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Encouragement

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Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

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From My Garden

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What I Grow in My Garden

 

 
 
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Herb Garden
 
 
Borage
Cilantro
Chives
English Thyme
French Tarragon
Garlic
Genovese Basil
German Chamomile
Greek Oregano
Italian Parsley
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage
Spearmint
Sweet Lavender
 
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Vegetable Garden
 
 
Artichokes
Asparagus
Butternut Squash
Armenian Cucumbers
Green Onions
Lettuce
Radishes
Spinach
Sugar Snap Peas
Swiss Chard
Early Girl Tomatoes
Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Turnips
Zucchini
 
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Fruits
 
 
Early Elberta Peach
Desert Gold Peach
Katy Apricot
Royal Apricot
20th Century Asian Pear
Bartlett Pears (2)
Green Gage Plum
Pomegranate (2)
Stella Cherry
Apples (15), including Dorsett Golden and Granny Smith
Meyer Lemons (5)
Algerian Tangerines
Rio Red Grapefruit (2)
Oranges (2)
Mexican Lime
Red Grapes
Green Grapes
Blackberries
Blueberry
Passionfruit
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Flowers
 
 
Bacopa
Camellia
Miniature daffodils
Foxglove
Johnny Jump-ups
Nasturiums
Lilies
Poppies
Ranunculus
Rocket Larkspur
David Austin Roses
Stock
Sunflowers
Vincas
Violets
Zinnias
 
 
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Garden Tours
 
Is your group interested in a garden tour and class?
Look here for current tours and classes. If there isn't one scheduled, email me to request one.
For a sneak peak at my garden, see here.
 
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Sources
 
 
This is a wonderful source for flowering bulbs in large quantities:
 
Two sources for seeds that I have grown with some success:
 
 

Burpee.com - Tomato HP Logo

 
 
 
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Garden Links
 
 
Plant a garden without tilling! Instructions
 
It doesn't have to be cold where you live to grow apples. Learn here about Growing Apples in a Warm Climate
His downloadable e-book, Growing Apples in the City, has information about types of apples, grafting, pruning, and espaliering trees. It's well worth getting.
 
Growing an edible garden in the city: Garden Girl
She makes the most of the space she has. If you have a small garden, check out her site for ideas.

 

Planting, pruning, fertilizing, and plant choices for the desert:
 
How to take cuttings of plants to make new plants:
 
How to determine your gardening zone:
 
 
 
 
Get fruit for free from gardens other than your own: Gleaning Fruit
 
Donate extra garden produce to a participating food pantry near you:
 
Don't have a space to garden? Have space and want to share it? Check out Sharing Backyards to learn more.

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Edible Landscaping

Sometimes we think our yard is too small to really have a garden. Usually we don't want to give up beauty for the practicality of food.

You needn't sacrifice beauty to have a garden that provides nourishment to both body and spirit. The trick is designing a space that will fulfill both needs.

There are a few different ways to approach designing this kind of yard. You can have a cottage garden, with flowers and vegetables all jumbled together.

However, I've always liked formal gardens.

Formal gardens and rows of vegetables just seem like they don't go together.

Or do they?

Let's look at an example from a fort from the 1700s in Canada. This large garden, called the Engineer's Garden, is both beautiful AND edible!

Engineers Garden 515

 

Despite the fact that the entire garden is meant to sustain life, it is a delight to behold.

Landolt Orgelbauer Germany 500

In the picture above, you can see the formal design of my husband's ancestors' garden. You can see fruit trees on the left, and poles on the right (probably for pole beans or peas). This beautiful garden was also very practical, providing food behind their home and organ factory (this ancestor made church organs in Germany for a living). From the children in the picture, you can see that they could play on the paths in between the garden beds.

Many homeowners don't have a yard that large. I certainly don't, but that doesn't mean I can't recreate the same shapes and ideas on a smaller scale. In fact, my garden is quite similar in shape to the Engineer's Garden. In my backyard, I left room for a lawn for my children to play on as well, but that doesn't mean you have to. Because we homeschool, my yard is my children's playground. I love having a yard that they can run around in. In the front yard, our garden has no grass, but has formal beds and paths.

