Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 6 of 52

raised garden beds

Week 6 of 52 – Mavis’ Backyard Garden Plot

Things are moving right along in the garden. I am finally starting to see a dent in the rock border {left side of the picture} and think I’ll be done moving the rocks I need for my last rock border pretty soon. When I’m finished, I’ll have Monkey Boy move the rest of the rocks to the front yard for me.

rock garden

It’s official, I have decided to plant sunflowers and zucchini along the fence. I’m hoping the sunflowers will attract some bees, but I’m not exactly sure how I am going to keep the birds away from pecking at the seeds. Any ideas?

bean teepee

I haven’t decided if I’m going to move the bean tepees yet. I really like them, but I want to do something else with the area. I’m not sure where I would move them though.

garden bed logs

This log garden looks a little shabby right now, but I have BIG plans for this space. It’s going to be awesome!

garden pictures

I still have not figured out what I am going to do here, maybe flowers?

magnum glass greenhouse

I’ve had the doors of the greenhouse open for the last few days to air it out, and once I scrub the roof panels and breathable fabric flooring, I’m hoping to move some flower and vegetable starts out there pretty soon because I’m running out of space in the office for my plants.

wood stump

This area behind the greenhouse is VERY shaded and I’m not sure what I’m going to grow. Maybe some greens?

backyard garden

Burn baby burn! The backyard garden area is starting to take shape. We still have about 7 stumps to burn, but I think this area is going to be pretty darn awesome once we get it prepped for growing vegetables.

omlet chicken coop eglu cube

This is the latest rock border I’m working on. I’ll post some more pictures of it in a little bit.

cascadia raspberry canes

I had thought about moving the raspberry patch, but in the end decided to leave it where it was. We need to reset the posts at the end of the rows and prune the canes.
raspberry patch

This year instead of dedicating an entire garden box to a herb garden, I’ve decided to plant chives along the sides of the greenhouse and grow mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, and a few other herbs in containers. I’ve never really grown herbs in containers before, have you? Any advise?

Alright, that’s about it. How are YOUR garden plans coming along?



This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company.  You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2013 Garden Seed Catalog HERE, or visit my {online} boyfriend Ryan’s blog HERE.

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  1. Anne F. says

    I use bird netting and reemay cloth. (Territorial Seed sells both, also Home Depot later in spring.)

    The reemay doesn’t look as nice because you can’t see the flowers any more. Basically, lay a square piece of reemay and a piece of bird netting over the top of the flower, gather it together around the stalk and tie to secure.

    I have VERY persistant squirrels in my yard. This does a pretty good job of keeping them and the birds out. I notice that the critters don’t seem interested in the sunflowers until just as they ripen. I wonder if I could pull the plants (roots and all) and let them ripen upside down in the shed (like I do with late season tomatoes.) Has anyone tried this?

    Birdnetting —
    Reemay —

  2. says

    Just an idea but if you wanted some colour AND food you could use Nasturtiums. The young leaves and flowers are great in salads (peppery!) and you can even pickle the young green seeds to make “faux capers” (!)

    Nasturtiums just keep on coming and coming and you can get climbers or regular.

    What I call “proper” marigolds (calendula) are also great and you can use their petals in salads too.

    Warm regards
    Isle of Man

  3. Michelle Wright says

    I have been growing herbs in large pots on my deck for years successfully. Easy as it gets. I also put them in the garden but it is so nice to have some right outside the sliding glass door when I’m cooking. Sometimes I put a wee bit of flowers in too for some color.

    You definitely should do it just to do it, you’ll be smiling :) Love how your garden is coming along. I already have my beds all turned and new organic top soil added. I know it’s eaerly but I have the bug. Started tomatoes indoors yesterday and going to do some more today.

    Thanks to you I am all jazzed and expanding my growing areas as well. Thanks for the motivation. Do I need to? No. Do I want to? Yes!!!! Oh, and glad you arent’ moving your rasberries, they look good there.

    Also, I got some more seeds from your boyfriends work, I really should stop or I’ll be feeding the entire city!

