How Does Your Garden Grow

How Does Your Garden Grow? Perhaps you are like Mary in the old nursery rhyme and have a flower garden with “silver bells all in a row” or perhaps you are more like me and have a vegetable garden with tomato plants growing all in a row . It’s a nice day so let’s go outside and I will show you my garden of tomatoes, peppers, shallots and herbs…everything you might need to make a delicious summer meal featuring garden fresh ingredients.

How Does Your Garden Grow…With Tomatoes All In A Row
How Does Your Garden Grow…With Tomato Plants All In A Row

I’m reminded of the old nursery rhyme when I look to see how my garden is growing. There are no silver bells like Mary had in hers but I do have beautiful lilies growing outside the picket fence surrounding the vegetable garden.

Beautiful Lilies, The Color Of Sunshine
Beautiful Lilies, The Color Of Sunshine
Soft Pink Lily With Drops Of Morning Dew
Soft Pink Lily With Drops Of Morning Dew Still Clinging To The Petals

Once inside the gate, you will see that my garden is planted in four neat rows.

Inside The Garden Are Four Rows Planted With Tomatoes, Peppers And Shallots
Inside The Garden Are Four Rows Planted With Tomatoes, Peppers And Shallots

The first row of the garden is planted with four Italian frying pepper plants and shallots on either side of them.  You may notice in the photo above that the shallots on the right side have remained small as has one of the pepper plants. Something must be lacking in the soil on that end even though all the plants have been fertilized equally. There is always a mystery when growing plants…some do well and others don’t even when grown under the same conditions.

Italian Frying Pepper Plants And Shallots
Italian Frying Pepper Plants And Shallots

The three other rows are dedicated to five varieties of large heirloom slicing tomatoes and three varieties of cherry tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomatoes Starting To Ripen In The Warm Summer Sun
Heirloom Tomatoes Starting To Ripen In The Warm Summer Sun

In New Hampshire, it is suggested to plant a vegetable garden around the 30th of May after all threat of frost has passed. In the 70 days since the garden was planted, it has been interesting to watch the plants grow from tiny seedlings that I raised in my potting shed until now.  For the first few weeks of the growing season, we had morning and evening  temperatures that hovered in the high 40’s and low 50’s which can sometimes stunt a plant. Even with being fertilized with lobster compost this year, the tomato and pepper plants have remained smaller than in past years. While the cherry tomato plants tower over me, the heirloom tomato plants have barely grown over their four foot cages. That is much smaller than the six feet they have grown to in years past.

The Tomato Plants Differ In Size, The Cherries Over Six Feet While The Heirlooms Are Barely Four Feet Tall
The Tomato Plants Differ In Size, The Cherries Are Over Six Feet While The Heirlooms Are Barely Four Feet Tall

One problem that has occurred with the tomato plants throughout this growing season has been persistent leaf curl. You may have noticed it in the photos above and can see it more clearly below. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to affect the tomatoes that are ripening.

Leaf Curl On The Heirloom Tomato Plant
Leaf Curl On The Heirloom Tomato Plant

While the branches have been kept at least a foot off the ground, a recent development has been some spotting of the leaves. Those are being cut off with scissors that I dip into a jar of water mixed with bleach as I don’t want any problems to spread from one plant to the next if I can prevent it.

Leaves That Develop Spots Are Cut Off To Help Prevent Spreading Of Disease
Leaves That Develop Spots Are Cut Off To Help Prevent The Spreading Of Disease

Even with a few problems, there is a nice crop of tomatoes on each plant. The cherry varieties have ripened first. We are patiently waiting for the large slicing tomatoes to follow suit, it shouldn’t be much longer.

Black Cherry Tomatoes
Black Cherry Tomatoes
Patiently Waiting For Tomatoes To Ripen
Patiently Waiting For Tomatoes To Ripen

Off to one side of the garden, I also have a four foot square raised box where I grow parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and basil. A day doesn’t go by that I’m not out in the early evening cutting fresh herbs for that night’s dinner.

Herb Box Planted With Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon And Basil
Herb Box Planted With Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon And Basil

The crop will be smaller than usual this year but there will certainly be enough tomatoes for the two of us to enjoy in our daily meals. While we are waiting for the large tomatoes to fully ripen, we are using the cherry tomatoes in many dishes. One of my favorites is Spaghetti alla Portofino, you can find the recipe here.

Spaghetti Alla Portofino
Spaghetti Alla Portofino

Now that you have seen how my garden grows, I’d love to know what you are growing if you have a garden. Do you have vegetables or a cutting garden so that you can have fresh flowers in your home…perhaps you are even like Mary and have “silver bells all in a row”.

Posted by

I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

194 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow

  1. So much beauty and deliciousness in your garden, Karen. 🙂 I’m starting to see the fruits of my winter garden now, but cannot wait for summer tomatoes!!

    1. Thank you Krista, I appreciate your nice compliment. As much as we enjoy all the veggies from the garden, there is something special about summer tomatoes.

  2. I remember reading your posts about growing heirloom tomatoes. Proper, home-grown tomatoes are so much nicer than store-bought ones. Although I don’t have any vegetables in my garden, I get tomatoes in a veg box delivery from an organic farm so they are almost as good as home-grown. And the Spaghetti alla Portofino recipe looks very yummy indeed. 🙂

    1. Hi Grace, Yes, I thought it was time to do a post about the tomatoes that I started in my potting shed. It sounds like you have a good source for farm fresh veggies. I believe you will enjoy the recipe for Spaghetti alla Portofino, it is a favorite when we have lots of fresh tomatoes.

