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The Garden in Spring

My garden has been full of blossoms the last couple of weeks. The grass has really greened up thanks to the top dressing of 18 bags of manure.
 
 
We have been harvesting from this raised bed every other day; I have lettuce, radishes, spinach and bok choy at this end of the bed, and asparagus at the other end. You can see the grape vines starting to leaf out in the background.

 
Here are my grape vines with new leaves and tiny grapes! I have grape vines along most of this wall (it faces west) except for at the very end, where I have an espaliered pear.
 
 
The blossoms of my espaliered Asian Pear are in full bloom right now.

 
My espaliered Asian pear. This is a 20th Century Asian Pear. 

 
Here is the entire espaliered pear tree. It’s supposed to need a Bartlett to fertilize it. The Bartlett on the left is still dormant (and I will be removing it and letting the grapes continue to grow in that spot); the pear has been self-fertile and is quite vigorous; had I known that, I might have grown it it as a regular tree. It fruits well for me every year.
 
 
Backing up a bit; the fig on the right is just starting to leaf out. In front of the pear tree you can see two of the Biloxi blueberries that I planted this spring. They are very low chill and have had flowers on them for over a month. I have planted several flowers in front of and behind the blueberries as well. Hopefully this spot will make for a nice cutting garden come May.

 
Back up a bit more and turn to the left. I originally planned to add urns in the garden in this spot when I first drew out my garden plans (which is why there are no daffodils in the corner) and I just added them this week (years and years later, but a garden takes time). The urns are from Sam’s Club. I planted them with white carpet roses earlier today, and I ran 2 drip lines up inside each pot. I still need to connect those into the main line so that they will be watered with the daffodils and euyonomous hedges.
 
In the background you can see my raised bed that was in the first picture. We moved it in January to be touching the other garden beds. I’m really glad we did; the planter gets more sun and it has warmed up so much faster than the rest of the garden.
 
 
There is Swiss chard (this was planted last year, so it will bolt in the next month or so) growing inside the hedges. We have been harvesting from it all year. Behind Ivory and to the right of the peach tree is another Biloxi blueberry bush. I have poppies coming up in there as well. I planted a few new Swiss chard plants in there this spring to have for the next year; they are still rather small. I will be adding zucchini to this spot as well.
 
 
This is the apricot tree in bloom last week. I sanded and reoiled (with teak oil) the bench last week after I took this photo.
 
 
The pot by the bench with my .25 pansies. 
 
 
This picture was taken last week. You can see that the Asian pear hadn’t quite yet opened yet, but the peaches, apple, and apricot were all in bloom. All of the daffodils are open now, and they smell wonderful.
 
On the other side of the garden, the lemon trees are budding. They will be open in the next couple of days; I love the smell of them! They will be wonderful and I’ll try to get some more pictures of those after they open.
 
If you live in Las Vegas and would like to come see the daffodils and the lemon trees yourself, you are in luck! I still have a few spots left for my garden tour/class this Saturday morning. It should be a warm 85º.  Email me to reserve your spot at brandy (at) the prudent homemaker (dot) com if you’re interested in attending. The cost is $10 per person. We’ll be talking about raised beds, drip irrigation, dirt, pruning, bugs, planting dates for the desert, fruit trees and vegetables for the desert, and more.
 

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19 Comments

  1. I actually snowed in Atlanta yesterday. I never remember snow this late! I have only kale, green onions, red chard, parsley and rosemary right now. I have german chamomile and zinnias started in yogurt cups. I did plant snow peas, and I hope things will warm up soon. We are all longing for spring here. Your photos are lovely, and it makes the spring fever all the stronger!

  2. See you are such a great Gardener you got the baby to grow in that pot! I’m gonna see if I can get to the Garden tour just so I can figure out how I get me one of those! LOL !!!Seriously Ivory looks so cute in that pot!

  3. Your garden looks wonderful!It gives me some good ideas for next year… I live in the Vegas area, but I’m planning for my son’s Baptism and almost 20 house-guests this weekend, so I don’t have room in my schedule to sign up for the tour!

  4. Thank you for all of the lovely pictures and updates. I can’t attend your tour, but it feels like I get a little bit of one by looking at your pictures. I know it would be a lot of work, but I am very curious as to what kind of yields you can expect from your fruit trees and berry bushes depending on growth method and the age of the trees. I have a “five year plan” for my garden that includes fruit trees, but we probably won’t start planting trees until next year once we find out if my husband will be working in our current city or not. I’m also curious about your drip lines – I’d like to invest in some, but I don’t know which ones are worth spending money on and which ones break down after a year or so.And as for gardening plans .. . sigh – there was a big snowstorm this weekend, but true spring weather is just around the corner, and I’m hoping my peas and spinach will come up and am planning on a huge bed of greens in the back plot. Do you ever have problems with bugs on your lettuce, incidentally? Jenni

  5. Your garden is beautiful. I hope, hope, HOPE we can move soon. We have been working on our garden for three years but it still looks more like a superfund site than a super fun sight.

