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Question of the Week - How Does Your Garden Grow

My sister has a share in one of those coop farms. She doesn't do the planting or tending or even the picking of vegetables. The place where she has her share takes care of all that. She goes every other week to the farm, selects the allotted amounts of veggies from what is set out in the barn, and then goes to the "Pick Your Own" fields to pick herbs and flowers. I've been with her once before, I think about a year ago. I brought the Pumpkin to run around with her daughter, who goes with her every week.

Well, this week my sister is on vacation, so she offered me the share at the farm. Londo, the Pumpkin, the Pookie and I all drove the 15 minutes out to the farm on Saturday morning. It was so much fun! The veggies look delicious, and the Pumpkin helped pick out which cucumbers and green peppers we took. Londo picked herbs--all sorts of herbs that make me just want to cook all day long! The Pookie hung out mostly in my sling while the Pumpkin and I picked flowers, including my favorite sunflowers!

I love the idea of the coop farm, and as much fun as we had, we actually aren't going to purchase a share. That's because Londo planted a little victory garden this summer in our backyard. Me? I'm not so good with plants. I'm great with animals, but my thumb is black. Now Londo, he's got farming in his blood and is great with plants of all sorts. And he actually really enjoys gardening! So he started a little garden in the back of our yard, and he plans to make it even bigger next year. So we really don't need a farm coop share for ourselves.

Obviously gardens and farming is on my mind this week, which is why this week's question of the week is:

If you could grow any type of veggie, fruit, herb or flower in your backyard, what would you grow?

The number one item I would like is strawberries, my favorite fruit. And guess what? Londo is about to plant some that he is getting from our neighbor who has extra or something. I want to say the neighbor has some vines and is giving Londo some, which Londo can plant and strawberries will sprout from it. But I'm not exactly sure how it works.

The things that Londo did plant for me are:
- a lilac bush, which I've always talked about wanting under my bedroom window!
- cucumbers, which I LOVE and am excited to have fresh from the garden
- a blueberry bush, which is actually for the Pumpkin since it's her favorite fruit but I love them too
- a rose bush with a trellis, which we got last summer from my SIL and it is blooming beautifully
- tomatoes, which he doesn't eat at all, but he knows that I love them and want them to make sauces
- watermelon, which everyone loves!

Next year, he already told me that he will plant herbs for both of us and sunflowers! And I'm going to ask him to plant summer squash, too. I've never been so excited about gardening--although that's likely because I'm not actually doing any gardening. Heh.

How about you? What would you like to plant in your backyard? If you had someone to do all the work for you, what would you have them grow? Do you garden yourself? Aren't fresh veggies and fruit the best?


Becoming Mommy said…
We have a fairly decent garden.
2 immature asian pear trees.
3 immature nanking cherry bushes
2 immature blueberry bushes
2 blackberry bushes
2 raspberry bushes
~50 strawberry plants
3 pumpkin vines
thai basil
sweet basil

12 lilacs (3 diff varieties)
4 peony
5 hydrangea
various bulbs

I want to grow kiwi and more varieties of vegetable. But I'm on "no effort" plants right now.
Jan said…
We're doing a garden this year and are growing a combination of everyone's favorites. Green pepper for the Munchkin, cucumber for the Little Dude, artichoke for me, tomato for the hubby. Also corn (which will probably not happen in our climate) and sugar pumpkin, lettuce and baby carrots, onions and beans, which are totally the rock stars of the garden. We planted almost all of it from seed and it's been so fun to go out and cut a few leaves of lettuce for salad for dinner or even just admire how big our sunflowers (ooh, also sunflowers) are getting.

I've got a little japanese maple that belonged to my grandmother and a hydrangea that my dad brought to me at the hospital when my daughter was born. We also have the most gorgeous red laceleaf maple you've ever seen that is special partly because it's made several moves with us.

This fall I want to get some bulbs in and I plant some more flowering stuff -- I love sedum, peonies, daylilies. My husband is a landscape architect and likes to get trees and shrubs, but flowers to an LA are like paint colors to an architect -- beneath his pay grade, I guess. :) He does bring some cool stuff home from work, though -- freebies that are left over from jobs they've done. We've got some gorgeous grasses and really interesting-looking junipers.

