Sunday, May 25, 2008

GAIA LUNA: May Planting

Welcome to the new improved Gaia Luna Garden. 

We put in a new purple picket fence around the garden in April, which you can see it in the distance, just beyond the white barn.  The pink flowers, near at hand, are azaleas

In the photo below, we stand at the entrance to Gaia Luna looking East toward the newly expanded growing area. The old enclosure held an area approximately, 32 x 32 ft.  The new fence surrounds an area more than double this, at 40 x 56 ft.

Above the purple pickets are two layers of 3 ft galvanized fencing to keep the deer out while allowing butterflies and other pollinators through.  The entrance is blocked by plastic mesh until we build the gate.
Gem, the cat, helps to patrol the garden.  She's nonchalantly busy keeping rabbits and birds away from the tomatoes, Italian parsley and zucchini squash I planted last week.
Yesterday, I added trellises to the garden.  They are of my own design, using readily available materials from a discount store and the local hardware store.  Each trellis costs about $20 US, but will last for many years, and provides a flexible set-up.

This trellis will support cucumber vines, started from seed indoors several weeks ago and set out yesterday.
It's constructed of 4 plant hangers (2 top and 2 bottom, the bottom two hung upside-down) with cross pieces of steel electrical conduit.  I decided not to use petroleum-based heavy PVC pipe for philosophical/environmental reasons.
Jute twine spans the distance between the top and bottom pipes.

The top brackets are movable from season to season. I used galvanized metal screws, spaced along the posts so the upper bar can be raised or lowered depending on the needs of plant to be supported, anywhere from 4 ft to 8 ft in height.
I'm using companion planting (inspired by this book) though out Gaia Luna.

Here young eggplant and jalapeno pepper plants are nestled with foxgloves behind, sedum ground cover in front, and ladies mantel in the foreground.  Marigolds and nasturtiums will be added as the season progresses.  

This isn't necessarily a recommended combination, but the diversity of inter-planting is guaranteed to produce healthier plants vs. monoculture.
Looking West, late in the day, the sun shines down on the central bed of strawberries, all in bloom, encircled by lambs ears.  Within the next two weeks there will be fresh strawberries for breakfast.

The lettuce and cabbage bed is bordered on yellow onions.  To the left of these grow four short rows of peas in an intensive planting. Red and white sedum edging occupies the foreground.
The sun sinks lower as we step back outside Gaia Luna's purple picket fence.

The last light of the day touches the tangle of blueberry bushes, raspberry vines and the broad leaves of rhubarb.

A few days ago, I froze some rhubarb for adding to preserves later in the season.  I'm still enjoying blueberries picked and frozen last August, and last summer's homemade blueberry jam from the pantry.
April and May are just the beginning, the beginning of planting, the beginning of growing and harvesting.

Much awaits us this summer inside the purple picket fence of Gaia Luna.

(c) 2007 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing

1 comment:

  1. beautiful Garden Kay, thanks for sharing.