  4. Andrea L says

    Your backyard looks huge! How many acres is it? I WISH I had enough room/time to do what you are doing. It’s awesome :)

  5. Anne W says

    I have quite the wild kingdom in my backyard, but I’ve never had a bird go for the sunflower seeds. The seeds themselves take a long time to form and you don’t really see them until the end of the summer. That said, I’m on the east coast and maybe west coast birdies have different preferences.

    In any case, I say go for it anyway. Sunflowers are so beautiful. Try Velvet Queen if you can get your hands on the seeds.

  6. vickie says

    Love the rock border when you look at the garden from above-it will make the garden look so pretty. I probably missed it but where did you get all those rocks? (yep I would like something like that too!)

  7. suzanne says

    Birds don’t seem to bother my sunflowers either here in the PNW. I didn’t get a good seed ripening last year. May have been to cool a year or because I grew the mammoths.

  8. Mary says

    I grow several herbs in pots because I like to have them close to the kitchen out on the patio. The basil loves the heat on the patio. I also grow rosemary, mint, thyme, sage, and oregano in pots. I add a little fertilizer and compost every year and it keeps them happy. I don’t use small pots though. This year I also ordered some large (30 gallon) plastic bags to get some extra growing space. I am going to try potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers in them. I might even try cabbage. Btw the birds don’t bother my sunflowers here in Portland either. I started my greens a little over a week ago and they are happily growing under the grow lights. I hope to move them out to the greenhouse soon because I need room for the cardoons and tomatoes. Happy gardening!

  9. Bre says

    So, I apologize if I missed this somewhere on your site, but I was wondering if you have a rough idea of how many square feet you have of ‘garden space’ or garden beds. I am a first time gardener and have just started my first round of seeds. I am trying to wrap my brain around just how much space I need to cultivate. I don’t have a goal of a ton this year, but I’d like to think that I could work up to maybe have of that over the next couple! I am a ‘big picture’ person so while I am starting my garden on the smaller side, I’d like to sort of visualize my expansion opportunities, if you will. I love your site and so appreciate all you have done!!!

      • Bre says

        Ha! Ok, sweet, I’d love to have an idea. I am driving myself crazy wondering if I’m planning big enough or if I am turning this thing into a monster! (I am REALLY good at creating monsters!) Have fun measuring!!!

  10. Jesse says

    Growing herbs in pots has never really worked for me. I forget to water them and they dry out and die!

    The rest of my garden is on automatic irrigation so that is probably why I can’t remember to water a few pots!

  11. Cecily says

    I grow herbs in half whiskey barrels. I have thyme, marjoram, oregano, chives and sage. These are hardy and come back every year and once they are established, forgetting to water isn’t really a problem (at least not here in the PNW!). I also have a bay leaf in a 20 inch pot. It survived last years ice storm with no ill effects.

  12. Sarah says

    I plant sunflowers for me and the birds here in northern Minnesota. The birds don’t touch them until the flowers are dead. A few weeks after the seeds are ripe, my sunflowers are picked clean of seeds. I only plant a few now because so many reseed themselves. Try teddybear sunflowers. Mammoth sunflowers make great bean trellises.

  13. Ursula Haigh says

    I new to veggie gardening this year since finally have some space!
    Im with Bre & would like to know the dimesions of your beds.
    I have one 10ftx20ft bed for the veggies Thinking tomatoes,lettuce, garlic, onions, beets,radish.beans,peas. Is that too many for that size bed? Also have a 15ft x 6ft border of raspberries, 1 thornless blackberry & 1 thornless loganberry. In the process of removing the lawn to plant the 3-5 yr European pear “Rescue”, 3 blueberry bushes, 3 Red Currents, & 3 gooseberries that my DH & I picked up this weekend on our roadtrip to Raintree Nursery in Morton,WA.
    Im planning a bed devoted just to the aspargus crowns. Do you grow them? or have any tips? no pun intended :- )
    I will definately be trying your tater tower idea~looks like a space saver and the path of least resistance at this point. Anything to save my back from sod busting!
    Love your site and am gleaning lots of great ideas from it!
    I have been worm farming for 7 yrs now, would love to have some chickens for eggs and pest removal, honeybees, and perhaps a goat but all in time…..

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