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Flowers & Herbs,  Our Homestead,  Pollinators & Wildlife

Homestead Update: Garden Tour Summer 2022 (Video and Photos)

Last Updated on August 9, 2023

Geesh, time flies! I can’t believe that July 1st rang in the one-year anniversary of us moving to the new homestead. Then, we officially “revealed” our new garden space here almost 4 months ago now, and SO much has changed in that time. Most of our spring crops have come and gone, and the garden is booming and blooming with summer vibes now. So, come along to see what’s new and growing! 

This post features an updated garden tour video that shows the current state of the garden, snippets from spring, exciting wildlife developments (like, we have dozens of wild baby California quail here right now!!!), and highlights some of our favorite flowers and veggie varieties. 

Other than the video, I’m basically using this post as a photo-dump for all my favorite garden photos from the last few months. It’s a great way for us to journal and document our first growing season in the new garden, and I hope you enjoy looking through them too!

I had to start with a few of my favorite images first (I mean, we can’t wait until the end of the post for baby quail and sunflowers, now can we?!) and then added the rest of the photos in somewhat chronological order.

Summer garden vibes with onions, tomatoes, pole beans, sunflowers and more.
Peeking through the statice border to a jungle of artichokes, cosmos and sunflowers. The red and yellow “Evening Colors” sunflower is my favorite this year!
The youngest group of baby quail (we have three different age groups right now!), just over a week old here.
The “middles” (middle-aged of three baby quail groups), all ten still trying to huddle under Mama – but getting too big, fast!
We celebrated Aaron’s 40th birthday in June, and got all cleaned up (a rarity!) for the occasion.
Male quail watching over his covey from the fence.
The garden in spring. Our snap peas did wonderful this year!
The lettuce also kicked butt, despite our few extreme temperature swings (we had to bust out the shade cloth AND frost cloth a few times this spring).
A very springy harvest of snap peas, radishes, swiss chard, kohlrabi, and a few blueberries.
First carrots of spring!
We had quite a few Gopher snake friends appear in April-May, and this big fella (or lady) was at least 5 or 6 feet long!
Me, Bear, and our newest fruit tree additions to the orchard: a Santa Rosa plum, Santa Barbara peach, and Double Delight nectarine.
Late spring in the garden. Love those trailing nasturtiums! They faded out pretty quickly though.
Newest pollinator border filling in nicely.
Seashell Cosmos = divine.
Lavender harvest
The largest kohlrabi we’ve ever grown, and they were still tender inside!
Late spring harvest
Caught these happy Lesser Goldfinches in action! They LOVE the fountain.
The hummingbirds enjoy the fountain too, and the succulent flowers around it!
Late spring evening in the garden
Calendula harvest. Learn more about growing, drying, and using calendula for salves, oils and tea here
All bundled up
Most of our cauliflower bolted or separated easily this spring (again, the heat waves..) but this Lavender variety performed well!
Our 10 year old agave blooming in the background, with lots of leafy greens in the beds.
Once the agave finally flowered (it took many months) the hummingbirds enjoyed drinking from it!
We re-mulched the orchard in May. It was SO needed!
Fresh mulch makes a world of difference!
After mulching, we also added a new pathway between the garden and orchard area.
Badger and Bear all cuddled up on a chilly spring evening.
Moving into summer
Gorgeous Salmon Rose zinnia
Beautiful foggy summer evening in the garden. I spy two Waldos
Double Teddy sunflower
Boro beets, our new favorite variety – and best we’ve ever grown!
Summer Solstice harvest
Babies! What you can’t see is the other 6+ babies huddled under mom.
The birds have been loving all the sunflower seed snacks
The Scrub Jays especially.
Swiss chard jungle!
A man and his chard harvest
We ate quite a few artichokes already, so we’re going to let these ones bloom for the bees – and for us to enjoy their beauty!
Biggest bumblebee I’ve ever seen, taking a nap in a Seashell Cosmos.
Yes, I’m obsessed with our quail friends.
The youngest quail group in our orchard with Mama.
NorthEaster Romano pole beans. SO long, delicious, crisp and tender!
Badger and our watermelon bed. Believe it or not, this is our first time growing watermelon!
We’ve been really happy with the new tomato trellis system we created this year! You can learn more about it in this post.
Goldfinch enjoying Bachelor’s Buttons seeds.
Another summery harvest.
Happy bees. Check out those pollen pantaloons!
At the far end of the garden we have potatoes and cannabis in grow bags.
Eggplant doing better than ever in our new (slightly warmer) climate! These are “little finger” eggplant, about ready for harvest at this size.
I love how the coral zinnias pop against the fog.
Love birds.

Wow, are you still here? Lol! That’s all I have for our summer garden update. Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below, or just pop in to say hello! We appreciate you tuning in today.


  • Katie

    You have such a beautiful garden! I especially love the trellis design you’ve used! Can I ask how you made those? Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Katie, thank you so much for the kind words. We didn’t make the arch trellises, thankfully we can get them at our local Ace Hardware stores in their nursery section, I think they may be make locally though. You can do something similar with cattle panels but they are closer to or just over 4 feet wide which is wider than these arch trellises. We hope to create a trellis using cattle panels sometime later this year and will have an article to go along with it shortly after. Hope that helps and reach out if you have any other questions.

  • Aracely Alegre

    I love what you do and how you can transform an area to something so beautiful, useful and environmentally balanced. I have been following you on Instagram for a while and you are truly an inspiration. I also live in California, but in the Central Valley and we get really hot summers. I have also transformed my yard from dead patchy grass and mulch (when we first purchased it in mid 2017) to raised beds, herb garden, fruit trees and chickens 🙂 … Your previous home was actually my inspiration for our chicken run and raised beds. I just loved your set up.

    The main reason for my post is that I want to find out what you use for your arched trellis over your raised beds. I love the look and cannot figure it out.

    Thank you for your time and best of luck with your homestead!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Aracely, thank you so much for the kind words and congratulations to you for transforming your outdoor space into something amazing! We have cucamelons, beans and snap peas growing up the various trellis’s, although at the time of the tour, only one of them was partially covered and slightly more visible (the pole beans). We aren’t going to plant anything permanent (depending on how well the cucamelons do) like the passion fruit vines we had at our last place. We will likely stick to annuals such as beans and peas for sure, while possibly experimenting with vining cucumbers, squash, and possibly melons in the future as well. Thanks for tuning in and we appreciate your support!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Thank you so much Alana! We’re glad you enjoy the photos as photography is one of Deanna’s passions.

  • Jennifo

    My oh my, I’m 56 years old & want to be you when I grow up! 🙂 Your property is stunning. We have 8 acres in WI & I get exhausted just watching your videos! You both are an inspiration since I will never get even close to what you do with your land. I look SO forward to your emails (sorry no social media for me). Please don’t stop inspiring us. Your photos, comments & videos are so detailed & helpful, I thoroughly enjoy you both!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Thank you so much Jennifo, we appreciate your kind words and support! We know that you have beautiful summers up there and can have explosive plant growth during those months which can definitely make tending to a large property a lot of work. Best of luck to you and thanks for saying hi.

  • Kat

    Are the quail for eating?
    Or for eggs?

    Quail eggs are definitely my favorite, though hard to find, and since developing an egg allergy (wahhh!) I haven’t had an opportunity to see if I can still eat those.

    Or are they just for bug eating? (& fertilizing…)
    & being cute… 😉

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Kat, the quail are actually just wild birds that roam around between a few different properties. They are just hanging out a bit more since the adults are raising their young and they are becoming more and more used to us being around.

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