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How My Garden Grows, Hopefully…..

Farmers market finds

Farmers market finds

I am a notoriously bad gardener, I admit my limitations and unfortunately I am the kiss of death for plants. I don’t know why or what I do wrong. I can over and under water, put way too much compost and burn the roots, have too much or too little sun, not feed or prune because I am afraid of over pruning and feeding, The only plants that thrive for me are weeds. Despite my limitations and lack of ability every year I plant something, it will be good for a while and some years I get lucky and something actually works for me. Pictured above is my recent plant purchases, we’ll see how these do. I have some flowers, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, lime and Italian basil, rosemary, sage, creeping and regular thyme and spearmint.

One of the farmers at the market told me to come back in two weeks for a much better selection. I hope to get a few tomato plants, some thai basil and maybe a few other things that catch my eye.

The very handsome kitty in the photo’s is Justin, he was thrown out I believe, he is not feral but now he lives in my backyard, We have a kitty condo on my covered terrace for him and I have fed him every day for the last 3 1/2 years. We take him for checkups and vaccinations and he gets lots of attention from me and my friends. I cannot have him in the house because of my pugs and also severe allergies. He needs a home and is such a sweet cat, how can people just throw an animal away. It makes me so angry.

herbs

herbs and a Justin photobomb

So 2 weeks later I still had not put my plants in soil, very bad I know. I lost the 3 basil plants, they were seedlings and I think the snow we had a week ago killed them, or maybe it was me. Today I planted what was left. We’ll see how they do. I may re plant them in larger containers later on but at least I got them out of their little plastic containers and in pots with soil, they are happy now I think, well watered and in direct sunlight.

Herbs

Herbs, cilanto, parsley, rosemary and sage

More herbs, chives

More herbs, chives, mint, thyme

flowers

flowers

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58 Comments Post a comment
  1. They are going to be beautiful and tasty! Be sure to bring them in when the temp gets to 35, otherwise they’ll frost bite. I can’t wait to start mine. I’m late this year, perhaps in a few weeks. Give Justin a belly rub for me and Thank you for loving him.

    April 25, 2014
  2. I didn’t take them in when it got below freezing and lost all the basil. I will remember. Thank you so much.

    April 25, 2014
  3. Pretty! You have inspired to plant mine now.

    April 25, 2014
  4. They look pretty good so far Suzanne! I loved your mint, I would certainly use it for dolmades or tzatziki! Keep it up! By the way, I admire your love for animals, it is very sad when they are mistreated.

    April 25, 2014
    • Thank you. I hope my plants don’t die a horrible death at my hand. I waited too long to plant but hopefully they will survive, Thanks so much, oh yes, dolmades and tzatziki yum!!

      April 25, 2014
  5. Just a suggestion to leave lots of room between your plants, as they will grow quickly once it warms up…You are so sweet to care for Justin – no wonder I like you so much!

    April 25, 2014
    • I was thinking exactly that, I have to get more soil and when I do I will transplant some of them making more room. Thank you so much.

      April 25, 2014
  6. talkavino #

    good luck! I find gardening a lot more difficult than the wine or cooking : ) There is no immediate response and you can’t taste anything to see how you are doing : )

    April 25, 2014
    • Yes, exactly. for me gardening does not come naturally. I wish I had a green thumb. Thanks so much Anatoli,

      April 25, 2014
  7. I LOVE to garden! You’ve got the perfect mix of cool spring herbs going there . . . plus pansies = fantastic! Your farmers market guy is right . . . wait a couple more weeks for tomatoes and basil. If you plant them now and there’s a frost . . . you’ll have dead tomatoes and basil. Can’t wait for summer’s bounty!! Salud!

    April 25, 2014
    • I bought 3 basil and all three died. You are exactly right. Thank you, you made me feel better about my choices. I so want them to thrive.

      April 25, 2014
  8. Aww Justin is cute. I love kitties but I can’t have any either. One of my dogs isn’t good with cats. I hope the plants grow well! I don’t have much of a green thumb. I only keep succulents! Want to get some cactus someday.

