Inga's Garden

July 21st, 2009

This garden project of mine would never have happened if Cynthia had not sent me an article and a photograph of a ‘colonial garden’ and mentioned that it would look perfect with my house. I may have planted a garden without Cynthia’s email and the accompanying article, but I don’t think I would have gotten as much enjoyment out of it. I always work better if I have a pretty picture in my head and a creative framework to propel me forward.

A few weeks after I posted some photos of our own Colonial Garden under construction, I received an email from a reader named Inga showing me her version of a colonial garden inspired by both the article that Cynthia had sent to me and the garden that I had started!

Here is Inga’s garden shortly after it was constructed.

And here is ours.

I emailed Inga a few weeks ago to see if she would send me some photos of her colonial garden in full swing. Inga was on vacation with her family, but when she returned she sent me some glorious photos of her beautiful garden…

I have to admit that when I stared looking over these photos of Inga’s garden, I had a small nervous breakdown…

Okay… okay… I had a very large nervous breakdown!

Inga’s garden is so neat and tidy!
Her plants are beautifully spaced.

She put cardboard under her squash! She put straw on her walk ways!

It all looks so organized and planned and carefully orchestrated and vigorous and truly lovely!

My garden on the otherhand is an exercise in chaos.

My tomatoes are practically growing on top of each other. The cucumbers are growing on top of the tomatoes. My tomato step-children are in the middle of an overgrown lettuce patch. My eggplants are riddled by bug holes and my watermelon vine is crawling all over my bee balm and my Russian sage.

I prematurely dug most of my potatoes and left only barren earth behind. Half of my beans are mostly foliage while the other half are mostly bean. Only my pepper plants continue to march in orderly lines, producing beautiful fruits that will probably fully ripen while we are on vacation.

I am getting some good vegetables from this little patch of chaos, but it is far from the manicured garden of my dreams…

Because Inga has the manicured garden of my dreams…

Oh well… there is always next Spring

And next Spring, it will be Inga who is inspiring me to plant a garden like hers instead of the reverse!


  • I always have dreams of a perfectly ordered garden with no weeds, well mulched paths, neat and tidy (and labeled!) rows, and happy nicely spaced plants. What I end up with is usually far from it. But I find the results are usually the same – plenty of yummy stuff to eat and put up for the winter.

  • Myra:

    Don’t feel bad, my garden usually ends up in a mess as well. However I do believe the veggies are just as tasty! The flea beetles are doing a number on my eggplant too. I’ve heard that used coffee grounds or even leftover cold coffee repels them. I haven’t tried it yet, but hopefully it works!

  • Inga:

    Oh Rechelle, your garden is beautiful too! When I saw that wash tub for flowers in the middle I was soo jealous! I am still looking for something like that for mine. And isn’t it funny how we are super critical of our own things. I too see that my plants could be better spaced and I do spend time redirecting vines from getting into things they have no business being in. And I pull my fair share of weeds. I love your fence with the vines! And I agree with the others the point is the good veggies that our hard work produces!

  • M.R.:

    Your garden is gorgeous! (So is Inga’s.)

  • Martha in Kansas:

    I like both gardens! I’d say yours is growing with wild abandon, which sounds so much more Victorian and Romantic. I have a suggestion that might make it look more organized. Could you run the weedeater around the boards so they show evenly? I think if the border showed, it would look like a well organized garden in the midst of the yard. Hopefully the boys are in charge of the weedeater and you can just direct the operation.

  • I have a feeling that the fellow standing in the midst of Inga’s corn has something to do with the orderliness of her garden!! :)

    I need a fellow like that!

  • I agree about the weedwhacker. A little weed-eating around the edges goes a long way in neatening up a garden. I wish my measley veggie garden was as robust as yours!

  • Oh, you guys are my hero’s! We have 15 acres of outdoor mums growing at our place right now. All the rows are perfectly space…..everything perfectly organized……but not because I had anything to do with it. My hubby is in charge of all the growing around here. My specialty is the marketing of our stuff. Too see photos of our 15 acers of perfectly spaced mums from LAST year check this post out

  • Does Inga have a blog or web site where we can visit and get tips on how to grow a wonderful man… er… garden like that?

  • Inga:

    Sarah, you are too funny!! He is a good sport though, when I mentioned what I wanted to do he went to Home Depot to get the wood and bought all the wrong stuff and had to take it all back!! We have been married 17 years and so far, so good!

    No blog or website though, have been thinking of starting one, but I am just not that clever!

  • Inga – thanks so much for letting me share your garden. It truly has inspired me to attempt a little less chaos next year, but I think in order to do that, I am going to need a bigger garden. I love your corn. I don’t know if I am brave enough to plant corn, but it does look so beautiful.