daffodils along a garden fence

in the garden | mid-may 2021

While prepping for the garden chat (How NOT to Kill Your Plants) with Karen of New England 360 Fitness a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I miss keeping track of what’s going on in my garden and posting about it.

As a lapsed food blogger (of a blog also called tiny farmhouse, just to make things more confusing when people search for this site or for that site. One day I’ll clean up my digital life and make it easier for everyone!), it had been a while since I chronicled the growing season at our house, and our garden chat made me realize that it might also be helpful to others, especially those who are just getting into gardening. 

About 10 years ago, another food blogger asked me why I didn’t put myself out there as a gardening expert, and I was like, “Expert?! Heck, I’ve only been doing this for like 14 years!”. 

This is both a personality quirk (ahem) and an idea of how much time is needed to really understand one’s garden.

Now that I’ve been gardening for 24 years (yowza), the ebbs and flows of gardening are more ingrained, I understand more about seed starting, about pest management, about what works and doesn’t work in our garden. And, I love taking photos of all of the stages of our garden, so here we are!

tulips and daffodils along a garden fence


So far, this spring has been lovely, but chilly, and many of our plantings are a bit behind. By this time, we’d normally have about 1 pound of asparagus per day to harvest, but instead, we’re getting a pound every third day. Not ideal, but on the upside, we’re not going to be sick of asparagus after eating it every day for 6 weeks (I know - imagine getting sick of fresh asparagus???). 


asparagus growing from the ground in the spring


The tomatoes and flowers that I started from seed are doing pretty well, and while the seedlings aren’t as far along as what you see in your local garden center, somehow, every year, the tomatoes are still producing ripe fruit by the end of July. I don’t expect anything different this year, even if they still look like babies today.


tomato and basil seedlings


Our greens bed is coming along slowly. Really slowly. I had planned to be eating arugula from the garden by now, but we’re not quite there yet (understatement. it feels like we've been at this sprout stage for about 3 weeks). Note the random trellis pieces placed over the seedlings - this is to prevent our neighbor’s cat from using our nicely tilled garden bed as a giant litter box, and also to prevent wild birds from using it as a dirt bath. Not the prettiest thing, but it works, and is WAY better than the alternative. 


red leaf lettuce and arugula seedlings


I went out to the garden as I was writing this to take a picture of the peas, which I thought were doing pretty well - and they were - but it looks like it's time for us to put up some chicken wire around that bed, as the rabbits (assuming rabbits are the culprits) had a good meal or two - or three - from the peas, leaving us about half of what was there. I'd have preferred to thin them myself, but part of having a garden is dealing with loss and destruction of your crops. I find it helps with building patience. If something fails this season, we can always try again next year (or tomorrow).

images of pea shoots in a garden before eaten by rabbits and after eaten by rabbits
(we do have a ton of rocks in our garden, yes. that's a constant battle, too)


This also goes for the poppies I started indoors. I direct sowed some seeds early this spring (as soon as the soil could be worked, as we like to say), and started some indoors, and am now planning to direct sow all poppies next year - not one of the transplants survived. Lesson learned. I knew that there was a risk that the ones started indoors wouldn't make it once transplanted out, so it helps to dull the sting a bit when you think of these things as more of an experiment than a guarantee. 

The daffodils are starting to fade, and the lilacs are in bloom, though every time I go to take a photo of them, it’s rainy and windy. 


lilac bushes on a rainy day


In just a few weeks, our peonies and wisteria will be in bloom, our dahlias will be sprouting (we planted those a couple weeks ago), and all of our veggies will be in their beds (sounds nice, doesn’t it? Like they’re all tucked in nicely dreaming of flowering and fruiting). As usual here in New England, we’ll go from 50 degrees and rainy to one day in the 70s to hot and humid like we normally do, and then the tomatoes and summer squashes will take off.


So this isn't very far away (woohoo!):

wisteria vines and a pair of Adirondack chairs in a garden in the springtime


And neither is this (double woohoo! though this is more like the end of August):

a garden with tomatoes, sunflowers, and summer squash