  6. I just love the photo with the blue swings in the background contrasting with the yellow daffodils – did you plan that? Autumn here but still feels like summer. There are still leaves and new bunches on my grapevine but don’t think they will reach maturity before cooler days arrive. Have just picked Davidson plums (native to Australia, tart but makes the best jam and possums don’t like the fruit!) and rosellas (a type of hibiscus) which I’m going to dry for jam/chutney. If I ever visit the States I sure hope it coincides with one of your garden tours!

  7. I will echo what everyone else has said – beautiful photos that cheer me so, with spring on the way. I am amazed by your green lush lawn. We don’t water ours, so it’s tan. Then again, we are on 5 acres, so there’s just no way to deal with watering everything. I think/hope that this year we will be able to designate an area as ‘landscape’ so that we can have a bit of grass in and around the plants. We’ve actually considered fencing off a ‘yard’ so that we have an area to concentrate on, but we just haven’t gotten there yet. I am excited because the fronds of my irises are just starting to peek through. All of my irises are from my grandma, who is many years gone now. They mean far more to me than just the flowering beauty they bring, because they remind me of her. 🙂

  8. Oh, so lovely your blog is such a blessing. As is the web site. Do you think artichokes would do well in san diego We have a 12 x 12 communitygarden plot. We might be able to get one more 12 x 12 plot if no one elsewould like to have it. How much room do they take. Do they like certainplants to be their neighbors ? This is our first year to be gardeners aresome plants easier for newbies We hope to supplement our food budget withthe garden. Thanks for all you do.Patti from san diego

  9. Growth on trees depends a lot on the length of your growing season. I’m in Zone 5 and most people don’t expect a decent yield from fruit trees for 7 or more years; some people say 10 to 15. I know that’s definitely not the case in Brandy’s zone.

  10. It also depends on what kind of trees you grow. A standard size tree may take 7-10 years to fruit. A semi-dwarf can give you fruit in 3 years. You can start with larger, older trees from the nursery for a head start as well. The semi-dwarf peach tree that I purchased at the nursery fruited this year, but I usually don’t let the tree fruit the first year to promote growth (I will be knocking off the buds). Potted nursery stock is usually already 2 years old. Semi-dwarf trees take less room than full-sized trees; they can easily get taller than you can reach with an extension ladder, unless you rpune them shorter. You can fit 10 semi-dwarf trees where you can fit one standard sized tree. This is how I fit 31 fruit trees in just my backyard.

  11. Your garden is so lovely, Brandy! We still have snow here in MN, though it’s starting to melt. Thankfully we didn’t get hit with the last major snow that came through so we should be melted in a couple of weeks time.Starting seeds in egg shells today with my kiddos! And dreaming about my spring and summer garden!Thanks for sharing your lovely garden with those of us in the still frozen north,Lea

  12. What a beautiful garden! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It’s an inspiration!I was wondering how far apart you plant your fruit trees. I would like to get some dwarf fruit trees but I’m reading online they need to be spaced 10-12 feet apart. If that is true, I won’t be able to put in nearly as many as I would like. Also, how many blueberry bushes do you have. One urban gardening book I read said 1 blueberry bush is enough for a family. I think I would like a whole hedge row of them!

  13. I’m going to completely disagree with the author of your urban gardening book. I LOVE blueberries, and I will fit in as many as possible!Southern highbush varities are supposed to get big (4-5 feet), but mine are still small. I’ve had trouble keeping them alive in the past, as they like very acidic soil, and we have very alkaline soil. This time I mixed in a very large amount of soil suplur and cottonseed meal, and they are thriving.A hedgerow is EXACTLY what I want, too! I don’t think it’s possible to have too many blueberries. One bush wouldn’t even be enough for jam, let alone pies, frozen, fresh, etc.I have dwarf and semi-dwarf trees. The citrus are dwarf trees, but only because our nursery only carries dwarf varities. I would have semi-dwarf ones if not.You want to make sure the trees get air and light. In the gardening classes I took here, they said that you can put 10 semi-dwarf trees in the space of 2 full-sized trees, so that really helps.Dwarf trees can go really close; it depends on how big you want them to become. They can get bigger if you let them. You can put them 4-6 feet without a problem.For semi-dwarf, 8-10 is possible; that’s about the space between mine in the back.

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