greedy gardener

Posted by on May 17, 2009 in craft, farm, stitch | 12 comments

I think I'm going to have to get over my box building frustration sooner rather than later. I seem to have filled my first box right up! I'm feeling a little greedy, and want to grow everything! I planted some seeds, but also went on a little shopping spree at my favorite nursery. They had so many varieties of tomatoes. I had space for four, but the selection was so overwhelming that I ended up with a yellow (Lemon Boy), a purple (Cherokee Purple), and two red cherry tomatoes (Sweet Million and Red Currant), but I think I really ought to have a couple more reds, oughtn't I? And maybe a green. I want to be able to can some for the Winter.


Peppers are posing the same problem, I got a jalapeno, a bell pepper, and a cherry red, but there are so many fun varieties, and those three seem rather ordinary. I'm very excited about the French Sorrel, which was a complete impulse buy, but I tasted a leaf and love the citrus-y tart taste. It's a perennial, so hopefully it will spread a little, maybe into two square feet, from the one it's now it. It can be divided, as well, so if it does like the conditions here, I'll definitely spread it around.

Here's the view from our back fence. As you can see, I have plenty of room for a lot more boxes. I'd like to grow some berries against the fence to the right, and maybe put in a few fruit trees.


Nothing has happened yet in my potato cans, no signs of green, although most of the potatoes definitely had sprouts in their eyes, so I'm expecting to see something soon. I also planted a green globe artichoke next to the potatoes. I love artichokes! For prettiness, I planted one square of my box with candy cane zinnia seeds, and another with a tiny dianthus from the sale table. I planted some basil seeds, but also brought home a flowering basil because they were filled with bees at the nursery. I can't seem to find the tag for it, but I think it's cinnamon basil. There's also a Japanese eggplant and a couple zucchini plants. Other seeds I planted include peas, two kinds of beans, two kinds of cucumber, radishes and cilantro. And yet I need more. I think it's already too hot for any sort of lettuces or greens, but I have seeds for all sorts of kales and chards and lettuces that I might start toward the end of Summer for Fall planting.

Who else is working on a vegetable garden? Share what you're growing, I want to know!

I got myself good and worn out doing all that planting on Saturday, not to mention dirty and sweaty after weeding along one side of the box. I plan to lay down weed cloth and mulch and possibly some stepping stones this week. I think I need a chair or two out there, to sit and enjoy the plants in the evening. If only this one wasn't sold out everywhere.

After all that activity I did a lot of resting today, and did a little hand sewing while watching Last Chance Harvey this evening (it was sweet, but I love Emma Thompson, so I like everything she's in). I am trying to come up with some more pincushions, and I think I'm on the right track, but it needs just a little something more. I used the same fabric I used for my headscarf, but maybe I need to stick to smaller prints? I'm going to have to think about it, but I really want to get some things in my shop, it's looking so sad and barren at the moment.


I also decided to start un-picking and re-stitching the latest quilt top from my mother-in-law. She said that her mother started it when she found out she was pregnant with her, but she wasn't much of a sewer or quilter. I love these fabrics so much, and the yellow solid is so nice, and unusual. As I was getting started and looked at the back I realized that she must have used paper to piece it, there are all these little bits.


As I'm unpicking I can feel the frustration and impatience the seamstress must have had. There are places where the sewing machine was obviously acting up, and she seems to have just plowed on through. None of the points are anywhere near meeting, and the seam allowances are 1/8" in some places and well over 1/4" in others. So she may not have had much skill for needlework, but she did at least have an eye for color, I hope she won't mind my re-doing and finishing her quilt.


  1. French Sorrel is a weed. Contain it in a pot. A lovely soup and all, but it’s a lot like mint in the garden. What else? Grow what you like to eat.

  2. I love how your vegetable bed looks!!! I am so excited to see everything! I am waiting to plant my veggies- I need 4 more bags of dirt and it has been chilly here (wierd for GA in May, it’s usually hot already). I have 2 Cherokee’s also, 2 moon & star melons, 1 pineapple sage, 1 holy basil (my favorite- smells really good), 1 chocolate mint, 1 Lemon Balm, 1 chewing gum mint, 1 cinnamon basil, 2 squash plants (can’t remember the name), and about 5 other tomatoes that I can’t remember… I also have some Feverfew, Skullcap, Black Cumin,Dill,and German Chamomile seeds that are sprouting. Yeah, I really do know about getting carried away. I am going to keep all the mints and Lemon Balm in pots on my deck and at this rate I will definitely need 2 more beds to hold the other plants. Hey, you need to get some Marigolds to plant with your tomatoes- they really do work to keep your veggies from getting eaten. I can’t remember what they keep away, but my grannie always used them, so I always do too. Man, I also have 4 different kinds of peppers- I still feel like I want some peas or beans? I am wanting to can this year too and I read some interesting recipes for pickling all kinds of things- they really sounded good. I love it that your mother in law gave you something so sentimental! Her mom made that quilt when she was pregnant with her? I would just make a few additions to improve it’s longevity and leave it with it’s mistakes- I think that adds to the charm. My quilt will probably resemble hers! I have no idea what to do when my machine keeps getting all wonky, but I just keep going on- just like your quilt’s maker! haha! I love the fabrics!