Since I sit at home for the new job, I can totally take my five-minute breaks to do a little weeding or deadheading instead of chit-chatting at the coffee bar, so our garden is nicer this year than ever, I think. I'm really enjoying it and I love how enthused the kids are about watering and even weeding and pruning.
Melba said…
*sniff* I miss gardening. As you know caramama I live in an un-graded un-landscaped mud hole. And I loathe it. On a positive note though, as I type this I see surveyors in my back yard. There is hope!

Anyway, I like to grow shrubs and perennials, and don't really have a favorite, per se. I think my favorite plant at my last house was probably my bearded irises. It was a huge plant (several clumps really), purple and white. I also really liked my soapwort (uncommon but awesome), I had both the upright variety and the creeping one. Pink little flowers that bloom all summer long. It spreads quickly so you have to keep it in check.

Two houses ago (I've moved twice in the past three years) my favorite plants were my gentian speedwell and my cranesbills. The speedwell was pretty little white and mauve flowers and the cranesbills were pink and grew into a huge bushy plant that bloomed all summer.

Sigh. I miss my gardens. I will have fun planting out my new yard though, if it ever gets finished. Our house backs onto a natural treed area which casts partial shade on our yard, so I'm planning on planting native varieties of shrubs and perennials that can tolerate the shade. I can't wait!

PS: everyone does NOT love watermelon. I can't stand it. Blech.
Susan said…
We have a share in a coop farm too, which we love.
In our backyard, in addition to flowers, we grow: broccoli, kale, chard, tomatoes, green beans, squashes of various kinds, lots and lots of basil (freeze pesto for the winter!), chives, parsley, rosemary, dill. And we have purslane growing wild, but we still munch on it from time to time.
I wish we could grow fruit, but it's the midwest and well, it's too dang hard.
Cloud said…
I WANT tomatoes and zucchini and some sort of citrus. I live in Southern California- I should grow things!

I HAVE- some basil, rosemary and parsley. Oh, and Hubby has a feijoa tree in the front yard. No fruit yet (it is recently planted) and I don't like feijoa fruit, anyway. Kiwis are crazy about the stuff. All the Americans who have tried them are... less enthused.

Sigh. Some day I'll have time to garden. We have big plans but no execution yet!
Londo said…
Update - The strawberries are in the ground. Planted 6 or so plants from my generous neighbor (they were overrunning his tomatoes, so it was a win-win).

Also Cara forgot a couple of things ;), I have a very large cantaloupe plant, next to the Lilac, growing under our kitchen window. Also, I have a massive hot banana pepper plant that just won't quit spitting out peppers.

Next year's plan is to harvest heirloom seeds from these plants and get the whole garden to be self-sustaining and completely organic. I do plan on expanding it to include squash, bell peppers, eggplant, and several other types or berry bushes.

To answer the question, I would love to have trhe room to grow a row or two of potatoes and onions, but I don't think that would work very well, given the space I have to work with.
hush said…
I'm actually a cherry orchardist among other things, so we have about 1800 cherry trees that supplement our family's income. Other than that, I don't make much time for gardening (I love maintenance-free perennials though). Some of my favorite plants would be:

Weeping Willow
A Doughnut Peach tree would also be nice.
mom2boy said…
@hush - that's so cool! :)
Katie said…
I'm trying to figure out what plants I really want to grow. I have tomatoes right now, and that's about all that's successful. The onions didn't get enough ...something, I don't know what, so the flopped this year, and I never got around to harvesting any of the leeks, so I'm letting them go to seed to plant again.

I keep wanting to do garlic... and I love herbs, but have a hard time keeping them alive.

I'm more of a daydream gardener than a real one, sadly. :/
Jan said…
@Londo, you should try doing potatoes with old tires -- it takes up very little space that way. I could try to explain, but you'd be better off googling it (try potatoes old tires).

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