  3. Good looking garden – living here in Michigan I have some of the same problems – leaf curling on my Italian tomato plants that I grew from seed my sister brought back from Italy. I have a black cherry tomato plant that was supposed to be a red variety that I bought as a plant from Burpee/Cook’s Garden. Does that ever happen to you? They are almost ready to try! I like your choice in dinnerware – I have some as well – Villeroy and Boch 🙂

    1. Hi Judi, I’m glad you like my garden. It is strange about the leaf curl…it has been persistent this year. I haven’t had a tomato plant turn out to be a different variety but I’ve heard it happening with other gardeners. Yes, I love the dinnerware too. 🙂

  4. We don’t have space for a garden other than herbs. We do have all the fresh vegetables we can use from two nearby farms. Both farms have had problems this year with the unusually cooler temperatures. Tomatoes and corn have found it especially not to “their” liking. Still, we have heaps of both each week. Your garden is lovely.


    1. Hi Bonnie, I know that many people don’t have room for a garden but it is nice that you have space to grow herbs. This year’s cool weather has slowed down the growth of gardens this summer…I haven’t been able to get corn from the farms around here as yet.

    1. Hi Arlene, I appreciate your visit and compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it made you smile. Gardens are work but the benefits are delicious. 😀

  5. What a beautiful garden! I spent my morning in the drizzle yesterday weeding our garden. The weeds were beyond out of control and the rain just won’t stop. It looks like a garden again! Despite looking burnt to a crisp my tomato plants continue to give me some tomatoes here and there. The broccoli never did form heads. The red cabbage is tasty, though the heads are small. The napa cabbage was heavenly as were all the varieties of lettuce. Zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, kohlrabi, peppers and melons round out the rest of our summer produce. The pumpkins are just now beginning or grow and will arrive by fall!

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Gretchen. I’m glad you like the garden. Weeds, the nemeses of every gardener but it sounds like they haven’t gotten the best of your garden from what you have been harvesting. 🙂

  6. Your garden is so beautiful and organized. 🙂 I have lilies still blooming along with phlox, hydrangea, coreopsis, and several others. But, we are experiencing the same issues with our tomatoes – curled leaves, spots on the leaves, plenty of cherry and small tomatoes, but the big slicing tomatoes are just not moving along as usual. We were up north in Alexandria visiting friends yesterday, and they have an apple tree that has apples on the east side of the tree and not one bloom or apple on the west side of the tree. Mother Nature is definitely in charge regardless of what we think. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, It is always interesting to hear from other gardeners who are experiencing the same problems in the garden. There is no doubt that Mother Nature is in charge no matter what we do. My apples are almost nonexistent this year…I’ll be doing a post on the orchard come fall.

    1. Hi Angie, I’m sorry to hear that you tomatoes are suffering from too much rain. We can always water when we don’t get enough rain but there is nothing we can do when we get too much. 😦

  7. Oh Karen, your tomato plants are quite amazing! And the cherries look more like trees than tomato plants! What a wonderful job you’ve done this year on them. I was wondering with the sudden sale of your Maine house if you had planted your tomatoes up there already or if you had had enough notice to put your plants in at your home in NH. It looks like 70 days was plenty of time to develop a bumper crop of tomatoes for you this year!

    1. Hi Laura, Yes…the cherry tomatoes are taller than me. Would you believe that we took all our tomato plants to Maine but hadn’t planted them in the ground when we got a buyer for the cottage. We brought the pots of tomatoes back to New Hampshire and I opened up our garden here again. We laugh that our tomatoes went to summer camp in Maine but they really didn’t like it there because it was too cold. 😀

  8. How do you prevent the deer from feasting on your beautiful lilies?
    You are such a neat and organized gardener and your plants are certainly well fed. Lobster compost did not know this exist. Is it readily available or only in your area?
    I am having the same problem with my tomatoes this year, the cherries are taking off while the other varieties are lagging behind, hoping they will catch up soon as I am so ready for a good, vine ripened slicing tomato.
    The shallots problem is a mystery as the tomato plant at the same side of the garden is doing well. May be if you top dress with lobster compost it will help.

    1. Hi Norma, The deer not eating the lilies because they have three hundred apple trees to munch on. Our garden supplier is the one who suggested the lobster compost this year, in the past I’ve always bought Moo Doo which is a popular product here in New England. I’m hoping that when I go out in the garden today that I may have one big tomato ready to pick as I’m looking forward to a BLT sandwich. The mystery of the shallots…they even get more more sun than the ones at the other end of the row . I’ve added a little extra compost, it will be interesting to see what they look like when it is time to pull them.

      1. I read shallots are shallow rooted. Because they are getting more sun than the ones at the other end of the bed they need more watering not more nutrients. Lets see if this solves the mystery.
        I use Moo Doo but will look out for lobster compost at my nursery, I imagine the latter is more expensive than the former.

      2. We are supposed to get more than an inch of rain tomorrow…perhaps that will make the shallots happier. 🙂 I believe the lobster compost was about a dollar or two more than the Moo Doo.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, The cherry tomatoes have been great…now I’m waiting for the big ones. I have visions of a bacon and tomato sandwich in the near future. 😀

  9. Wow Karen when I go and look at my little garden, all “willy nilly” it makes me long for neat rows…maybe next year. I hope you have your canning jars on stand-by for storing all those beauties. Very lovely indeed.

    1. Hi Teresa, Willy nilly is not necessarily a bad thing…it is the end result that counts. 😀 I have a canner and jars but don’t use them any more. I find freezing to be easier and quicker.

  10. Your garden grows beautifully Karen!
    I am fond of lilies too:) And tomatoes..
    I have never seen leaf curl..You sure captured it well.So glad the tomatoes are pristine!

    1. Thank you for the nice compliment Monique. I’ve had a plant or two that occasionally got leaf curl but this year it has been persistent and most of the plants have it on their bottom leaves. It appears that several other gardeners in the area are experiencing the same problem this year. Thank goodness that it doesn’t affect the tomatoes.

