The Summer Solstice Garden

Remember the mounded earth raised beds that looked like a graveyard and made me cry?  After some sun, rain, and a fair bit of work, this garden is now one of my favorite places in all the world.

February above, June below:


Here’s today’s view through the chicken coop door:


We grow only what we truly love to eat, and save our experimental forays for the farmer’s market.  Several times I’ve tried growing something that sounded exciting, but if we don’t LOVE what we grow, it just won’t get eaten up.  So this year we have a garden-full of peas,  lettuces, beans, shallots, lots of tomatoes, small sugar pumpkins, ONE zuchinni plant (Cocozelle–an Amish heirloom), some sweet peppers, cucumbers, delicata winter squash, chard, oft-used herbs, flowers for the soul, and a few other favorites.

I planted two kinds of pole beans:  Kentucky Blue and Violet-Podded Stringless, which make those gorgeous purple pods.  I love how even the stems of the Violets grow purple, so I can tell them from the others even though they’re planted together.


We planted Oregon snow peas and Cascadia bush snaps at the end of March, and are now overrun with their sweet pods:


This morning I picked the first bouquet from our sweet pea teepee, planted on the spring equinox:


Even Claire will eat broccoli from the garden.  It looks so pretty in the morning, all dewy.


The columnar apple trees are producing little applets.  Columnar apples are branchless, with fruit growing compactly along the trunk–perfect for backyard gardens.  If you are interested in these trees, autumn is a great time to plant them–just get two varieties so they will cross-pollinate.  Ours are Northern and Golden Sentinel.


The chicks, meanwhile,  are all getting along nicely.  The older girls still peck at the younger ones, but it seems to be mainly symbolic.


Looking back at the coop:


I hope all of your gardens (real and metaphorical) are flourishing.

Happy Solstice.



  1. How sweet. I love to see the close-ups to compare your plants with how mine are maturing. I have had a bumper crop of snap and pod peas for weeks, like you, and lots of lettuce. First ripe strawberries only came this week. None of our sweet peas have flowered yet–maybe we planted later? And I am wondering about my cucumber–it looks fine, but the growth hasn’t exploded yet, and no flowers. Yours? I need to come for a visit. And vice-versa.
    xo, M

  2. Do you let the chickens roam through the garden? Would that cause issues with bacteria and the vegetables being pecked at?
    Your garden is spectacular! Fantastic work! It must be very satisfying for you.

    1. lyanda

      Thank you Aimee! We’re not worried about bacteria with the chickens–they are actually good at tilling and fertilizing garden soil. But we’re not letting them roam free right now because they would devour our lettuces and carrot tops. We’ll let them out when the garden is in a less delicate phase, and for now they have a nice large enclosure.

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