Garden Update 7.29.13–Hits and Misses

We’ve been experiencing a lot of highs and lows when it comes to the yard and gardens this year. It’s a little disconcerting in that we’ve always had a beautiful yard. The MR spends hours on weekends mowing, edging, pruning, weeding, attacking the wild with a machete.

In the past, it’s always paid off so well. When my mom showed the ladies at work our Easter hunt photos, they’d ask which park we’d gone to, and she could proudly say it was her daughter’s front yard.

Front Yard07292013_0000

Now obviously, when you have acreage, having it all well-maintained and manicured would be a bit much. But the MR had a plan to make that little patch of grass between the helicopter pad and the side of the house that people first see as they drive in a little gem filled with beautiful plants and a lush green lawn. He added new dirt, seeded, watered, and look what happened.

Dead Grass

A whole lot of nothing–that’s what’s happened. It’s disappointing, but soon the rains of fall will come, and the MR will have a second chance. Just another sign that we got a load of bad topsoil.

Down the hill from our sad lawn, the bee balm is continuing to thrive.

Bee Blossom

In the garden, the cucumbers are beginning to climb the trellis, the melons are blossoming and beginning to vine, and four of the six new bean plants have escaped being denuded by either birds or bunnies. For those of you waiting with baited breath after last week’s ultimatum, the carrots and lettuce are making strides. I didn’t have the heart to dig them all in and start over. The tomatoes on the deck that looked so scraggly just a few weeks ago have also improved. They have a lovely color, new growth, and new fruit. I think they were drowning in the June rains and took a while to recover.

Garden Collage

One little pleasure we have in looking out over the garden from the deck is automatic sprinklers we can operate from our iPhones. When we see something brown–whether fowl or beast–we can turn on the water and run them off. The sprinklers have been more effective than the dogs, so far.

Moving on to the orchard, the new grapes are twining around the support wires, stretching out their limbs, and bearing fruit. I’m so excited for an unequivocal success. The pear tree that was cut in half by the deer is back covered in new leaves and growing strong, and we have two apples on the apple tree. This may sound like a hollow victory, but last year, we only ate one apple. We’ve doubled the harvest in just one year, so I’m going to call it a win.

The Orchard Collage

The orchard is not all perfection. The new fencing is keeping the deer at bay, but it doesn’t stop much smaller predators. We have bugs–lots of bugs. And they are causing damage.

Buggy Leaves Collage

I’d love to hear your ideas on how to get rid of these pests. The MR has tried some spray that fried the leaves on the nectarine tree without much effect on the bugs.

While we’ve been struggling to add beauty and bounty to our land, sometimes we can just sit back and enjoy what is already here. These hydrangeas along the portico are beautiful and require nothing from me our my guy.

Hydrangea 2

While the promise of a harvest this year is iffy at best, I was excited to read about a local farm on Facebook. First Light Farm is a u-pick, organic farm near Camp Corey in Carnation. We’ve been enjoying their purple bush beans all weekend, and since I can see the farm from my kitchen, I can pretend it’s mine since we’re neighbors and all.

Experiencing any hits or misses around your house? Enjoying the bounty of your garden or a neighbors’?

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3 thoughts on “Garden Update 7.29.13–Hits and Misses

  1. My advise is to talk to the county extension office. They are full of advice and love to help people. Congratulations on your preservation.

  2. Pingback: A Look Back at July | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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