Garden 2024

Author JL Huffman
4 min readJun 10, 2024


Honest Dirt

Greetings: I’m in fresh (actually not so fresh LOL) from a day in the garden.

Total Hip Replacement

The 2024 garden got a slow start. First, there was a delay due to orthopedic surgery recovery and general immobility. Thankfully, we have a long growing season in North Carolina.

Elevated Raised Garden Beds

I don’t know if you recall my lovely elevated raised beds from previous gardening tales. They were 2018 vintage and sadly gave up the ghost. Breaking them down and carting them away was a major project that needed to be accomplished prior to installing new beds.

Discarded Garden Soil

There were four 3'x6' beds and three 3'x3' beds, which contained a total of ~ 50 cubic feet of soil. All had to be scooped out (and raked to another spot). Then, the rotted beds had to be broken apart and discarded.

Raised Bed Soil and Sunflower Planters

Multiple excursions to a West Jefferson farm supply store were necessary to haul home forty-eight 1.5 cu ft bags of Daddy Pete’s Raised Bed Soil. Unfortunately, the guys wouldn’t come home to help unload the heavy bags. The photo above only contains a portion of the dirt sacks.

New Garden Beds

The replacement job is nearly completed (three of four). New green metal beds, to match the metal roofs on our buildings, have been assembled and filled with raised bed soil. Today, I planted cucumbers, borage, beets, and dill in the left bed; green bush beans, wax beans, nasturtiums, carrots, and marigolds in the center bed; and sugar baby watermelon, two types of cantaloupe, marigolds, chamomile, and celery in the bed on the right. A fourth bed, yet to be done, will hold fall cabbages. The ground-level location required a new addition: chicken wire cages will help ward off the omnipresent deer and rabbits.

Rear Carport Garden

Do you remember the great hornworm invasion of 2023? That tragedy required a crop rotation. This summer, the tomatoes and peppers have been re-sited to the rear of the carport. These plants will be in the company of a rosa rugosa, three dwarf fruit trees (two apples and a cherry), and robust lavender plants.

Corn, Squash, Zucchini, and Pumpkins

Happy corn, squash, zucchini, and pumpkins are in the prior tomato garden.

Sweet Potato Slips

A new crop of sweet potato slips is in place, also guarded from invaders.

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes are eagerly growing…

Purple Potatoes

…as well as purple potatoes, nestled in a new box handcrafted by a friendly neighbor (thanks, Gary!)

Asparagus and Strawberries

The perennial asparagus and strawberries continue to thrive.


I was blessed by a visitor while I gardened today: a yellow swallowtail butterfly, which flitted around all afternoon and even alighted on my arm.


Do you put in a garden? Or do you have a local produce stand where you can shop for fresh vegetables?

You can follow the Author on her Website or X (formerly Twitter).



Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.