I am an avid (addicted) gardener who lives in zone 8b/9. I got the gardening bug when I bought my house in 2005. There were just a few azaleas growing onto the house and not much else. Starting with a blank slate, I planted my first bed in the spring of 2006 and that's all I needed to begin a marathon of bed building throughout my yard. My goal is to create a "park-like" atmosphere - a place to escape and appreciate all that a garden offers. I'm looking to create some type of diary on the progression of my garden and share my gardening experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly!
 

Recent Blog Posts

Aug 06
Front Garden Design   (2 comments)

Apr 10
Finally!  

Feb 28
Good Bye Bellevue  

Oct 25
You know you are addicted to gardening when…  

Jun 11
Spring/Summer Garden  

Apr 28
The View From My Window  

Apr 23
Granny Jo’s Fountain  

Mar 12
Mini Parterre   (1 comment)

 

 

Categories
 

Confessions Of A Plant Hoarder
by Jason Redmon - posted 09/28/11

I am known for keeping plants in pots for years before finding a place to plant them.  So for most of my friends it is no surprise that I am sacrificing my vegetable garden for plants I have no place for at the moment.  The "kitchen garden" is now officially called the "holding garden". 

I still have room for a few more flower beds and so I have decided to keep a collection of daylilies and a few roses in a holding zone until the bed can be built.  Which may be a year or 2 because for me a bed can not be simple.  Oh no,  it has to be a production, hence that it might be a year or 2 before I can afford to do it.  LOL.  Besides that and there are a whole number of things I want to do to my garden.  I just never know where to begin.  New front walk, curbside/parking bed, hallway garden, more edging, less edging, more shrubs, less shrubs...it goes on and on. 

Due to all of my wants, I am constantly adding plants and moving existing plants in the garden.  This can sometimes cause a problem of me having excess plants.  I have given plants away.  I've also traded plants for plants, which doesn't actually help my situation of having too many plants. I have even been able to fill newly built beds with existing plants from my garden.  Sometimes I even have to kick some to the curb because of lack of space and need. sad

The daylilies and roses are going to be held here until needed.  I will not be growing vegetables here for the next few seasons but sometimes a gardeners got to do what a gardeners got to do.

The kitchen garden is now the holding garden. 

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Kitchen Garden Update
by Jason Redmon - posted 06/05/11

I started my first kitchen garden in the fall of last year and it's doing pretty well this season.  If the stupid heat would let up and the rain would come down, I'm sure it would do a lot better.  I have been watering in my garden like a crazy person.  Forget weeding...it's too darn hot.  I'm just trying to maintain life during this drought!  Ok, sorry.  Where was I? 

Kitchen Garden.  Yes.  I have some tomatoes coming about as well as eggplant.  The sugar snap pea did a great job but just recently succumbed to the heat so I replaced it with a mandevilla, which looks awesome.  The strawberries growing under the mandevilla are doing well too.  The birds have been enjoying them.  I know I should be doing something to prevent the birds from eating them so that we can enjoy them, but I kinda think it's cute that I am helping provide them with a little food this summer.  Robby thinks I'm crazy, mainly because he wants some strawberries but the birds have been nice about it and occasionally leave us a few here and there to enjoy. 

As you can see I'm not a tried and true vegetable gardener, more of an ornamental gardener but it has been fun to plant veggies and quite enjoyable watching them grow. 

The kitchen garden from the main path.

Another view of the kitchen garden.

Eggplant and watermelon.  I'm going to attempt to grow the watermelon on the trellis.  You can see it just starting to make its way up.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

These dwarf eggplants are so cute.  The cultivar is called 'fairy tale'.


Tomatoes ripening on the vine.

This cultivar is 'san marzano'.  They are a plum tomato that makes excellent sauce.  I always buy the canned san marzano and love the flavor and depth they create in a sauce.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered the plant at my local nursery this spring. 

Strawberries growing well.  Something took a small chunk out of this one.

 

 

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The Kitchen Garden
by Jason Redmon - posted 03/11/11

Back in August of last year I built three 4x4 raised beds.  My original plan of placing them in a diamond pattern got nixed due to my space issues and the fact that I knew I was building another flower bed on the side of them.  So, my three boxes got lined up, placed in the grass, filled with dirt and planted with fall veggies.  I was able to get lots of broccoli and cabbage from them.  Yummy!

In the 5 years I have been gardening, I really haven't been that interested in vegetables.  I have planted a pepper here or there in one of my beds but never anything serious.  I guess now that I have come to a comfortable moment in my garden, I have decided to take the next step and try vegetables. 

So last year, my first attempt was fruitful.  I harvested 3 rounds of broccoli and had more cabbage than we could ever eat! 

  

Stella was filled with anticipation of the prospect of fresh food!

The boxes were placed across from the "fountain" bed. 

 

I spent the winter working on the rest of my "kitchen garden" design.  Which planning for the next year is what winters are good for when your an addicted gardener.  I had professional grade landscape edging laid 3 feet from the raised beds in all directions.  This created a large rectangle around the 3 boxes.  Then I filled the rectangle with pea gravel, creating a clean, cottage feel.  This also allowed me to get rid of more grass.  I'll save the grass discussion for another day.  cheeky

Next, a flower bed was built off of the rectangle.  It mirrors the "fountain" bed across from it.  It's convex to concave made the design of the bed pretty easy.  I wanted a 4 foot path between the two beds, so that determined how large the new flower bed was to become.  So 4 feet from the "fountain" bed all the way back to the rectangle became the new flower bed. 

Full view of the kitchen garden.

 

  The pea gravel gives a clean, cottage feel to the space.

The sweet olive tree has been transplanted from my front yard.  I have been growing it since 2006.  The rose in the foreground is "peach belle".  She is one of my favorite roses and has been transplanted here.  I am not afraid to move plants around.  Don't let established plants mentally block your design.  Trying to build stuff around plants that already exist in the garden can greatly hinder you.  Try and think outside the lines of what you already have.  Most of anything (except maybe a Live Oak) can be adjusted.  This sweet olive hasn't even batted an eye about moving from its original home. 

The new flower bed also has Shi Shi Sasanquas planted at the base of the tree as well as Giant Liriope.  Since my raised beds are small, I planted herbs in the flower bed.  On the far left is Oregano.  Under planted around the rose is Spanish Tarragon and behind it, running along the side of the kitchen garden is thyme. 

The path between the 2 beds will be grass for now.  Eventually, it will become gravel.

 

Stella enjoys the new addition to the garden and wonders what will come next.

Try to create layers in your garden.  It kind of blurs the lines and makes the space feel larger.  Even though you can see to the back of my garden in this picture, the layers create a sense of depth which creates the illusion of things seeming further away then they actually are. 

The kitchen garden is complete and I am very excited about the way it turned out.  It really has blended in with the rest of my garden.  I have planted, Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Bell pepper, and Eggplant.  I'm also attempting to grow Watermelon vertically.  Don't worry, I'll keep you posted!

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