June in the Junkyard Garden!

raised bed gardening

2019 Garden explosion

Oh what glorious changes are wrought with a little heat and a little sun!

My garden is literally exploding and there are baby veggies everywhere!!

Temperatures in the 90’s during the day and 70’s at night were all it needed.

Remember I said I encourage volunteers?

Dill plants growing wild

A sea of dill

This beautiful sea of dill plants, running down the middle of my tomato vines is what you get when you let nature do all the work.

What’s funny about all this dill is that I don’t use it in any recipes, don’t cook with it and don’t even cut it. I encourage it to grow because it brings hundreds of beneficial bees and wasps to the garden every single day.

I also have fennel that self seeded growing up by my pole beans, sun flowers growing next to the garlic beds.

Borage and Bachelor Buttons

Flowers growing where seeds fell.

And one end of my garden is graced by beautiful borage and bachelor buttons plants that seeded themselves!

Mixed in with more dill, these flowers feed bees, help to pollinate tomato, cucumber and bean plants and just plain light up the landscape with their color and their grace.

Serendipity brings them to my garden and they bring a joyful smile to my face every single  day that I am privileged to walk among them.

The heat has given my tomatoes a HUGE boost in growth – both the vines and the baby tomatoes themselves.

Atomic Grape tomatoes

Atomic grape tomatoes


Fox Cherry Tomatoes

Fox cherries on the vine

Atomic and Fox Cherry tomatoes are popping up on every single plant — all 13 of them.

And the 5 Kangaroo Paw plants are finally setting tomatoes, too. They look squat and round and I can’t wait to taste them.

Everywhere I look their is Life with a capital L.

The sweet potatoes are branching out; the volunteer tomato is setting flowers and fruit and my newest fig — Phygmalion is beginning to reach for the sky.

Chicago Hardy Fig

Phygmalion the fig

This is Phygmalion’s first full summer. Planted last August, she made it through our rather wickedly cold winter but she was supposed to. This is a Chicago Hardy fig – supposedly able to withstand -40 degrees. She joins Figaro – an Italian fig of unknown ancestry and Evangeline, a brown Turkish fig. Here’s hoping they all produce this year! I LOVE fresh figs but I also love fig jam.

Everything is growing and thriving right now – in those old truck beds or inside the PVC cage made for the tomatoes which are held up by orange and blue twine from my straw bales.

In the smaller truck bed, kale continues to produce while lettuce and spinach bolt and set seeds for me.

And in the big truck bed, the salvaged and bent fencing is fast disappearing under the cucumber vines twining up the links! The portulacas in the middle add just a dash of color while bringing in tiny beneficial bees. Finally, all the work is beginning to pay off. That’s it from this junkyard! Here’s hoping you are having happy gardening in your “junkyard”!

Cucumbers climbing chain link fence.

Cukes climbing the fence

Cukes growing

Healthy and happy cucumber plants


14 responses to “June in the Junkyard Garden!

  1. I love the progress report….and all the volunteers! Have you ever tried to quick pickle vegetables? That is what I use dill for….
    Happy gardening Pat, I love your garden.

    • As soon as I read your comment I realized…I do use dill to make refrigerator pickles! So…I was wrong about not using it, I just don’t make a dent in the sheer volume of dill I have. And don’t you just love volunteers? I try to save their seeds as they must be hardy and well-adapted to my soil/eco system. Thanks for the kind comment, Chrystal and happy Sunday.

  2. The sea of dill does indeed look wonderful!

  3. That is a lot of dill. I happen to like it for pickling, but I do not let it occupy too much space. In the old garden, space was limited.

    • Space I have…and I will remove the dill before it all sets seeds! That would be an absolute invitation to invasion next year! And I so love the bees and wasps.

      • I still find the aroma of dill, fennel and a few others to be alluring. They used to grow wild in the ditches along some of the main roads through the Santa Clara Valley decades ago. Sometimes, it smelled more like dill. Sometimes, it smelled more like fennel. They probably smelled better individually than they did together. (The more I think about it, the weirder it sounds.) Nonetheless, that is how I remember them. Of course, the apricot orchards contributed their aromas and fragrances as well. It really was magical. It is all gone now.

      • This what I mourn for…the loss of natural beauty, the devastation of our planet. When I grow and trend, I felel hope.

      • Well, the dill and fennel were not natural. They were naturalized. They were just what I remember in the region at the time. I know I should be happy for the millions of people who live here now, and that they are not spread out somewhere else, but I sort of wish they never came here. I know they need to go somewhere.

  4. I love your post, Pat. I love that you are growing food and feeding all those beautiful pollinators! INSPIRATIONAL always! ❤

    • Thanks Sandra! I have decided to embrace my “junk yard” approach to gardening. LOVE seeing the serendipity that is growing in my backyard and all the critters that are enjoying it.

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