  3. You must be your mother’s daughter when it comes to tomatoes. Last year I came home with 16 plants! They were all heirloom varieties, I don’t think your father or sister were happy to see them, we only had a few before leaving. No one is there to plant anything this spring so I’m hoping to have some volunteer repeats of the tomatoes at least. Five weeks till touch down!!Hurray!!

  4. I’m ready to start quilting when you are!

  5. I am growing tomatoes, courgettes, French beans, strawberries, Tayberries, salads, and lots of different herbs. My garden is tiny though! You have so much space. I am looking forward to hearing how your vegetable gardening works out 🙂

  6. Hello, I found your blog while searching for shot cotton photos. I was buying my very first yardage of it (yay!)and wanted to get more of a handle on what the colors looked like in real life. I am so excited because it seems you have many of the same interests and ideas that I do, it’s fun to see your take on them.
    I love to garden. I had to shrink my garden recently for health reasons, but I still have one. I love sorrel (I have “Garden Sorrel); I think it’s such a neat thing and it is a very reliable perennial. For green tomatoes, we like the Green Zebra ones and they are easy to find, which is nice, and our plants are always very productive. We have tried Green Moldovan which we did not care for. We have also grown purple, white and red varieties, but I won’t go into it! It is so easy to become a “collector” of vegetable plants and seeds!
    Your raised bed looks lovely and I am jealous of it.
    This year in my very tiny vegetable space I have three types of tomato (Green Zebra, Rainbow and undetermined which my kindergarten age son gave me) and two types of pepper (cayenne and jalepeno…we like serrano best but I was too busy to start from seed this year). I also have herbs because we use those a lot in eggs, bread, pasta, etc etc (rosemary, two types of basil: large- and small-leafed, tarragon, cilantro, curly-leafed parsley, bay, chocolate mint and thyme). Some little alpine strawberries scattered hither and thither and a fig tree. A window box to do baby lettuce for salad. That’s all for veggies & fruits this year so far. Showing restraint.
    Whew! Sorry for the long comment, it is almost impossible to stop when discussing plants.

  7. We just built 4 8×3 boxes this weekend and we’ll have greens on the way soon. 🙂

  8. We’ve been filling up our seven 8×4 beds with dirt. Two have been planted out with paste tomatoes for canning (to preserve 37 quarts of diced tomatoes you need approximately 21 tomato plants. I will still have to buy a couple of hundred pounds of tomatoes from my local u-pick farm.), I have cayenne peppers, and three of the beds are being reserved for my winter garden which I will plant out with carrots, beets, chard, and kale in another month.
    I also have a garden that I refer to as my “monastery” garden as it was inspired by the decorative raised beds monasteries usually had within their grounds in the 1200s. I’ve got fava beans, slicing tomatoes, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, herbs, shallots, and beans growing in that one.
    I love your garden bed and it’s exciting to see you get so enthusiastic about so many wonderful things (like the bee-keeping, the crafts, and the hens).

  9. Courgettes sound much more elegant than zucchinis :o) What are Tayberries?
    We have a pretty unique situation for California, our house is quite small
    (only about 1000 sq. feet), but we have almost an acre of land. Most people
    have big, huge houses on little tiny lots. I like it our way better.
    Although I guess I’m just trading housecleaning for yard cleaning. But I
    would rather be outside than inside, so it’s just fine with me!

  10. So are you taking the quilt apart and repiecing it? I inherited about 5 unfinished tops from My Granny. I left them as is, but seeing them, adding backing, appliquéing them, stitching them, try oh so unsuccessfully to square them up, made me really appreciate all the tools we have now to make quilting go a lot smoother.
    I’m an apartment dweller trying to do container gardening. I have basil and tomatoes. Gardening is so much fun. I think I would try out several things at first, just like you. Then after a couple of years I’d know exactly what I wanted to grow. You could then do an experimental bed, then beds for the things you know you like. It all looks very wonderful and I hope you have fun with it. I look forward to watching your garden grow.

  11. What’s your Ravelry username? I would really love to see your projects!

  12. Wow! I can’t believe how much stuff you’re growing! That’s so awesome. I can’t wait until we have more room for a “real” garden. Right now I just have a few containers — tomatoes, lemon tree, mint, chives, oregano and two types of peas (though they are basically fried).
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the quilt! I have a quilt my great-grandmother (or maybe her mother?) made in the 1930’s. I LOVE the fabric and the workmanship is good. However, a lot of the quilt is just disintegrating (the backing is mostly gone). I want to somehow fix it — maybe replace the bad pieces with repro fabrics — or just cut it up and frame the good pieces. I’m not sure what to do!

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