In working on my garden in the past five years the primary focus has been on filling in shade ground covers. It's a small yard with three large Norway Maples and close neighbors. I like having a green screen around my space, and I like having low maintenance leafy contours and textures. The shrubs, trees and ground covers have done so well I have very few fully sunny spots left. Fortunately my side garden gets full sun all afternoon, but the irises, lilies, ivy and vinca have completely taken over the garden slope and choked out the herbs I used to grow there. There is no room at all for the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that I would like to grow.
This year I am growing four Big Boy Bush tomato plants in two large pots. They are next to the kitchen door where they will get full sun all afternoon. As long as I remember to water them everyday they will produce more tomatoes than we can eat. I am so looking forward to picking them warm from the sun. The tomatoes you buy in the grocery store? Not real tomatoes. No comparison!
In the first photo the tomatoes are one week in the pot. Here they are today, after two weeks of growth:
Next to the tomatoes I have some pots of herbs: rosemary, chives, basil in individual pots and one big combo pot with sage, oregano, parsley and marjoram. I can step out the back door and snip a handful of these for cooking spaghetti sauce, pizza, soups, salads and casseroles. Yum!
Many years ago I fell in love with growing herbs and started collecting books on how to grow them and how to use them in cooking and crafts. My all time favorite is Rodales' Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. It is fantastic. It tells you exactly how to grow each variety as well as the history of its use, medical properties, crafting, cooking, and healing recipes and techniques. I learned how to make basil tea for headaches, a necklace of rose petal beads, and lavender sachets for my drawers among other things. Every time I walk out my kitchen door I have to smile at my pots of herbs and tomatoes. Their fragrance and juicy, vigorously growing leaves fill me with cheer.
What's happening in your garden this week? Please send me a link to one of your garden-related posts from the last week. Just use the Mr. Linky below, and then come back later to take a tour of other gardens around the blogosphere. It's the Sunday Garden Tour!