Hollowed (Hammered) Ground

May 12, 2011 | Gardening, Homesteading, Potager | 11 comments

After a good many days pleading for rain we were just hammered… HAMMERED for two hours straight.

I am afraid my poor little chamomile and carrot seeds might have even been washed away.
Now, all is calm, “my chickens” are tucked in and the City Chicks are roosting high.  It’s the tail end of dusk, almost dark,so I headed out with the camera… ISO as high as she would go.
The traffic in town, just blocks away has died down and the garden is beyond serene.  Even though the mulch* is not down yet and the pea gravel delivery will be here in a day or two… the chicken gate will be up later this week, the patio fountain is not put together yer and the wisteria is still hanging, hoping this is the “year of the pergola” (as I say every year).  Enough with the disclaimers except to say that NOTHING from the crazy project we started last October is finished (but it WILL be by the time Fifi comes to shoot for her new cookbook in about 9 days… AHHHHHH!!!!!), I’ll refrain from all the ideas I could never afford to implement…
 I was still moved, my breath was still taken away with how lovely it all is.
The stillness, the youth of the budding life, the fragrance of my viburnum almost knocking me over. 
 I feel high.
  I feel calm. 
 I feel Loved.

Once July hits I think I will do a major Avant et Aprés post but here is a quick reminder of what the left side of this photo looked like in November…
(For the full groundbreaking click here!)

 OK, so that’s not a very realistic collage but you get the idea of the view now thru the arbor.

 Remember my Potager 101 advice about a focal point – well, here is my HILARIOUS focal point for now.  An old blue chair.  Don’t you think I “need” some sort of little, crusty greenhouse/potting shed right there.

I tell my kids all the time, “The answer you are looking for is Yes Ma’am.”

I am thinking about two Cyprus or something right there where those sad little box woods are at the entrance to the “original” stone Potager.  It needs some drama!

 Getting ready to feed this family of 6 with our big Potager expansion.  In the last 3 days I have started by planting… 11 raspberry bushes, 5 blueberry bushes, 75 strawberry plants, 160 onions (so far) 18 head of broccoli, TONS of carrots, sweet marjoram, chamomile, Rosemary and Bon Vivant salad mix – my favorite blend.  And there is still so much to get in the ground tomorrow!
Just look at all that space!  Can you stand it! It’s going to look so clean and chic when all the pea gravel goes in over the landscape fabric!   I can’t believe how much we were loosing before we put the fence in!  
I feel so blessed to grow so much food!!!!!

 The “focal point” – it makes me laugh it’s so sad.  But it will have to do for now, til that perfect, killer garage sale or flea market find this summer.
I will be sprucing it up with some sweet “step-ables”.

 I haven’t done my yearly pond cleaning.  I drain it and then jump in there like a crazy woman and scrub the rocks down with bleach – oh yeah, me and my prego belly are REALLY looking forward to that.

Last year, all along that fence, four feet deep was a mess of lilacs, mock sunflower, hollyhocks, and dreaded flox.  A border I thought was mostly my neighbors until I measured our lot.  Now all the square footage has been reclaimed as ours and we have covered up most of her ugly white trellis.  She is a doll of a neighbor, I just didn’t want to look at her garden all day long.
Here is an rooftop before photo from last year of the far right side of this photo – see all that “mess” and my neighbors yards… and the dreaded 20 foot tall white trellis?

Joel trimmed my apple trees on Sunday and we tied a few more branches together.  They are so amazing when they leaf out!  Like a tunnel!

I just can’t get over how the delineation of the fence makes everything look so much cleaner and bigger.  All that work and all the work that is still to come as we wrap it up.  We say every time we walk out there how worth it it is.
Someday when I have my farm it will feel so private and other-worldly but now we have that feeling on our little in-town lot.

It’s going to be a gorgeous summer.

*I’ve got a little star there lest you think I am going to lay woodchips or something horrible like that.  I always go for the most organic looking, dirt like mulch I can find.  Always very dark, NEVER, EVER, EVER, red and never giant chunks of wood.  Ugly mulch is a pet peeve of mine, in fact I would rather have just dirt… alas there is not time to pull weeds all day and they Loooooooooooove my garden.


  1. French Countryside Farm

    I can sense the EXCITEMENT in your words!

    Your Potager is going to be GORGEOUS. I can hardly wait to see the next transition.

    I love the fact that everyone in your family will have a sense that this is their garden.

    Will you be able to give the children one small section of the vegetable garden to be their very own?

    I loved watching my boys take care of their vegetables. They would always tell me that their tomatoes tasted better.

  2. bikim

    so pretty!
    romantic !
    gorgeous photos!
    happy day,

  3. Alice

    So gorgeous! Hubby’s solution to everything is to mulch with wood chips–quick and easy. Unfortunately in three weeks they look horrible. I’ve been trying to get him to see the light, but I’m not sure if it will ever sink in.

    I wish I had the time, energy, muscle power, and knowledge to do something like this in our backyard.

  4. My Casa Bella

    It is hilarious, that you truly have a farm in the city! That is awesome. Who knows, one day you’ll be able to sell tickets to view your gorgeous garden. I can’t get over how much land you have there, what a great find.
    Congrats on babe number Four!
    Do you can ALL that food that you grow or do you sell it?

  5. à la parisienne


    I can only imagine the major investment you and your husband have put into this grandiose garden/potager-timewise and financially.

    Yes, count yourselves very blessed to not only have this much space for growing your own food but also for having the extra means to make it as beautiful as you have.


  6. Mrs. B.

    It’s going to be swoony. Positively swoony. 🙂

  7. Tamra

    Beautiful garden coming along nicely. Have you every tried the cocoa shell mulch? It’s heavenly! Dark brown shells look lovely and when you walk on it, it smells like chocolate. In fact on a hot day with a little breeze the smell of chocolate will come wafting in your windows. It’s wonderful!!

  8. CarLe Etc.

    OKay I love it all…I so agree with the mulch that looks like dirt…NO Red mulch or big clumps…can’t wait to see your additions…I have started a small Potager(follow to my blog and check it out,nothing as great as yours)wondering what your planting along fence line?
    keep up the good work

  9. Parisienne Farmgirl

    What in the world? Did anyone else loose comments during the outage???

  10. The Not So Perfect Housewife

    Love it!!
    I’ve been telling my husband ALL about your garden/Potager.. I even checked out some books from our local library about American Potagers. I read him some of the books and he’s really interested.
    We will be mapping out our new garden soon.
    You can see the blog about my home at:

    Thanks so much for all the inspiration!!

  11. La Table De Nana

    I LOVE your garden too:) The fence and arbor frame it to perfection.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Search Posts

Blog Categories

Archives by Date