How Does Your Garden Grow?

“No one can be uncheered by a garden.” Winnie the Pooh

I found something cheery hidden deep inside a moving box in a storage closet. I found this red bag.

And this red bag started me thinking “garden.”

And thinking “garden” cheers me.

 Oh wait. Let me show you what’s inside that red bag.

My old “Kitchen Garden/Kitchen Gardener” magazines. (Name was changed.) This magazine is no longer published, so I’m happy I saved most of my issues. It was published by Taunton and is full of beautiful photos and lots of inspiring information.

I sat on the floor and dumped the magazines out in front of me.

Here comes Gracie, my Cat. She stood on them. Then she plopped down right smack in the middle of the pile. Because that’s what cats do. They plop upon whatever you’re reading. Magazines, books, newspapers, computers. I like that about cats.

With one hand I petted Gracie. With the other, I leafed through the magazines. I aaaah’d and I ooooh’d.

I hadn’t seen these in 4 or 5 years. I had packed them up when we left this house to move to a community where I could not garden. (I was limited to gardening in pots on a shady deck. It made me very uncheered.) My “Kitchen Garden” magazines have been in that red bag in the bottom of that moving box ever since. And then they were forgotten. How cheered I am to find these. How cheered I am live in a place where I can plant a garden. Life is good.

I began to wonder exactly how my garden might grow this year.

How does your garden grow?

Mine grows for my kitchen. I grow a small garden patch of favorite vegetables and herbs. I have never had the size garden I dream of. No, I’m not the one trying to find homes for bags full of zucchini.

I think of my Grandma.

My Granddaddy was a farmer; that’s how he made a living for his family of 10 children. He kept fields of cotton, corn, and sugar cane.

My Grandma kept the kitchen garden. She grew food for the family. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, squash, and a few herbs for her kitchen. I’ve always imagined that Grandma’s kitchen garden was here, in the area between her home and the barn.

Speaking of location , location, location,  where does your garden grow?

I don’t know that answer for me this year. I have high hopes though. Last year I planted a very small area beside my deck. I had a dickens of a time keeping dogs, deer and bunnies out of it. And there was a certain snake who took up residence close by, which had a negative impact on my gardening. I not only spent less time in the garden, but the time spent there was not relaxing or calm. I was riddled with fear. Snakes scare me half to death. Anywhere. Even safe behind the glass of an aquarium in the zoo. Much less in my yard.

I keep telling myself that I’m getting better with the snake thing. (One day I’ll believe it.) I can tell you what my Grandma would do if a snake were in her kitchen garden. Whack! That’s what. It wouldn’t slow her down for a minute. 

So I’m not sure where to plant my garden. I’d like to plant down in the yard this year. But I will need to put up a fence first to keep out the dogs, deer, bunnies and maybe snakes. I’m trying to work that out now. You know, like what size space? What kind of fence? How tall? Can I do it myself? Do I need to bring in dirt? Do I need to level out the area? How much money is this going to cost?

And then we move on to what. What will your garden grow this year? Are you dreaming about what to plant yet? Pouring through all the seed catalogs and putting post-its on the pages?

This has got to be the hardest part of gardening for me. Having to choose what to plant. There are some things that are “musts” in the garden for me: lettuce, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, turnips/turnip greens, kale, basil. 

I’d like to pick out some unusual varieties if I have the space this year. I grew white eggplant in a container when I gardened on my shady deck. It was beautiful and delicious. Imagaine if it had a sunny garden spot!

I’m also thinking about a few okra plants. They are so pretty growing and of course, delicious fried.

I’d also like to have a nice variety of basil. It’s so easy to grow and did well even with dogs prancing on it.

And I’d really love to find the space for a few pumpkin hills this year.

Okay, you know you can count on me for a corny joke.

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? (answer below)

When does your garden grow? When do you start planting? Do you start seeds inside? Do you keep a cold frame and plant early?

As for me, I need to be ready to put those Sugar Snaps in the ground this month. If I don’t get them in by February, it warms up too quickly here (Georgia) for them to thrive. I will also be planting my lettuces soon for the same reason.

It sure does feel CHEERY to talk about gardening again, doesn’t it? Does the soul good, don’t you think? I can taste a home-grown tomato and feel the warm sun in my face just thinking about it.

Hey, maybe I will be the gardener with bags of zucchini this year….

Won’t you tell us about your garden? Where, What, When, Why and/or How does your garden grow??

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Oh, the answer to the joke? Pumpkin pi. 🙂

  1. Debbie says:

    Howdy Rebekah!
    I just saw the first crocus sprouts rising out of the ground beneath a mound of snow yesterday! I have three large flower which I putter around in every year but my new thing for this year is to grow an herb garden in containers. I’ve had a book called Little Herb Gardens on my shelf for sometime and this is my year to get going. Some things I’ll plant from seed ( the book tells you which herbs do best started from seed or seedlings). It’s perfect for the novice Herb Gardner.( Me ) I have plans to add to the flower beds and my veggie garden is moving more towards the front of the house where it will get more sun and grow in raised beds! I did a little post about the Herb Gardening book this morning!