    April 25, 2014
    • Justin is such a cutie, I feel so badly for him. He stares in my windows and doors and I cannot let him in. He is even good with dogs I think, he never bothers Izzy and Nando when I take them to the backyard. No green thumb here either. I have even killed a succulent. Maybe cactus would be good.

      April 25, 2014
  9. I am also a horrible gardener. I kill just about everything. I kept a basil plant alive for several months, once. It was a very big deal. :) Good luck!

    April 25, 2014
    • I don’t feel so alone, I’m in good company with my lack of gardening skills and abilities. I have never had a houseplant live, ever. One year I had really good basil, maybe it was where I planted it in the garden I don’t know but it grew big and full and tall and green, I loved it every year since, it fizzles. It’s terrible too because basil is my favorite and most used herb.

      April 26, 2014
  10. Suzanne, you remind me of me! My poor indoor plants hate me, thank goodness for my husband who remembers to water them. I do not have a green thumb at all, but since we live in my hubby’s grandparents old house – we knew that they grew a great vegetable garden, so we decided to give it a shot 3 years ago. It’s been 3 summers and somehow, we’ve successfully grown veggies and herbs! We’ll keep at it again this year. :) I really can’t wait actually, I’ve grown to love it.
    Your herbs are looking great – they’re going to taste amazing!
    And Justin, wow, what a cutie. It’s infuriating that people just dispose of loving, living creatures like that.

    April 25, 2014
    • Oh wow, you, me and Patty are challenged when it comes to gardening. How wonderful that you have 3 years of success with your vegetables. I want to try so badly, this year I am going to plant tomatoes.
      Yes Justin is so handsome and so so sweet. What a shame that he has been left on the street. He is so friendly and wants love all the time, I can’t imagine how someone could do that.

      April 26, 2014
      • Yes – the first thing we planted were tomatoes and we got so many, it was a success. Haha! That’s what fueled us to keep trying. :) Sending you positive gardening energy. ;)
        It really boils my blood that people could be so cruel. I’m so happy you are doing what you can to keep him happy, though. :)

        April 26, 2014
      • Thank you I need the positive vibes!!! I will do a post about the outcome, good or bad.

        April 26, 2014
  11. I too have been planting up my garden this week, I went the instant gratification route and bought some plants that were already flowering! I hope your plants grow and thrive, Justin is cute and it is sad to think of him being abandoned, he is lucky to have found you and safe haven in your garden.

    April 25, 2014
    • I hope your garden thrives also, I have to get more basil since it died and this time will get a more mature plant, I don’t think seedlings are a good idea for me.

      April 26, 2014
  12. We’ve been planing this week, we’ve attempting to grow strawberries for the summer! So fingers crossed I will be able to develop some recipes! :)

    April 26, 2014
    • Oh strawberries, I would love to grow strawberries and would also love raspberry and blackberry bushes. Good luck and hope to see some delicious recipes using your strawberries.

      April 26, 2014
  13. Suzanne, you started your garden work now, very nice day! I started to plant lots of different vegetable seeds since early April, I just wish the weather will be warmer and I can have a good crop this year. Enjoy your gardening, but don’t work too hard, remember! :)

    April 26, 2014
    • I only just started gardening, I pruned my roses (hope I did it right), weeds are already starting to come up, ugh, have to mulch. The weather here has been crazy too, cold, for this time of year, untimely frosts. Not good for the plants. Thanks so much Mochi. Good luck with your garden,

      April 26, 2014
  14. I love that you took Justin in and provided a home for him – even if it’s in your back yard. I will never understand how people can see pets, or any animal for that matter, as disposable. On the gardening, we may be soul sisters indeed. I want to garden, and enjoy it when I do, but am haphazard at best. I can take weeks to plant seedlings I’ve bought, and then I probably won’t plant all of them. It could be another week before I get back to them and finish. But when I’ve been diligent, it’s been great, and I wonder why I hadn’t done this all along. So I rush out and buy more seedlings, and let them sit in the hot sun while I procrastinate starting the process all over again. Sigh. You’ll have to give us updates :-)

    April 26, 2014
    • I wish I could take him inside but I can’t, the pugs are at risk because of the diabetes and I don’t know that he wouldn’t scratch or bite them, the other is severe allergies. I have tried to find him a forever home but no luck so far.
      Yes, I totally relate. I am such a procrastinator, plants die waiting for me to plant or do something with them and I have many seed packets unplanted. We are definitely soul sisters. I will update on the progress. Thanks Susan.

