Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happiness is a Garden!

After two days of drenching rain, the clouds started to break apart yesterday afternoon
and the equines headed out into the front pasture.

The horses seem to have accepted the donkeys into their herd,

but the donkeys are still a little insecure and stay close by each other at all times.

The rain gave me a chance to complete some "re-purposing" projects that I had in mind.

For the front porch...

an old Irwin's Dairy "milk box" repurposed as a planter.
(These are perfect as they come with drainage holes at the corners.)

Do you remember the days when our dairy products were delivered to our homes...
the milkman would come early in the morning, leaving several glass quart bottles of milk
in a milk box just like this.  

I love container gardening and will plant just about any object that will hold soil.
For extra planting space in my vegetable garden...
a couple galvanized wash tubs are holding celery and nasturtiums...

and Swiss chard (planted around a dahlia).

I pounded holes for drainage in the bottom of each with a hammer and a large nail.

All of the garden boxes are filled now.

And as you can see from our garden chalkboard,

(repurposed from an old corn drying tray painted with chalkboard paint)

we are harvesting spinach, kale, asparagus, Swiss chard and rhubarb.

"Le Jardin Potager" is a French phrase which means kitchen garden.
And as with all things French, style is as important as function.
And so a potager is a vegetable garden that is also planted with flowers
and other ornamentals.

From the looks of these broccoli plants, it won't be long before they will be harvested as well.

Our strawberry plants have bloomed.
Berries to follow shortly!

The rest of the boxes hold...
carrots (red, purple and orange)
beets, radishes, turnips, rutabagas,
cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, kholrabi, purple tomatillos, eggplant,
yellow onions, red onions, leeks,
lettuce, spinach, kale (purple and green),
rhubarb, horseradish, and many herbs,
cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash,
acorn, spaghetti and butternut squash,
many varieties of hot and sweet peppers,
heirloom tomatoes,

sugar peas, sweet potatoes,
green beans, corn, and pumpkins in the largest and lowest box...

and new this year...ground cherries.
We bought ground cherries at the farmer's market last summer and made
ground cherry/orange jam....delicious!
Ground cherries are in the tomatillo family.... a sweeter, smaller, yellow cousin.

I've also been doing a little gardening in miniature...
making a few improvements to my fairy garden.

adding a new gourd house for my teeny gnome,
(I guess you could say he's out of his gourd!)

and a tiny blue stream to run under the foot bridge.

Oh, how I love this time of year!
From sun up til sun down there is so much to do...
and so much that I love to do!


  1. I DO remember the days when milk was delivered in bottles. The delivery guy would place it in a small silver colored box in or near our garage. Those were great times. :-)

    Your garden is really looking nice and the gnome gourd house is perfect for the little fella to live in!

  2. You are so creative, I shake my head in awe of what you've done. And, you are one busy woman! I can't believe you will be harvesting vegetables soon, we don't even have them in the ground yet!

  3. Everything looks fantastic love your ideas. Hope you have a plentiful crop this year. Awesome photos . Have a good day !

  4. For Christmas, we gave my Grandpa a old bedpan and we knew that he and my Gramma would plant something in it! I don't know if they have yet, but I'll have to ask them.

  5. Look at all your hard work! The garden is beautiful and Minerva is guarding it well.

    We never had a milkman since I grew up on a dairy farm, it was just out to the milk house with the jug to refill.

    As for my garden I'm a little behind but it will all be planted this weekend because the fear of frost is gone.

    Have a great day out working in the garden, pat a few critters on the head, give a few a hug and enjoy your day!

  6. Goodness...By the time I get to the bottom of your post, I forget what I wanted to comment on...
    Everything looks so lush and green..I just love your containers..Would like to see them a month from now...Glad the donkeys are settling in with everyone..
    Your fairy garden is the gourd..Saw that somewhere but yours is "more better"..Things look great...good job!!!

  7. I totally love your fairy garden and the new gourd home...out of your gourd..use to use that all the time...dates me doesn't it? Your gardens are all fantastic..unbelievable really. The fruits of your labors are so evident!

  8. You grow so much food, it's pretty incredible. And your gardens are lovely, the amount of work certainly pays off with great rewards.
    I LOVE the little gourd house. Very very cute.

  9. I often reminisce about the old days of milk delivery. the milk tasted SO good in those bottles with the condensation on the glass in the early morning. Love using the old galvanized tubs as planters and a "fairy" garden (or gnome garden) is on my to do list. your place looks MARVELOUS.
    I just read about Edith and I am tear-ing up... I am so sorry! I know how it feels. I had a dear little pekin duck, Greta, sitting on eggs in a corner of the garden. I have lost so many ducks to predators, the thought of her there, alone at night was ominous. So I put up predator lights all around her area. Still, I kept telling myself,"Take her off those eggs and just incubate them!" But I didn't, and she "disappeared" last weekend when we were out of town. I blame myself.
    Edith was so beautiful, so darling, I am so sorry!

  10. Your garden looks fantastic! Yesterday evening, as I was mucking out the chicken coop, laying fresh hay, and new bedding to the nest boxes....I was thinking of you, and how many pens you have to clean and then the feeding alone, how much time it must take! Then I moved on the garden. I turned over the compost pile, and took a good 6 inches of wonderful, fresh compost and mixed it all into the garden boxes! Then did some new lettuce planting and harvesting of a few things. Surely you must work from sun up til sun down!!! Do you have helpers?

  11. We have been getting milk and other products delivered by a dairy for the last year. But not in cute glass bottles of yesteryear. They use plastic reusable jugs for milk. Sadly we have to stop the service since hubby lost his job and we can't afford the convenience. I am really going to miss milk delivered to my door!

    I am in awe of your garden. Someday I hope to live in a place where we can grow our own food in abundance. We do container gardening on our deck, where the elk and deer can't destroy our plants. Our growing season is very short at our altitude so not much grows or has time to ripen on the vine.

  12. All of your gardens look so neat and lovely. I just adore your fairy garden.

  13. Love every thing about you farm, but especially the gardening! And such a cute fairy garden. Where did you get the gourd house? I love it.
    We were out of town this week, checking out an herb farm in southern Indiana. So many good ideas and lots of old farm things used as plant containers. You would have loved it!

  14. Oh Sighhhh....... I love it all!
    Happy Spring :>)

  15. Oh my goodness... how wonderful everything looks. So cherry and welcoming with the most charming accents everywhere! I have a friend in Boston who is creating a fairy garden. I have to email her about your post today! She's going to be so inspired. Thanks for the beautiful pics.

  16. I love those pasture shots...and most especially the old log house. How I wish we could get some of your rain...I have to water every day already. It was 92 today! You certainly keep yourself busy Bev...but I know it's a 'labor of love' for you and your family. Your garden is looking good and will look even better as things keep growing. Love your fairy garden...and the "out of his gourd" comment LOL...very good! Enjoy your Friday.
    Maura :)


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