Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Garden

This season marks seven years since moving here and starting our shade garden. Slow and sometimes frustrating in earlier years, it feels like this season the garden has finally come into its own. While the garden will continue to evolve and tweaking will continue as long as gardening here continues, this season, all season, as I look upon the garden, I feel pleased.

In the second year of our west-side, side-yard veggie bed, I was so happy with the harvest from the part-sun bed last year, I added a bed in the east side yard early this spring. Almost identical crops are planted in each bed - an experiment to see what grows best where. Tomatoes are happier on the west side, and peppers on the east.

Lettuce, assorted greens, beets, beans, radishes, and herbs seem equally happy in both beds.
Peas thrived until early July in the west bed, and cucumbers are now climbing the trellis in their place. Cucumbers have been dissapointing this year, since cutworms attacked the seedlings of the first sowing. The second sowing was done indoors, and the seedlings were allowed to start vining before they were planted out in the garden. They're thriving, and covered with male blossoms. The female, fruiting blossoms should be coming along soon. Cucumbers grow fast, so while I expect a much smaller harvest than last year, I still hope to have lots of cukes in a few short weeks.

Every gardening season brings challenges and rewards, and this season has been no exception. With more rewards than challenges this year, in spite of the above-average high heat and humidity, it's not a stretch to say this has been my favorite year yet gardening here in the shade.


  1. I hope it just keeps getting better and better for you.

  2. Your mid-August garden looks lush and lovely, Linda ... lucky you :)

  3. They say (whoever "they" are) that there's a "sever year itch" period during the first part of a marriage where newlyweds are figuring out the whats, wheres, whys, whens, and hows. I guess it's happening to you right now during this stage of your shade gardening life. ;~)

    And your garden is beautiful too so you're scratchin the itch just right.

  4. I just love the fact that you are experimenting with different areas of the garden. I am trying cucumber this year on a trellis at a 45 degree angle. I have gotten some but hopefully it will keep going.


  5. Your shade garden looks wonderful. You have done a great job in creating it over the years. Sounds like you are having a bumper crop season as well...

  6. Hey you're vegetable looks gorgeous! Mmmmmh, I could just start eating it up.
    Guess what: My husband and I are also leaving at our home with garden since seven years. And I approve with you, it's the best garden year ever... although it hasn't started well, I've lost some plants because of the cold winter.
    Your mom has morels? How great is that! Well at the begin I showed my mushrooms to a control body, but meanwhile, after seven years, I know the one I like best. Smile, but my husband eats them more relaxed when I've showed them to someone else :o).
    Take care

  7. Your garden certainly looks good! As a bonus you have those wonderful old trees. The peppers look fantastic!

  8. Linda girl : ) It does make us think back to when we first started our gardens and how they have evolved ..
    Like renovations but not as painful ? LOL .. i think you have done a wonderful job with yours !

  9. It is a great feeling when you've been labouring over an area in the garden and it finally comes together ... your shade garden does look terrific ... and I'm sure it will give you lots of pleasure now it's finally settling in!

  10. Aw, thank you Rosey.

    I'm enjoying it Joey (the mosquitoes. . . not so much!)

    Oh yes, TC, the garden and I have had many adjustments, arguments, and power struggles these first seven years. The garden has won a few, and I've won a few. This year we seem to have found our stride. ;)

    It's part of the fun of gardening isn't it Eileen (experimenting?)

    I hope you're harvesting lots of cucumbers soon.

    Thank you Skeeter!

    It's pretty amazing how much can be harvested from such small little veggie gardens Skeeter! Right now we have tomatoes coming out our ears.

    I'm glad your garden is giving so much pleasure this year too Alex. How cool that we have seven years in our gardens in common.

    You seem to really know which mushrooms are good to eat. It must have felt better when you were learning, to have someone check them. Maybe your husband should learn to identify them too, and that would make him feel better. ;)

    Those trees have been especially appreciated this record hot summer Tina! This is the first time I've tried purple peppers - they're so pretty!

