Friday, June 1, 2012

Just enough

So like I have said in the past, our property is not conducive to a typical vegetable garden due to space and light conditions. And as much as I have always dreamed of a “mr mcgregor “ style garden it has been fun coming up with ways to squeeze in as many edibles as we can.

 I have been experimenting with fruit, vegetables and herbs in different light conditions and have found over the years that many edibles can do quite well in part sun. They may not be as prolific but they will produce.

I have stopped pretending that we are able to feed ourselves completely on this land of ours. But luckily we have other local sources to help feed us.

The farm (where I work), our farmers market in town and our community plot also play a huge part in our seasonal cooking and eating. And our little garden space at home is more of a place to grow a variety of things for fun, to nibble on and to supplement with in the kitchen.

Although I do love a veggie garden of neat little rows I also like incorporating fruits, vegetables and herbs into the perennial garden. DSC_0176
I use strawberries as a ground cover where taller perennials like Spiderwort, Coneflower, and Black Eyed Susans can grow through. DSC_0177
Our strawberries are not huge and may be not as plentiful as they would be in a sunny row but there are plenty to nibble on and each morning there is enough to fill a small bowl for breakfast. DSC_0186
Swiss chard makes it’s way into our containers and is tucked in amongst the perennials.

I love the 'Bright Lights' variety with beautiful brightly colored stems. Swiss chard definitely does well in part sun.

Currants, blueberries and gooseberries are planted along the sidewalk where they can receive a bit more light than out back .

Yes they may be tempting to people walking by but we don’t mind. We like to share. DSC_0181
There are many herbs that are just as beautiful as perennial flowers if not more.

Comfrey, Borage, Anise Hyssop and Catmint are some of my favorites to throw into the mix. DSC_0189
And the more shallow rooted and creeping herbs like Mint, Oregano and Thyme grow beautifully in the living roof of our bunny hutch. DSC_0198
 The peas that were growing up the chicken coop are now finished and have been replaced with cucumbers whose little tendrils have just started to grab onto the wire. DSC_0168
Cherry tomatoes are a must. I like to grow things that are easy to pick and pop right into your mouth.

I also like to tuck bush beans in wherever I can which is another great one for nibbling. DSC_0184
We planted a dwarf pear tree in the back yard three years ago. It hasn’t produced a bushel of fruit yet but just a handful of pears is all we need.

 I won’t lie when I say that sometimes I get a bit jealous when visiting a friend’s farmette.
 Or when i stumble upon a beautiful farm blog to find a family producing an entire year's worth of food.

But then I come home or walk out our back door and realize how much I love this little place where there are no rows, and just a handful of peas and where everything grows together like one big happy family.


  1. oh, amy. can i just say a little bit of jealousy creeps in when i see your beautiful perennials mixed with cherry tomatoes & swiss chard, your hand-crafted rabbit hutch & your beautiful home? we all have little bits to share & i love watching as you make the most of your beautiful space. keep it up, sweet lady. your an inspiration! :)

  2. you're* an inspiration, rather. :)

  3. Amy, to me your garden sounds like a slice of heaven. I love the idea of having just what I need when it is the freshest. I love the idea of picking my food one meal at a time.

  4. i agree with natalie - i am inspired by the incredible beauty of your garden (and house). we have six raised beds in our backyard, and my favorite is the herb bed because it looks like your garden - different colors, textures, heights. i love that you mix flowers, herbs, fruits, and veggies all together. it must be beneficial to the soil too that way.

  5. Your garden is beautiful! And I really appreciate the improvising you've done. I think most of us out there who would like to grow some of our own food are in less than ideal land situations, so thanks for the inspiration!

  6. amy, i LOVE this post. and i LOVE your garden. the way you've snuck in veggies with your perennials and seem to have used up every last centimeter of your available space is so inspiring! i think we all have a bit of the "grass is greener" syndrome when it comes to other gardens, but the way you've made do with what you have is incredible and beautiful. i too find that many plants that say they need full sun do just fine in part sun, just less productive or smaller in some cases. whenever i start to think that i don't have as much space as i'd like, i think of your garden and realize that i actually have so much more space available to me, i just have to get a bit more creative, and that's never a bad thing :)

  7. Hello Amy,
    I visited your garden today past and present. I plan to visit again. Your pictures are worth a thousand words. Thanks for the inspiration.


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