Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Love My Bloomin' Kitchen Garden

Chamomile, Chamaemelum mobile, in the herb garden
This is a bloomin' marvelous time of year in my kitchen garden. I can see, and finally begin to taste, the results of my hard work. It's been extra-hard this year because of the dreadful, hot, humid weather with no rain until this week. But vegetables and herbs have beautiful flowers, so I decided to feature some of them in this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post. I have an ulterior motive ... I need to document the progress of my vegetable garden, as lately I neglected to do so.

As you may know, if you have been following this blog, I plant my vegetables in raised beds, containers, grow boxes, and a lasagna bed because of the proximity of a walnut tree. Walnut trees poison the soil with juglone, killing many vegetable plants such as tomatoes.

The kitchen garden is surrounded by a picket fence and pasture fencing. It is adjacent to the lower cornfield ... see how high the corn is now...

Four raised beds 4ft x8ft each.
I made the border along the picket fence in the lasagna method using layers of newspaper and organic matter.

The border along the picket fence is planted with perennials

Three tomatoes in containers next to the potting shed

So what is blooming in the kitchen garden on this July Bloom Day?

Pole bean, Scarlet Runner
The pole bean blossoms are making a striking show. My grandsons helped me plant the seeds around bamboo canes to create a tepee. We planted directly in the soil in front of the potting shed which is at the farthest point away from the walnut tree. There are no problems so far.

The boys love playing inside the tepee, and snacking at their little table.

We are enjoying the zucchinis. The plants are loaded with big, yellow blossoms, so we expect a bumper crop.

Squash, Sweet Zuke

I slice a zucchini and toss it in olive oil in a skillet, just adding ground pepper. It is delicious, but HH can't wait for me to make his favorite zucchini bread.

Future zucchini bread?
The blossoms on the cucumber plants are smaller versions of the squash flowers. The baby cukes are so.o.o cute.

Cucumber, Burpless Beauty
Some cukes are ready to be harvested. I'll slice them in cucumber sandwiches at my next garden/tea party, scheduled for this next weekend.

These will be in cucumber sandwiches made with dill butter
Just a few flowers  remain on the snow peas, but we harvested several quarts. I froze some of them. I will soon pull out these plants and sow another crop.

The bush bean blossoms are not so dramatic.

Bush Bean, Bonanza
Of course, there are no blossoms on the carrots, parsnips, onions, and beets. I love the way they look in their neat rows, but I will not show a close-up right now.

I am very nervous about my tomatoes as late blight has been seen in the Northeast. I lost all of them last year to the blight. I am growing three varieties this year. This one is the most advanced so far ...

Tomato, Celebrity
Other vegetables include sweet peppers and lettuce.

Sweet Pepper, Big Bertha
Can you believe we still have lettuce in this immense heat?

Lettuce, Heatwave Blend
Sorry, blooms are not featured in the previous three pictures and it IS Bloom Day, but I have planted annual flowers in the kitchen garden, to attract butterflies and bees and promote pollination. My favorites are zinnias, marigolds, and nasturtium (and sunflowers, of course, which aren't blooming yet). I grew the zinnias and marigolds from seed indoors for the first time this spring, I am proud of them.

Zinnia, Jazzy

Marigold, Happy Days
Nasturtium, Dwarf Jewel. Edible as well as beautiful
The kitchen garden perennial border includes purple cone flower, spiderwort, coral bells, lungwort, and bleeding heart. On one side of the purple cone flower is a new strawberry patch, and on the other side are three blueberry bushes. We have to be patient -- no fruit from the new plants this year. The green leaves you see by the water-hose are rhubarb.

Purple Cone Flower, Echinacea Purpurea
Spiderwort, Tradescantia

Coral Bells, Heuchera
HH provides a water dish for the butterflies; it contains horse manure. The male butterflies like to 'puddle' in the concoction from which they obtain needed minerals.

I see many butterflies, including these swallowtails, in the kitchen garden ...

Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus
Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes
Finally, my son gave me a mechanical owl to ward off the birds. When approached, a motion detector activates ... its head moves round and it makes a hooting noise.

The owl works a little too well, because it really annoys the crows. They squawk and swoop down, 'dive bombing' the poor creature.

I thank Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day on the 15th of each month. Don't forget to visit her blog to see flowers from all around the world. Thank you, dear gardening friends, for allowing me use this forum to showcase my kitchen garden.

