Mavis Mail | Gardening in Tacoma – Lisa Sends in Her Photographs

rhubarb  raspberries garden path

Lisa from Tacoma writes:

Ok, I did some digging and found some photos.  They are from this last Spring.  I don’t have any photos of the current state of the garden because really… no one wants to see that.

The total square footage of both gardens (there’s one in the back yard too) is 3200 sq. ft.  I don’t know the total growing space.  I also have edibles in various perennial beds and I’ve been known to grow annual herbs in my window boxes (although dill wasn’t the best choice for that).

garden map

We started with 2 small 4×4 in ground beds in the side yard and then expanded it to 2 5’x10′ and 2 5’x5′ beds.  We quickly outgrew that space and decided to cover up our east lawn.  The original plan was for beds all in nice neat rows.  Looking back that probably would have been the best idea, but everyone comments on the character of my garden.  They would since my east lawn is the majority of my front yard.

wood pea trellis

Our house sits on a corner lot.  The front that faces the main street is grass and nicely landscaped, but turn the corner and you’ll see the vegetable garden.  It is flanked on all sides by perennial beds.  I’ll have to do a post about the evolution of my front yard.  There are only 8 original plants to the whole yard.  One happens to be a daylily that I’ve dug up and divided to make about 20 more.  There are now at least over 200 different plants in the garden now.

summer squash

Last year I didn’t weigh all of my produce so I don’t know exactly how many pounds I grew.  My guess is a good 500 pounds.

This year we are taking on the experiment of growing a giant pumpkin.  The plan is to use my son’s garden (the original 2 5×10 beds) to grow it.  From what I’ve read you’re supposed to dedicate a good 100 sq. ft. to the plant, but we’re going to try to cram it into a smaller space.  I don’t want it taking over the useful garden.

raised garden beds with hoops

This is the bed we grew brassicas in last year.  My husband rebuilt the bed last year so it was sturdier.

summer harvest

This is a small portion of one of our harvests.  The apples came from the Curan apple orchard in University Place.

I don’t know about YOU, but I am totally drooling over Lisa’s backyard garden. Clearly she spends all her free time growing yummy fresh fruits and veggies for her family.

Way to go Lisa!


If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Craft made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world:

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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  1. Derek says

    This year I’m going to begin my quest to take over the front yard garden area.

    The wife has resisted for years, but this year my plan is to gradually introduce ornamental edibles (kale, herbs, lettuce, etc.) in different pockets around the front yard’s flower garden. Who knows, maybe the mailbox will serve as a nice trellis for some cucumbers or peas?

  2. says

    This is gorgeous! But I have a question, does it still look reasonably attractive during the cold season? I’d love to use more of my front yard space for gardening but I’m afraid of how it will look durring the colder months. I’m wondering if you put in certain plants specifically to hide the “bare” patches that occur during the winter. I don’t live in an HOA and as far as I know it’s not happened in my city but I’ve read articles where the city has torn out front yard vegetable beds because they didn’t like the look.

    • says

      Cee, It would look better if I were better about Fall cleanup. I don’t do much weeding in the Fall so there are spots that are a little weedy. I do clean out all of the spent veggies. There are a few things still growing (kale) that we use. I have garlic and shallots in a bed and the raspberry supports give it nice structure. I’ve also gone as far as decorated it with Christmas lights. I told my husband I’d like to decorate it like a garden in lights one year. Make it into one of those houses people drive by during the holidays.

      The reason I didn’t make it straight lines and evenly spaced beds was because it was in the front yard. I wanted it to have a little bit of interest in the Winter.

  3. UgaVic says

    Love the use of textures of walkways, supports and plants!! Is neat to see such lushness of a PNW garden. It takes until August for us here in AK to see that kind of growth:-)

    Thanks for sharing and such great incentative to keep improving here!!

    Fun to see the pic with a chick too!

  4. Lisa D says

    That settles it! I’m moving to Washington! I can’t get anything to grow here in Florida. Beautiful garden Lisa has!

  5. ElainieMay says

    I would like the Heirloom tomato packet!!! One of my favorite things to grow in my garden is eggplant. It has so many beautiful stages to watch while growing. The purple flowers are magnificent.

  6. Diana says

    I love this! Do you have any problems with animals munching on your plants? It doesn’t look like the area is fenced in. If I leave the garden gate open around my way, the deer manage to find their way in and feast.

    • says

      If you’re asking me, I don’t have a problem with animals munching on my plants. Deer are not a problem in our neighborhood. The only animal attack we’ve had is from a racoon. One year it flattened my entire stand of corn.

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