Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GBBD, July 2010

This is the first year for my artichokes. So, now that we're done eating them, I've been pretty excited to see them come into bloom.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rain Barrel

Or, as I usually call it - "my kick-ass rain barrel." That's 275 gallons, baby. Someone pointed out that I should have a picture of someone standing by it, for scale, but I still don't have such a picture. It's about 4' tall.

The water comes in from the downspout off the roof gutters (duh).

It overflows through these holes onto the "lawn" if it gets too full.

And I can attach a regular garden hose to its faucet.

I know - it's ugly.

So we planted a passiflora vine to cover it, and because of my obession with growing things I can eat, we searched out a passiflora that is supposed to produce good fruit.

It's filling in nicely, and has begun to bloom.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvest (so far)

Here is some of what I have harvested so far in 2010:

If you know boysenberries, then you know some of these are not ripe (and yes, those ones were tart!).

This was my first attempt at growing potatoes, so I was happiest of all about these - all 6 1/2 pounds of them. The harvest was made all the more fun because it happened while my sister and her family were visiting, so my 6 year old niece took the role of spotting the potatoes and reaching in to grab them as I turned the soil with my garden fork.
I forgot that I wanted to take a picture until we had washed the amount we were using for dinner one night. Thus the odd presentation.

The harvest was also made all the more fun because my sweetie had just started complaining about the dying potato plants, and why should we keep spending money on plants if I'm not going to take care of them? Which triggered something in my brain: "hm...didn't I read somewhere that the vines start to die off when the potatoes are ready to harvest?" I was vindicated.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I was ridiculously excited this morning to (belatedly) discover that three people I don't personally know actually read my blog. I know they did, because they left comments.

Now I've figured out how to have Blogger let me know by email when someone comments on my blog, so that next time my discovery won't be so belated. Thank you, Stacy, Lee, and Jeannie!!!


Okay, let me back up just a bit to set the stage. Let me introduce you to my garden.

I live in midtown Sacramento, in a 1928 bungalow which I happen to love. Our lot is small - .07 acres, I believe. Part of that is taken up by house, part by garage, and part by brick patio. This doesn't leave a huge space for gardening. Most of the yard is pretty shady. So I am trying to cram as many varied and interesting plants into this small space as I possibly can. I focus on the small sunny patches for planting edibles, and get as creative as I can with the shady spaces. Most of my vegetables are between the sidewalk and the street. I'm always looking for more good ideas of what to plant in the shade.

A moment of confession: I'm married. Therefore, the yard is, strictly speaking, "our" yard; the garden "our" garden. But I can't seem to think and usually can't help talking out loud about them as "my" yard and "my" garden. And I don't think that attitude helps any in improving my partner's somewhat lukewarm feelings about gardening. So it's a vicious cycle. Katie doesn't love to garden. I think I am the boss of the yard & garden. This further dampens Katie's interest in the garden. I note her disinterest, which only increases my sense that the yard & garden are "mine." That's my explanation for all the first-person singular pronouns you will see in a blog about a garden that belongs to a plural pair of people.

I have a couple of interests & biases that largely drive my gardening endeavors.
1. I want to grow as many edible things as I possibly can.
2. I want my yard to be a healthy ecosystem - from the soil on up.

I expect that the above two factors will come up over and over in this blog.