Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden Family, Friends and Saints

Jeeves, my feline gardening friend

In the garden quite a few plants get on with each other swimmingly. Well known examples are corn, squash and beans grown together in one bed. They are known as the 3 sisters as they get on so very well and form a tightly knit family. If you've never heard of them before you can read all about sister bean, sister corn and sister squash here.
In the Bliss potager we not only have the 3 sisters, but also some of the very bestest friends growing together in one bed. This is my onion and garlic bed that I planted last November.
They are now sporting quite fetching green Mohawks as you can see. But to jolly things along it's high time I added some new friends to my punk bed.
Soon there will be carrots
and some annual flowers, in this case Silene coeli-rosa (seeds I got from a dear friend), as well. Why? I hear you ask, and frankly that's a very good question. At Bliss, as we are all friends here, no one is ever afraid to ask if there's something that makes you go WTH? So let me do the explainy thing: by adding carrots to the onion bed the carrots will protect the onions from the onion fly while the onions will protect the carrots from carrot fly. That's a win-win situation, always of the good.
My feline friend Dolly Daisy meets gardening feline friend Jeeves in the potager

But the flowers? They will also help by confuddling the carrot flies and, another bonus, they will attract a lot of bees too. Bees, as you know, need all the help they can get from their gardening friends.

Another thing not to be sneezed at is that the Silene flowers are very pretty and they come in pink, lilac and blue.
This year I will have my third 3 sisters bed but I try to make it a bit different every year to keep myself from getting bored. From my Polish gardening friend Ewa I got some spaghetti pumpkin seeds.
A few weeks ago I'd sown some of the seeds and they came up, I'm happy to say, and yesterday they were put in their bed in the potager together with a few pumpkin seedlings from this packet.
In honor of the Indians in America who developed this wonderful method of growing the 3 sisters together, I've bought a packet of Indian corn.
True to form they did the coming up thingy extremely well and are now with their beloved sister pumpkin in the 3 sisters bed.
As it is only half April and night frosts still happen in this neck of the woods until the 3 Ice Saints have come and gone, I've decided to tuck my 3 sisters in very nice and comfy in their bed.
But, but, that's only 2 sisters YE, I hear you stutter. Well, I'm frightfully chuffed to know that you are able to count to two, gentle reader, but not to worry sister number 3 is not forgotten by yours truly, whose one remaining and functioning brain cell still manages to count to 3. On a good day.
Here she is, my third sister and how very pretty she is too. There seems to be a picture of an angel on her and angels, as you know, are holy creatures.
So we Dutch call these beans heilige boontjes = holy beans, a wordplay as it is also the name we call an holier than thou person.

So there you have it; gardening family, friends and saints.

In other news:
Puppy Fija (ears flying), Tara and her sister Aukje on the right

Quite recently we had a DFD (= Doggy Family Day) where Tara had lots of fun with her sister Aukje, her mum Renske and daddy Jeppe. Little puppy Fija (no relation) and dear Minka where there as well. So all in all there were 7 Kooiker dogs, a sight to behold!
Tara's breeder Margo with most of the dogs

And yours truly? Well, you have noticed the new header, haven't you? That's moi with Aukje, and in the background with her silly feet in the air is Tara. So there, no more complaints that you never see any pics of me, OK?
Hanny. who owns handsome daddy Jeppe and sister Aukje

This is the lady who's responsible for the new header pic. Any complaints about not seeing my face all that well may be directed to her. ;-)

Time for a quote from my gardening guru, the saintly Geoff, still deeply missed by many:

A seeds man's trade is not in seeds at all - it's in optimism.
Geoff Hamilton

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

30 comments:

Arabella Sock said...

I love your doggy pics - they are absolutely adorable and you don't look too bad either! I laughed so much when I saw Tara with her feet in the air!!! And Mr Jeeves is my favourite cat. They have all put a big smile on my face.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Yolanda .. you have an amazing family growing there ! from seeds to sisters to kitty cats and puppy dogs : ) I have a big grin on my face evry time I read your posts girl !
I try to have a potager garden for as much as I can .. herbs are a major must for me and they do very well helping the flowering plants out : )
I love that new pumpkin from Ewa .. I can't wait to see how it does for you !

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Nice tie in of the friends and family in the garden to Tara's friends and family! I always grow flowers in with my vegetables; it looks nice and my sunny space is limited! I do think bean seeds can look very interesting! :) Have a good day.

Entangled said...

Great pix! All the attendees at your doggy family reunion look soooo happy!

Beans are fascinating - so many varieties. If I ever get enough beds dug up, I'll be growing a different kind of "holy beans" - Yin-Yang. Bought the seeds last year but couldn't find room for them...

easygardener said...

Nice doggy pics. I've grown 2 sisters (Corn and Squash) together but worry that beans would get lost in the mix, even climbing ones. Perhaps I'll try a few this year to see how it goes.

Roses and stuff said...

Yolanda, I learned something new today about growing vegetalbes. Thanks! And I feel like I know you better now, having seen that gorgeous header picture!
Katarina

Gail said...

Good afternoon...I love the new header. The three sisters beds are fantastic...When (it's not if anymore) I start my veg garden...I shall be thoroughly educated about potagers and plants...and puppies. I am already thoroughly acquainted with cats! Have a good week, YE!

Annie in Austin said...