    1. Hi Tin Man, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the visit to my garden. I guess my thumb might be a little green as the garden is doing pretty good right now. I’ll see how the rest of the season goes…you never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve for you on any given day. The August sun can be brutal in Texas, I hope your garden can hold on for a bit longer. 🙂

    1. Thank you Jovina, I’m glad you enjoyed the garden photos. BTW, I found your comment in my spam file and marked it not spam. Hopefully that won’t happen again.

  11. Because of the drought and taking care of my mom in Germany I have no garden this year, just a few herbs, your garden looks great.
    When I plant tomatoes I dig a deep hole and add eggshells, ground up aspirin, manure and some other things . If you are interested I have it written down somewhere. I also have a worm box that produces great worm compost and worm juice which is a potent fertilizer.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, I know there are times when it is impossible to have a garden. I know that you have been traveling and will be again soon to see you mother, I hope she is doing well. It sounds like you do a good job when you do grow you tomatoes. I do similar steps when planting but not the aspirin…I know a lot of gardens use it. This year I am using lobster compost for the first time in my garden. 🙂

  12. This year it’s just the pots we moved with us: cacti, lime tree (with lemon basil under planted), Meyer lemon, plum tree, raspberry, avocado tree, and some bolted lettuce. Next year though…oh, the plans for next year!

    1. Hi Plumdirt, I know you are looking forward to your gardens next year. At least you were able to harvest a little from your previous home.

  13. Your picket fence reminds me of Mr. McGregor’s.

    You are the first person I have seen that grows shallots; lots of scallions, but not shallots. If I had a garden it would have just what you are growing.

    1. Hi Madonna, I hadn’t thought about Mr. McGregor and his garden in a long time. 🙂 I find shallots to be expensive when you buy them in the market and it is so easy to grow your own. I’ve grown lot of vegetables over the years but now just grow what we enjoy the most.

  14. That’s a wonderful garden you’ve got there! Before we started travelling, we used to grow sweet peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, new potatoes and various herbs, but we are not there long enough to look after them any more. It is a great joy to grow and eat your own. Make the most of it. 🙂

    1. Thank you Fatima, I’m happy you like my garden. I do know how much you travel so that would make it hard to have a proper garden. Do you still grow herbs…they basically take care of themselves and usually come back each year.

  15. You are truly a Renaissance woman, Karen. You cook, you decorate, you garden…all to perfection. What a gorgeous garden! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Terrific garden! Always fun to see what you’re growing. Our tomatoes are doing well, although the squirrels have taken to chewing through the heavy plastic webbing that I’ve put up as a barrier. Next year I’ll replace that with heavy duty wire. So we’ve been picking a lot of green tomatoes, and enjoying them that way. Our star crop is, as usual, Swiss chard. It usually grows best in spring and fall, although because the summer has been relatively mild we’ve been getting a lot of more than we usually would at this time of the year. Fun post — thanks.

    1. Thank you John, I’m happy to know that you enjoy my garden posts. I’m glad to hear that you garden is doing well except for your pesky critters…continued good luck with your growing season. When I first planted a garden here in New Hampshire, I built a fence with metal poles and plastic webbing but after two years I had the picket fence built. It is hard to deal with squirrels…thank goodness I don’t have a problem with them.

  17. What fantastic tomatoes, iI planted three this year,in a trough, and they are pathetic 😦 o I wouldn’t dare show them on my blog. Not enough flesh to even make Mr France & I a BLT sandwich 🙂

    1. Hi Barbara, The tomatoes are looking good so far. I’m sorry that your tomatoes haven’t done well this year. Wish I could share some of mine with you. I’m looking forward to our first BLT…that is what the first ripe slicing tomato is used for. 😀

  18. Karen, your garden is so beautiful and orderly. It’s my dream to have a garden like this, but alas, I only grow herbs in the greenhouse window and everything else I must buy. Someday, someday, I will get my garden and perhaps add some silver bells! Love your tomatoes!

    1. Thank you Ngan, I’m glad that you like my garden. It is nice that you have the greenhouse window for growing herbs, they add so much flavor to meals. I do hope that someday you get to have the garden of your dreams. I’ve had a lot of homes over the years but this is the only home where I’ve had a spot to have a proper fenced in garden. Wishes do come true, sometimes it just takes a while for them to happen. 😀

  19. Hi Karen, our garden consists of planter pots of tarragon, basil, Mexican oregano, and green onions, as well as about 10 upside down tomato plants. Like yours, our cherry tomatoes are going gangbusters but our heirloom tomatoes are small and slow to ripen. We have not had any leaf-curl or spotting, so that is good. I am sure you can’t wait for that first bite of BLT!

    1. Hi Kathryn, I’m finding it interesting that so many of us are still waiting on our heirlooms to ripen this year…thank goodness we have our cherries to keep us happy in the meantime. I’ve heard mixed reviews on growing upside down tomato plants…it is nice to know someone who has look growing them that way. I’m hoping tomorrow is the day for the BLT…one tomato is whispering “pick me”. 😀

  20. You have a very sweet setup–I like it. And the tomatoes look so pretty–I am getting just a few cherry types ripening –we usually don’t get the big slicers until the first week in September. But, I get to enjoy looking at them on your blog and it just makes the anticipation grow even more!
    It’s my first year growing shallots–I didn’t realize just how many people grew them. I just harvested a half dozen, but haven’t gotten around to “sampling” them just yet. I think my Saturday omelette will be the lucky recipient of that first one.
    Oh dear–another novel!
    Have a wonderful week, Karen.
    PS Still have the little cupboard? Oh, I covet that darling thing.