    PS. I made your Red Velvet Cake for desert yesterday. It was a hit! Thanks for posting it on your other blog!

    Happy Growing…and Beach Blessings,

  2. meredith says:

    I solved the animals in the garden problem! I built my garden where I have to walk by it 100’s of times every day. I fenced it in with leftover pickett fence panels hidden in our barn. I used raised beds- metal and concrete water troughs, and a boiler from our church heating system that had been cut in half and remade into water troughs years ago. The rust holes are perfect for drainage. The gardens are high up and the animals leave them alone. I put gravel on the ground around all the troughs for neatness. I love my garden! I cant wait till it warms up enough to get started…….:)

  3. Judith says:

    Thank you! Every year I vow to start a garden in the Spring, every year I remember this vow in June. In the midwest, it is still too early to break ground but not to peruse seed catalogs. I think this year will finally be the year my garden will emerge! By the by, what other blog do you have….I’m always up for a new Red Velvet recipe!

  4. Sherri says:

    Hey Rebekah,
    I’ve been pouring over the seed catalogs for over a month! Every September I swear I’m not putting out half as much and every February I’m doubling the size from last year. Lettuce, spinach, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green beans, october beans, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, sunflowers, okra, watermelon, muskmelon, squash and zucchini are topping this year’s list. I’m thinking about trying kohlrabi. Anyone out there tried it and loved/hated it? The weather here in TN is in the 60s this week. Spring fever has sprung! Happy planning to all!

  5. Mary Rauch says:

    Oh I am dying laughing at your joke! Recently in the fabric store I saw the PERFECT fabric for a small ROUND table. I had a "senior moment" as I stood before the YOUNG cutting lady. She said, "How much yardage?" I was mentally trying to calculate it quickly. I absently looked at her and said, "I’m trying to remember pi," and she said, "What does pie have to do with it?" …At that point I told her I’d be back later with measurements, and left.
    YOU are "younger people", but it seems most younger people have no concept of basic math. That worries me.

  6. Kristy says:

    This blog reminded me of my favorite gardening book, so I checked to see if I still have it. I do! It is "The Scented Garden", by Rosemary Verey, copyright 1981. It is mostly about flowers, but has a good section on herbs also.
    Then I checked back to see your book blog. Wow! What a response. I’m so glad Wade wrote in. I too loved "The Sherwood Ring" and "The Perilous Gard" also by Pope. I used to borrow my brother’s books by Lathrop and, in addition to the Bowditch book, enjoyed another book about pathways in the sea. I can’t remember the exact title, or the name of the man, but it was about mapping the ocean currents and the success of clipper ships.
    Must go. I need to check out the L. M. Montgomery site.

  7. Mary says:

    Oh I am so sympathetic with the snake phobia. I actually moved my family to a new house because of that reason. Someone told me moth balls keeps them away, so if I ever see one again, I’m sure to try it, or other forms of snake repellent. Not about to give up digging in the earth. I’m ok with worms. If they’re not too big. 🙂

  8. Sara says:

    I can feel it in my bones! Thanks so much for this post. I too have been going through all the seed catalogs, designing my garden this year. I always plant a lot. I am the lady with the bag of squash! I will start seeds in my basement in the next week. Can’t wait to smell the earth!

  9. brenda says:

    it is time to start planning that garden the seed catalogs are out like wish books for the garden and I love looking and planning even if most of the time I plant the same stuff. this year might be different there are alot of things that I never tried to grow that I would like to this year. and last year we had a pumkin carving party so this year I want to have a pumkin patch for the grandkids so they can plant and grow the pumkin they carve. I love the garden not only to help with the cost of food but when I put on my apron it makes me think of my grandmas and my 80 year old mother still helps me can. and there is nothing as nice as seeing your pantry filled with homecan goods. Thanks for what you wrote always makes me smile and most of the time it brings back memories.

  10. KimberlyD says:

    I have only a spot in front of my apartment. I grow some flowers and a few plants. Usually tomatoes, green and red peppers and maybe onions. I tried squash, watermelon before but they didn’t grow. Oh I put marigolds as a boarder to keep rabbits out of my garden and because it is in front of my apartment I don’t get deer. I also have heard about putting human hair sprinkled around the boarder keeps animals out and tieing a string around the garden and tie to it strips of cloth, it flutters in the wind and it keeps animals out.

  11. all8garden says:

    There won’t be any garden this year since the plan is to move so that my DH can finish grad school elsewhere. It pains me to think of no garden.

