This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A jealous gardener

Sometimes when I read the garden blogs of others (like this one of a friend of mine who lives up on the Central Coast) and see their pictures, I get jealous.  Perfectly pea green jealous.  I have to step back and realize, those gardens are not growing on MY land or with my style of planting and tending.  Today, I actually stepped UP, to the rooftop, and surveyed what my gardens are doing.

Our gardening is constrained by two major factors:  first, we live under a canopy of live oaks.  It's great, we have natural AC and the trees are glorious.  But, our sunny areas for crops are limited.  Second, our property is extremely steep (and rocky).  So, as most of you know, we have carved these lower beds out as terraces.  These beds are pretty shady in spots, so we put in lettuce, chard, kohlrabi, arugula -- things that tolerate the shade.  In the sunny spots, I squeeze in yellow crooknecks and zucchini.  Herbs and borage are perennials (so is arugula and the chard is self seeding at this point).

The main bed is a flat narrow area along the driveway, that gets the most sun.  It is the tomato bed!  On the deck we have some pots and rolling planters.  But the bottom line is, our gardens are crowded, tangled, crazy!

And on the rooftop, we squeeze in some more tomatoes and tomatillos.  

Our tomatoes are flourishing already.  We have HUNDREDS of fruits on our approximate 50 plants.

Behind the tomato bed, oregano is thriving.
The fruit trees are back there too.  Here is the apple and the pomegranate.  A sunflower and a pole pea are snaking up beside the latter.

A green zebra!!!!!

The jungle that was the tomato bed after two weeks untended.

And after the taming:

The fruit are everywhere!

One was even ripe.  But some critter got to it first.
This is the bed with the greens and the peas.
I guess I shouldn't call them "greens" -- this little head sure isn't!


And squash blossoms.
And PEAS!  Actual pea pods.  And it's only JUNE!  Wow, has it taken forever this year!

Yarrow, out/of/control.
And grapes.

Potato blossoms.

An oak leaf hydrangea.

And another:

Some pretty colored coleus. 
And potatoes.  The best thing about these bags is we could place them right under some hanging planters that have drip lines.  Water always runs out the bottoms and was getting wasted.  Not now!


laura speece said...

that cracks me up that you are jealous of other people's gardens! i have HUGE garden envy every time i visit YOUR website!!!!

Erin said...

Marlyn everything looks FANTASTIC! You must have an amazing green thumb to do so much with all that shade and long absences! I can't imagine what you might do up here in our sun! Wish we could be neighbors and share a garden!

Green with envy at all your tomatoes!!!

Shauna said...

Wow your tomatoes look AWESOME!! I dont even want to post pictures of my puny garden on my blog now. lol


Your land is absolutely beautiful.

Kinda Like a Chef said...

Wow!!! I LOVE it! Soooo jealous! If you need to offload any tomatoes, I will happily help you out!! :)