meet our garden

March 8, 2010

You might have met our garden before, but boy has it transformed since I last shared about it when we were readying the soil for the next season’s harvest. We were also a bit traumatized by all the bugs and yucky thingsΒ that ruined our Summer harvest, that Ben was determined to try to keep the bugs at bay this time around in a most natural way and try to avoid the need for any pesticides.

This was our garden in December:
Ben is indeed a planner. He always has been and always will be. Thus, we have 4 raised beds and he meticulously planned out all the seeds he would put and where. It is quite a site to see the work he put into making a map of our garden. I, on the other hand, would have just willy nilly tossed the seeds to and fro and covered it with dirt. Isn’t that how we got apple trees? Didn’t Johnny Appleseed do the same?
his garden plan
Our answer to keeping the bugs out, Ben created these arches using PVC pipes and purchased some gardening cloth that would go over it, but still let water and light in. My lack of proper gardening lingo just shows who really does the gardening around here. There is a drip system installed to make sure our little seedlings get some water to grow.
our garden beds
I am almost sure these tiny things are brussel sprout seeds.
planting seeds
Don’t mind his crazy hair. We typically work on the garden first thing Saturday mornings, so we have bed head. I don’t think the garden cares much about our looks.
This is our garden in January:
cabbage and cauliflowerbroccoli rabe and other thingsrainbow swiss chardsweet peas
Meet our garden in February:
broccoli rabekale and cauliflowerrainbow swiss chardrainbow swiss chard
February was full of crazy rain, which was really good for our garden, as this is what our garden looks like in March:
We spent this past Saturday morning pulling weeds and harvesting because boy were some vegetables ready to be harvested! The broccoli rabe was so big that it was bulging out of the covering and was even taller than Brave!
whoa! attack of the vegetables
Meet our kale.
Our cauliflower, and it is orange cauliflower, which is my favorite.
Our turnips.
Our cabbage.
Rainbow Swiss chard.
rainbow swiss chard
And of course, our giant broccoli rabe.
see how big the broccoli rabe is
There are a plethora of other things, if you look closely at Ben’s map, but that is all I remember so far.
garden beds and backyarda table in the garden
We worked in the garden until it started raining, in which the girls and I danced and sang a bit in the rain (don’t tell my Mom cause she would freak out and tell us we would get sick!), then Ben harvested some broccoli rabe and went in to cook us a yummy lunch.
some harvest broccoli rabe
We really love our garden. It is so nice to step out into our own backyard and get some ingredients to make a wonderfully healthy meal. I can’t wait until some other things are ready to be harvested!
Here are some resources we used in the building of our garden:
If you think it is impossible for you to achieve this, don’t think that. We don’t live in the country with wide open spaces, but live in a suburb of a regular neighborhood, where most houses look alike, so a garden like this is definitely doable in just any plain, ordinary backyard. Plus, if you know anything about southern California backyards, well, ours is pretty small. We are definitely beginners at all this gardening stuff. If you want to see a few more pictures of our garden click here.
Don’t forget the giveaways.

58 comments on “meet our garden”

  • Erin says:

    Wow, that's amazing! All your new vegetables look so beautiful.

  • Amazing! My husband is the drip system extraordinaire with our front stoop garden, and with our starts (from seed) here in the house…and here is what our community plot looks like right now (we are a few lines of latitude north of you):

  • Wow, that is such a great accomplishment! All your veggies grew to be soo full and bountiful hehe. I know how much work it takes to do big house projects like this, so seriously, props to you guys!! And now I am totally going to convince my hubby to grow our own kale, so I can make kale chips EVERY DAY!!!!!!!! =) BTW, have you tried them before? If not, I have a recipe on my blog, they are a MUST TRY!

  • Chaucee says:

    Your garden looks great! I'm impressed you're doing this in California! I'm glad you found some good soil ;P

  • Peggy says:

    You must be so proud! You have done a great job! All that organic, pesticide free food!

  • Kelsey says:

    aghh, I am trying not to be jealous! You should see my Minnesota backyard right now. Wait, I forgot you CAN”T see our backyard it's buried in snow. As is my dad's and my garden. I can't wait for spring, to get my fingers in that dirt and see some GREEN!
    Your garden is beautiful–the plants look so healthy and yummy!

