I’ve never been good at remembering my camera. I almost always forget it when I head out for momentous occasions. Later, I tell myself I’m just the cool, laid-back type of person who can enjoy things in the moment; I don’t need pictures to create or appreciate memories. Really, though, I’m just absent-minded and in a panic that I’ll be late (I never am).
But when it comes to my garden? I often get so overwhelmed by the beauty and magic of it that I run in to grab my camera, snapping pictures of my plants like mad. I have the sense of not being able to believe how lovely everything is, and I need to record it. (I just saw a vision of myself as an 80-year-old woman flipping through photo albums of tomatoes, organized by decade. Sounds about right.) Some of these photos deserve to be shared, not just left in a remote digital folder of my laptop. So, here are some scenes from my Oregon backyard garden taken this month. By the way, almost all of this food is growing in two relatively small garden beds. See how much you can grow in a small space?!
A nice head of broccoli, which has since been harvested:
A bee on my flowering mint (this plant is loaded with buzzing bees all day long):
‘Indigo Rose’ tomatoes, still ripening (a recent article I edited for work praised the health benefits of deep-purple tomatoes, so I’m especially excited to be growing these beauties):
Wild blackberries growing in the backyard (most people consider these a weed here in the Northwest, but I am happy to have and harvest these):
A cantaloupe maturing on the vine:
A patch of carrots:
Two varieties of cucumbers, growing up tomato cages (letting your cucumber plants climb up something saves space):
Curly-leafed kale, which will be perfect for those kale chips I keep meaning to make:
A patch of herbs, peppers and zinnias:
Green bell pepper on the vine, next to some rosemary:
Almost-ripe ‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes:
A patch of soon-to-be-pickled beets:
Jalapeños on our lone hot-pepper plant:
A just-washed harvest of purple carrots (some of these are quite small because deer ate the tops off of them):
Red leaf lettuce (leaf lettuce is my favorite type of lettuce, because you can just keep picking leaves off while letting the plants continue to grow):
‘Red Russian’ kale, which I’ve been loving chopped in scrambled eggs, quiches, and other dishes this year:
Sage growing in the one container I have planted:
Grape vines that have been growing on this property for years. These are white table grapes. I totally know how much we scored by getting a rental property with mature grape vines. I made raisins with these grapes last year, ate many fresh, and froze some for smoothies:
White table grapes, almost ready to be picked:
Thanks for taking a look! Isn’t homegrown food gorgeous? And that’s not my doing—I give all the credit to the plants. If your first thought to browsing these images is, “Wow—I should really try to grow some stuff,” go for it! I double-dog dare you.
Photos by Shelley Stonebrook