The new header is lovely, Yolanda - both the blogger-dog relationships and the carrot-onion relationships are fascinating ;-]

Good luck with your new version of the 3 sisters. That cute squash looks a little like the one we call Pattypan squash.

Heard of "Cool Beans" but "Holy Beans" is a new one!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

nancybond said...

Sounds like a great mix in your garden. :) And I, too, am curious about those new pumpkins! Can't wait to see how they do. Your doggies are wonderful.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Those Holy Beans are so cool! I've never heard of them. The pumpkins look like a cute variety, but I haven't seen them either.
I love the puppy pictures. They all look like they were having a grand time.

Pam/Digging said...

You do look blissful in your new header image. It's great to see you there at last.

Barbee' said...

Thanks for all the smiles... lovely post!

Kathy said...

As Annie mentioned, I also recognize the squash on the seed packet as what we in the States call patty pan squash, a summer squash. I am fascinated by the different names the same vegetable can have. Once a high school friend and her family took me camping in Canada. They purchased a summer squash from a roadside stand that was called vegetable marrow. I've never been able to pin down exactly what it was. It had a nuttier flavor than the zucchini and yellow summer squash I've had.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I wondered who that was in the header. Great to see you. Your garden is coming right along. The three sisters approach to gardening is a good one. Happy Spring.

EB said...

A super post - I love the dogie pics, but the garden ones are very interesting too, the way you take them, like a story. Your garden's looking well.

Phoenix C. said...

What a lovely lot of animals - dogs and cats! They all look so happy.

Your planting is very interesting.

I love the Geoff Hamilton quote.

Alice Joyce said...

I'm arriving belatedly at your blissful blog, and finding it delightful! As a cat person, I'm blown away by the feline members of your clan. What wonderful helpers you are blissed with:-) (Looks like you're not active on Blotanical these days. I thought I was following you on twitter -but now I'm not sure.
BTW, header pic is beautiful. Alice
aka BayAreaTendrils

Margo said...

Ik vin dat je maar weinig hondenfoto's heb geplaatst :(
Maar ik schijn af en toe te vergeten dat je een tuinblog hebt en geen hondenblog :)

Libby said...

I had heard of the 3 sisters bed, as one of our Gardening World presenters suggested it last year. I grew the corn and the squash, but did not include the beans as I was told they damage the sweetcorn. Have you found this?

Anonymous said...

hey you zombies, get off my lawn!

Layanee said...

Great combination plantings and nice to see you and the pup in the header! The garden is coming along nicely at this time of year isn't it?

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Your new header is adorable!!!!!! I immediately noticed the little feet in the air and wondered if it was Tara. I was right! What a funny, funny girl.

Cindy

Kylee said...

What a wonderful photo of you! Thanks for that!
Interesting that the corn is labeled Indian Corn. Here, when we say Indian Corn, it means the multicolored corn and we don't eat it. It's just for decoration!

Karin A said...

Thanks for sharing about your family, friends and saints. I also learned so new today. :) I've heart about growing carrots chives together. Great to know that it works with onion too. :) Lovely pics as usual and so nice to see one of you! Like your new header! Kram Karin

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi all and welcome to family & friends Bliss!

* Arabella: so glad it put a smile on your face. The pic made me smile too when I saw those puppy feet in the air. Tara is such a happy go lucky puppy and I'm happy to say that her sister Aukje is too. Both are little rays of sunshine in the lives of their human companions.

Jeeves is the bestest of kittycats, he always makes me smile with his antics.

* GardenJoy4Me: ah, another happy grinning customer I see. ;-)
With plants, veggies. fruits and herbs I do the mix and match thingy. Although I have a potager I also grow herbs, fruit and veg in the flower borders.
I and my friends the bees love herbs and you can never ever have too many of them (of both bees and herbs).

* Monica: thanks for the compliment I appreciate it. Another one I see who does the mix and match thingy with flowers and veg. And why not veg can look geeeeeeorgeous too.

* Entangles: it weren't only the doggies that were happy. ;-)
Yin and Yang beans, I have them too, got them from a friend last year but completely forgot about them until you mentioned them. Hmmm, lets see if I can find a bit of space to grow them as well this year.

* Easygardener: the first year I grew the 3 sisters the slugs ate my beans, the second year the beans were slightly slug nibbled but survived and did well. This year I'm growing holy beans and I'll have to see what will happen slug wise.

* Katarina: I'm glad you picked up something useful from this post. We gardeners live and learn all the time, don't we?
It's good to know that you like the new header and that you are not the only one. ;-)

* Gail: how exciting that you are going to have a veg garden. The best of luck with it and I'm sure I will read all about it on your blog.;-)

* Annie: relationships are always fascinating, aren't they? ;-) When I found that packet of cute squash seeds I was a goner; I had to have it. I don't think that many of you had heard of holy (or saintly) beans so I thought I might share them with you all.

MNGarden said...

Your veggie garden is so neat.

em said...

wow, the puppies look great! i hope tara is being a good girl!

Betty said...

Hi Yolanda,
Just dropping by to say hello...it's been so long since I've been by...

Your garden looks lovely as always...Betty

TuijaR. said...

Hey Yolanda! Its spring again! :)

Kerri said...

Argh! I missed seeing the photo of you in your header, Yolanda!
I hope you'll post another one someday soon.
Isn't it wonderful to be able to get out into the garden again? Happy Spring!