Busy Days - Photo Tour of Windy Thistle's Gardens

Summer Harvest is in full swing now. Things are getting ripe, getting picked, getting processed. I wasn't able to have the large garden that I wanted this year. We did get some things planted and they mostly grew well. We have growing or harvested already, green beans, sunflowers, tomatoes, green peppers, cayenne peppers, hot asian peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, pickling cucumbers, strawberries, thyme, rosemary, oregano, spearmint, peppermint, catnip, chamomile, basil, carrots and nasturtiums. We also planted a lot of marigolds because they deter so many pests.

I had failures, too. We got only one lonely cantaloupe and by the time we found it, it was over ripe and the chickens enjoyed it mightily. We also failed on the brassicas - I have not been successful YET in my gardening life but three cabbages almost made it.. until some insect larva destroyed all three heads. Oh well, we roll with the punches and carry on. I'll try again next year and yes, next year's garden is already dancing in my head like sugarplums!

So here is a photo tour of the gardens.

This big sunflower is over eight feet tall.

First off, our Sunflowers are volunteers that grew along the fence row where I had planted pole beans. I let those beans climb up the sunflowers, too. I only have four sunflowers, three are very tall and one is very little but they are all beautiful and I love seeing them, even though I can't reach the beans that are up there, so they will be left to dry and be harvested later.

Wow, those sunflowers are huge and look at all the beans vining around it!

These beans are over seven feet in the air and the sunflower is nearly eight feet tall!

There is just no way for me to harvest these beans unless I go get a ladder. That's not happening!

This is only a knee high sunflower. Next to it you can see the long path that runs along the bean row to the right.

Two rows of Tomatoes, peppers and marigolds. This is where the onions were, too but they are all harvested now. Over on the right. you can see a sheet we hung to give Lil Roo some shade, the ladies keep him out of their shade. To the right of that is our potato bag experiment

We've covered all of this garden with grass clipping here and we'll add compost and other amendments to the soil after the harvest is done.

Overachieving Marigold in the lower garden.

I thought we had planted your average marigolds but all of them grew into these monster plants, almost three feet across with so many blossoms. You can actually smell the marigolds by just brushing by them while walking in the garden. I have them in all of the gardens. This one is in the tomato/pepper garden.

Lil Roo is a big rooster - he needs a name. Ideas?

Next up from the Lower Garden is the Chicken Pen so I couldn't resist getting a shot of Lil Roo. He is making his first crows now.. a strangled choked sound that make him sound like something is killing him. Hilarious!

Three weeks ago, we planted cucumbers in this bed for pickles. I built two tripods for them to grow on.

It did not take very long for the cucumbers to take over. We'll pickle them when they are ready.

Never be afraid to start a fall garden. I was told that cucumbers were easy and fast growing - sure not a lie!

Next up is what we call the Deck Garden

It's in a little protected bay - and has cherry tomatoes, basil, hot cayenne peppers, catnip and a huge marigold. The tomatoes are growing up strings attached to the top deck railing.

Cherry Tomato climbing up to the deck.

Then we come to the long kitchen herb garden. So much is growing here.

The Kitchen Herb Garden

You can see the woodland meadow at the top of the photo. In amongst the Marigolds are Lemon Balm, Thyme, Basil, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Sage, Nasturtiums, Carrots, Hot Asian Pepper and a volunteer Tomato.

Oregano on the left, Spearmint on the Right

You can see the mint sprawling everywhere and the oregano is developing seedheads. This is why you always have to be careful where you plant mint!

Lilies in the Front Yard Garden

I'll leave you with this beautiful photo of the lily in the front yard garden. There is so much happening at Windy Thistle - it's a great time to visit. Also, be sure to sign up for the Canning Class 9/21 on Facebook. I hope you enjoyed your tour of the gardens. Let me know what you thought in comments!