The Garden – Spring, 2014

The Garden – Spring, 2014

We’ve been planting for a few weeks now. Just added some zucchini, lemon cucumbers, more tomatoes, and some pumpkin seedlings that my dad gave me. Had to zap the zucchini and the cucumbers with organic bug spray (sounds weird, right?); hoping it works because I’m tired of my veggies getting eaten.

But before I show you the garden, here is my bulb bed – very happy with how it turned out!

The bulb bed...

The bulb bed…

The iris area the newest up. The daffodils are gone, as are the tulips; the freesia (red, in the foreground) seem to hang around the longest, and are definitely the most fragrant.

A spider daffodil (?).

A spider daffodil (?).

Aren’t these sweet?

The hubs snuck some dainty tulip bulbs into my bed...pretty, ain't they?

The hubs snuck some dainty tulip bulbs into my bed…pretty, isn’t it?

Here, though, is the star of the garden – the first to be picked for consumption, and the first to be done for the year.

Yep - it's artichoke season!

Yep – it’s artichoke season!

See the baby artichoke, right below the bigger one? Yeah. We’ve got nine artichoke plants. Nine. That’s a lot of artichokes…

Below are the pumpkin plants my dad grew from seed. Not giant pumpkins, just regular ones – it’s gonna be interesting to see if we actually get some pumpkins this year!

Dad's pumpkins, planted too close together. Oh well!

Dad’s pumpkins, planted too close together. Oh well!

When they start vining, we’ll train the vines out into the yard.

The potato bed. Yum!

The potato bed. Yum!

Potatoes are the easiest thing to grow. Once a potato in your pantry (or fridge, or wherever) starts budding, cut it up so each bud gets a chunk of potato, and toss them in the ground, bud side facing up. I planted these about a month ago.

Here’s a mixed bed that we planted last fall – kale to the left (the insects leave the kale alone), boysenberry in the back (though Tom tried to dig that out, it’s hard to dig berries out all the way), and beets in the front. Almost time to pull the beets, the berries haven’t started flowering yet, and I’m cooking with the kale right now.

kale-berry-beet bedSo, that’s the highlight of the garden. What do you think?


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In Dad’s Garden

In Dad’s Garden

Yesterday, Tom and I went to visit my dad down in San Diego. One of the highlights, always, is the Garden Tour. Every time I’ve visited since I moved out thirty years ago, the first words (after initial greetings) from dad have been  – “How about a garden tour?”

The man has magic in his hands. About twenty years or so ago, he decided to dig up his lawn and plant. Tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins – you name it, he planted it. This section of used-to-be-lawn now regularly gets tilled (the old fashioned way – with a shovel) and prepared every February for planting.

These are his tomato plants. They make mine look puny. PUNY, I tell you! (Note the sunflowers facing away at the top of the photo!)

Dad's tomato plants

And take a look at his pumpkins. Mine got started about a month after his did, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that eventually they’ll really take off. Neither of mine are the gigantic pumpkins like his are, but still…aren’t those leaves pretty?

Dad's big punkin

This one is about 12 – 15 inches across.

Dad's punkin patch

The leaves are about knee high.

Then there are the sunflowers. Freaking gorgeous! When I told him about my spindly ones with lots of flowers, he said he’s always wanted to grow those. So…this fall, we shall have a sunflower seed exchange, lol. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to grow dinner plate beauties!


These stand about 17′ high.

Plus his apple trees, berry bushes, and the Meyer Lemon tree that started my fixation with all things lemon, a long time ago. I always make sure to pick as many lemons as I can, and stash them in the fridge to keep them as long as I can. I may actually have to learn how to preserve lemons!

(So far, my own little Meyer Lemon trees still have their lemons – and they’re getting to be a good size, too. So keep your fingers crossed for those trees!)

Here’s Dad’s Meyer Lemon tree…

Dad's Meyer Lemon tree

The tree that started it all…

And now, of course, a photo of my dad, resting in the garden.


Chet Cunningham

Though you can’t see it, behind the lemon tree to the left is the berry bush – beyond that is a pear tree.  You can see just a bit of the Grapefruit Tree that Ate the House on the right.

This is the yard I grew up in, missing only the swing and the above-ground pool (which used to stand where the tomatoes are now).

Now you know why I garden. Thanks, Daddy. Love you!


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