    1. Thank you Sue, I take that as a real compliment since you have the best gardens of anyone I know. 😀 It has to be hard to wait for the big slicers until September. Of course then you only have a few weeks before the possibility of frost. Shallots are so easy to grow and last such a long time. Don’t apologize…I always love reading your comments. The little cupboard…no one has bought it yet. I just paid my second month’s rent at the antique store and I’ve only sold three items that would have all fit in a shoebox. 😦

  21. I always love your gardening posts. You are so lucky to have your own tomatoes (courgettes, cucumbers and many other vegetables don’t make such a difference, but tomatoes… one’s own grown tomatoes are unique…). I am proud to say that even though I only have a tiny balcony “garden”, I can also enjoy cutting my own herbs before cooking 🙂 I discover accidentally every year several of my plants are perennial which is really thrilling. Nowadays, it’s infested with all sorts of bugs which make me furious… Of course healthy ways of fighting them are not the most efficient…

    1. Thank you Sissi, I’m happy to know that you enjoy the garden posts. I totally agree with you about tomatoes…home grown old varieties are so much better than the ones raised for our markets. I know that you enjoy your herbs but I’m sorry to learn you are having problems with bugs.

  22. Karen…you have a wonderful garden and it looks like you’re going to have a bounty of beautiful tomatoes! Do you can them?

    I didn’t get my veggie garden ready in time for spring with the little bit of traveling we did at the end of May. Now I’m thinking of converting the beds to raised beds this fall. I just don’t have time for all the weeding. I did grow some lettuce, tomatoes and beans in pots. The tomatoes are taking their sweet time!!

    Have a great week!

    Jane xx

    1. Hi Jane, Instead of canning, I cook and freeze them in three different size plastic containers. I find it easier to do and more convenient for when I need tomatoes over the winter. I appears that many of us that live in the northern areas of our country are experiencing the tomatoes being a little late to ripen this year. As to raised boxes, I’m sorry to say that they will need to be weeded too but they are a little easier to work in.

    1. Hi Ksenia, Our plants may not be as big as in some years but the tomatoes are all good size. More than enough for the two of us to enjoy straight from the garden and plenty to turn into sauce to freeze and enjoy this winter. 😀

  23. There is nothing more satisfying than cooking with ingredients from your own garden. I only have a few herbs, but one day I hope to have a garden as vibrant as yours! Those tomatoes are going to be beautiful!

    1. Hi Sandra, Isn’t it nice to be able to have fresh herbs right outside your door whenever you need them. I’m glad you like the garden…hopefully you will have your own one day in the future.

  24. What a treat to tour your garden. I love the weathered wood picket fence. And I must say, your garden looks so neat and tidy! My last one was a bit of a riotous jumble, and I’ve had more orderly ones before that. Both have their advantages and charm. Sad to say, I’m not gardening this year. I didn’t even get my herbs in, but I do have a some that returned from last year, so all is not lost. In the meantime, I have wonderful local farmers’ markets and hopes and dreams for next year’s garden!

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the tour. I like the picket fence…it seems appropriate for a New England garden. It is nice to have a good farmers market until you get a chance to plant another garden. All my herbs usually come back each year except rosemary which must be replanted each year.

  25. Seeing the differing tomatoes growing in your garden made me nostalgic for the days when my dad was still alive and my back yard was filled with a variety of them including beefsteak tomatoes. I swear he tracked each individual tomato’s growth from the time the flower dropped off. 🙂

    And your lilies are beautiful as well. The bright yellow ones must remind you of the sun even on a cloudy day. My Naked Ladies are almost as pretty.

    1. Hi Boleyn, I’m sure your father did keep good track of the tomatoes…eagerly awaiting the day he could pick and enjoy them. Lilies are indeed beautiful and really require little care.

  26. I’m so glad you shared your garden, Karen. I do really admire the dedication and hard work, in particular because I’m mindful of your shorter growing season. The preparation and all that goes into starting the seeds early takes effort. I have a smaller garden this year, with only a few tomatoes, zucchini and herbs. I have strawberry plants, but they’re not too impressive right now–I’m just keeping them alive. With our water shortage I decided to just grow enough for “us” and not attempt at more bounty to share. Maybe next season we’ll be in better shape. LOL! But in year’s past when drought was significant I even watered my tomatoes by carting grey water from the house to the base of the plants. I can’t give up entirely. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice comment, Debra…it is very much appreciated. We do have a very short growing season. Thankfully, I have my potting shed to give them a chance to get a good start on the season each year. With your water restrictions, I know it is hard to have much of a garden. You do a good job with your hand watering.

  27. Your garden looks very well organized and productive, Karen. I think from year to year different blights and weather conditions have a lot to do with the success of growing vegetables. When I lived in Brooklyn I had only cement in my backyard so I had to grow everything in large flowers pots, and felt happy to have a few weeks of peppers and tomatoes, but my herbs always flourished. Now. that I live in the foothills of the front range of Colorado I have many problems with gardening as we have many deer, rabbits and other critters and the weather is unpredictable–we had hail a few times this summer which damaged my basil plants. I try to grow as many perennial flowers as possible that are suited for our area and that are not the first choice for deer to eat, although when they are hungry they will eat anything!

    I’ve always saved my eggshells to crush and add to the soil in which I grow tomatoes. I heard the shells are a good source of calcium that tomatoes need. Also, rotating the placement of crops every few yrars is a good idea to help the soil replenish the factors the vegetables remove. Enjoy your crop of heirloom tomatoes as they ripen –I’m sure they will be delicious!

