Today was a lovely day to work in the garden. I cleared out one of the 4x8 foot raised beds of last year's detritus and put in pole beans, bush beans, and pumpkins.
The beans are a mix because I like doing things in fun and interesting ways. The pole beans are Kentucky Wonder. The pole beans are planted on the west end of the rectangle so as to not shade anything else that is shorter than they are. They are planted in two squares so that they can grow up our bean trelli (trellises?) that we got from Gardener's Supply Catalog a few years ago. Gardener's Supply makes awesome bean towers
and tomato cage squares, that stand reasonably sturdily and fold flat for storage. I highly recommend them!
The bush beans are in five rows running east-west along the length of the rectangle, but not hitting either the pole bean western end or the pumpkin eastern end. The outside two rows and the center line are Burpee's Tenderpod ("and all-American winner"). The odd two rows are the rest of the "Bush Bean Trio"
from Botanical Interests that I picked up from Merrifield in 2007. They are heritage beans, and come in green, purple, and yellow. I've had mixed luck with older seeds, so that's why I put them in the place I did. If they do grow, then I'll thin the other plants accordingly. If they don't, then I won't need to thin the other rows. Despite them all being bush beans, I've learned that living on the top of a hill means a lot of wind. So I put in a little bit of support for them, too, in the form of a zig-zag trellis wall
. (It will also make pulling out the plants a lot easier.)
On the eastern end of the rectangle, I took the old planting fabric and covered the ground outside of the bed to help ward off weeds and make that area even a bit warmer, sooner. Then on that end, from north to south, I planted a curve of Jack Be Little
dwarf pumpkin plants, a hill of Jack O'Lantern
seeds, and a matching curve of Spooky white pumpkin seeds (Livingston Seed Co.) Again, all three seed packages are from 2007. I figure if the seeds don't sprout in a few weeks, then we'll still be in plenty of time to buy replacement plants at the local nursery. If they do sprout, then I'll have to decide on thinning and/or replanting those thinnings, because I put in about twelve seeds in the two crescents and six in that center hill.
While we were working in the back yard, we put Scout and Berry inside of the west-side garden fencing and let them graze the weeds and grass in- and around the three raised beds on that side. The fence is in two pieces (west and east), so I worked quite happily on my side without goats under foot, but I was close enough to keep them content that "mom" was nearby.
I wasn't quite done getting the gardening urge out of my system after the beans, so once we cleaned up the backyard and put the goats away, I found a little bit more to do. I put in a few strips of lilliput zinnias in the front octagon. The octagon is a history in random, so this is just continuing the tradition. Right now, it has two self-started wild roses that are now something like eight years old that are starting to leaf out, five big blots of daffodils (the biggest of which takes up about six feet long swath, and two of which are only now just starting to bloom while everything else is already dying back for the year). There are plenty of other randoms in the octagon too: one hollyhock (currently growing nicely), one ... thing
whose name I can't remember that puts up beautiful blue flowers (but that I haven't seen come back up yet), two dwarf bleeding hearts (currently blooming), the remants of gone-wild and ignored black-eyed susans (just resprouting), the remnants of some monarda that we put in six years ago (just resprouting), some violets that no one invited but no one minds, and a long line of iris from my mother that no longer bloom because there isn't enough sun along that section anymore and they are too crowded. Oh, and there are a lot of bushy yellow weed-things that are pretty and the butterflies like (just resprouting). So of course I put in some zinnias that may or may not grow, or bloom, but why not?