Friday, May 28, 2010

Garden Tour!

Here in New England, Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional weekend in which gardeners say ok, it's time. It's time to... plant the tomatoes! We don't usually (fingers crossed!) get a frost past this weekend, but some of us like to push the envelope a bit and plant our tender little baby seedlings earlier. I've had almost everything I plan to grow this year in the ground for about a week and a half, some of it much longer than that.

Since I'll be out of town for the long weekend visiting future-family (that is, Adam's sister, bro-in-law, and parents - Hi Amy! Hi Matt! Hi Rita and Scott!), we've been mostly foraging for leftovers and going out for dinner this week. I don't have much to report on the recipe front, so I thought I'd take you on a little tour of my back patio container garden. Grab a glass of iced tea or a nice chilly beer, and I'll show you around.


Let's start with the failures: I am not very good at growing rosemary. This is the fourth plant I have tried to keep alive in five years. Last year I didn't even buy a seedling because I'm so used to my rosemary dying within a month or two of transplant that I rarely cook with it, and that's a shame. I recently gave this one a big trim, hoping some new growth will sprout if I coddle it with frequent water and lots of sun, but it's not looking so good. Have you got any tips for success with rosemary?


Hola, Carmen! This mildly hot pepper is a new one for me. We started a bunch of hot pepper seedlings but, uh, none of them made it. Don't worry, I did have SOME seedling success, but this plant was purchased at Russell's Garden Center out in Wayland. (Boston area gardeners, do yourself a favor and check Russell's out - they have a huge selection and the staff is awesome.)

Salad Bowl

I like the name of this lettuce: salad bowl. Yep. Name the vegetable after where it will end up. I also think this sturdy green would make an excellent lettuce wrap. Maybe for some beef bulgogi?


Friendly herbs, from top left, clockwise: sage, basil, thyme. I say friendly because these guys all like the heat and none of them are desperate for water, really. I water them about half as often as the rest of the garden.


Ah, the great white hope of my spring. Yes, that's right. These are my tomatoes. I've got two San Marzanos and two Sun Gold Cherries here, if I didn't mix up my seedlings too much in the last few weeks. The best part about these is that we grew them ourselves from seed. In a minute I'll show you how well they're doing...

Sweet Bay

This is a fun one, I think. It's a bay! As in bay leaves, those leaves you buy dried in the spice section of the grocery store. Apparently if I take good care of it (and re-pot it a few times) this little cutting could grow into a five foot tree. If bay is as picky as rosemary I have my doubts, but we shall see.


This is my grandfather's oregano. Which makes me the third generation caretaker. My mother took a cutting from his original plant many years ago, and it moved with her when my parents moved seven years ago. Last summer Adam and I took a cutting from the oregano SHRUB at my parents' house and left it on Adam's porch, where it, ahem, didn't get any water for over a week. We brought it with us when we moved into this apartment, continued to water the sad, dry sticks, and lo and behold it came back to life a month later! We left it outside under the porch with the rest of the potted annuals last winter and it came back this spring. Thanks, Pepere.

Herbs and Onions

Oregano is center stage here, on the left is tarragon (a seedling from Russell's), with chives and strawberries on the right. The red clothes all over the place are bits of old t-shirt that we soak in white vinegar to discourage squirrels from diggin in the plants (apparently it smells like the urine of a predator, and it's much nicer than peeing on our plants.) That scallion looking plant behind the tarragon and oregano is an allium, indeed, but what a weird one...

143/365: Walking Onion Scape

Walking onions. Ann has some too! I got these from a coworker last fall, and I stuck them in this pot. In March, as soon as the weather warmed up even a bit, they started poking these green shoots out. Now the scapes are up, looking all weird and creepy and awesome. Eventually bulbs will form up a the top of the stalk, weigh down the plant, and cause it to bend over. The bulb then settles into the earth and re-sprouts the next season, and the onions "walk" around the garden. They don't really get to do that in containers, but they look happy to me.


Peas! I'm not sure what that yellowing is all about at the bottom of the plants, do you?

144/365: Baby Pea!

But we do have baby peas!

Zukes and Cukes

Zucchini on the left, cucumbers on the right. This was taken on the 24th.

Zukes & Cukes II

This was taken today, the 28th. Ooooh boy. I clearly put too many plants in this pot. But we grew them from seed and I'm just couldn't handle ditching them.

147/365: They're Growing!

Speaking of grown from seed, look at the growth of the tomatoes in the last four days!

So, friends. What are you growing this year?


  1. Hi HOney,

    the yellowing at the bottom of the peas means they are getting too much water :) ARe they shaded? They like the shade.

    Love, Mom

  2. Hi Adrienne, beautiful plants you have, and about rosemary i think you are watering too much. Give some water, not much, in the evening only, but everyday, and do not leave any stagnant water under the pot. Hope this will help.

  3. What a lot of hard work. This looks wonderful! Do you have a recommendation for where to buy the great pots you planted in? Enjoy the long weekend!

  4. man oh man, i'm so jealous of your space and growing abilities :) and how cool is that your oregano goes way back! enjoy the weekend!

  5. First, love the comment from your mom. Awesome. Moms are the best. Second, I don't think anyone can grow rosemary. I think they're just one of those things you buy every year. Third, those buckets of zukes and cukes are going to be interesting!!! Can't wait to see how that turns out, I bet they kinda jump out and start sprawling, which will look really cool! Finally, thanks for the link-back. My walking onions have certainly started walking! My friend Christina (A Thinking Stomach) is hoping to make pickled-bublets for martinis from hers. Sounds like a good idea to me :-)

  6. We don't get enough sun on our patio to grow anything. This looks gorgeous. I hope to grow lots of stuff at our next place. :)

  7. Great container garden! I just relocated to No. CA from SE MA. I was excited to eat our first sauteed zuchinni last night which was adorned with minced pepperoncini pepper (the 1st), scrawny scallions, basil and parsley. After 15 years of gardening in MA it's fun to learn a new eco-system. I grew my first ever radish-Easter Egg- here. It was fuscia. I am looking foward to seeing the purple tomatillos...

  8. Aaand I'm back from Texas! Thanks for the encouraging words, folks. I think the peas have actually succumbed to an aphid attack: they look AWFUL. The pods are still growing and the center stalks are green, but all the offshoots and leaves are dry and yellowed. We're trying a soapy water spray to combat the 'phids (it worked last year when the peppers got attacked) but I'm not sure they're going to make it.

    I'll post some updated photos to Flickr this weekend, you won't believe how big the tomatoes and zucchini got in the 5 days we were out of town!

    Erin, some of our pots are from Home Depot, some are from Marshall's (so cheap!), a couple are from Russell's, and one or two are from Pemberton Farms on Mass Ave, which I should have mentioned - they have a great selection.

  9. Looks like your garden is doing great!

  10. beautiful images of a fantastic garden!!! I just have tomatoes and basil in....I should really plant a bit more!
    thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Your herbs look so good! Here in Chicago the greens are going nuts - just waiting for the onions, carrots, beets, cukes and squash to catch up. Question - where did you get those cute little rounded climbers? I've been looking for some mini-ones....

  12. Scholar - the round things are actually bits of wire "fence" that we snipped into individual arches with wire shears. I think it's supposed to be used to border gardens - we bought it in the garden section of Home Depot.

  13. My beans and Edamame are getting the same yellow leaves on bottom. I think too much sun maybe the culprit. I noticed the plants in the front are the only ones that have it and they are the ones that get the most sunlight.

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