I also want to use every inch of space possible in my planting beds. I use the walls as well. Think of your walls (or fences) as a place to grow things. George Washington grew cordoned apples and pears along his fences.

On my walls, I am growing apples, pears, grapes, sugar snap peas, blackberries, green beans, and roses.

You can take the everything edible approach, or you can mix things up.

 

 Garden in Early Spring The Prudent Homemaker

This is my current garden . It varies with the seasons, but my goal is to grow as much as possible, all year long, in my current space. (See my garden calender here). I want to have something to harvest at all times. I have a .24 acre lot. My house sits close to the street, so most of my space is in the backyard, which I love.

Garden in Spring The Prudent Homemaker

In my backyard, I have 43 fruit trees. Fifteen apple trees are espaliered on one wall. Two pear trees are espaliered on another, and grapes cover the remainder of that wall.

In this yard, all of my trees are fruit-producing trees. Most are semi-dwarf trees. The advantage of having smaller trees is three-fold: they fruit sooner than full size trees (by a few years); they take up less room, allowing you to have more varieties of fruit throughout the year, ripening at different times; because they are shorter, you don't need giant ladders to harvest the fruit. My goal was to have a good variety of fruits that would provide fresh fruit at all different times of the year, and have enough that I can can any extras.

 Edible Landscaping Raised Bed

 

Green Onion Row The Prudent Homemaker

On the east side of the garden, I grow grapes along the wall. In front of the grapes, I grow carrots, broccoli, turnips, leeks, beets, lettuce, garlic, onions, and spinach. The green onions grow all year long. and reseed themselves rach year. I haven't bought green onions since I first planted these in 2007. 

 

Edible Landscaping 3

 

Dorsett Golden Apples The Prudent Homemaker

 

In the southeast corner of the garden, I have four fruit trees: a Mission Fig, a Green Gage Plum, a Desert Gold peach, and a Dorsett Golden apple. This self-fertile apple does not require any chilling hours, and ripens here in late June.

The Desert Gold Peach is a self-fertile peach, it is a semi-freestone (the fruit clings somewhat to the stone). Under the trees along the wall I grow Swiss chard all year. 

 

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This is the center of my garden. Along the back wall I am growing Graham Thomas climbing roses in the center. 

On either side of the bench, there is French lavender, and above that, a Bartlett pear tree on each side. These were planted in the fall of 2008. Though Bartletts are a high-chill pear, and I live in an area with low chilling hours, I am experimenting with growing them anyway. On the other side of the pear trees are bush roses. Behind the bush roses are foxglove.

 

In the front planter (on the right) I have lettuce and Swiss chard growing under an Early Elberta (mid-chill, and a freestone peach). I grow butternut squash under the peach tree all summer. On the other side of the lamp post, I have an apple tree, under which I grow borage, chamomile, and more butternut squash.

Garden West back section 575

To the right of the circle, I have a Royal Apricot tree and a Stella Cherry. Both are self-fertile. As this is an area of the country that does not get real cold in winter, it is questionable to grow cherries here. In the winter, the entire back planter is in the shade, and is cooler.

 

On the west side of my yard was a slope. We removed the dirt, and built a wall (on top of a concrete edge, making it easier to mow and edge the lawn). The slope became a flat planter as we filled it in with good soil. Along the mesh, close to the wall, espaliered apple trees grow the length of the wall. Every six feet there is a dwarf citrus tree.

 

Citrus 1 575

Under the citrus trees, I grow herbs and strawberries.

Blackberry vines 575

If you turn around 180º, you'll see the same planter, but not as deep. Here the dirt is only a foot from the wall. This gives us space to walk around the a/c units. On this side, I grow thornless blackberries.

Red Noodle Beans in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

On one section of the wall , I grow red noodle beans in summer.

If you have a small garden, remember to use the vertical growing space in your garden (be it a wall, a fence, trellises, or poles).

You don't have to sacrifice beauty for food; in fact, you can have both!