Love looking around other people’s gardens? Do you enjoy going on garden tours? Come on in and take a mini garden tour with me…
I love wandering through other people’s gardens. It’s so much fun to see what others plant, how they trellis their vines and what methods they use for growing. And I thought you might enjoy taking a mini garden tour through my yard, too.
Are you ready?
Awesome, let’s head out to the backyard first…
The Backyard Garden
Or rather some of them…I started 100 tomatoes back in March, thinking that at least 50% wouldn’t make it, but in reality, I only lost 20 plants.
So, we have 80 tomato plants…
A variety of paste tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and cherry/grape tomatoes.
And that’s okay, because tomatoes are my favorite fruit to come from the garden. I’ll eat tomato sandwiches all summer long!
The husband is praying they grow as tall as the posts he installed and honestly, they just might! The picture above was taken on June 28th, so they have a lot of time left to grow.
I see a lot of spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, homemade ro-tel and crushed tomatoes in our future.
I incorporated flowers and mini flower beds throughout the vegetable garden. These are a mix of Bachelor’s Button, Love Lies Bleeding and Strawflower. I can’t wait for them to bloom!
I usually grow pole beans, but this year, we’re trying out a bush bean variety called “blue lake“. They have a shorter growing time than the pole beans and they’re supposed to be quite prolific. I succession planted 15 seeds, so I’m anxious to see how many green beans we’ll get to harvest throughout the season.
I’ve never had much luck growing melons of any sort, but this year, I’m trying Sugar Baby Watermelon and cantaloupe. The cantaloupe has just barely sprouted, but hopefully it comes up soon. In the meantime, I’ll keep watching that baby watermelon grow.
I planted 6 zucchini plants and so far, they all have little zucchinis growing. It won’t be long before I’m in the kitchen canning Zucchini Relish, Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles and Dill Zucchini Pickles!
Pictured are Pepperoncini peppers, but I also have Jalapeno, Habanero, Sweet Tangerine Dream, Pimento, Banana and Mini Bell peppers planted, too. We kinda like peppers around here…
We eat a lot of them in The Ultimate Sausage and Peppers, Diced Tomatoes with Hot Peppers AKA Copycat Ro-Tel, Sweet Corn Salsa, Tacos, Nachos, this amazing Cowboy Candy and more. Plus, this year, I’m hoping to pickle the banana and jalapeno peppers. I’d like to can the pimento peppers too, but I haven’t found a recipe for that.
Any chance you have a pimento canning recipe to share? Send me a message if you do!
Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of corn planted. I started 72 plants and only 3 survived, so, I’ve direct sown a dozen more, but they haven’t sprouted yet. I was hoping to grow my own corn for freezing this year, but it might be too late to get much of a harvest.
I have potatoes planted in multiple places throughout the garden. But, this bed was started in early April and they’re getting pretty close to being ready to harvest.
I’m hoping to grow enough for the year, but we’ll see! Either way, I’ll soon be freezing and canning potatoes for winter.
We love cabbage and we eat it quite a bit throughout the year. So, this year, I’ve planted about a dozen of them and I can’t wait to make some Bread and Butter Pickled Cabbage!
Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, so I have 6 plants growing this year. I planted the Catskill variety this year and so far they’re doing great.
Hopefully, we’ll be making Candied Brussels Sprouts for the holidays this year with our very own Brussels Sprouts!
We have TONS of wild raspberries and blackberries that grow throughout our yard. So, for the past few years, I’ve been digging up random baby plants and moving them to a “row” on the side of the house. But, this year, they’re finally producing fruit and I’m hoping we’ll get at least enough for a pie.
During the 2020 summer of lock down, I canned about a million pickles and still have a ton of them left. So, instead of wasting a bunch of space unnecessarily, this year, I only planted 8 cucumbers. We’ll have a nice variety for slicing and pickling this year with market more, silver slicers and lemon cucumbers.
Alright, that’s about it in the backyard…
Let’s head over to the herb bed…
The Herb Garden
French Thyme is the kind you expect to find in most culinary gardens. It’s the most commonly used in the kitchen and I’ve grown it a couple of times in the past. I’ll dry this to use throughout the winter in teas or soups and stews.
This is another new plant to me this year. I’ve grown Genovese Basil many times, and in fact have some inside the greenhouse right now, but this Thai Basil seems to be entirely different. It’ll be fun to experiment with uses for it.
Oregano has so many medicinal properties that it would take an article of it’s own to discuss them. However, it also tastes great in pizza and spaghetti sauces. I’ll dry this near the end of the summer and we’ll have it to use throughout the year.
Sage is not only great for turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving, but it’s also antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it’s a great herb to have on hand for cleansing wounds, dental pain and more!
This lemon thyme smells amazing! All you have to do is run your hand across the leaves and you instantly smell the sweet, lemony fragrance. I can’t wait to use this in tea throughout the winter!
Peppermint, Spearmint, Sweet Mint, Lemon Balm
Yes, the mint plants have taken over the herb bed. I expected that when I planted them there. However, I do have a few other things peeking through…
There’s nastursium, calendula, yarrow, sunflower and more!
Okay, one last stop on the tour…
I’ve already harvested 1 batch of little finger carrots that I started early on in April. But, this batch is called “red star” carrots and I’ve never planted them before. They take a bit longer to grow than the little fingers, but I’m hoping they’ll be good for canning!
I’m not a fan of beets and neither is the husband, but my step-mother loves them, so, I’m hoping I can grow enough to make her some pickled beets for Christmas.
I have some leaf lettuces growing throughout the garden, but the husband really prefers iceberg. So, this year, I planted some for him and to be honest, I was shocked when they came up. I have no idea what I’m doing with growing this lettuce, but look at that head! It must be pretty happy in it’s temporary home.
Kale, like beets, is at the bottom of our favorite vegetable list. However, the rabbit, chickens and ducks love it, so I’m growing a bunch for them to enjoy throughout the season.
Like I said above, tomatoes are my very favorite fruit to come from the garden and picking cherry tomatoes straight from the vine to eat is one of my favorite parts of gardening.
This year, I planted 3 different varieties including Sweetie, Honeycomb/Sun Gold and Black Strawberry cherry tomatoes.
I’ve never grown the black strawberry variety before so I’m anxious for them to grow so I can try them!
And last but not least, my pineapple. I actually have 2 of these growing.
I started them 3 years ago from the tops of a couple of grocery store pineapples and they live in the house throughout the winter. But, in the summer, I move them out to the greenhouse so they can have a more “tropical” environment for a couple of months.
No fruit yet, but here’s hoping!
Whew! I’m going to be busy come harvest time and that’s not even everything that is growing in the garden!
I am horribly impatient throughout the season and so, I plant more and more and more while I wait. Then, suddenly it all explodes into life and I have more canning and preserving than I can handle.
Don’t be like me!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my mini garden tour and that maybe it’s inspired you to grow something different.
Your garden should be an experiment, it should be fun!
Try new things, plant new seeds and watch life grow.
You might also like:
- Companion Planting Your Vegetable Gardens
- How to Fill a Raised Garden Bed on a Budget
- 7 Best Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
Have an Awesome Day
Vanessa Hamlin is the owner and founder of Food Life Design and VLHamlinDesign. With her passion for frugal living and homesteading, Vanessa loves to write about easy recipes, making money, gardening, home remedies and everything else that a good life entails! When she’s not writing for Food Life Design or creating products for VLHamlinDesign, you’ll find Vanessa reading, drawing, gardening, cooking or spending time with her family.