Defending My Garden!

Dill growing in with tomatoes

2019 garden in progress

My garden feeds 4 families, every year. It feeds my soul every day.

It is a place of refuge for me, the birds and yes, even the rabbits. 

Recently, the husband of a dear friend of mine described my garden as a, “Junkyard.”

He will remain nameless (as his worth dictates) but I must defend the space that I call my garden.


Yes, I have 2 truck beds in my garden. And I love them. Anyone who gardens knows how expensive raised beds are to buy…especially the 3 foot high beds! Well, one of these truck beds was free; the other cost $100.

raised beds from truck beds

Truck beds for raised beds

Both warm up earlier than the ground does so I can plant early. Both keep my crops safe from rabbits and gophers. Both provide a windbreak for transplants which is very important on our property as we are on a hill. Both save my back from bending over to plant, water, pick or bug bust.

See the chain link fence bent in half in the left hand truck bed? I salvaged it from the side of the road and use it as a trellis for crops like cucumbers to grow along.

Found items for the garden

Free barriers

Baskets that were given to me by a friend cover baby plants when it’s cold out. I also use them to keep rabbits from eating tender new leaves on plants or shrubs.

See the yogurt containers on the right? I cut the bottoms out of them (in the foreground) and slide them over vulnerable plants like baby green beans or beets. They are free and they make great collars to keep rabbits and slugs off young plants.

An old screen from the sliding doors we finally had to replace (after 25 years) also provides protection from rabbits, groundhogs and yes, my two West Highland White terriers.

Screen door in the garden

A screen protects beans

Wherever and whenever I can I find and reuse items in my garden and I love being able to do that. I also follow Ruth Stout’s age old advice and use straw to mulch everything from the garden beds and soil to the blueberries, blackberries and herbs.

My garden is not regimented.  Okay, let’s be frank, I am pretty laissez faire when it comes to where some plants show up in my garden.  For example, when my lettuce and spinach start to bolt, I let them grow up and flower. I have 2 ulterior motives – I want the seeds and I want the bees!

Flowers seed themselves

Flowers seed themselves

Borage, dill and bachelor buttons grow together in clumps. Sunflowers grace the back fence. And dill is everywhere! I don’t use dill but it grows where ever its seed landed and I let it grow up and flower.  Why? I want the bees!


Volunteer tomato

Tomato volunteers in the sweet potato bed

If you look closely at this picture, you will see a volunteer tomato growing in the sweet potato bed with…yep, some dill.

Volunteer potatoes are growing around the zucchini which I tucked into blueberry patch along with summer squash.

Will this garden of mine win any awards? Probably not. But I love it and I love the food it puts on so many people’s tables.

I love the joy of just wandering early in the morning, the sweet sound of birds singing from morning til night and the beauty that surrounds me every time I step into my garden.

Fresh beets

Fresh beets

First tiny tomatoes

First tomatoes of 2019

Tiny cucumber

First, tiny cucumber of the 2019 season


14 responses to “Defending My Garden!

  1. I think your garden is inspirational. To hell with the naysayers!

  2. Your garden looks and sounds great to be sure, congratulations on recycling and using every item you can find and that suits your needs. Inspiring!

  3. GREAT POST! Your garden is AWESOME. Using old pickup beds is a great idea!

    • Thank you, truly. I love that space. I have PTSD courtesy of an 18 year old boy jumping in front of my car as he tried to commit suicide. My therapist told me that when I want to run, run to the garden, in bare feet and stand in the dirt. Ground myself. So I do. And yes, truck beds are amazing – cheap, long lasting, high enough and so protecting.

  4. Grrrr . . . I am so sorry you had to endure that ignorant, thoughtless comment! YOUR GARDEN IS PERFECT! I love it!!! Your love for what you are doing extends far beyond nourishing your own body and your family’s to nourishing the nature surrounding you (all those pollinators) and your ingenious and thrifty recycling is BRILLIANT. The planet is in the dangerous state it is now because of people like the one who was critical of your healthy, prolific Eden. Don’t give it another second’s thought. I was eyeing those truck beds thinking I wanted a few. 🙂

    • Thank you! Everyone has made me feel so much better. I do love my place, my cathedral if you will…and all the beings that share the space with me. I smile every time I walk out my back door and into my little bit of heaven. And yes, truck beds are FABULOUS for raised beds…and so much cheaper!

  5. Nothing is wrong with your garden. Nothing is wrong with re-use and recycle. Bravo to you.

    • Thank you for being supportive. I love my garden space, love all the plants and the bees and bugs that live there (except for the bad bugs!). So to have someone say it was a junkyard hurt. It is eclectic but so alive! Your kind words helped.

  6. I used to do my gardening in a neighborhood where neighbors (who were not native like I am) had no reservations about telling what kind of car I needed to live in my ancestral homeland, and that if I insisted on driving a Buick, that I needed to park in back where they would not need to see it . . . and one of them complained about that after building his monster home with a view of my back yard. They complained that my home was the only one that was not ‘maintained’ by a gardener, and that it was inappropriate for me to mow my own lawn. (The lawn was only there because the neighbors would have complained if I had gotten rid of it.) I did many things in my home and garden that they did not approve of, although I really tried to not offend anyone. Yet, I really enjoyed my home and garden.

    • Thank you for sharing this with me Tony. I just don’t understand why other people can’t see the value of what we are doing – growing and reusing and feeding people healthy food. It is nice to know that I am not alone in being criticized and that you had the courage to continue.

      • It is not courage. It is just what I do. I do happen to be rather disgusted with what has become of society here, in what used to be such a simple agricultural region, but it is not like this everywhere.

      • I hate what is happening to this country, our country, in general. I am lucky enough to live in farm country in Chester County, PA and am surrounded by Amish and Mennonite farms so the only negative pressure I feel is from the people who live in the homes nearby. We each have 2 1/2 acres but they still seem to think my backyard is theirs…. I just tend to ignore them as best I can and grow, grow, grow. And I have to say again, it is courageous to go against the stream when all the other fish are heading the other direction. Be proud…

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