Tomato flowers and beans galore

We just returned from a glorious weekend in Lexington (and a HUGE thanks to the T family for taking us in yet again–we soo love visiting with you all!), and I was thrilled upon our return today to see that not only had our tomato plants up front had started to flower, but our green beans and burgundy beans had long, slender fruit hanging from the plants.  I’m thinking that by the end of the week we’ll be able to have a delicious and fresh beans for dinner.




Marigold Pairing

The other day our sweet across the street neighbors invited us over to take a peek at their gardens in the back.  They are certainly accomplished gardeners, and have been incredibly helpful in establishing some of our gardens.  Rusty was most proud, though, of his tomatoes, which much to my disbelief were almost as tall as I am and had several green tomatoes clinging to the vine.

Ours are not looking this good.

JGL immediately noticed that the plants were also free of those pesky little holes from where bugs and other critters nibble, and when he asked how they prevented that, Rusty pointed to the base of the plant and simply said, “Marigolds.”  For every plant there was a companion Marigold, which apparently helps prevents the bugs, deer, and other unmentionable critters from feasting on a harvest.

Considering that I remembered that a flat of 6 marigold plants were on sale for 99 cents a piece, let’s just say all of our plants are snuggling up close to a friend right about now.

Kitchen Garden In Progress

Today was beautiful–sunshine, birds chirping, the whole bit.  I’ve been wanting to “break ground” on the side kitchen garden, and today seemed like the perfect afternoon to do it.

It doesn’t look like much, but I got the first raised bed in and filled it with strawberry plants.  It’s is two boxes deep (I failed to get a photo of the crater I created before we refilled it, but such is life), and looks a little bare…but I know the strawberries will spread.  This weekend I’m hoping JGL and I can get the rest of the garden dug up and boxes in so I can start filling it.  We also have a few clematis plants that finally came in that I’m going to train up the carport columns Grampa Farnsworth Style.

So happy St. Patrick’s Day from the L. Homestead–I hope yours was a sunny and beautiful as ours was!

Dreaming of Basil

Nothing was as good as walking out onto the carport last summer and snipping some fresh basil for…well, anything!  This year I have dreams of expanding our little kitchen garden into a full fledged herb garden.  With the help of our raised bed boxes, I’m hoping it will not only be delicious, but pretty as well.

So last night we had the fire on, and I was in full on Nerd Mode–researching herb garden plans (which I found a fabulously easy one at Mother Earth News!), tweaking to scale models, and making copious notes.  Newest plant I’m geeking out about?  Nasturtium–all the parts are edible, and you can pickle the seed pods to create a caper-esque experience.  The kind I picked up during our weekend outings can be trained up a trellis, but also can trail over containers, or in our case, the planters themselves.  I think I’m in love!