    Kelsey :o)

  • hana says:

    Your garden looks GREAT! I really wanna start a garden of my own but I am scared because I am such a noob! I'm trying to study up but at some point I'll just have to go in and do it. That is really such an abundant crop!

  • Susan says:

    beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, ruby! i hope i am willing to work toward that once i finally have a yard of ANY kind! our balcony is far too small for anything like this. i'm coming over when i finally do have a yard and doing some research, okay?

  • Erika says:

    Oh, your garden is just lovely; it makes me want one of my own!! πŸ™‚

  • I've always wanted to have a vegetable garden. might try it this year…

  • CourtneyKeb says:

    We gave gardening an go last year. Well.. it's more like an overgrown jungle that desperately needs to be put out of its misery now.

    After seeing your beautiful products I'm slightly inspired to tackle the “jungle”.

    Way to go, and thanks!!!

  • HazeWea says:

    That's so awesome! I wasn't blessed with a green thumb so I'm so jealous!

  • dana says:

    Totally impressive.
    btw, I love how unique your home is, though you live in a suburban neighborhood. Judging from the inside, I would have thought you were in a Pasadena bungaloe.
    Thanks for sharing your skills with us.

    – dana

  • Erika says:

    That is sooooo awesome!

  • wow! I wish I had a green thumb like your hubby! Very impressive garden indeed!

  • so jealous of california gardens! you guys have done an amazing job. we started a vegetable garden last summer and i can't wait to get my hands dirty this year. i love spring!

  • jozen says:

    how inspirational!

    growing veggies is on my to-do list this summer.

    thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Lazy Apples says:

    Oh I love your garden! I envy it too! We still have a foot of snow on the ground over here in new england!

  • WOWWWWW… so much!!!!!!!!!!

  • :) erin says:

    looove, love it! SoCAL is such a great place to grow. good luck

  • Michele Lee says:

    My my my miss cakies..I love this! It's inspiring really because I have the same problem with space. I wonder how much time and effort goes into it though? And does organic–home grown food really taste that much different? Thank you for sharing and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your feasts! πŸ™‚

  • merideth says:

    thanks so much ruby for your response… i will be saving my pennies!!
    and i am in awe of your garden. i really really want to have a garden. and it was one of my goals last year to learn more about it and then this year to have a garden.
    why does it seem so hard to do?? i wonder if i am too late to start.

    you have inspired me once again!

  • Myshell says:


  • Fallon says:

    Your garden is beautiful! Everything is so healthy and vibrant. Job well done πŸ™‚

  • Ali says:

    Wow I really want a garden like that! Im feeling inspired! I just planted tomatoes, peppers and dill..soon I will plant squash, lettuce, and something elses i can't remember. Now I want to post pictures of my little sprouts!

  • nichole says:

    your garden is awesome! We are just trying to put something together now in march. But i was thinking the other day that since we get so much rain in december that is when I should start our garden. I feel like it gets so hot here in mission viejo so soon that from march to may is not enough time fore it to really get going. I am inspired to hear that you guys started your garden in december and it is already so amazing! Thank you for sharing about your garden! Please share more often! nichole

  • WOW. This post looks like it came atraight out of a gardening mag!! Great work ! really inspiring.

  • That's really great- we just moved from Southern California and have a big yard now and one of the first things I wanted to do was plant a garden-maybe this Spring πŸ™‚

  • oh my GOD… i am green with envy!

  • MariamMonroe says:

    wait! im sorry, how exactly did the piping covered in cloth keep the bugs out?? i refuse to do a garden cause i hate seeing mauled up half eaten fruits and veggies…

  • Laura says:

    oh. my. goodness. AMAZING! I am so inspire! Your garden is amazing! Well done. I love the cabana lights too! Would you mind sharing where you found them? I've seen them in a few stores – but would love to know which ones are best!

  • HannahB says:

    I am totally inspired- what a luscious looking veggie garden! it looks lovely!

  • joanita says:

    this is an amazing achievement! so great!

  • Fee-AMore says:

    Oh Ruby, you have such an amazing garden! My goodness. I wish i have such green fingers!

