The Front Garden: Mixed Flowers and Veggies

Hey guys,

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been editing my photos from the past few months. The front garden photos are now ready.

This garden bed was the first area to thaw in the spring, so I planted radishes and other cold-hardy veggies until the weather warmed up enough to plant flowers and warm-weather veggies.

Here’s the before photo.

front garden before shot

As you can see, there wasn’t much growing except the flowers from last year. My parents didn’t like those flowers (and neither did I), so my first task was ripping them all up.

Next, I bought some green onion bulbs and cold-hardy vegetable seeds.

A package of green onion bulbs and some seed packets: romaine lettuce, peas, cilantro, arugula, radishes.

The radishes were an obvious first choice. I knew they could handle the frost and snow that we kept getting through April and May. They came up no problem.

closeup shot of radish seedlings

After starting the radishes, I planted an heirloom variety of peas called Alaska. They germinate better in cool weather, as I learned last year, so I made sure those went in early.

closeup shot of pea seedling

Unlike last year, they all came up fairly quickly. Temperature definitely makes a difference!

Next up are the lupin seeds. I bought these a few years back at a seed exchange fair. I hadn’t noticed at the time that the label doesn’t indicate what type of lupins they are. The native variety, Lupinus perennis? A hybrid variety? Guess I won’t find out until they flower! Lupin seeds need a period of cold in order to germinate, so I put them in the fridge for three weeks before planting them.

packet of lupin seeds

 

When the danger of snow was mostly gone, I planted the green onion bulbs. I’ve tried to grow green onions from seed many times before and never had success with them, so I tried the bulbs instead this year.

green onions, first planted in the spring

As you can see, some of them sprouted before being planted.

What you can’t see (yet) are the nasturtium seeds that I planted between the bulbs. Nasturtiums are supposed to be good for repelling insects.

At this point, the garden looked more like this.

front garden progress shot

It had warmed up enough to plant black-eyed susans, purple coneflowers, and celery. I ended up moving the celery later, but they did hang out in the front garden for a while. They’re to the right of the green onions in the above photo.

The radishes were soon ready to harvest.

closeup view of radishes in the ground

a bunch of radishes that were just harvested

I ended up just throwing them into a salad.

The lupins took about a month to come up.

lupin seedling

They still haven’t flowered, and I guess they won’t this year, but at least they’re becoming established. I planted them along the inner circle, closest to the rock, since they’ll grow fairly tall.

The nasturtiums didn’t take too long to grow. I’m happy with how pretty they are, though for some reason this one plant has paler flowers than the other plants. I must have used seeds from different packets, or maybe my seed packet was a variety pack. I don’t remember.

closeup view of nasturtium in bloom

clump of nasturtium flowers with the large, ready-to-harvest green onions

See how those flowers in the second photo are a brighter orange? It’s not a trick of the camera. I actually like the pale flowers better, so maybe I’ll harvest those seeds at the end of the season. Also, the onion bulbs are huge in this photo! I thought they were bunching onions and would multiply, but I must have bought the wrong type. Oh well.

Let’s talk about the peas now! They’ve been growing at a steady rate for the past few months.

Progress shot of the rows of peas plants. Each one is about 2-3 inches high

closeup view of pea flower

closeup of peas pods, not quite ready to harvest

Pea pods that are ready to harvest

Closeup shot of a pea pod, harvested and opened up. Basket of just-picked peas.

I made that first harvest about a week ago. There are still more pods to collect. I’m not sure how long these plants will keep producing for. Should I plant more seeds? I’ll have to look that up later. Or, if anyone has any advice about peas, feel free to post it in the comments below!

Next up are the pre-grown plants I bought from the store.

I bought the jalapeno plant for one purpose: making salsa. I have tomatoes and cilantro growing up in the rock garden already. I can’t wait until everything is ready to throw together!

jalapeno plant

These shasta daisies are one of my favourite flowers. I had to look around before finding the exact variety I wanted: Alaska. The Becky variety is probably nice too, but I wasn’t completely sure about those. Flowers aren’t really my specialty.

Closeup shot of shasta daisies

I bought three small shasta daisy plants (on sale!), which I’m hoping will fill out the garden a bit more by this time next year.

Now for one more plant that I hadn’t really planned to put out front: an eggplant (aka aubergine). I grew a bunch of aubergine plants from seed and didn’t expect them to survive, so I also bought pre-grown aubergine plants. My seedlings survived, and now I have way too many of them!

This guy here is hand grown from seed by me. I am proud of myself, perhaps overly so. Haha.

top-down view of eggplant plant, the one grown from seed

And finally, I have an “after” shot for you guys. It’s from a couple of weeks ago, but it’s still the most up-to-date photo I have.

front garden, "after" photo

That big clump of daisies was already growing. I’m glad I didn’t rip it out! The purple coneflower has bloomed already, while the black-eyed susans are taking their sweet time. I believe that is milkweed growing on the one side. I left it there in case some monarch butterflies want to lay their eggs on it.

Oh, and here’s the neighbour’s dog that followed me along the edge of the property and watched me work.

neighbours dog looking at me

I was worried that he’d dig up the plants, but he left them alone. Good dog!

I’m still editing the photos of the rock garden. Hopefully within the next week I’ll have those up and ready to post. Also, the black-eyed susans are about to bloom, so when they do I’ll post photos of those, too.

Thanks for reading!

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