Back from France, garden looks great

That was certainly a whirlwind trip. Five days on the French Riviera with my fellow members of the Photographic Society of Orange County, with two days of flying to and from. I took over 600 pics and am now processing them and whittling them down. I promised my readers in the Huntington Beach Independent that I’d have photos and videos posted here. Ack, the column comes out tomorrow and I’m still buried in garden chores.

It's a jungle out there. All three raised veggie beds are doing great. Look at those peas!

Three raised beds and herb garden looking toward the chicken coop and fruit trees.

The Super Sugar Snap Pea vines have grown to an incredible 12 ft, flopped way over the top of the string net. They’re still producing like crazy. And now my Mammoth Snow Peas are producing, so we’re buried in peas. Everyone should be so lucky.

My Mammoth snow peas grow in a tiny 1 ft x 6 ft dirt strip by the water and electric meters.

My blue potatoes are almost ready to dig, the artichokes are giving us a few chokes here and there, and strawberries are producing steadily. The golden wax beans are ready for a first picking and my patty pan squash plants are getting bigger every day, showing lots of flower buds. I think that there’s even a Millionaire eggplant or two ready to pick. Vic took great care of the garden while I was gone.

I should have thinned the peaches on my Florida Prince peach tree. Now I'll need to stake the branches so they don't break.

I counted 35 peaches set on my Babcock peach and 120 on my Panamint Nectarine. Only three apricots though. Can’t count the number of peaches on this Florida Prince. The Snow Queen nectarine just finished flowering, so I can’t count them yet. I forgot how many peaches are on the August Pride peach, but not many. Looks like maybe 20 navel oranges have set. Yes, I like to count my fruit before it ripens.

The first French Breakfast radishes are ready to harvest. Do the French really eat them for breakfast?

The Garden of Perpetual Responsibility is producing strawberries, green onions and artichokes. The first flowers are open on the blackberries, and the bok choy is ready to harvest.

I'll transplant these leeks into the raised bed when space opens up. I'm still harvesting leeks that I planted from seed in January 2009!

This is a new veggie for me, Italian red of Florence bunching onions. I'll try transplanting some to the garden bed and let some mature in the pot to see how they do.

The Garden of Infinite Neglect has collards, beets, 3 kinds of kale, radishes, Kyoto red carrots, fluffy top Chinese cabbage, patty pan squash, golden wax beans, yellow onions, eggplant, and chard. It's not so neglected this year.


The Tendergreen burpless cucumbers have sprouted, but there are too many in the pot. I'm going to try transplanting half of them to another pot.

This is such an exciting time in the garden. So many new things sprouting, and some things ready for harvest. Busy, busy.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a retired medical researcher, retired professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I wrote a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent for many years. I also supervised environmental restoration projects and taught at the Orange County Conservation Corps before retiring in the summer of 2016. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks. I am also dedicated to combatting global climate change.
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8 Responses to Back from France, garden looks great

  1. michelle says:

    Your garden looks fantastic, so many good things to eat! I love your garden names, perpetual responsibility and infinite neglect, there are certainly parts of my garden that qualify for those titles.


  2. turling says:

    It looks spectacular. Obviously, the moral of the story for a great garden is to fly to the French Riviera every week. I’m going to go book some plane tickets now.


    • Oh, yeah, Turling. Leaving the garden in the care of my husband certainly is a time and labor-saving device. Wish I had thought of that sooner! Hard to say if his interest level would continue beyond a week though.


  3. Welcome back! Oh my, your garden seems to have thrived in your absence! Our apricots are a bit thin on the ground this year too, but our Frost Peach seems to be in overdrive…which reminds me, I need to thin the fruit on that tree before it’s too late!


  4. Daphne says:

    Wow peaches in May. I love seeing gardens in different climates. It really bring to mind how different they all are. Last year I grew Mammoth and Super Sugar Snap peas too. I just couldn’t take the size. They really are hard to contain. This year I’ve got 3′ plants – I hope.


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