    1. Hi Pat, I appreciate your nice compliment. You never know from year to year what nature will throw at you. Some years are good and others can be a real challenge. Over all, I would say this has been a good one so far. I remember seeing all the critters that roam your yard…it has to be hard finding plants you like that the deer don’t. We have so many deer in our orchard munching on the trees but they leave everything else alone except my holly…that is their favorite gourmet treat over the winter. 😦

  28. The pasta recipe looks delicious, as do all those tomatoes on the vines! I have lots of herbs too, mostly in between flowers or in small pots. My basil has done well in our warm summer this year.

    1. Thank you Cathy, I’m glad you like the recipe for the Spaghetti alla Portofino…it is a favorite this time of the year when I have fresh tomatoes. I like the idea of planting herbs between the flowers and their leaves add lovely texture to a garden.

  29. I am patiently awaiting my large tomatoes to ripen. Not even a hint of pink yet! I’m sure it’s our cooler-than-normal summer that is the problem. Other than that, hardly any disease or other problems as yet. We’ve been enjoying many salads with the cherry tomatoes, thankfully, and an occasional pasta dish when I can harvest enough. Your pasta recipe looks delicious!

    1. Hi Susan, I just came in from picking four large tomatoes…it took them much longer than normal this year to ripen. I’m sure yours will start to ripen soon. I think ours were slowed down from the cool mornings and nights lately. We have been eating cherry tomatoes everyday one way or another. I believe you would like the Portofino pasta dish, we enjoy it a lot.

  30. Karen I am in awe of how neatly tended your garden is. I’m the sort of gardener who gets enthusiastic as soon as spring hits, pop a few things into the ground, get distracted and forget that I’ve planted anything, then go out in July or August & see what happened. Usually not much. I just didn’t have the energy or chance to plant much of anything this year with the hip situation so I just put a few flower seeds in the ground (mostly carnations & sweet Williams which will take 2 years to bloom) but I also got some nice basil growing. Amazing how resilient an basil can be with an absentee gardener.

    1. Hi Diane, I’m happy to know you like my garden. You had a very good reason to be an absentee gardener this year. I’m so glad you are getting along so well. Herbs practically raise themselves and most come back each year except for rosemary and basil in our area.

  31. To me you’ve planted just the right amount for a garden – not too much and not too little. Our tomatoes are finished and so are our day lilies, but the perennials and annuals are still going strong. We’ll still be able to buy really good tomatoes at our farmer’s market, thankfully. For me tomatoes and peaches are the best part of summer.

    1. Hi Sam, I do think we have a nice size garden for two people. I know I could plant less tomatoes but I like to make and freeze sauce to use all winter. I agree with you totally about tomatoes and peaches…I think I might add fresh corn to that summer list of good eats. 🙂

  32. Wow Karen, that is some vegetable garden you have there! So summery too… I am travelling north at present and it is warm… but going home in a few days to sub zero overnight temperatures, brrrrrrr. Thanks for the walk around your patch xo

    1. Hi Lizzy, You have really had some cold weather this winter. I’m glad you are getting to enjoy a little warmth before you head back home. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the little tour of the garden. Thank you as always for your nice compliment.

  33. Enjoyed your photos. Made me wish we had a better fence around our veggie garden and then flowers on the outside. Some day the railroad ties that define the plot will need to be replaced. Then we will perhaps do a pretty fence with a gate (instead of hopping over the fence as we do now!) and flower beds on the outside. Our garden looks like a jungle but we get amazing yields. We are in PA so our tomatoes are a bit ahead of yours ……… we have two dozen ripe ones on the counter right now and have been enjoying them for a couple of weeks. I like tomato sandwiches with mayo and a nutty whole grain bread. No bacon needed! Am new to your blog and truly enjoy it, by the way. (I even watched the cowboy video ad!)

    1. Hi Sheri, Thank you for stopping by and leaving your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoy my blog and photos. A jumble isn’t a bad thing in a garden when you have great results. 😀 How nice to be enjoying so many ripe tomatoes…being a little further south really means a lot when gardening.

  34. After seeing all that vibrant abundance I am ‘green’ with envy 😉 Living in the middle of the city I have no more than a little balcony. A tiny little space that I have managed to fill with a suprising amount of herbs and little plants 🙂

    1. Hi Afra, I’m sure it is a lovely shade of green. 😀 Good for you to be able to grow plants on your balcony. It is so nice to be able to cut fresh herbs whenever you need them. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. H B, Some years are better than other when it comes to having a garden. I’m glad you like mine and appreciate your nice compliment. It has been several years since this garden was planted as we had the garden in Maine each summer. I’m happy with the results so far this year. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the compliment Larry, Yes blight can be a problem even in New England. You would think with all our months of freezing weather we would have less problems than in the south but I think it is probably just about the same. I’m watching the plants carefully.

  35. My tomatoes are small this year too but the cherry tomatoes always get taller than the regular tomatoes. I also am growing black cherry and hope for a nice crop. All the rain have yellowed the leaves that I have been pulling from the regular tomatoes.

    1. Hi Donna, It sounds as though our tomato plants are behaving similarly and it appears we are not alone. The nice thing is they seem to have put all their energy into growing big tomatoes so I won’t complain. I’m watching mine like a hawk and taking off any leaves that don’t look good. We are forecast to get more than an inch of rain tomorrow so I’ll probably start seeing some splitting in the almost ripe tomatoes.

  36. Lovely post with lovely photos and super lovely tomatoes! There’s alot of love going on in this post. I love seeing a glimpse into others gardens so I really liked this post. Our garden is in full swing right now, on a rooftop, growing vegetables in pounds to pick by the day! Look forward to the rest of the season and then Fall. We already planted some of our Fall seedlings and somehow I’m growing 6x more pumpkins than expected… I can’t control myself!

