After reading about artists and their gardens, I thought I should show you my family’s gardens. Be prepared, the grounds are pretty extensive.
First of all, we have a balcony, with some things in pots and window boxes. Mostly we have herbs, some of which have traveled with me for over a decade, but also some flowers and some edibles like tomatoes and lettuce. Like so:
Each kid can plant a window box, if she or he wants to.
We also have a raised-bed garden in our small backyard. Efficiency is key, since the space contains both the garden and a play area for the kids and their ever-increasing herd of friends.
My plan for this year, based on years of research and experiments, was to grow herbs and tomatoes in the pots on the balcony where they get more sun, and to STOP trying to grow tomatoes in the garden, because our yard is too shady and it never works. My garden plan was something like this:
And it turned out something like this:
Tomatoes came up from seed and took over the whole thing.
Here is a picture. That fence is seven feet high.
A few cucumbers did manage to sneak in, but mostly it was tomatoes.
I had enough tomatoes that I did a little experiment. I let half of them grow however they wanted, and cut the other half back to the height of the tops of the tomato cages, mercilessly pinching suckers as I’d read I was supposed to do.
The overgrown ones produced way more tomatoes.
But anyway, our unintended tomato garden was a hit. The plants in pots on the balcony produced approximately three tomatoes (all of which were picked, unripe, by the children), but every time we went out back to the garden, the kids could pick and eat a whole handful of tomatoes or a cucumber, and I was satisfied with that.
And then came our very special guest.
I know it was a groundhog because I surprised it one day and caught it in the act.
After I saw its furry little bottom disappear under the fence, I put a paving stone over the hole. The next day there was a new hole. I put a larger paving stone over that hole and put a heavy pot full of flowers on top.
The groundhog apparently thought I was welcoming her with a delicious salad and ate every last thing in the pot.
So, things didn’t go exactly as planned.
Still, it’s the most tomatoes I’ve ever grown, and I’ll take that.
As part of her agreement to appear in this post, the groundhog puppet would like you to know that she’s available for parties and educational presentations.