Though everything is very barren right now, at least all the damned spurge is gone.

Euphorbia Wulfenii, a spurge. Looks harmless, don't it?

 This is spurge.
If you live in Portland, you’re probably at least passingly familliar with this invasive and insideous plant.
No, it’s not covered in spines or anything, but it gets EVERYWHERE, and if you get it’s sap on you you will never
be free of it- it’s exceptionally sticky, and known to cause burns and rashes. Also, it’s classically been used as an expectorant . What fun!
I hate the stuff, but it LOVES my garden, and I spend far too long wrestling with it. My victory is only temporary,
but it’s a victory nevertheless. 

Herbs and whatnot

Herbs (mint, fenugreek, an empty dill pot waiting for more sun, chives, cilantro)

Anyway- there is bare soil now, but…..
I can just imagine it overflowing with edibles! So much deliciousness you can barely stand it.
Hunter and I put a LOT of labor into this, and I expect, though it may be a little funny looking, that in the end
it will be so lush and green you won’t believe your eyes.
I still need to get some more pots for tomatoes, peppers, and dig out a space for corn, but that’s not for a month or two. 

 Sadly, there are no photos of the wonderful hanging vine that’s devouring our porch. It’s very Haversham-esque at the moment,
and I was in a hurry so I didn’t take any photos of it. I’ll make sure to include it next time.
 
I’m hopeful that the soil I had imported into my yard a few years ago is healthy enough to support some hardier, shallow-rooted veggies. First I think it will be prudent to try a bit of lettuce, spinach, maybe even some amaranth. Something that won’t rely on a complex root system like carrots, onions, beets, or taters. As far as I can tell, the nice topsoil I got only goes down about 4-6 inches, though I plan on taking more accurate measurements soon.

Also, I don’t think I get all that much sun. I’ve got a fence surrounding most of the yard that is absolutely essential in my crack-den neighborhood.

It’s is really too bad, since it precludes most melons, corns (though I’m going to give thise a shot anyway), okra, many fruit trees, several exotic berries and tubers I’d love to try, many peppers and tomato varieties… the list goes on. I’ve recently heard about these little sun exposure meters that could at least give me some idea of how grim my sun situation really is. I think it might be prudent to invest in a few of those.  *reminder to self*

The Guardian

The Guardian. He appeared one day in our driveway, and is now the official mascott of the garden.

 The last two weekends I’ve spent a large chunk of time wrestling with my neglected garden. It’s been so easy just to buy a bag of wildflower seeds and let my front garden turn into an urban jungle. It’s pretty too, but after a sudden inspiration, I’ve decided to go back to my old passion. I think of it as “ornamental edibles”- plants that are beautiful, and delicious. Especially if one is so very pressed for space and money, having a multifunction garden is really the only option.

 Lots of heirlooms, exotics, and unusual additions. I’m probably biting off way more than I can chew, but that’s sort of the way I go about things. I’m just hoping that my expired know how will be enough to bring about a usable harvest.

 List of things that will be/ are in the garden: Bloody Butcher Corn (guess what color that is?!), Romanesco Broccoli (aka Mandelbroccoli), Dragon Carrots (blood red carrots), Crystal Apple Cucumber (kind of like lemon cukes, but even cuter), Cheyenne Bush Squash (pumpkinoid squash), Asparagus Peas (neither pea, nor asparagus!), Scarlet Runner Beans (a personal favorite), Five Color Silverbeet Chard (even more colorful than the Bright Lights variety!), Cincinnati Market Radishes (a bit like pinkish carrots), Chioggia Beets (target striped-beets), Black Cherry Tomatos (self explanitory), Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth (the gothic grain), Deep Purple Bunching Onions (Pretty!), Rainbow’s End Heirloom Tomato Mix (A variety of three different heirlooms- very cool), Corno Di Toro Italian Roasting Peppers (mini bell pepprs), Listada De Gandia Eggplants (miniature purple and white stiped variety), Watermelon Radishes (white on the outside, red on the in!), Bush Blue Lake Beans (a classic container vegetable staple), Arugula, Lemon Basil, Catnip, Fenugreek, Mint, Chives, Dill, Cilantro, probably some more herbs I just haven’t gotten around to buying… and of course Figs, Niagara Grapes, Raspberries, and Apples.

mini garden bench

A little garden bench I made out of spare bricks and a pretty ceramic tileThe trellis, and entrance to my tiny garden

The main collection of pots-- There's more herbs; those baskets hanging from the trees have catnip in em, and the little ones in front have mint or are empty waiting for basil-temperature weather... then there are peas, carrots, broccoli, amaranth, chard, a pot waiting for beans (when it warms up)- not pictured is a lovely pot for squash (another one I'm saving till it warms up)Slightly to the right of the main collection of pots, the Guardian and the herb buckets

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Where I pulled up the big ugly useless shrub (+ more spurge) and put in the delightful new grapevine

 
 Last but not least by any means, I invested a whopping six dollars in my long- suffering passion for table grapes. I considered a concord (a purple one- or purple skinned, white fleshed), but ended up getting Niagara (a white table grape) for a couple reasons.
 
1) It’s still a slip-skin, and still has that “grape” flavour that I long for but cannot find in any supermarket
2) My favorite wine of all time is made from it, so it’s got to be fantastic fresh.
3) I was in a really really big hurry and it was calling to me, so I grabbed it and ran back to my friend who had a cranky baby in the car with her.
 
 I wish I had taken a “before” photo. Egads. There was this gigantic shrub that… well I didn’t HATE the thing. It smelled kind of nice, and stayed green year-round, but I can’t say the floweres were memorable (did it even have flowers? I don’t recell. It must have, but I never even noticed the thing. I mean, it was a shrub. That’s about all I can say for it.
I uprooted the thing, which took a good hour, and along with it I pulled up several more spurges that had decided to homestead next to it. Happily, the soil where the shrub had been was very fine in quality, and I just popped the grapevine down in it’s place, making sure to prune all but one spindly branch. I have another grapevine, but it doesn’t produce, and I’m not sure if it ever will. Anyhoo, It’s a story for another day.
 
 Right to the left of this photo is a wonderful trellis that I had installed onto the side of my porch. It’s dominated by “Audrey 3 the man eating vine” at the moment, but once I wrangle that back a bit, this tender young vine should have plenty of free space and probably more sun than any other plant in the yard. I’m very excited about it, and even though I know it won’t produce it’s first year, I’m still doing a giddy happy dance. I only wish I had enough space to put oodles more of them. To the right of this photo, however, I’ve devoted the small area of soil against the fence to raspberries, which I have trouble enough keeping in check. They’re currently in the process of trying to pull the whole side of the fence down, even with some seriousl pruning last weekend. More on that later.
 
 
 
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