    1. Thank you Pamela, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. I always love stopping by to see how your rooftop garden is doing too. You really amaze me with the crop of veggies you grow. I can’t control myself either…I’m sure I could have done with less than 18 tomato plants but I always worry that some won’t survive. Once they are nice size plants, you have to plant them because you have babied them so long. 😀

  37. What a beautiful garden Karen, you have a great green thumb. The tomatoes are gorgeous. I love how fresh and simple that pasta dish is and I bet it’s incredibly tasty.

    1. Thank you Eva, I’m glad you like the garden. Are you growing tomatoes on top of your garage again this year? The pasta is a simple one but bursting with flavor from the homegrown little tomatoes.

      1. Sadly Karen, I am not. Missed the boat; I couldn’t find the varieties we like and then I became busy with work. I do have a lowly fig tree in a pot and some garlic I tried to salvage after winter killed off most of ours. You are indeed so fortunate to have such gorgeous property and safe soil (I hesitate to plant food in our garden because we live in the city). Thank you for sharing it with us.

      2. My husband and I are indeed lucky to have such a wonderful piece of property in the country. 🙂 I know you are very busy now with your new job but if you would like a small garden and are worried about the soil where you live, you could always make a couple of raised beds. You could line them and add composted soil which would be perfectly safe.

  38. Look at your tomatoes and peppers! My garden is finished for the season. Living in north Florida late summer is brutal and the garden pests are out of control. We will plant again in late September our fall garden.

    Loved seeing photos of your garden. Very pretty.

    1. Hi Velva, Yes, we do have a lot of tomatoes. Your garden may be finished but I know it was wonderful while it lasted. Having lived in south Florida for years, I know all too well about the pests that can attack your garden. The nice thing is that while our garden will be finishing in the fall you will get a chance to grow more veggies. Good luck with your next crop. 🙂

  39. Thank you for allowing us behind the picket fence! Envy you your large herb box and the number of tomatoes on your plants in what does not sound like a good season. Living mostly alone and being restricted to pot culture to gain the only available sun, I have mostly grown cherry tomatoes during the past few years but have never seen black ones in our nurseries. Have grown the big Black Russians but . . . our planting season slowly begins at the end of this month, so this has been a lovely reminder to get on with my own plans . . .

    1. Hi Eha, I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the garden. The herb box is just the right size and easy to work in. Cherry tomatoes are perfect when you don’t have a lot of space or need to grow them in pots. I grow Black Krim which is a Russian tomato and the black cherries have a similar taste. They are a little bigger than the other two varieties that I grow each year…I think you would like them if you ever see them.

  40. Your garden looks great, Karen! I only grow herbs, oregano, sage, basil, thyme, mint and chives. I used to put in a few tomato plants, but the past couple years have been so hot they didn’t do well…and while I was in Vermont, someone forgot to water them daily!
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hi Marigene, I’m glad you like the looks of my garden. If I couldn’t grow tomatoes, I’d still find a way to grow herbs. It is so nice to be able to go right outside your door and snip just the amount you need when cooking. When we travel, I have someone come by every other day to water unless it rains. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish, I hope you have a nice week as well.

  41. What a lovely garden you have. I live in an apartment but I have one cherry tomato plant in a pot which is doing very well. I can’t wait to enjoy the ripened tomatoes.

    1. Hi Darlene, I’m glad that you enjoyed seeing my garden and appreciate your nice compliment. Cherry tomatoes are perfect when you have limited space…I’m sure you will be having tomatoes anytime now.

    1. Hi Katerina, I do try to take good care of the garden…watering and weeding about every other day. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing it…thank you.

    1. Hi Tandy, I know what you mean about the wind…it was a real problem when we were growing tomatoes at our cottage in Maine. A hot house sounds like wonderful, you can grow things to your heart’s content. 🙂

    1. Hi Uru, I’m glad you like the pasta dish…I think it would please all vegetarians if they eat cheese. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  42. Black cherry tomatoes? I have never seen those before.
    I know what you mean about some plants doing well a few feet away from those that do poorly. We have a street nearby which is lined with a particular native tree and some thrive while others are stunted and miserable. I bet they were all planted in the same way.
    You have a great garden.

    1. Hi Suzanne, If you ever see the seeds or plants of a black cherry tomato for sale, buy them. It is a large cherry tomato with an intense tomato flavor. The color is as deep on the inside as the out…just wonderful. It is very interesting to watch how one plant can grow so differently from another when they grow side by side under the same conditions. I’m glad you enjoyed the garden and appreciate your nice compliment…thank you!

  43. Thanks for the garden tour, Karen. It is always a delight to see the fruits of your hard work. The tomatoes seem to be thriving despite the leaf curl (affecting my tomatoes too). Right, I’m off to check out Spaghetti alla Portofino – I might have to have it for lunch.

    1. Hi Hester, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the tour of my garden and appreciate your nice compliment…thank you. I’ve been very surprised to learn that leaf curl seems to be a condition in many of our gardens this year. Spaghetti alla Portofino is a favorite of ours when we have lots of cherry tomatoes…I believe you would enjoy it.

  44. Very impressive tomatoes, Karen! Our garden is doing well, although we’ve had some stormy weather lately which battered things a bit. I’m sure it will recover just fine though. We concentrated mostly on flowers this year, although we do have the usual tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers and squashes.

    1. Hi Misky, We’ve got stormy weather coming tomorrow with several inches of rain in the forecast. There has been a lot of hail around our area lately but our property has been spared. I love the gardens that you had created with your big remodeling job…I hope that everything recovers nicely.