      April 26, 2014
  15. Your plants are looking good so far… well, except for the basil! You might find that the mint does too well and starts to take over the pot, crowding out the other herbs. It’s what gardeners call ‘vigorous’ which means it grows and grows and grows. If you have another pot, mint is best kept contained on its own. Sounds like Justin is lucky to have found his way to your backyard.

    April 26, 2014
    • Thank you, I think I will put the mint in the ground since it’s so hearty. Just noticed my mint from last year came back so I will have a lot!

      April 26, 2014
  16. Liz #

    I think you will do well this year! I’m with you in not having a green thumb, though there’s not much you can do to mess up herbs. Wishing you luck, but good to know the farmers’ market is there as back-up ;-)

    April 26, 2014
    • Well, hearty herbs like mint and thyme and rosemary seem to do ok, I kill basil every year. I don’t know why, maybe I don’t trim it or cut it down, not sure. thanks I do hope you are right that my garden will do well this summer!

      April 26, 2014
  17. I had to chuckle through this whole post, Suzanne..I’m on the WANTED list in the plant world too… My thumb is definitely not green, and I always start out with the best of intentions… But I think I just choose the wrong plants for my soil type or something.. Or maybe it’s my watering too…
    Your pots look so pretty.. I’m so ready to get outside and get my hands in the dirt! I wish you the best of luck with your gardening this summer!! :-) xx

    April 26, 2014
    • Oh.. And the fact that you’ve taken Justin in just tells me that you are a beautiful soul… But I knew that already.. <3

      April 26, 2014
    • LOL, I think we are probably both on the do not plant list, I feel like they have my photo up at the nursery, with a sign saying don’t sell to her, she kills plants!! I still try every year and hope one day I will get it right. Hope your garden grows and thrives this summer! Thank you.

      April 26, 2014
  18. sprinklesandsauce #

    your garden looks great! we have to get our own going!

    April 26, 2014
    • I have a lot of work to do on the garden been so busy I’m afraid I have been remiss. Thanks so much and best of luck with your garden.

      April 27, 2014
  19. Good luck! Your good intentions are a great beginning (that’s usually as far as I get!)

    April 27, 2014
    • I wish I found gardening theraputic but I don’t, for me it’s a bit of a drudge, I do love the outcome though when it looks nice and the plants are healthy, Thanks so much.

      April 27, 2014
  20. Kitty is so cute!! Our 2 cats are rescues as well. One we adopted as an in house cat ( named her Dute) and the other is sweet as she can be, but refuses to come inside no matter how much we’ve tried and she won’t let us pick her up. Some just want to live outside I guess. I have basil and parsley plants right now that I’ve managed to keep alive so far and want to get more. I love having basil anytime I need it and it’s so much cheaper than buying it at the store in the produce section. Good luck gardening! :)

    April 27, 2014
    • Justin would come in, I had a guest staying here who didn’t know that Justin cannot come in and while he was here Justin came in and slept in bed with him, then let him know when he wanted to go out, Luckily it was on my garden level so no impact for allergies or the pugs but Justin was in heaven for a week.
      Hope your parsley and basil thrive, I know what you mean, I use basil all the time but for me it’s the one herb I have a really hard time with, Hoping when I get a new plant or two they grow. Thanks so much Brandi.