Happy Gardening!
Pam x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! Your vegetable garden is SO beautiful!!! :) And, of course, all of your flowers are, too! :) Happy Bloom Day!

  2. Have to agree with Ruth ... you do have a beautiful vegie garden. Everything is coming along so well ... love your perennial bed too. The owl is fantastic ... and the photos of the butterflies are simply lovely. A great Bloom Day post, thanks.

  3. Pam, you have a very nice kitchen garden. Seeing your zucinni makes me hungry for some. We slice them,dredge in a mixture of cornmeal,salt and pepper,then fry them. .. tasty! It's a special feeling to eat what you have grown. Enjoy. .....

  4. Pam - it all looks so wonderful and everything is so far along!

    I really like your owl....I hope it works very well.


  5. Helo dear..
    just hoping from bangchik blog.I'm yuzie,from Malaysia.

    woww..i really love your garden..wish i could have like that.

  6. Methinks you downloaded our boma? Just our variation on a log-pile for wildlife. Do you have a log-pile F W? Wouldn't have grape-vines in Pennsylvania, or would you?

  7. I've enjoyed seeing your kitchen garden. Everything seems to me growing very well, and it's nice that you have flowers mixed in with the veg. I love zinnias too.

  8. Isn't all of this just gorgeous...veggies and beautiful blooms!

  9. That is one beautiful kitchen garden! I'm glad you choose to show it to us for bloom day!

  10. What a spectacular garden! I sighed over every part from the raised vegetable beds to the perennials next to the picket fence. One did you get your container tomatoes so lush and beautiful? I love the mix of containers and beds.

    I've never heard of adding manure to water to attract butterflies. Something to ponder.

  11. That is the best garden I have seen all year. Love the butterfly basking pool.

  12. All that's coming out of my veggie patch at the moment (I am now ashamed to say after scrolling through the photos of your veggie Eden) is lettuce, lettuce, lettuce. My next garden will have a bigger veggie patch!

    Christine in Alaska

  13. Our vegetable plants are coming along but we do not have any ripe fruit yet. I start all my new beds using the lasagna method now. It is much easier than digging out all the grass. Thanks for sharing today.

  14. Pam I never knew that about walnut trees before! Your veggies are really coming along nicely in those raised beds. Kitchen garden blooms are just as lovely as ornamental blooms. :) Rosie

  15. I just discovered your blog through Tufa girl" I like your pretty garden, photo's and tips..Didn't know male butterflies liked Horse manure..

    I also like the special little pond you put out just for them..

  16. Lovely summer vegetables , flowers & great photos. Wish I could say the same about my plants in our summer :(

    Well done Pam & pls thanks a lot for stopping by my Blog. Was a refreshing pleasant surprise to see you there :)

    All the best.


  17. Pam your vegies all look so wonderful and your sandwiches with cukes on them just made my mouth water. Love the fence with all of your flowers by it. Great choices - many I have so of course I love them. LOL

  18. That really makes me hungry! Great looking veggies, I have to go to the farmer's market on Saturday.

    Happy Bloom Day!

  19. what an impressive garden you have. such a beautiful layout. I love all the butterflies. I don't seem to be able to attract too many here in the middle of the city. It could be because it has been so hot and I haven't been out there enough to see them. anyway, thanks for the tour, you are an inspiration.

  20. I like your Happy Days marigolds. I planted a few flowers in my vegetable garden this year for other benefits: marigolds are said to repel rabbits, borage is said to repel squash borer moths/grubs, and nasturtium is said to repel beetles and aphids. Plus, the last two are edible and all are easy to grow.

  21. OOh I just love that Chamomile picture! Your garden is just lovely, thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Whoops! Looks like I scrolled past the end of your Bloom Day post and left a comment about it on an earlier post. I need to get more sleep. The sentiment in that other comment stands for both posts! Very pretty... though there's way more food showing in your Bloom Day post.

  23. Very impressive and tidy !
    I would love it if I could get my husband to fence in his veggie garden,of course we really don't have that much room.
    The kids must love being able to pick fresh beans etc.

  24. Such a lovely post today, I feel like I was invited to your garden tea party! I'm posting about my veggies tomorrow, but my veggie garden is ever so small. But it's still tasty!

  25. I am overwhelmed by your generous comments! It is taking me a while but I am endeavoring to visit each one of you. It was lovely to see you here! Thank you. Pam x