Carol from May Dreams Gardens (Zone 5), Mary Ann from Idaho Gardener (Zone 6) and I decided, this year, to exchange letters from our vegetable gardens. We hope to give everyone an idea of how gardens grow in three different USDA hardiness zones. I garden in Zone 7a, although this spring, it feels more like 6b. Brrr.
Dear Carol and Mary Ann (and all of our other friends),
Well, another week, and more rain. We received another two inches combined from Thursday and Friday night thunderstorms. Thunder and lightning rocked the house.
I know this sounds like great news, but we’ve gotten a lot of rain, and my garden is soaked. I must get the mulch down this week so that the weeds will be hampered a little bit while we’re in Chicago and Branson, respectively.
In spite of the damp and cold, the squash seeds and beans are up, although ‘Lazy Housewife’ only has two so far. She appears to be lazy indeed. If nothing else happens with her this week, I’ll replant the seeds and blame it on lack of warmth which kept them from germinating.
Look, Mary Ann, a tomato! I can’t stop laughing as I write this, not at your expense, but at the joke of it all. You see, this is one of the plants I bought at the greenhouse. Below is one of my tomato plants I grew from seed. I’ve photographed it next to a marigold to give you some measure of its true size.
All the sweat and worry I poured over those stupid seeds, and look at these tiny plants. The joke is on me. Carol, I know you’re going to say, that they will catch up, but I can’t possibly see how. In years past, we had much warmer weather, and the tomatoes didn’t want to sulk so much.
Oh well, warmer days are ahead. I know that to be true.
Everything else is coming along, except the spinach and beets which should have loved our cooler weather. Instead of growing, they just sit there doing “nada.” I think, next year, I’ll grow this green instead of spinach. It tastes a lot like Popeye’s favorite, but a little bit more lemony. If only I knew what the name of it was. The tag blew off in a mighty wind one night, and yes, I should have listed it in the 10 year journal, but I did not. It is Asian, I know.
A couple of days ago, I went down into the lower garden just to look everyone over, and I heard a rustling from beneath the daylilies and peas. My heart lept into my throat when I saw two, very fat Peter Cottontails running and hopping about. These were not the babies who usually find their way through the chicken wire, but instead, the momma and the papa. I started chasing them, and with one part of my brain, I was laughing and thinking of our friend, Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. I felt like Mrs. McGregor chasing them about the garden. One would break this way, and the other break that way, but pretty soon, they found their way to a hole in the fence, and I discovered their entry point. I pulled the chicken wire back into place and watch them bound off into the bushes down by the lake.
As a reward for the great bunny chase, yesterday, I watched the end of Miss Potter. Once we got through the sad parts, I eagerly watched my favorite section where she bought Hilltop Farm, part of the 4,000 acres of land she saved. Due to Miss Potter’s generosity and the British National Trust, you can still visit Hilltop Farm, and one day, I will. My children cut their teeth on those sweet books and The Beatrix Potter Collection DVDs, and we still watch them from time to time because they are timeless.
Now, for those who don’t think vegetable gardens are beautiful, here is a final photo.
Please share with me what is growing in your gardens, and I’ll see you next week.
I love that movie! Your veggie garden is coming along. I am in the midst of planting, much later than last year but it will get done although ‘done’ is a funny word for gardening, isn’t it?
Layanee´s last blog post..Now Open at Our New Location
Dee–I think Cindy’s right. Your mystery green looks like tatsoi to me. I’ve grown it and love to saute it with garlic. Super simple and so good!
Willi´s last blog post..Slow Gardening
Cindy, MCOK says
Dee, I’m chuckling over you and the bunnies. Could that green be Tat Soi?
Cindy, MCOK´s last blog post..Through the Garden Gate: Monday, May 18th
Hi Dee, what a funny scene with the bunnies, were you waving a pitchfork? HA I had the same trouble with starting tomatoes and peppers from seed. Ended up having to buy plants from our local nursery. They offer wonderful varieties for cheap. I am not going to waste the time and space on those next year. Also, fedex attempted to deliver the rain chain but needed a signature and I was not home. I signed the slip so they will leave it tomorrow. I can’t wait to see it and hang it on the shed. Thanks again! 🙂
Frances´s last blog post..About The Light-May
Frances, I don’t think I’ll be starting my own seeds next year. It depends on how the plants do in the garden. It’s started to warm up, so they will probably catch their brethren in the growth department. I hope you get the wonderful rain chain today. Can’t wait to see it.~~Dee
nola at the alamo says
Wow, I can’t believe you already have tomatoes up there! Yes, I watched the weather channel and saw all the rain you guys got, it’s a wonder ya didn’t wash away.
nola at the alamo´s last blog post..Help Me Decide
Nola, darlin’, let’s be clear. I have one tomato. We can’t break out the tortilla chips for salsa yet. 🙂 ~~Dee
Dee, With the rain and the cooler temps it sure doesn’t seem like May! Of course summer will be here and sooner and hotter then we remembered!
After a week of sunshine, don’t you think those ‘maters will start growing! Gail
Gail´s last blog post..Through the Garden Gate, Ahem, I mean Patio Door!
Nope, it doesn’t, except that I remember Mays like this as a child. I think this will be our last week of spring weather, and then we’ll all be at Spring Fling. I can’t wait.~~Dee
I just wanted to suggest a beautiful rose to try. When I was in the Army stationed at Fort Meade, Md., I fell in love with a rose bush that had been planted by former residents of an empty housing unit. Because the rose was soooo beautiful, I took time going to the house across the street to care for this rose bush that had pretty much been abandoned. After some research, I found that the rose was called Titanic. It is a very big showy rose that starts with a light pink at the middle and transitions to a soft, antique cream color. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more beautiful rose. I think you should try it. I haven’t ordered one for myself yet since we aren’t living where we’d like to settle down yet, but when we do move, I intent to get one of my own.
Thank you Robyn. I’ll look for it.~~Dee
I think those tomato plants will catch up. I do. And when you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with, I promise not to say I told you so.
Again, I just wanted to say thank you because your letter exchange inspired me to exchange straw bale information with Garden Guru Rose Marie Nichols.
Patsybell´s last blog post..May Bloom Day
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening says
We are still waiting for frosts to end in our neck of the woods. Tomato plants have been potted on twice, and are taken out on warm days to start hardening off. But the high is only in the mid-50s today.
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening´s last blog post..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day May 2009
Kathy, I heard about your freeze. I am so sorry.~~Dee
Jenny B says
It’s feast or famine, isn’t it? We either seem to get a deluge or drought. You garden looks very good to me. I’m sure the dry hot weather will soon be upon us. The unidentified greens–do you just fix them in salad–or how do you use them?
Jenny B´s last blog post..April Showers Bring May Flowers
Carol, May Dreams Gardens says
Dee, I still think those tomato seedlings will “catch on” and grow up, just as soon as the weather warms up a bit. I’m sure of it! At least I hope I’m sure of it because that’s the size of mine.
Your garden is definitely way ahead of mine. I just planted out all my squash, beans, etc. this week so no seedlings just yet. Maybe in a week or two, once I’m back from Chicago.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..Letters to Gardening Friends, May 17, 2009