  • a neat keep-rabbits-and-deer-out tip I learned as a hairdresser . . . human hair! We would collect all the hair from the floor for a day and sprinkle it around my plants — bunnies and bambis hate it b/c it smells like people — and it money-free and chemical-free. Low tech!

  • Wow, that is a really impressive garden! How fun to be able to watch something grow before your eyes πŸ™‚

  • Dorien P. says:

    Wooow! You won't be starving I guess πŸ˜‰
    The garden looks great! (I'm a bit jealous over here hihi)

  • Aww, lucky you! What an awesome garden!!

  • Micayla says:

    Wow, I am jealous. I grow a little myself but nothing like this. Hooray for yummy food!!!

  • Trish says:

    so, so jealous of your leafy greens! hooray for organics.

  • janet says:

    You are so lucky. Every thing is still covered in snow in Denmark. My son and i are planning all the flowers and vegetables that we are hoping to harvest some time. The garden we are planning, is also made out of 4 little gardens, some day, when the snow is gone i will take some pictures…Enjoy, and think of the cold people in Denmark, next time you harvest…

  • jen says:

    that is really impressive! can you even eat it all!?
    I'd love to be able to go in my backyard and veggie shop! I think this year I'll start with some tomatoes and herbs!

  • henzy says:

    oh wow.. that is awesome.. i am so envous of people who can grow veggies in their backyard.. that is awesome.. i'm still trying to keep my one and only houseplant alive..

  • Rubyellen says:

    i am so glad you all love it! we enjoyed eating more from it tonight! and it isn't me with the green thumb, it is ben!

    dana- oh i wish for a pasadena bungalow! my pocket book doesn't stretch that far though.

    laura- we got our lights custom for our yard. the are attached to thick metal i-beams and our house. can get more info here:
    they are commercial grade, heavy duty and will last a long time.

    michele lee- homegrown food is best because you know exactly what is going into your food. no need to worry about nasty pesticides! and everything we have grown has always been 5 times bigger that grocery store stuff. over here, we get giant vegetables! haha…

  • Irene Cho says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Irene Cho says:

    ruby, how does the pipe thingies keep out bugs??

  • Renee says:

    Wow!That is one amazing garden!!! I love it! We moved last year to a house that actually has a big yard (almost 1/2 acre) so we are wanting to start a garden and do it organically….the previous owner made his own wine so we already have 4 rows of grapevines,a pear tree & apple tree, but now I want to grow some veggies.I just love the idea of my girls going into the backyard to get something to eat…at least I know our food is safe.I will be ordering the book you listed…love it.I also love your idea of how you protect your garden….there are deers & other creatures here that would eat up our food so maybe we can try that….great tip.By the way,I don't like veggies,but your garden makes me want to try them…they look so yummy. πŸ™‚

  • Small Burst says:

    It was nice meeting you garden. You are AWESOME!

  • Allison says:

    Very exciting! I'm beginning my own gardening journey this summer (live in Michigan), though my husband has some experience I am clueless! But I'm going to try! We have 3 raised beds (ambitious for a beginner?)and also the arch system, mainly for critters and deer. I had not considered bugs/pests as much so will definitely research that more. Your garden is lovely!

  • Becky says:

    what a great-looking garden! We just planted sunflower and are hoping they germinate and do well.

    Funny, we have the same Children's Place fleece pullover. I distinctly remember buying it on sale for my older girl for something like $1.99, now my younger one wears it!

  • FemFort says:

    I am now determined to grow a garden. Thank you for sharing. I loooove the pictures of your garden.


  • kado! says:

    wow…great job!

  • You have totally inspired us! I happened to fall upon Sunset's Garden Magazine right after I told Dom about your lovely garden. We're making plans now and hope to start on it within the week. The girls will have a blast with this, and will be proud of their homegrown food as well. Thank you again for sharing! We β™₯ you guys!

  • shay says:

    amazing and inspiring, what kind of soil do you use?

  • Michele Lee says:

    Awwww…thank you so much for the response miss cakies! I know your name is Ruby, but I love the word “cakies” and putting a “miss” in front of it just seems like bread and butter. πŸ™‚ Thank you ma'am…and I will definitely attempt for my own garden once my space limitation allows. πŸ™‚

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