Gardens of Dreams

Gardening 1

Spring 1

Spring 2

Spring 3

Spring 5

All around spring is flowering in the branches.  The croaking of the Sandhill cranes will now and then fill the blue-clouded skies as they pass along on their long pilgrimage.  From out of the earth the green force of life is brimming in a flowery haze, all things stretching forth with new, fresh growth. 

Spring 6

 Except for the cats. It is very warm weather for thick, fur coats. 

Spring 7

What comes to life a little while after it is buried? 

Seeds 1

This week and last has been very busy with planting seeds. I love all the shapes and sizes of the hopes and dreams of the plants. The amaranth seeds that are so small and shiny, the silver-edged pumpkin seeds, the nasturtium seeds that look like little brains, and the zinnia seeds that are so dry and brittle you would never think they are alive. 

It is once again time to dream about tomatoes and squash and melons and sweet corn. I’ve got seeds saved from my own garden, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, The Southern Heritage Seed Collective, and Adaptive seeds, as well as a few new seed companies – Renee’s Garden, Swallowtail Seeds, Floret, and Urban Farmer.

But to be honest, i have mixed feelings about leaving my now-garden behind. I hope it doesn’t sound like bragging to say that this garden, stretching so green and beautiful from gate to gate, is my dream garden growing here in real life. 

Not only is it beautiful, but it has everything i could possibly desire. Rows and rows of many kinds of lettuces, so different in  color, shapes and textures. 

Prosperous heads of cabbage…

Forests of many kinds of kale…

The dusky beauty of purple Brussels sprouts (and green ones too)

The most beautiful Swiss chard I’ve ever seen – Joy’s midnight from Adaptive seeds. 

Violetta Italia cauliflower from Baker Creek (it is actually a broccoli)

Rows and rows of onions!

The garden- within-a- garden sweet pea trellises, with extra fencing to ward off rabbits. 

Many colors and kinds of beets and carrots and radishes. 

And then the rare vegetables… Not really rare but no one else seems to have grown them here…

 The cardoon and salsify, celeriac and pink celery. 

And then there are the grains – the rice and oats and barley and wheat, many kinds from many lands.

 Poems run in my thoughts when i watch the spring breezes ripple through the verdant ranks…

On either side the river lie 

Long fields of barley and of rye

That clothe the wold and meet the sky…

(Remembered, perhaps incorrectly, from Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot”)

And there are bright flowers and herbs. 

It is a good place, this garden. Built with mulch and manure and compost, sweat and 5 gallon buckets, pitchfork and shovel, pig and scythe. For so many seasons over 10 now years, so many gardens have lived here first, one on top of the other, growing more wonderful every year. 

So if you were wondering what i have been doing lately, I’ve just been here, soaking up the green and the sweet smells. 

42 Comments Add yours

  1. carolee says:

    Impressive….love the photo of milk thistle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The challenge is getting close enough for a picture without getting prickled!


  2. vicki says:

    As we are still covered in snow and ice, I totally enjoyed your pictures of your amazing garden!! Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is our best, most pretty season – mid summer i will be longing for ice and snow in the midst of the bugs and crushing heat!


      1. vicki says:

        Hehe.. I LOVE spring for that reason too!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. HarmanFarms says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. This is my favorite time of the year. Lovely pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! My favorite too!


  4. tonytomeo says:

    Hey! You know Renee’s Garden Seed! Renee Shepherd is my neighbor in Zayante. I am just beyond Zayante. Even though I am aware of all the cool seed that she makes available. the nasturtium are still my favorite! Not many others would be bothered with the lowly nasturtium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool!!! *small world moment here*
      I think i remember you mentioning that ages ago! I just ordered the first seeds from her, and i love how she has mixes of things so you don’t have to buy 3 different packs of beans to try different varieties. She also has varieties i haven’t seen before, which is wonderful. I got the signet marigold mix, bright wings milkweed mix, French beans, petticoats cosmos mix, vanilla berry nasturtiums and the Phoenix climbing nasturtiums to try.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        I cheat with the color coded blends. Because I do not need a full packet of seed, I get one with different varieties and then separate them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. tonytomeo says:

        It works for me, but is still . . . cheating.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t think so! You can never have to many varieties in my opinion, and “the ends justify the means” lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. tonytomeo says:

        Well, perhaps, but the ends could be a crowded and overrun garden.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s why you get the mix and separate the seeds!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. tonytomeo says:

        . . . or share them with neighbors.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes! If you are lucky enough to have neighbors who like to garden too

        Liked by 1 person

      8. tonytomeo says:

