Dreaming About Seeds

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We're getting excited about spring time. Our old  house had enough room to grow exactly six tomato plants, 3 basil, and 6 pepper plants. It was in a very shady spot, and there were probably chemicals leaching into the soil from the pressure treated fence that surrounded the property. Now, we have a bit more land. Not necessarily sunny land, but it's land. 

 So, Steve's shopping for organic seeds and raised beds. And I'm pacing around the yard trying to figure out where the light will be best and how to plant tomatoes in the front yard without pissing off the neighbors.


Not here.


Maybe here. 



26 thoughts on “Dreaming About Seeds

  1. and how to plant tomatoes in the front yard without pissing off the neighbors.
    When somebody asks about your tomatoes, insist they are hydrangea of a rare kind that you paid thousands of dollars for. Offer them the card of your landscaper who knows the only guy who can sell them in the Mid-Atlantic.

  2. Is it the tomatoes that annoy, or the cage thingies?
    In our climate, rosemary bushes grow like weeds and need barely any care. I am so going to have a grove of them someday.

  3. ooooh…. I LOVE that catalog! I actually took to to Florida over the holidays to read like a magazine! πŸ˜‰
    MH, you’re hilarious!
    We’re basically going to have to plan vegetables on the front yard too… OK, “SIDE” yard, but with view from the street, since that’s the only level sunny spot we have. It’s going to spoil some of the landscaping & I have to build raised beds on top of the lawn. Hubby DOES NOT garden, so… can I buy raised beds? (I probably can’t afford it, though. 😦

  4. Lillian,
    Have you read “Square-Foot Gardening?” As a renter who has to move soon, I’m primarily an armchair gardener, but I found that book very inspiring. I also liked “The Bountiful Container” both as a container-gardening book and for the exotic plant suggestions. (Someday I’m going to have indoor dwarf citrus.)
    I don’t do nearly enough with them, but I’ve been thrilled with how idiot-proof and drought-proof our garlic chives have been. They’re perennial and at least here in Texas, they go and go with no encouragement. (I got them from our local cultists/intentional living community.)
    One of the things I’d like to do eventually is to grow my own lemongrass. Apparently, you can grow your own from the stuff at the store, either indoors or outdoors, depending on your local climate.

  5. Mint is another idiot-proof one, although it famously loves to encroach.
    Blessed with more mint than I could ever use, I was delighted to discover that the cookbook “Quick and Easy Thai” says that you can substitute mint for Thai basil in cooking.
    (None of the preceding should suggest that I am some sort of cooking goddess either–I mostly just reading about this stuff.)

  6. In Tbilisi, we had scadoodles of mint; mojitos all spring, summer and fall.
    In our climate, rosemary bushes grow like weeds and need barely any care. I am so going to have a grove of them someday.
    Our favorite place on Cyprus has rosemary bushes as shrubberies and borders. It’s wonderful.

  7. A border of exciting flowers between your tomatoes and the street can help. Think about tithonia – 3-5′ high, great blossoms. Or small sunflowers.

  8. “You can eat some flowers.”
    Rose jam is great, although I just buy it. I have a plan to sometime try it as a filling for a chocolate cake.
    “Amy P, our mint and garlic chives have overrun the garden. They’re really hardy, as they survive my black thumb.”
    I always feel sorry for the potted plants that people (like MIL) give me. My windowsill is like death row.

  9. I used to keep a plant at my office that I used mostly as a spittoon. (Smoking was too hard from the high floor, so I switched to snuff.) It lived just fine and I passed it on to somebody else when I left.

  10. My sister is a tomato researcher. Boy, do we hear about growing tomatoes. While she mostly does greenhouse and small field farming, I’ve taken an interest in how tomato plants can look nice in personal gardens.
    This thread over at gardenweb is fabulous for some ideas. Basically, you want to insert the tomato planting in a plot with some tall flowers or shrubs for best effect. And go for cages or trellises for the tomato plants that aren’t eye-catching so they blend in to the background!

  11. We’re not quite at the chicken stage and I’m not entirely sure if they would be allowed. There are some artsy types in our town, but not on our block. Very, very stuffy people. We’ve been here for five months and still haven’t met the neighbors. I see their landscapers all the time, but never them. Our block is so stuffy that people actually slowed down their BMWs to watch me rake the lawn this fall. It’s like I was walking around in a purple tutu.

  12. “Our block is so stuffy that people actually slowed down their BMWs to watch me rake the lawn this fall.”
    A white lady doing yard work–is that even possible?

  13. Amy P, thank you so much for the book suggestion(s)!! We do have a bit of land, but the back of our property is both hilly & shaded by trees. and I’m SOOO jealous of you being able to grow lemongrass there in TX, that’s not possible here in VA, too cold. 😦 I grew up (in Brazil) drinking lemongrass tea & I love it, and then there’s Thai food too. πŸ˜‰
    Cranberry, your suggestion of the flowers is AWESOME! I think I’ll follow it entirely!
    Last year I planted six tomato plants (SUUUUPER late, nearly in July) in my (mostly shaded) flower beds and it was OK, except that my lame cages were not strong enough to support three of the six plants & they fell over.
    But I wanted to plan other vegetables too, and not have to stretch my hose to the max to water them.
    OK, I should write a blog post about this, not a super-lengthy comment! πŸ˜‰ It’s just that the comment section of your blog is the place to hang out, so many good conversations!

  14. Lillian,
    Another book you might enjoy is “The $64 Tomato.” It’s a very funny gardening memoir.
    My husband would like to do cactuses/succulents and I occasionally think about palm trees and maybe a big agave. I like crape myrtles, too, and wisteria. Last winter about half the palm trees in town died during a short blizzard, so buying and planting one is risky in our climate zone, but they’re so pretty! Live oaks are also very common here and attractive, like some sort of transplant from Lord of the Rings.

  15. We know two families who keep chickens and they love their chickens. Love them. From my point of view it’s quite strange but also sweet.
    I’m all for pushing the envelope. Next, I think you should rake, tend the chickens and pick tomatoes *while wearing a purple tutu*.

  16. I have friends and relatives who keep chickens. The birds do have personality. Keeping chickens seems quite easy, but predators are the downside. Weasels.
    If you want to drive your neighbors round the bend, have your boys rake the leaves. You’ll set off moral worries in the other parents (if there are any).

  17. oh, boy, I read your recent post and thought. Oh, boy, what did I do wrong? (I always blame myself for everything — I can only change myself). And now I know. I broke the rule about the comment being longer than the post. Sorry about that. But I wasn’t the only one, thankfully. πŸ˜‰
    P.S this comment makes FOUR comments of mine to this post, so I’m still good right? Since 5’s the limit. πŸ˜‰

  18. Lillian, don’t worry!! I meant five comments per day. You’ve never left more than five comments in one day. The five comment rule is just a way to manage everyone. From time to time, people complain that they feel like they are getting drowned out by people who leave twenty comments per day. I simply do not have the time to sort this out.

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