  45. I have to thank you Karen, for inspiring me yet again! Your garden is fabulous. I did very few vegetables this year due to scheduling: Just garlic, potatoes, peas, and beets. I had zucchini and pumpkin seedlings that didn’t make it, and a few eggplants that might be ready for next season! oh well. I have been adding more flowers each year, just to keep things pretty! Thanks again for such a lovely post. Dana

    1. I appreciate your kind words, Dana…thank you so much. It is lovely to know that my gardening posts can inspire you when I think you have wonderful gardens yourself. I love the lovely gardens that you have worked so hard to create…I think we have mutual admiration for each other. 😀

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I never thought about them looking like little trees but maybe you are right. The only pruning that was done on the tomato plants was on the bottom. I make sure that I don’t have any branches near the ground…usually about a foot off the ground. This helps to keep the plants healthy as many diseases come from water and dirt splashing off the ground onto bottom leaves. The other thing I do is plant the tomatoes with at least 2 1/2 to 3 feet between them so there is plenty of air circulation.

    1. Hi Jessica, I know exactly what you mean. Some plants don’t die but they don’t seem to grow all that much. Wow…squash and zucchini usually grow like weeds but I’m glad your tomatoes, onion and herbs are doing good. That makes for a lot of delicious meals. 😀

  46. Well, it is obvious that YOUR garden grows beautifully, Karen! Your tomatoes are stunning, and the rest, too. I wish we lived next door so that we could benefit!

    1. Hi David, I wish we lived next door to each other as well. I would gladly give you a bounty of tomatoes and perhaps we would share a meal or two. Too bad I wasn’t blogging when you lived in New England so that we could have met in person.

  47. This is stunning. I have garden envy. I really can’t get over how abundantly beautiful your garden is. You must put a lot of care and work into it. What a beautiful testament to life. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Amanda, for your lovely compliment…I’m happy to know that you like my garden. I do try and care for my garden…babying the plants that I raised from seed and nurtured in the potting shed. The surprising part is that once they are in the ground they don’t need lots of care…more like just watching over them like you would children. Now weeding is another story. 😀

  48. It looks beautiful Karen and those black cherry tomatoes are gorgeous! Am intrigued by the lobster compost – is it from the shells? No veggie garden for us this year, we were unable to return to Spain for the summer. We planted a flower garden in the little flat we bought in England last spring and it is looking pretty – luckily we got to enjoy it as we are just about to move to a litte house nearby with a different garden with a huge pear tree! Hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy our Spanish garden again some time soon….

    1. Hi Chica, I appreciate your compliment as I know you have had wonderful gardens yourself. I know you must miss not having your garden this year but I know you are enjoying what you are creating in England. A large pear tree sounds wonderful…the ones in are orchard are quite small. The lobster compost is indeed made up from ground shells and seaweed. It is the first year I have used it and everyone is saying how good it is. When I pull all the plants from the garden this fall, I’m going to amend the soil with more of the compost.

    1. Thank you Jan, The plants I babied during the spring are definitely giving back with some nice tomatoes. Oh yes…yummy salsa is a definite. 😀

    1. Hi Helen, I am lucky to have a nice size garden. I wondered if you might have silver bells in your garden. I’m happy that your tomatoes are doing well, you must be anxious to pick your first one.

  49. What a beautiful garden! My my and those tomato plants are LOADED with fruit! Lucky you – I hope you get them before the frost does. I can see all the love that goes into your little plot of land – fabulous!

    1. Thank you Kelli, I’m glad to know you like my garden. I don’t think there will be any problem getting them harvested before our first frost which usually occurs around the end of September or the first week of October.

  50. It all looks so beautiful, Karen, even with the spotted and curling leaves. Your black cherry tomatoes are stunning. What a beautiful setting for growing produce. And your simple pasta with homegrown ingredients looks very special too xx

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Charlie. Gardens are usually never perfect and I felt I had to point out what was wrong as well as what was looking in my garden. Thankfully both conditions are not having any affects on the tomatoes themselves. The pasta dish is one of our favorites when we have lots of cherry tomatoes…thank you!

    1. Hi Terra, I can certainly appreciate your comment. Our home and property was a dream of mine as well. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos.

  51. Wow! Your garden is just amazing and beautiful. With that beautiful garden with lots of flowers and vegetables growing. . . it will take any stress away. Really nice, Karen. 🙂

    1. Hi Ray, I’m glad you enjoyed seeing my garden and appreciate your nice compliment. Even though gardening can be a lot of work, it is also a peaceful experience.

  52. Hi Karen, I love seeing how other gardens grow around the country. Your tomatoes are doing well, I’d say! Those black cherry tomatoes are among my favorites. This year has been a good one for us, with an abundance of summer squashes, tomatoes, green beans, and yellow wax beans. Our pepper plants are doing just so-so, same as our eggplant. You can never predict one year to the next–which is part of the joy and mystery of Mother Nature. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden images.

    1. Hi Nancy, Many food bloggers have gardens but only mention them in passing. I feel the same way as you…it is nice to know how other gardens are doing not only in our country but around the world. I agree, we really can’t predict how our plants will grow each season but it sounds like your garden on the whole is doing well. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos.

  53. you make me want to dig up my small back yard and fill it with tomatoes! but, alas , i’ll go to the farmers’ market and vicariously enjoy yours! always inspiration!

    1. Hi Susan, Portsmouth has a very nice farmers market. If you can’t plant tomatoes you have the next best thing…especially since you have lots of other fresh vegetables available at the market. I appreciate your nice compliment.

  54. Dear Karen, what an absolutely amazing garden you have. I am in awe of your talents and your green thumb – these tomatoes look fabulous, love all the varieties and I am sure that the raised box for the herbs is so useful when cooking all your lovely dishes like the Spaghetti alla Portofino that showcases your tomatoes and your basil so well!

