L to R: Leeks, borage, volunteer tomato, cukes, amaranth and bush beans
Lovely bolted lettuce (it's almost 4' tall)
When I lived in Minneapolis, I grew vegetables, but mostly I grew flowers. "Eyecandy gardens," I called them, those perennial beds (with a few annuals tossed in). I admit it was easy gardening in the city: so little space to fill, so much shade, so little sun. Here, well, let's just say when we moved in, our land was underutilized as far as a gardener is concerned. Tabula rasa. It was arranged for the grass mower. The Old Fart, I learned, kept all 4 mowable acres at fairway height, meaning he mowed about twice a week.
I still am an Eyecandy Gardener. I can't help it. About now, most other gardening blogs are posting photos of beautiful harvests of their pounds of booty. The vegetable garden IS highly productive, but I certainly am not even in the race for productivity of pounds per acre. Yes, the beds are planted intensively, but mostly, they are planted with an eye to contrast, to beauty, to fooling the bugs by not having sole plantings of squash or potatoes or what have you for the little f*ers to come and feast. So I let things go to seed...to save the seed and attract "good" bugs, but mostly because I like the looks of bolted lettuce. Honestly.