Garden Update 7.1.13–Adding Structure

The whole west coast is in the midst of a heat wave, and the northwest, for once, has decided to keep pace. With forecasts for temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s, I decided it was the perfect time to plant my cucumbers and melons.

After a few days, one cucumber has died, but the pumpkins actually have new growth and the melons look happy.

Pumpkin & Melon Collage

Since basically nothing has been growing in our planting beds, this is a wonderful sign. I did add a lot of organic fertilizer to give them an extra boost.

While we have lots of acreage, only a little bit of it is currently ready for planting, so I’m trying to squeeze in a lot of things in a fairly small space. Technically, I don’t think there’s enough room for cucumbers, and asparagus, and lettuce in one planting bed, so I decided a lattice for the vines would add some height and visual interest while caring out a little room. In my old greenhouse, I had a collection of garden stakes that I haven’t been able to find here, so I asked the MR to pick up some for me. I had visions of wood stakes like we used to make the “Great Wall of China” at girl scout camp years ago.

Great Wall

I taught knot skills at our local day camp for many years. This is by far my favorite project. As you can see from Sweet Miss and Baby Girl, it’s been a while ago.

He came home with green, plastic-y, fake wood. Sometimes you just have to make do and be thankful. I used a larks head knot and simple diagonal lashing to put this trellis together.

Lashing Collage

I’m not sure how successful the cucumbers will be climbing on it, but if they need a little help, I can always add some more twine. The one consistently bright spot in our garden has been the potatoes. This week, they’ve started blooming–I hope that’s a good sign.

Blooming Potatoes

While I was adding a little structure to the vegetable garden, the MR added some to the orchard. Those grapes vines we bought last week need somewhere to climb. We have a bunch of 20-foot lengths of galvanized steel pipe leftover from when we had to repair the well last summer. He sawed them down to size and put together an industrial looking trellis for the grapes.

grape trellis 2

I love the way it looks fronted by a field of daisies and dandelions. The grapes appear to be doing well so far.


And the currants, the one type of bush in the orchard that deer don’t eat, is loaded with fruit.

Currants 3

I picked a pitcher full of them on Saturday, and the girls proceeded to eat them all on Sunday. I’m happy we are enjoying at least some of the fruits of our labors and that the next round is ready to be picked this week. I did eat the first ripe blueberry this morning. The deer did a number on them; I don’t think we’ll get more than a handful.


Baby Girls and I added by far the prettiest bit of structure to the plantings next to the deck. We were driving home from church when we passed a local garden that hosts a yearly art show. This happened to be the weekend, and it’s totally free on Sundays. So we stopped in for Art in Bloom and came home with this lovely metal puff.

Garden Puff 3

Some day this vine will stretch along this whole length of deck, but for now it could use a little more weight. The metal pieces for this puff were actually the remnants from another project. When the artist was cleaning up, she noticed how beautiful and intricate the “trash” was and came up with these. They’re really quite lovely. Of course, Baby Girl and I took time to choose the very best one.

Garden Puff 2

I like how the shadow makes it appear as though we have two of these charming pieces.

Now strictly speaking the bougainvillea that lives inside all year isn’t part of the garden, but with temps in the 80’s, the MR moved it outside. One benefit has been this little visitor.



Apparently hummingbirds really like this vine, and he’s one bit of wildlife that I don’t mind hanging around our yard.

Now that July is here, what’s growing at your house?





3 thoughts on “Garden Update 7.1.13–Adding Structure

  1. Seeing slow progress in the garden. I did lose one plant, because I waited too long to get it in the ground and forgot to water it…I still don’t have my watering system fixed, and one tomato plant keeps ending up with too much water it seems. (DH is almost done helping his dad on his car. I hope he is ready for some honey do this weekend, because next week he has taken a few days off to help a friend on a replacement window project.)

    I planted some new plants in the fairy garden. I don’t know what is going on there, as I lost one plant that is drought resistent, but it looks like it didn’t get enough water. I have it a decent watering when I planted, maybe not enough. And two others are supposed to dry out between waterings. Now, we did have some major rain this past week, but the suculents are doing ok so far. I think it may not be my year in gardening.

    • Gardening is such a mix of ups and downs. I’ve heard that even drought-resistant plants need a little extra water until they’re established.

      Hope your guy has time for the honey-do list. Good luck!

  2. Pingback: A Look Back at July | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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