    At first I wasn't sure it would ever look like a garden Joy. Last year when the patio and all the walks were replaced, the gardens were really a mess. Thankfully, with resilient plants, and a lot of hard work last fall putting things back together, it looks better than ever.

    I completely agree Bernie. It's such a sense of satisfaction. It's given us a lot of pleasure over the years, and never more than this year.

  11. Oh that purple bell pepper is really gorgeous! Love the look. Does it taste better than those red and green ones? I am sure they will look really spooky in dishes serve during halloween he he...

  12. Hi Stephanie,

    A branch on one of the pepper plants broke off so we sampled three of them even though they weren't fully ripe yet. They tasted just like sweet green peppers. Only the skin was purple - the flesh inside was green. I'm not sure what will happen when they're fully ripe. I hope they are a little sweeter, more like ripe red, orange, or yellow peppers. But I like green peppers too, so if they still taste like that when fully ripe, we will still enjoy them! I think you're right - they would look spooky for Halloween. Since we didn't have frost last year until mid-November, it's possible we could still have some peppers growing by Halloween. If not, I usually chop and freeze the extra peppers, so hopefully I'll still have some 'Halloween' peppers. They will be pretty combined with the orange and red ones too!

  13. I'm glad that you are beginning to be pleased with your garden, I will try and be more patient with mine (I havent been here 7 years yet)

  14. Your veggies look great. I thought that the peppers were eggplants at first. I've never seen a pepper that color. They would look pretty mixed with the yellow and red and orange peppers that are so popular right now. Balisha

  15. Your shade garden looks beautiful, Linda! My shade garden is my favorite place, too, and the one area I'm most satisfied with, although now that it is more mature, it's getting a bit crowded.

    Your veggies look great, and with your experimenting, you should soon have this down to a science! What kind of peppers are you growing?

  16. Hello Helen, I don't remember previous gardens taking so long getting established. It's a different situation entirely in the shade. I haven't always been patient with it. The first two or three years were especially trying, between the squirrels digging up new plants and the rabbits eating them. I never tried gardening in dry shade under maple trees before coming here, but it was the only space I had to work with at first. Much of what I tried in the earlier years died the first season, or didn't come back the next. I'm glad I kept working at it, and found things that do well in these tough conditions.

    I hope one day soon your garden will please and delight you as much as this one does us.

    Thank you Balisha! I love colorful peppers, and we have red and orange ones too.

    Hi Rose, the shade garden is infinitely more pleasant to work in this long, hot summer than a full-sun garden.

    Your shade garden is beautiful. I like lushness, and tend to plant more closely than recommended, especially in shade where things can take so long establishing themselves.

    We're growing 'Purple Beauty' from Baker Creek, 'Red Ruffled Pimento,' 'Cal Wonder,' (orange,) and 'Golden Marconi (not producing - both plants seem to be diseased, but it's not affecting any of the other peppers. I should pull them out, but keep hoping . . . !)

  17. How did I miss this post? And here I thought I was getting much better about keeping up with comments. I sowed some radishes on July 4 and have transplanted the seedlings into a larger container. It does take time to get used to shade--and you get more shade as time goes by. Your tomatoes look good!

  18. I find it about impossible to keep up with everyone's posts Monica! Life just gets in the way.

    I can't imagine more shade. We actually have a bit less, since we've had trees limbed up and away from the roof. But I have gotten used to it, and learned what I can plant here and where, to still have as much blooming as possible. I'm still in denial it's a shade garden, but thankfully there's lots of stuff that will bloom here in the sunnier spots.

    The tomatoes are coming faster than I can use them. I'm sharing the bounty with clients and friends, and we've been eating lots of salads salsa!

  19. That's interesting that the peppers are growing better on the east side; I would have thought west for the stronger sun. Glad everything is going well!

  20. I was a little surprised too Rose. Hope your veggies are producing well too!


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