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.