Browsing Archives for Garden

These are asparagus beans.


My father-in-law, Joe, has grown them for years, and he sent me some of his seeds in the Spring.



They frequently surpass a foot long, lengthening to eighteen inches and beyond.

I also grew some more traditional green beans, but the asparagus beans are half the effort and twice the food…




As they are so much easier to spot when it comes time to harvest them.




I have been cooking them in my grandmother’s pressure cooker with new potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, but I am on the prowl for a good ‘bacon and green beans’ recipe.  

Because, what is the point of a garden fresh bean without some garden fresh bacon?

If anyone has one, please send it my way!

My garden may not serve as inspiration for garden art the way that Inga’s beautiful garden does, but I have been getting some beautiful vegetables out of it.  




I have especially been getting loads of cucumbers out of my garden.

Thousands of them.

I can even pickle nine quarts of cucumbers only to discover a few days later that they taste like sour slime and throw them all out without making the smallest dent in my garden’s cucumber population.

As a result, I have become a cucumber snob.

A completely out of control cucumber snob.





At this point, only the most dainty and sweetest of cucumbers are allowed to cross my lips.  Anything over an inch in diameter, I refer to as as ‘hog food’, even though I don’t have any hogs.  

It’s just like the scary world of super models for my poor cucumbers.  Only the young, delicate, skinny ones are making the cut.  The rest are hurled without ceremony into the depths of my compost pile where they slowly sink back into the earth from which they came.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  Hey!  There are plenty more where they came from!

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!