    1. Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you like my garden. I have babied those plants from tiny seedlings and am happy with the results so far. I’ve been picking large ripe slicing tomatoes for the last couple of days and they are delicious. You are right, it is great when you can go right outside your door for fresh herbs.

    1. Hi Dedy, I’m glad you like my garden…thank you. I’ve slow roasted cherry tomatoes and and they are terrific. Too much rain is definitely not good for a garden, sorry to hear that your crops were ruined. 😦

  55. Hi Karen, your garden is stunning! What a pleasure it must be to walk among the rows and say, “I did this,” I know I smile when I have a good season.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not living up to my name this year, as my garden didn’t do so well! If I had a nickel for every time someone said that rhyme to me, I could have retired at age 10! LOL

    Have a great weekend!

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Mary. You never know from year to year how a garden will fare, I’m sorry yours hasn’t done well this year…it is probably related to our strange spring and summer.

  56. Your tomatoes are always enviable, Karen, and the herb garden is flourishing! August is a favorite month with so much peak produce to choose from — simple ingredients, simple dinners. This year we put more work into the perennial flower garden than the vegetable garden and the weeds have taken over the bare ground. It’s time to pull them before they go to seed and look forward to a new planting season next year.

    1. Thank you Judy, for your lovely compliment. The garden seems to be doing good so far but you never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve. I’ve enjoyed the photos of your perennial gardens, you’ve had beautiful blooms. Those pesky weeds can overtake garden beds in a heartbeat…good luck with your weeding. Just don’t try and do it all at once. 🙂

  57. You would die laughing if you could see my garden right now. All I planted is lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers and all are totally out of control. We’ve eaten so much lettuce you’d think we were rabbits!

  58. Having my own garden sounds nothing short of a luxury coz in a city like Mumbai which struggles for space, bunglows are vanishing soon and their space is being hijacked by high rise buildings.
    Your garden and the produce looks amazing.

    1. Hi Taruna, I can certainly understand how hard it would be to have a garden. I do know how lucky I am to be about to have so much land for a garden. Thank you for your visit and nice compliment. 🙂

    1. Hi Sylvia, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of our garden. My yellow lilies were the best they have ever been. Some of my other lilies didn’t do as well. I’ll divide them all next spring to reinvigorate them. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  59. Your tomato plants are growing well, even if they’re not as tall as usual. Do you think they’re producing as many tomatoes but on shorter plants? The ‘Black Cherry’ photo is great – wish my plant had so much fruit on it!

    1. Hi Sarah, I have to agree with you. It seems the plants are putting all their energy into the tomatoes instead of plant growth…nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. 😀 The Black Cherry tomato plants are doing great. The tomatoes are much larger than when we grew them in Maine but there we had to grow them in 15 gallon buckets because we had limited space in our garden. I’m sure affected their size.

  60. I’m not one bit surprised that your garden is perfect and no weeds dare apply for residency. That leaf curl is the only problem. Garden perfection. 🙂

    1. Oh you gave me a big smile, Maureen and I appreciate your kind words. I do try to keep the garden neat and tidy…if I don’t, the weeds would surely take over in a heartbeat. The expression “they grow like weeds” is well known for a reason. 😀

  61. Your veggie & herb garden is thriving, my friend! Good for you! I love the sight of all those different tomato-plants! Your peppers look wonderful too!

    1. Hi Meg, I must agree with you, the pleasures of a summer garden are great. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos.

  62. Oh your garden is so neat and orderly compared to mine. Mine is haphazard and crowded and I have to hunt for the cucumbers, but everything is growing. Your tomatoes are amazing!

    1. Hi MJ, I’m glad to know you enjoyed the post. Yes, the tomatoes as doing well so far this season. Haphazard doesn’t matter as long as you are getting a good crop out of the garden. 😀

  63. Hello Karen, just beautiful shots of your vegetables and flowers. I love the morning dew clinging on the lilys and black cherry tomatoes. I do not think I have ever had one of those. I wish there was a scratch and sniff option on your website as I can almost imagine the summer heat and the sweet fragrance of the ripe tomatoes and onions… How is the move going? Are you settled yet? Take care, BAM

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Bobbie. You are right about the smell of a vine ripe tomato. As to the move, very little has sold yet. I think most of the furniture will end up being given away.

      1. I know how frustrating this can all be. I think you are looking for a very nitch group of individuals that have similar house theme. Your items are beautiful and I know many of them are sentimental. Is getting a storage unit an option?

      2. You are right, it is just a small group of people that will be interested. I can use my barn until winter sets in.

  64. What beautiful garden you have, Karen. Those peppers and tomatoes look amazing. I love eating ripe, juicy tomatoes right off the vine. Unfortunately, to grow decent tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest, you have to grow them in a greenhouse or under a tent of some kind.

    1. Hi Emily, I’m happy that you enjoyed the little tour of my garden and appreciate your nice compliment. I didn’t realize that it was hard to grow tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest.

  65. Your garden is so neat and tidy, Karen! This is the first year we are in the house and first year of me starting a vegetable garden (I think I have learned quite a few things this year and will better plan next year). I am growing chard, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, carrots, and beets. The beans and cucumbers have taken over the garden… tomatoes are going a bit crazy too (even though I had tomato cages. The plus side is things grow well! The minus is that it’s a bit hard to pick vegetables.

    1. Hi Ming, I’m glad that you like my garden. I’ve learned after trial and error that you need a lot of space in your garden…especially where tomatoes are concerned. I plant them three feet apart and even with the cages, they tend to be unruly. It sounds like your garden is doing very well even though things might be growing tightly together. 🙂

    1. Hi Frank, We have gotten some beautiful tomatoes but it has been a strange growing season for us too. My tomatoes haven’t really grown since I posted this photo. This year’s crop doesn’t seem to have the intense tomato flavor they should have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s