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Topic: Some call it our garden, some call it home (LOTS of photos - no kidding)  (Read 1512 times)
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ChameleonHound
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« on: August 10, 2011 03:08:44 PM »



Hi there! I'd love to share our garden with you, especially since we share it with so many already Smiley
My favorite part of gardening is seeing all critters that move in once we've created our mini vegetable jungle. We use the square foot gardening method, which means more shady areas for toads, snakes, earthworms, etc. (Plus we don't use any chemicals - just good ol' compost and weeding). Sure, we get more slugs and whatnot, but what I see the most of are the creatures that eat the things that eat our vegetables, so all the better!





Come on in!
We planted late again already, and seeing as we live in northern VT and don't have much of a growing season to begin with, we'll see what we get. But so far, we have zucchinis, green and wax beans, turnips, peas, asparagus, sugar snap peas (my favorite!), blueberries, and a whole selection of herbs that we've been gathering.

 





Some of the spoils:


Soon we'll have sweet corn, carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, and more pumpkins than we'll ever know what to do with. One year I carved twelve of the twenty that grew. Last year, when I was living in Missouri and too far away to put them to artistic use, my Dad grew 77 pumpkins, all from volunteer plants out of the compost. This year we only kept one volunteer and planted the rest, though all those sunflowers you can see in the back were "planted" by the songbirds, and later moved by us.



Every year the garden is a family effort - My Dad and I do the planting, weeding, watering together, I do the harvesting, and my Mom stores the fruits and veggies, and does a lot of the cooking and baking with them. This year we had some extended family come to visit, and I got a kick out of how eager my younger cousins (7-12 years old) were to eat vegetables! I had them eating green beans, peas and snap peas, and even asparagus right out of the garden.  Grin



We like to take advantage of our native "weeds" that can be beneficial. We leave the clover and johnny-jump-ups to grow and add nitrogen to the soil.





I also happen to often find helpful plantains next to painful stinging nettles while I'm weeding. Funny how that works out.

Beyond the "weeds", we have a plethora of tasty wild foods that we encourage to grow. This year was great for wild strawberries, raspberries, and black raspberries. Soon we'll have blackberries and wild grapes too.



This year, we decided that one good tomato variety deserved another, so we wound up with a few extra plants that needed a home. We chose to use them in the decor, along with some wild black-eyed susans!



I'm not sure if these count in the garden since they're elsewhere in the yard, but we also have some apple trees, and we grow our own Christmas trees. In the back there, you can see a new tree growing from the stump where we cut our tree a few years ago.



Alright, since I'm on a roll with these pictures, I'll add some more shots of some garden visitors and flowers from June.


DeKay's Brownsnake


Bride and Groom


A rather large Garter Snake, while she was squirming backwards into my work glove.


Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at our hostas.


curious Red-Bellied Snake

Whew! I hope you enjoyed your virtual stroll through our garden. Thanks for looking!

 Smiley ChameleonHound
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011 06:38:32 PM by ChameleonHound » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011 03:30:28 PM »

Thanks for all the photos - very inspiring, and I love all the snakes!
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011 05:53:37 PM »

Impressive. Love the last picture.
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011 07:40:04 AM »

This is so beautiful - I love that little snake - a garden's best friend!
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011 09:54:45 AM »

My garden wants to be yours when it grows up  Tongue  Love all the detail and creature shots.  Just gorgeous!
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011 03:14:08 PM »

OMG!  Wowzers.  I just had to check your profile to find out where you live.  I didn't realise that you get such snakes so far north (Vermont right?).  Are they dangerous?  (excuse me I probably sound so silly but I live in the UK, all we have is very rarely adders or grass snakes).

Lovely hummingbird picture - they are so beautiful.  And I love all those veggies - they look great!
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ChameleonHound
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011 10:32:43 PM »

Thanks everyone!

OMG!  Wowzers.  I just had to check your profile to find out where you live.  I didn't realise that you get such snakes so far north (Vermont right?).  Are they dangerous?

Sure, we have snakes up here in Vermont. It's plenty warm enough for them as long as they find someplace below the frost line to hibernate.

And these guys are totally safe. We only have one poisonous snake in the state, the Timber Rattlesnake, and it's nowhere near where I live... actually, it's very rare; I think there are only about 12 of them in the state. Anyway, even I'm a little hesitant to go scooping these guys up (note the work gloves in the garter snake pic  Roll Eyes) - even if they can't do any damage, I don't want to get chomped! But every time I've ever handled a snake, it has been very nice to me.
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011 01:30:17 PM »

ChameleonHound - thank you!  I have learnt something new today  Cheesy

I quite like snakes, they are quite cute.  Though most of the things I know about snakes I learnt from watching Jungle book!  Grin  I've only ever seen one wild grass snake in the UK, and that was on the south coast.  I think it is far too cold for them up here in scotland!
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