Not Quite Ready



This is the front of my garden, looking south.

Eight tomatoes are planted between the cedar posts next to the wildflower bed (right now almost entirely poppies). Each pair of tomato plants shares a gallon milk jug. Each  jug is pierced with pin holes  along the base, and is buried to its neck between the plants. Filled daily from the hose, the water seeps out of the holes at the root zone. As the tomatoes grow, I’ll weave garden twine around them and the cedar posts to keep them upright and supported.

In front of the tomatoes, each bordered with rocks, is a small herb garden and, closest, a peony bed. A squash will grow in that tire near the tomatoes.


Now, turning to the east, the long daylily bed is in line with the peonies, and separates the vegetable garden (visible here) from the perennial fruit and vegetable beds (not visible in these photos). Each half is made up of three large beds – 4′ wide x 12′ long – running north and south, and three small beds – 3′ wide x 6′ long – running east and west.

Raspberries, asparagus and blueberries each have a large bed to themselves, and strawberries fill the three small beds on the perennial side. Two semi-dwarf cherry trees also have their own space on that side of the garden.

The vegetable garden was a challenge this year. In fact, today – the 23rd of June – I just finished putting the last of my seeds in the ground. Pole beans are in the back bed, planted around the bamboo tepees. Salad greens are planted inside the tepees, for the shade offered there. Peppers – both sweet and hot – share the next bed with one hill of cucumbers and two hills of summer squash. The next bed is potatoes and kale. The closest small bed has Swiss Chard. The other two have zucchini and another type of squash.

Though I love fresh peas from the garden, it’s much too late to start them now. They like to grow when it’s cool. Radishes, too, would be bitter and tough growing in the heat of the summer. It’s also too late to start pumpkins or winter squash here on Beaver Island; the frost would kill them before they had time to ripen.

My garden is kind of a mash-up this year. I’m happy to have it planted, though, and looking forward to watching things grow.

As you can see, there is a lot of work yet to be done. The fence is still in disrepair, and the brush needs to be hauled away. The paths between the beds need to be weeded and raked smooth. I need to clear out the back corner of all the things that have been stored there. It’s really quite a mess. Pretty embarrassing, in fact. Certainly not ready for pictures. Except…


This little bean plant burst up through the earth and showed herself this morning, in all of her leafy splendor.

I just couldn’t resist showing her off!

14 responses »

  1. I am just looking into gardening here in Nevada, my sister-inlaw want to try those Pallet garden beds, but neither of us is very experienced gardeners. Both you and Jen always make the best gardens!

    • Those look like a pretty good idea, Mimi, but it seems like it would take a lot of dirt to fill them, just like raised beds. If you don’t have a free source for it, that can get expensive. Gardening can be really rewarding, though. Good luck!

  2. CIndy,I thik that your garden is very nice. Niothing wrong in my opinion because what really matters is how well all of those things grow and produce. You are at the mercy of not having another hand to help you as needed. i am in the same boat.

    But I like your garden. I wish I could grow blueberries and cherries but that is not to be as the soil and temperature is not right for those fruits.

    • I am very lucky that those fruits do well here. They are easy to freeze for winter use, too.
      I like my garden this year, too. Still…always work to be done, right?
      Thanks for reading, Yvonne, and for your comments!

  3. Lovely garden, amiga! I loved the ‘post’ that came from a discarded piece of furniture.. it looks like it might have washed up at playamart!!

    do you enjoy cooking? i discovered long ago that most artists love to garden and to cook.. i guess it is the act of working with one’s hands…


    • I do like to cook! Yes, both gardening and cooking have much in common with each other, and with art. There is planning, gathering together of disparate materials, organizing and preparing, directed activity, change, growth and finally appreciation.
      I know from your spontaneous, work-of-art meals served to your helper while painting the magic carpet floor that you do magical things with simple ingredients in the kitchen, too.
      Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

      • true; i rarely think about presentation until someoone remarks (as i help in the kitchen) that the way i slice or arrange the food is artistic as well. i suspect you have nosegays tucked here and there to smile at you (and others)

        ah, isn’t it wonderful to feel alive and to be in full control of our senses!

  4. Thank you, Joss, I like it, too. I used to have flowers more separate, and had a small garden spot for vegetables alone. When the deer discovered my garden, I had to finally fence in an area. For aesthetic reasons, the fenced area was much larger than I needed for vegetable garden alone. It was easy to decide which flowers to move in…the ones the deer would munch on, just steps from my back door! In the last few years I’ve been adding fruits, too.
    Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

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