The State of the Vegetable Garden

The rufus hummingbirds arrived a little late this year and as did my vegetable garden. I have always had my vegetable garden planted before Memorial Day weekend in late May. Growing up here in NW Oregon, as a kid, my immigrant-Dutch grandparents always had a lush and diverse vegetable garden and it was generally Memorial Day weekend, back in the day, before it was truly warm enough to plant tomatoes.

The past few springs have been quite warm and have found me getting the vegetable garden in before Mother's Day weekend here in the US. Not this year. Truth be told, I can't blame it on the weather..just life and too many other responsibilities. But, with the help of the husband this year, we cleaned out the raised beds and got a few things planted the second weekend of June.

2016 Veggie Garden
The vegetable gardens are in the far back of our long, city lot. Neighbors to the back have a massive overgrown mound of invasive himalayan blackberries which makes it challenging to keep the area weed and berry cane free. We would like to put up a nice fence, but until the neighbor's to the back clean up, it's rather useless.

This year we planted a very small crop. Three roma tomatoes, three basil and two sugar pumpkins. I have a few onions and a box full of potatoes as well. Tomato sauce, pesto and pumpkin pies are on this year's list of yummy food to create.

The early season work I did perform this year was to clean out and seed two boxes of wildflower seeds to add to the one box I experimented with last season.

Wildflower box, just for the bee's
Last year's wildflower box reseeded itself and has provided a nice haven for the bee's. While I have been sad about scaling back my vegetable garden, I have been delighted by the wildflowers.

I firmly believe there will be a chapter in my life again, where life slows down and I can really enjoy growing a diverse vegetable garden, but that is not the current chapter of life I find myself in. Giving these otherwise unused veg boxes to the bee's...has been good for both my sanity and the pollinators.

I used Botanical Interests seed mix called 'Bring home the Butterflies'  I noticed in my original box that I used the mix on last year, that the borage, calendula, parsley and sweet william have come back, but not any cosmos or bachelor buttons. I had hoped the later would reseed itself but it didn't. I think I will change up my seed mix next year and add more variety for next year. I do have a nice, fat, purple coneflower growing in the box and I am looking forward to it's blooms.

Sweet william, borage, clover and parsley
Now, instead of coming home after soccer or tumbling practice and dreading the nightly watering regime, I come home with a need to water less (and it's been much cooler this June too) and can go back and enjoy my flowers. I simply plop down in an old chair and watch the bee's buzz around.

bee watching
I've seen a variety of dragonflies too. It's my new 'zen' space.

So, the point vegetable garden is now a wildflower garden. It's perfect.

Cheers, Jenni


  1. I understand how it is - balancing the priorities, etc. Family & kids have to come first. I am really enjoying being able to devote as much time as I want to gardening, now that I have retired. My garden is FULL of veggies!

    1. Hi Mark, I have really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how much you are able to enjoy your garden. It gives me hope! I have such plans for the space :)

  2. My life this year is nowhere near as busy as yours, but I'm also taking a bit of a break from growing so much in my veggie garden. I just needed to grow less.

    1. I cannot tell you how delightful my wildflowers have been. They don't need constant watering and when they are done, the birds gobble up the seeds. Win Win...but I despise being this busy.

  3. My gardens have been scaled waaayyy back too, because of having back issues. I miss the big perennial bed, and some of my veggies, but I must say I'm much happier having less to take care of! There's a time for everything, I guess. Your wildflower boxes are so pretty!!

  4. I love the idea of wildflower beds in the vegetable garden. And by my standards, your vegetables are still pretty extensive. All I have is four tomato plants and some herbs - borage, thyme, sweet basil, Thai basil, and parsley.

  5. A wise and enjoyable choice for this time of your life! Your babies are only young once and soon you'll have a lot more time to garden. Added bonus- it looks gorgeous!


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