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Thursday, March 23, 2023

I Like Thursdays 3-23-23

Toby and Rosie are helping me write my post

Welcome to my week of "Likes"!  If you would like to join in with me and other bloggers, just contact LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color, who graciously hosts this positive event each Thursday.

I had planned to post about what I like about my sewing room this week, but after I took photos I changed things up again - lol! So I will go with LeeAnna's prompt this week about vegetables:

"Do you plant a vegetable garden or pots of herbs? What are your favorites to plant? Do you prepare seeds in advance or buy little plants? A raised bed, patio pots, or in ground? Any suggestions to what grows well? Varieties you enjoy?"

Here are some pictures from my favorite gardening book
My dream garden!

Martha Stewart in her Turkey Hill Farm garden circa 1980s

Let me just say, I LIKE gardening! My dream for decades has been to have a lush vegetable garden, styled after Martha Stewart's profuse gardens featured in her Gardening - Month by Month book. I used to thumb through the pages of that book for hours and dream and plan! Her garden was huge, abundant, flourishing, and surrounded by roses. I never quite achieved the "Martha look" in gardens, but she inspired me, and over the years I have planted varieties of tomatoes, green beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, onions, peppers, strawberries, watermelon, and pumpkin - all with varying degrees of success - as well as herbs such as dill, cilantro, chocolate mint, basil, sage, and oregano.

This was the last big garden I had in 2020, before we moved to north Texas.

I used to prepare Excel spreadsheets for garden inventories with rough layouts of each section and kept religious notes for each year. I browsed seed catalogs and seed websites in the winter and had my seeds delivered before the end of the year. My favorite things to tend were tomatoes.

See the darker tones on those yellow tomatoes? Those were part of the color!

Some years I planted tomato seeds in starter trays filled with potting soil for seeds The year I bought a heat mat was a game changer, and using it alongside a window with good light is essential. Some years I opted for seedlings at either Home Depot or Lowe's, and I always looked for heirloom varieties. In my opinion the ones I started had stronger stems and roots than those I purchased. Overall, buying seedlings is much easier, but I miss looking through the enticing tomato names. Some of my favorite cherry tomatoes were Black Cherry (great eating with a sprinkle of salt), Brad's Atomic Grape (fun to look at and tasty), Yellow Pear (mild but looks beautiful in salad), and my very favorite and most flavorful cherry, Sungold. For eating tomatoes, the best (IMO) are Red Beefsteak (sweet and meaty) and Black Krim (juicy and pretty). Really you can't go wrong with any tomato that has "Black" in the name, as they tend to have a richer flavor. When I look at the photos of tomatoes on a seed website, I always look for tomatoes that look "beefy" with very few seeds. My favorite seed companies are Pinetree Garden Seeds and Baker Seeds

One of my successes with watermelon - it was good!

My husband built an arbor with a sitting bench for the garden, and I hung bird feeders in it and planted roses and vines to grow on it. Around it I planted several packets of zinnias, and they thrived and made a home for dozens of butterflies (and some bees!) I believe flowers are definitely good for gardens. I would give anything to have dozens of roses - climbing, antique, hybrid tea . I have yet to have any luck with any but climbing roses.

Since we acquired two dogs who love to trample and dig, my garden dreams are on hold for a bit. I do intend to plant a tomato or two and will head to Home Depot tomorrow to see what is available. How about you? Do you have garden plans this year? Do you have some secrets to gardening? What do you like to grow and how do you grow it? Be sure to check out other positive posts right here.


  1. That watermelon certainly was a success!

  2. I love the photos of your dream gardens! It sounds like you've had a lot of success with growing a variety of things over the years - those tomatoes look amazing! I'm going to have to look for some of those varieties you mention. Will the dogs still let you grow flowers? The zinnias are really pretty!

  3. well aren't you the gardener! I always envy those huge gardens but I know they are too much for me and I have never had a large one. other than my berry plants I will have tomato plants doubtful on anything else

  4. We still have snow on the ground.

  5. Wow - your old garden was spectacular! All those tomatoes. Yum. Your spreadsheets and everything - you garden like my Dad did!

  6. If we ever get together... I mean... when we get together someday, we'll have to spend a good part of that visit talking "garden" together!

  7. Your gardens were gorgeous. I have no talent for it, happier to sit in and sew, but I so appreciate seeing the beauty. I am always jealous of the fresh veggies and cut flowers in a garden like yours. There are ways of keeping the dogs out, and I bet you will figure that out!

  8. Your old garden looks amazing! You got so many great vegetables. You definitely have a green thumb!!

  9. Hi Linda, I wonder which bits here were Toby and Rosie's contribution, LOL. They are adorable. Meanwhile, I watched Martha for decades, still watch her and admire the way she always walked the walk with whatever she undertook. I love her books too and enjoyed all the Turkey Hill projects, get togethers, etc. You also had a remarkable garden! And imagine creating a spread sheet. I think you could include more garden chat in your posts...I would enjoy that as I dream of being better at the gardening. It is a wonderful hobby. Now I am thinking about heating mats...

  10. I’m getting anxious too. But the snow is still on the horizon so no planting yet. I will put some tomatoes in pots, on a wagon. That way, I can get them out early and put them inside at night if need be. It’s a challenging task to pick the right time each year. My FIL used to say, “ you can’t put tomatoes out til after Mothers Day!”. Seedlings aren’t ev3n available at Home Depot or Menards or our locally owned garden centers yet!

  11. Your previous garden looks amazing. I have never had any gardening skills, the sands of south FL doesn't make for good vegetable gardening soil. Now that we are in the mountains of North Carolina, I hope to learn more about growing our own veges. I did try yellow squash once. I'll spare you the outcome -- it was gross!

  12. I can smell all that freshness over here... & the watermelon looks delicious...xox

  13. what a dream! I loved every word and picture. My poodle Cole knew to stay out of the garden, and when he had friends over to play and they went in, he barked and herded then out! Now if he knew how to weed... I dream of having a large garden with pumpkins and melons, cukes and all the variety of tomatoes (didn't know about the "black" varieties flavor, thanks
    Love, LeeAnna

  14. I like all those plans that you have - you will get there again one day... dogs do get tired of trampling right? haha!! My husband is the gardener and you two would get a long great - he LOVES tomatos!!!!

  15. Linda I really enjoyed seeing all of your lovely garden photos. Some of your tomatoes look amazing and so very yummy!


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