Sometimes I fall into the trap of only wanting to share styled, well-lit, edited photos here on the blog. And it feels like my vegetable garden is anything but those things! Why is it shockingly difficult to get good photos of a garden?! But after posting a poll to Instagram and getting a resounding YES to wanting to see it, I decided to get over myself and do a full post about the progress and what I’m growing. If you’re curious about what our zone8b garden looks like, this is the post for you!
Garden Tour: A Full Peek into My Zone8B Garden
A few things to keep in mind before we begin: this is the first year of my garden and it was a really tough year to start because our spring was SO late. For example, much of what you see wasn’t even planted until June! Also, we’re in the middle of setting up irrigation, so there are tubes everywhere. And lastly, we started this garden with a very tight budget, so a lot of it uses things I either found on our property or sourced at yard sales (like the T posts for the fence).
My In-Ground Garden Beds
When you first walk into my garden, I have 7 tomato plants that I started from seed in our living room! Each is different and they are literally my pride and joy. I have nasturtium and marigolds growing under them for a bit of companion planting. There’s a little family of hummingbirds that has a nest nearby and they come to feed on the nectar here. It’s incredible.
The next row has kale, radishes, cabbages, and artichokes. I have some peppers in the pots, as well as some basil I started that I hope will grow fast enough to eat this season! Then I have a row of little gems lettuce and my carrots. I direct sowed beets there early in the season, but only 1 germinated… so I have a single beet amongst the baby gems.
After that I have one of my two rows of asparagus. I’m considering moving them this fall though. They take up a lot of space and I don’t love having them in the exact middle of the garden.
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It’s hard to see, but there is a wide path between the two beds of asparagus. I tried to make a fence with scraps of bamboo because the fronds were getting in the way of the path. The next row includes more peppers and some bush beans that are starting to produce! Then I have a lovely crop of romaine lettuce. There are also a few more pepper plants and some broccoli plants that the geese have all but ravaged. The empty spaces you see are where I just direct sowed more spinach and kale after things bolted in the heat of our last heat wave.
Our Raised Beds
Our in-ground beds are surrounded by raised beds that we made ourselves with off-cuts from a local lumber mill. They’re cedar and SO beefy. We got an incredible deal on the wood for the raised beds — $75 for a full truck load of offcuts. What you’re seeing in my garden is only a 1/3 of it! Eventually we’ll use more of it to make a few more beds.
This bed contains snow peas and a few different types of winter squash like delicata and butternut. I also have some cucumbers that are just starting to produce, plus nasturtium and marigolds for companions to help with the slugs.
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Next is my raised bed where I am growing summer squash like zucchini and the Odessa squash in the photo at the top of this post. And you can see the goose enclosure in the background!
On the other side of the in-ground bed are 4 more beds! There is one dedicated to herbs and one dedicated to strawberries. I’m very excited for both to fill out and grow for years to come!
Next I have 2 more in-ground beds because I just got too lazy to keep moving dirt around and wanted to get stuff in the ground. One contains more cabbage, some radishes, some chard that I direct sowed and my pumpkins! The next bed contains more bush beans that I’m going to let dry on the plant and harvest the beans in the fall. I was growing corn there, but the geese devoured the plants. So now it’s just some really tiny carrots and more cucumbers that I’m trying to train to grow up a trellis.
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And here’s what it looks like at dusk! I splurged on a cute arched gate and these solar powered lights. I have climbing roses planted on either side of the arch and I am impatiently waiting on them to grow on it!
I also made a garden bed border with bricks that I upcycled from an old pathway I found on our property. I planted roses, lavender, geraniums, marigolds, and a bunch of other pollinators to bring the bees and butterflies.
So that is my entire zone 8b garden tour! I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and let me know.