        Those who do not like to garden must leave the neighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Hahaha! I like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. If you are on chatting terms with Renee, let her know i would be more than happy to help out if she ever would want variety grow out testing done in the south east for her seeds 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      11. tonytomeo says:

        I have not spoken to Renee in a few years, and do not even see her about anymore. I am not about town very often. As far as I know, she does not do trialing. However, if you are a garden writer, she might want to send you a few samples. That is how I used to get many of my seed in the early 2000s.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Ah! Well, i will certainly write about whatever i grow! I am kicking around the idea of doing a French bean trial. It seems like every seed company offers a different variety of the BEST French bean.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. tonytomeo says:

        Ah, the French beans! I still grow the same old pole beans that I always grew; although I really did like what I believe was ‘Rolande’ from Renee’s Garden, (which actually was one of the free samples that I rarely grow myself). I am sorry that I do not remember the name for certain. I find that trialing is not as easy as it sounds because I am so biased with the old varieties. I even find the ‘Jewels Mix’ is STILL my favorite nasturtium. Of course, I do not tell Renee that. Anyway, it is worth contacting Renee about.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I have seeds for Renee’s “Roland”! I’ll let you know how it like Florida 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      15. tonytomeo says:

        It probably does just fine everywhere. It is more an issue of what you think of it. Even though I prefer the common classics, I happened to like it because it is so slender that it does not need to be cooked much at all. (I tend to overcook things.)

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Maybe… the last French bean i tried was very susceptible to mosaic virus. I’ve never had a problem with it ever again or since that season and those beans but it really had a hard time. It’s kind of a funny climate here and lots of pests and diseases in summer

        Liked by 1 person

      17. tonytomeo says:

        My main problem was the neighborhood ‘gardeners’ stripping everything they could grab from the garden. I have never seen mosaic virus, and have not heard of it being a problem since we were in school.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. It’s spread through white flies which had just come through Florida the season before. In that case mayve

        Liked by 1 person

      19. tonytomeo says:

        Whitefly are not so common here. They are bad when they show up, but are typically brought under control by natural predators by the second year, and then may not be seen for a few years. However, there are certain less problematic specie that are commonly seen. I suppose it is okay if they are not causing problems. The giant whitefly was a horrid problem in the topical hibiscus years ago, and it was one of the few that stayed around for too long.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. That’s really interesting because i haven’t had much problem with them since

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Hit send too soon… maybe they were irresistibly delicious!

        Liked by 1 person

      22. tonytomeo says:

        I did not see anything about it in a cursory look at the website. I happen to get the mailed newsletter, which sometimes includes a packed of seed that is being promoted at the time. However, I never get anything that I am interested in writing about.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. LOL i guess that’s why it’s free

        Liked by 1 person

      24. tonytomeo says:

        Oh, I am sorry. I did not intend to imply that they are not worthy of writing about. They just happen to be things that I do not enjoy growing, such as butter lettuce or zinnias. Most of us really would enjoy them.

        Liked by 1 person

      25. You are not a fan of zinnias? I guess where you are much more interesting things can grow, but it is one of the best cutting flowers that likes the summer here. Actually one of the best performing tomatoes I’ve grown was a packet of free seed!

        Liked by 1 person

      26. tonytomeo says:

        Actually, I dislike zinnias because they mildew so easily. I do not know why. they are supposed to be so easy to grow,yet they always get mildew in my garden.

        Liked by 1 person

      27. Ah how funny! I’ve never had that happen with them, even in this mold- everywhere- constant- tropical- rain climate , so they must hate something about it over there! It’s funny how some plants are easy to grow some places and not others. Beets are like that here and I’ve read how “easy” they are but in Florida if you can grow beets your are something of a mystical garden master and no one can believe it. Can you grow cosmos at least?

        Liked by 1 person

      28. tonytomeo says:

        Cosmos grows like a weed, and naturalizes where it gets a bit of water. Mildew is a weird problem on a few plants here. I say it is weird because this is such an arid climate, in which mildew should not be a problem at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. Right! That is so strange and it is so hardy here with all the rain

        Liked by 1 person

      30. tonytomeo says:

        We have it pretty good here. When it is rainy, it is typically rather cool, so fungal pathogens do not proliferate so badly. By the time the weather gets warm, it is also dry. You would never know it from the powdery mildew on some crepe myrtles.

        Liked by 1 person

      31. Sounds so nice and predictable at least! For the past 2 years at least the weather is damp damp and damp, both hot and cold and I’m so tired of green algae on everything!

        Liked by 1 person

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