A Gardener’s Update

People that enjoy gardening spend lots of time outdoors in all kinds of weather, be it good or bad. The work they do digging, planting, weeding and watering is a labor of love. To people who don’t enjoy gardening, it is hard, dirty work that they try to avoid at all cost. Gardeners endure a trial by fire of sorts. Drought, monsoon rains, high winds, hail, assorted diseases, insects, deer, rabbits, groundhogs, etc. One thing that can be said for the non gardener, they can enjoy the gardens of other. They can visit public gardens, go on a garden tour, or visit their local farmers market to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

At this time of the year, my husband and I sometimes wonder if we should leave the vegetable growing to others. We have a small farmers market in the next town and we visit for items that we don’t have planted in our garden. Yes, it would be easier and the vegetables would be fresh. But I do like a challenge and gardening is a challenge between myself and Mother Nature. We will see who wins this year as our growing season continues.

This is our tomato and herb garden close to the lake.

Our herb and tomato garden by the lake

Tomato Problems

By all accounts, this growing season hasn’t been bad. Snow melt was long in coming, but provided good moisture for the newly emerging perennials. We had high winds that tested the young transplants but they survived.

The only thing that might end up being a problem is the wet, cool weather. I have sprayed with fungicide to ward off disease on the tomatoes and peppers and trimming off damaged leaves.

Small green tomatoes

We have more tomatoes than we had originally planned for so we have made plantings in  different areas this year. We have our established planting area where the majority of the plants are growing, while  some are planted directly in the ground,  others in a raised bed and two in large pots. It will be interesting to observe at the end of the year if there is any major differences in the tomatoes.

I hope you enjoy the photos of our vegetable and herb gardens, our sunny perennial gardens, and our shady woodland gardens.

Sunny garden

Herb, pepper and tomato raised bed

More color soon

Shady garden

Woodland garden

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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19 Responses to A Gardener’s Update

  1. Susan says:

    So beautiful! And I love your beds bordered in stones. We’ve made good use of ours too. I always feel kind of sorry for folks who don’t have lots o’ rocks! What on earth do they edge with??
    : )

  2. lvaletutto says:

    Very nice pics of your garden and flowers! Is this in ME? So far it looks like you’re winning the challenge hands down… Nice work.

    • Karen says:

      Hello, Thank you for stopping by my blog. Yes, we have a small cottage in the Lakes Region of Maine about an hour north of Portland. Thank you for the compliment about the gardens. We are starting the third year with the perennial beds and happy with the progress. With the vegetables…you never know.

  3. cerrascapes says:

    I empathize with vegetable garden ambivalence — we too have a good farmers’ market that I am glad to support. Between the deer, ground hogs, and vagaries of weather, growing good vegetables is quite a challenge. Besides, all of my tomatoes were usually ripe the week we’d be out of town… This year I gave it up and use the space as a nursery enclosure — home to perennial divisions, cuttings, and woody babies. I confess that don’t miss the vegetables!
    Charming gardens and a delightful blog — I’ll be making blueberry lemon tart when I get fruit at the market this week!
    Juliana

    • Karen says:

      Juliana, Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your nice comment. Yes, vegetable gardening can be daunting but when everything goes well it can be rewarding. It’s more of a challenge here in Maine since we have a short growing season. Please do try the blueberry tart. I make it often for friends and they really enjoy it.

  4. Karen you have a lovely garden. I know exactly what you mean about that hesitation each planting season – last summer we grew vegetaables mostly for the wildlife – they somehow got to them before us. we are trying to keep that under control this year by putting netting around all planting areas … where we did not, like around my fava beans, the entire plants got eaten up. so yes it’s a battle but isn’t it fun pickingy our dinner from your own back yard 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Chris, I’m happy that you stopped by my blog and thank you for the compliment on the garden. I agree that keeping critters out of the garden is hard. We have had problems with skunks, groundhogs, squirrels, and chipmunks. In the end, it is nice to pick some your produce for a nice, fresh meal.

  5. Kim says:

    Looks like your garden is doing beautifully too! So nice to meet you, Karen.

  6. I know what you mean about the cooler weather. We’ve had more than our share, and my garden is less than happy for it. Yours is doing much better – I’m happy for you! Still, I figure whatever I can use is fresh and I’m happy for it!

  7. Jean says:

    Karen, I’m impressed by how much you’ve accomplished in a few years. The siding on your house looks like the same color as mine, and I see a lot of familiar faces in the plants growing against it, too. 🙂

  8. What a beautiful garden you have! I recently started growing potted herbs on my balcony (basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and mint) and someday hope to have a garden. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  9. Nice photos! Good luck with the tomatoes. It’s hard growing them so far north. They do need that sunshine and heat…

  10. Judy says:

    Fabulous blog. So happy I stopped by. I love gardening, cooking and the “cottage look” as well. We have a great deal in common. I also am conducting an experiment with my tomato plants. I am growing one in a pot with special soil and my others in the garden to determine if there will be any difference in the end result. So far it seems as if the one in the pot is a little bigger. Looking forward to more posts:)

    The French Italian Chef

  11. I love all your garden areas! Our tomatoes have done well this year – so far!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Your garden is lovely. I seem to learn something new about gardening each year, and often the next year is a completely different situation. It’s been so hot and dry here. It seems our rain for the whole year came in the form of Spring flooding. Now mater how much you water, there is just nothing like a good rain.

  13. Stunning garden- I’m so jealous! Our is barely clinging to life now, thanks to the absurd heat. I just hope we get a dozen little tomatoes out of it at this point…

  14. lemreg says:

    Hi Karen,
    Yes we may turn red when all our tomatoes are ready, we’ll have to keep in touch for future garden problems – and triumphs :c)

  15. Wow, I love this! This is going to be one of my missions this year. I just moved to Germany (still trying to nail down an official apartment) but this shall be the year of my first garden indeed. Even if it’s small.

    By the way, maybe I can dig up some links for you, but did you know that Germans are so into gardening that they actually have community gardens all over, especially in major cities, where people rent out garden space? Pretty cool, huh? I have seen tons of them and they are just loaded with everything from flowers to edible bits. When sie Germanz don’t rent out a garden, they usually have all sorts of foliage hanging over thier balcony.

    I’ll be learning some lessons about really living green this year, I suspect.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, any links will be appreciated. We travel to Germany often and the community gardens are lovely. Good luck on starting a garden next year.

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