Thursday, December 12, 2013

Uncle Loren's GIANT Garden

Part of my 'The Gardeners in My Life' series!


It was ONE degree outside this morning. The skeletons in the garden are covered under a layer of powdery freeze, and the memories of summer seem impossibly long ago. Here we enter another cycle. Each winter, even though we know the warm days will eventually return, it's just as hard as the year before to imagine that the ground and the world will warm up. Not for months, though. Oh, my bones are aching already from the cold.


Tonight I decided to warm up with a cup of tea (earl gray with honey, my fave, in case you wanted to know), and I opened up some picture files from warmer days. Instantly transported! Sunlight laying on my bare arms, soft ground beneath me. I have an entire file of pictures from my Uncle Loren's wonderful garden, so I thought I'd feature him in this post, and share some of his passion with you.

Now, Uncle Loren is a very, very private person. Back in August, when I asked permission to snap photos for me blog, he quietly agreed, but urged that I not show any proof of where he lived. He is not much into sharing stuff on the internet. He seemed hesitant about the pictures at all, but I do think he is proud of his garden and fruit trees and graciously allowed me to wander around with my little camera. I didn't include pics of everything he grows; some of it was already done for, so I hope to go back next summer for an updated tour. Though they are not all featured here, he grows corn, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, grapes, winter squash.

Despite missing some of the harvest with my camera, I've got plenty of beauty to share with you, and to help warm you up, so hang on for some major picture scrolling, and enjoy Uncle Loren's awesome property!



Corn!


These are the tallest Mammoth sunflowers you'll ever see.


Asparagus season ends quickly, but the feathery foliage sticks around.



Yum!

Apples and Pears


Apple trees are literally
EVERYWHERE

Onions, harvested and drying

Zucchini



You could seriously get lost in here.

Uncle Loren's top favorite; Black Ark.
Close up of the Black Ark apples below:

As summer ended, the Black Ark apples got even darker.
A rich, deep blackish/purple/red. They are beautiful!

This tree was so laden with apples, a couple limbs had snapped.
It is hard to get around to pruning everything when you have so many trees!

quirkly little birdhouse collection high up on a post;
I love it!

A tiny apple tree that Uncle Loren has staked up and nurtured.
Many apple trees start themselves around the property,
and he gives them a chance to grow instead of mowing them over.
He says he just can't help it. ;)

Birdhouse gourds at the end of the clothesline


Hibiscus the size of a plate

lilies


Walking under the clothesline and into the
huge garden space to the left, apple trees on the right
A long shot of his mini-orchard in the front yard.
SO many apples and pears,  so many varieties.

Marigolds that Uncle Loren has saved seeds from for many years.
They are VERY tall, and beautiful.

Well, hello, purslane! I know you!

Garlic drying

Onions

Grapes

The grapevines

Pears

One of the apples I came back later to harvest!
Uncle Loren lets me pick to my hearts content!


Uncle Loren pulling potatoes for ME!

Milkweed

Ok, so I snuck a photo or two of the farmer himself, even if he said no.
He didn't even know. :)

Peas

Green beans

We paused and scratched our heads over this one.
He said he planted cabbage but the batch of seeds must have been cross bred,
because they didn't turn out to be what the seed packet had said.


gorgeous roses up by the house


Of COURSE, tomatoes!

A volunteer tomatoes, away from the garden..
it received its own cage

Hops
These have been going for YEARS.
My grandpa (Loren's dad) started them

Quince

My Grandma Marshall used to have these on the front porch.
A succulent called hen and chick.







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