it isn't putting out much water. I really need to take apart the filter and regulator and flush the whole system, but haven't gotten to it yet. So, I hand water everyday. This next week I need to spray everything with maxicrop and fish emulsion or feed with compost tea. The heat is getting to everything, including me. I think the high has been between 96 and 98 degrees already.

In the greens bed, I have Little Gem lettuce that is ready to start being harvested. It is a romaine. I just planted some new starts of the Little Gem also. In the greenhouse I have two more Little Gem starts and one Bronze Arrow lettuce start to plant out soon. Two days ago I planted Jericho lettuce seeds inside in my herb room. It would have been too hot for it to germinate in the greenhouse, as it needs conditions between 45-80 degrees to germinate. This lettuce was bred to grow crisp and sweet in very hot temperatures. My plan is to keep lettuce coming all year. Our salads have been very wonderful!

In our front yard the old roses and David Austins have all had bursts of blooms. The Heritage David Austin climber is budded out and soon to start. I got a lot of blooms from the Louise Odier. Last year I got one bloom. The penstemon, salvia, carnations, foxgloves, lavenders, gardenias, shasta daisies, hebes, hibiscus, dianthus, oenothera, nemesia, stock, lithodora, phygelius, sweet peas, purple robe, margarita, scented geraniums, columbine are just finishing, mexican primrose, heucheras, spanish heather, agastache, astilbe, verbena, snapdragons, foam flower, heather, yesterday, today and tomorrow, begonias, pansies, forget-me-nots, bleeding hearts, persian shields, banana shrub, alyssum, Australian violets, dead nettle, calibrachoa, chamomile and elfin thyme as fillers and I can't remember what else is blooming.

Tomorrow I need to pick up some mulch from the utility district for the tea rose bed. Last year I mulched with wet cardboard, several inches of wet newspaper and mulch from our chipper/shredder. Stephen is too busy to make up more mulch right now. So far, knock on wood, this thick mulch has squelched the huge nutgrass problem in that bed. A few are starting to come up on the very edge where the mulch meets the concrete retaining walls. And maybe 5 have come up in the center of the pile. Of course I have pulled these immediately! So, I need to get another thick barrier layer down to keep a lid on the nutgrass. I also want to put some of this mulch down on some of my other ornamental beds in the front yard.

So, this is an update of the abundant life and activity in my cottage gardens.

"Queer things happen in the garden in May. Little faces forgotten appear, and plants thought to be dead suddenly wave a green hand to confound you." ~ W. E. Johns

Monday, May 01, 2006

Feels like we jumped into summer!

Temperatures in the high 80's feel quite warm when we have been bundled up in sweatshirts for months. Today was 86 degrees and still was 81 degrees at 6pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be 87 degrees. This is hard on new transplants for sure!

Yesterday, Saturday the eggplants all got planted. Several other beds were prepped for planting. I went shopping for shade cloths but they are all sold out except for very small sizes.

Today was an all day event. The second tomato bed was prepped and it was a difficult one to pull out all the lemon balm that had taken hold. I planted four Cuore di Bue heirloom tomato starts in this bed. They are an oxheart tomato (with 12 oz. fruits ) and according to my friend Julia in England ( who shared the seeds with me ), they are supposed to be great for sauces, canning and fresh. I can't wait to try them. Thank you Julia for sharing your favorite tomato!

I also planted one Principe Borghese tomato in a half wine barrel in front of the greenhouse where it gets good southern sun. This tomato is a small tomato like a cherry tomato, but is supposed to by good for sun drying. A branch from the plant can be hung up in the sun until the fruit is leathery. I have another of these that I want to plant somewhere else. Just have to figure out that place.

In large redwood pots I planted two Pruden's Purple heirloom tomatoes. They are supposed to have great flavor, have huge fruit ( 1 lb. ) and never cracks. Then next to these I planted one Stupice tomato in a Chinese 1000 year old egg pot. This heirloom is an early tomato at 60 days, is a good yielder and has 2-4 oz. fruit. It is said that it dries well.

I also transplanted some german chamomile and goditia starts into larger containers. I did some pruning and of course watering, and figured out what to do with the bed that I put straw on two years ago that I assume had chemicals in it and killed all of my potatoes. I am going to plant a luffa gourd and ornamental flowers all around the gourd. The seeds for the gourd are soaking now. My little pea seeds have sprouted and I hope to get enough time to plant them tomorrow. The two zucchini types that I planted in pots in the greenhouse are up, but I am going to wait with them so they can develop into healty starts before I plant them. The large start that I bought will be planted tomorrow.

So the veggie garden is almost all planted. It is fun to see with all beds growing. Time to get some rest and another day is already here!