Catching Up ; Our Little Veggie Garden

Sometimes you get so behind on a project, you just don’t know where to begin.

That’s what happened here.

I’ve been waiting for the time to write about our new garden and chicken pen extension. Time for detailed posts never came.

Change of plan. That’s what gardeners do best, we change things. Right?

Below is the long-story-short, told by photographs:

Our thirty-year-old orange tree gave up after to two years of hard freezes.

Orange tree_2011

We waited for our resident dove to finish raising her young, then we cut down the tree.

1-Angel in the nest

We couldn’t bear to remove the stump, so we turned it into a piece of garden art.

Stump as art

The space looked empty and I wanted to grow more edibles, so we put in a veggie garden and moved a large pot, complete with an oleander tree, to disguise the neighbor’s shed…

It looked beautiful at night with a low voltage light.


…but the shape was awkward for growing veggies.

IMG_0022-002Good Morning Sunshine

Then my daughter gave me two more chickens, Cupcake and Kisses.

Kisses and Cupcake

And I brought home two Easter Eggers, Cat and Cobra.  One lays blue eggs, the other green.

We took advantage of the space opened up by the lost tree, and we built what I call the “East Wing” onto our chicken pen, adding a smaller veggie bed in front.

By the way, the photo below is the “West Wing,” hidden by our oleander hedge. It runs all the way to the coop, nestled in the corner at the far left…once again, hidden and shady.


Back to my story: There was a grapevine nearby…

On the Level with Jim Neville

…which we dislodged from the fence and attached to the new frame.

New veggie area/ chicken pen filling in

Side note: Jim says he doesn’t like the chickens, but here he’s trying to break up a girl-fight. Busted!

Breaking up a chicken fight

We added stronger support for our grape vine,.  I’m hoping next year we’ll have grapes.

Maturing and Mellowing

Here’s sample of what grew last winter:

Winter harvest

The Brussels sprouts were waaaay too big for this little space, but they were fun to watch.

Brussls sprouts

And oh so pretty!


Our cilantro was good, but the coriander seed was what I was after.

Coriander seed

I can grow Swiss chard year round and the chickens love it.

Winter Harvest

A sample what grew this summer:

Today's harvest 6-19-14

I added step stones when the lawn was transitioning from winter rye to summer Tiffgreen.


And it filled in nicely — even with my new twice-per-week, deep-watering schedule.


Which brings me to what happened today:

tomato hornworm

This beautiful little hornworm and two buddies ate a third of our tomato plant leaves over the weekend. But it is the perfect time of year to cut back tomatoes for a second harvest in fall.

Guess what

— ate the worm

—  that ate

 our tomato leaves?

chickens eating hornworm


Circle of life.