Laura Bruno – Garden Update: Pumpkins, Pickles, Kraut, Cardboard And Mulch … Oh, And Flowers! – 17 August 2014

laura-of-the-rocksIt’s been awhile since I posted a garden update, but that’s not for lack of things going on in the garden. On the contrary, I’ve been too busy doing to post about doing. Here are some recent photos and commentary:

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These backyard raised beds are humming with activity and color. You can also just catch a peek of the goji berry bushes against the neighbors’ south facing garage.”

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“Our first fairy tale pumpkin has made an appearance. We have some others started, too, but not this big.”

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“The five-way dwarf apple tree continues to leaf out. It’s doing much better than the dwarf fruit cocktail tree and the service berry trees I also planted from bare root. Those have minimal leafing and/or just a hint of buds.”

Meyer Lemon Tree and friends. He recently got staked for better posture. In the foreground you can see our mystery ornamental, hyssop, good bugs mix, and in the background, our quince, black lace elderberry and some sunflowers.


“Meyer Lemon Tree and friends. He recently got staked for better posture. In the foreground you can see our mystery ornamental, hyssop, good bugs mix, and in the background, our quince, black lace elderberry and some sunflowers. ”

Our everbearing mulberry tree "doubled its height" when I added two more stakes for its floppy form. We have another mulberry tree for the birds. This one's for us!

“Our everbearing mulberry tree “doubled its height” when I added two more stakes for its floppy form. We have another mulberry tree for the birds. This one’s for us! ”

In other vertical gardening news, the red malabar spinach has gone to flower before producing much in the way of vines or leaves. It's just been too cool this summer for the heat loving crops like okra, basil and malabar spinach to thrive. On the flip side, that makeshift trellis has been great for a black raspberry bush that's tripled in size this season.

“In other vertical gardening news, the red malabar spinach has gone to flower before producing much in the way of vines or leaves. It’s just been too cool this summer for the heat loving crops like okra, basil and malabar spinach to thrive. On the flip side, that makeshift trellis has been great for a black raspberry bush that’s tripled in size this season.”

The scarlet runner bean teepees have formed a hedge!

“The scarlet runner bean teepees have formed a hedge!”

Our other trellised black raspberry bushes nicely showcase the cardboard paths getting ready for mulch.
“Our other trellised black raspberry bushes nicely showcase the cardboard paths getting ready for mulch.”

Yes, we have more mulch! This is the third load this size or larger this year. I'll need to clear it fast, because I don't think I'm technically allowed to have it on the easement spilling over into the road.
“Yes, we have more mulch! This is the third load this size or larger this year. I’ll need to clear it fast, because I don’t think I’m technically allowed to have it on the easement spilling over into the road. ”

At least the butterfly garden up front distracts attention from the mulch. :)
“At least the butterfly garden up front distracts attention from the mulch. :)”

The bee habitat helps, too.
“The bee habitat helps, too.”

So does this happy polyculture up front.
“So does this happy polyculture up front.”

And these crazy tall sunflowers bloomed just as the Lemon Queen ones started looking spent.
“And these crazy tall sunflowers bloomed just as the Lemon Queen ones started looking spent.”

Perhaps most exciting, though: we finally, after nearly a year, have rain barrels installed! We still need a couple tweaks for maximum efficiency and flow, plus my Mother Nature and Tree of Life stickers, but otherwise, they're good to go.
“Perhaps most exciting, though: we finally, after nearly a year, have rain barrels installed! We still need a couple tweaks for maximum efficiency and flow, plus my Mother Nature and Tree of Life stickers, but otherwise, they’re good to go. ”

Exciting times inside, as well: this past week I've made two kinds of sauerkraut and two batches of pickles. Our cabbage and cucumber harvests are off the hook. Apparently, they like this "Northern California Coastal" summer as much as I do.
“Exciting times inside, as well: this past week I’ve made two kinds of sauerkraut and two batches of pickles. Our cabbage and cucumber harvests are off the hook. Apparently, they like this “Northern California Coastal” summer as much as I do.”

There’s more, but that gives a glimpse into life at Faery-Hof, as my dad named our little plot of neglected land loved and harmonized into beauty and productivity. I still see all the things that need to be done, but compared to last year? We’ve come a long way, baby! Happy Sunday!

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