Sunday, July 17, 2011

Front Yard Gardens

Clothesline, twine, and tent pegs
Bamboo and twine
My big one right now is actually in the back yard, but wanted to also show a couple of other yards on my street, each with its own, unique system of lattice work for vines. Mine, as you can see, is a makeshift job of clothesline, with twine anchored down with tent pegs. I'm actually quite proud of myself for coming up with that! The second yard is up the street a few houses, and the neighbors rigged up a pretty cool-looking network of bamboo poles and twine.  Beautiful sunflowers!  The last one is our neighbor Mark's garden, and he has the most unique set up I've ever seen.  For the past two years he's used these Rubber Maid bins that are self-contained growing spots for at least a spring and summer garden (I believe he lets them winter over, covered with plastic sheeting.  I had been telling friends about this set up and said that he had started with one and now had four, but looking at the picture I realized he is now up to six!  And he's growing corn!!  I don't want to be a hater so will merely channel the frustration and envy of those who have unsuccessfully tried to grow corn in their garden plots -- KHAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!111!!!!!

The thing I love about Mark's lattice work is that he is totally a dude and went with PVC pipe; I really shouldn't be so sexist!  Even if he wasn't a dude, it makes perfect sense to build a frame of PVC pipe to hold up your tomatoes and squash (I think it was actually a cantaloupe I saw a ways back), because you can just disassemble it at the end of the season and let the pipes and joiners rest neatly in your shed until next year. 

Native American cucumber
Here's a couple of updated photos of the backyard garden; The vines are crawling up the twine very nicely as you can see.  The vine in front is a vegetable plant Hollie from Morningside Nature Center gave me in the Spring; it sprouted one vegetable, and from the photo it looks like a yellow squash, but not so!  I finally decided to bring it inside and slice it to find out what it was (I thought Hollie had said it was a watermelon) and while it looked like a squash on the outside it was more cucumber-looking on the inside, and had a nice, tart flavor - if I hadn't eaten it raw right then and there it might have made a nice accompanyment to some pickled vegetables.  Spoke with Hollie later and she said it must have been one of the Native American cucumber types she had sprouted.  Cool!  I saved the seeds so maybe next year I can get some more of these.  It's still going strong, though, and actually put out another blossom yesterday - maybe we'll get another cucumber for pickling!

The other vines are loofah sprouts I got from Farmer John's table at Ward's; the bean plants are also from Farmer John's but I can't for the life of me remember what they are, except some kind of bean plant.  They could be edible or ornamental, so will have to wait and see.

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