    We had put in raised beds because we live in town and the soil here is a terrible hard clay. (It’s so hard that they use it to make tiles to put on the space shuttles.)

    I purposefully pared down my seed catalog consumption this year. Still ordered the Baker Creek Seed one though. Love the glossy prints, the wonderful varieties, and their safe seed pledge. New this year is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. With you living in Georgia it has plenty of varieties that would do well for you.

    I hope you post lots of pictures so that I can live a little vicariously.

  12. Angela says:

    Beautiful post! I come here for my dose of happiness. The picture of your grandparents and their barn is a treasure. It reminds me of my homeplace in Kentucky. Brings back such good memories. I’ll plant a garden in a few months. I am looking forward to spending time outside again. Been cooped up all winter. Thanks again for sharing your world.

  13. Rebekah says:

    Hi Deb! Your garden plans sound great. I hope you’ll be showing it off on your blog. Glad you liked the Red Velvet Cake. Wish I had another piece right now, for breakfast!
    Hi there, Meredith! Yours sounds great as well. I’m always so impressed with the ingenuity of Farmgirls! Awesome!
    Hi Judith, Here’s the recipe (can’t do a hyperlink): Hope to hear more from you about how your garden does. Looking through all the catalogs and limiting myself is one of the hardest parts of gardening!
    Hi Sherri! Now, your garden sounds amazing. I haven’t tried kohlrabi, but know someone who grows it–I’ll ask her more about it. Spring here too–69 yesterday!!

  14. Rebekah says:

    Hi Mary! Now that’s funny!! Thanks for thinking me young. :)Here’s another one sweet Jonni emailed: what vegetable did Noah not take on the ark? leeks. 🙂
    Hi Kristy! The Scented Garden sounds great. I’m always so inspired by y’all! Are you going to aroma-plant this year? I need to consider that when I pick out what to plant.
    Hi other Mary! I totally get why you’d leave. TOTALLY. Was it in your house? Yikes. I’m better, but I have a long way to go when it comes to snake. Moth balls are an interesting idea. I wonder if I put them around the yard? Hmmm.
    Hi Sara! Well, I did a wee bit of hoeing yesterday and it felt wonderful. You’ll be there soon. I’m headed to buy some Sugar Snap seeds today. Good luck on your plantings!

  15. Rebekah says:

    Hi Brenda! Love your words about your Grandma; it’s the same thing for me. Transports me. Listen, we planted pumpkins at our moutain farm one year and had so much fun with something. When the pumpkins were small, we each barely scraped our names in the side of them, can’t remember what we used to do that, but don’t break the skin. Then as the pumpkin grows, the name does. Totally cool.
    Hi Kimberly! Marigolds are one of my favorite flowers, so I’ll surely plant them this year. I haven’t noticed that they help repel bunnies, but maybe if I plant more. I’ll try it! Will try the other ideas too for the deer. I’m hoping to put up a fence, but if it is expensive, I won’t be able to. We’ll see.
    Hi all8garden! I can sympathize with the no garden thing. When I gardened on my deck, I used earthboxes. That’s the brand name. They did a fantastic job. I recommend them highly. I harvested a lot of veggies from a small space. Google it and see what you think. Thanks so much for the link to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I’m going to check it out!
    Hi Anglea! Thank you so much. I love that picture of my grandparents. I had never seen it until recently. They look so happy. And peaceful–with 10 kids! The last few days here have been glorious. It does feel good to get out some. The warm weather will be to you soon!
    Thanks everyone for such wonderful comment-versation!!!!! Love you all!

  16. Theresa says:

    I’m so jealous that you can even plant something in February! I live 90 miles south of the Canadian border which blesses us with short, sometimes cool summers. It is almost impossible for me to plant the garden before June 1. I long to put my hands in the dirt…I solve some of my problems by using a greenhouse with heat mats which allows me to start "gardening" in late April. When I transfer my plants to the garden I plant them in raised beds with solar mulch and floating row covers. They are a bit of an investment but they allow me to be far more successful than if I didn’t use them. Our summer nights frequently cool off to the low 50’s. By the way, I’m probably the only person who can say that a zucchini plant doesn’t grow enough zucchini for me! I love zucchini that much! Thank you for writing such thought provoking articles. They linger in my mind for days after I read them…

  17. Deborah says:

    I love this site. My friend shared her magazine, so of course I had to come look you up! I have a small garden, My Granddaughter who is 4yr old, Anela, helped me plant every seed in it. She says it is her garden now. Hopefully my garden will be bigger next year. We have some chickens so I am trying to teach my grand children about the farm life! They are mesmerised with each thing I show them. Actually the Anela was in my baby chick pen this morning to play with the chicks that about 4wks old. She says they don’t have enough room. she was all in a ball I couldn’t help but laugh. Loved all the other comments, keep gardening!

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