      April 27, 2014
  21. You might not be the best gardener, but at least you keep trying. Your effort has to count for something. I love that you take care of Justin. I also feed a beautiful Siamese cat every night, but she won’t let me come near her after nearly 6 months. I started feeding her after she pressed her little face against my window late one night, practically begging for help. She has a cat bed on my patio for cold nights, but roams my neighborhood during the day. Good luck with your herbs and flowers.

    April 27, 2014
    • Thank you, I do keep trying and one day I hope to have plants that actually live and thrive. Justin was obviously a house cat, he is so friendly and all he wants is love and to be petted and he wants desperately to come inside. My heart breaks and I want him to find a forever home so badly. He never goes to the front of the house, stays in the backyard so he is not at risk for being hit by a car, he has survived in my yard for almost 4 years, I don’t know how long he was roaming before he found me.

      April 27, 2014
  22. LOVE the “Justin photobomb” haha! By the way, I can relate to your gardening issues. When I was young, I could have (and did) kill a Chia Pet. I’m still not even sure how it’s possible, lol. Just keep at it. I’ve gotten so much better over the years, and you will too. The biggest issues I face yearly now is that my husband and son tend to use the weed whacker too close to my plants and end up tearing them to shreds.

    I’m out of luck this year, I won’t be doing any planting due to my surgery. So keep posting pics and I will live vicariously through you this summer! :)

    April 27, 2014
    • My lack of a green thumb has been prevalent my entire life, I have even killed cactus, go figure but I hope with each year to be able to have some plants stay alive long enough so that I can use them. Thank you for the encouragement. I do hope you are feeling better and will soon be able to garden and do everything you want to do.

      April 27, 2014
      • I’m laughing so hard at the cactus thing, that is just awesome! :)

        Don’t feel so bad. My thumb is far from green, too. I think what has helped me though has been tips from people I know that garden a lot. Every year I get a little better. You will too. Crossing my fingers that this year is a success for you! :)

        April 27, 2014
      • LOL, its true, the cactus sort of deflated and drooped over, then shriveled and was no more. I will keep trying and thank you again for the encouragement.

        April 27, 2014
  23. Good luck with the gardening!! We have a mediocre berry crop coming up and some tomatoes. But the MINT is taking over our yard. We should have put it in a pot like you did!

    April 27, 2014
    • Mint is the one herb I can plant and know I will have success. It really does take over a garden. It is lovely though, I use it all the time all summer long. Thank you Rhonda, how lucky you are to have berries.

      April 27, 2014
  24. Justin is lucky to have you as a pseudo-owner, despite the fact that you can’t have him in the house. I’m the same when it comes to cats, their fur (or is it the saliva? I keep hearing different things) flares up my allergies terribly. I’m sure he’s happy being your backyard pet. Totally get the indignation about people who dispose of pets though. It’s beyond belief. Your garden looks lovely! Ah, I am a complete ‘brown thumb’ when it comes to gardens so I feel your pain… I blame it on the Australian sun but I feel I must be the real ‘common factor’! Hope that these new herbs grow strong and give you a great crop for the spring and summer season. It’s always exciting getting new culinary plants and thinking about the possibilities for their use… xx

    April 28, 2014
    • We are of like abilities then, but it is wonderful having culinary herbs and vegetables appear in the garden and there is a real satisfaction using something you grew yourself, especially if you are gardening challenged as I am. Thanks Laura.

      April 28, 2014
  25. Love this ! I know this satisfaction to grow yourself some herbs etc. I have a big garden here and we can plant tomatoes, etc. This is awesome ! You have real new york herbs ;)

    April 28, 2014
    • LOL, yes NYC herbs. I try but I am not good at gardening, maybe one day! Thank you.

      April 28, 2014
  26. I can totally relate Suzanne – I’ve not always had the best of luck with my plants either… Rather heartbreaking at times, when you feel like you’ve put in so much effort and then they still go and die on you! It’s still lots of fun though and exciting each spring to go and select a few new seedlings to plant – quite therapeutic really! I hope yours do well this season and you get to make use of them in the kitchen throughout the warmer months! :)

    April 28, 2014
  27. Good luck with the plants :-) I hope everything makes it through the season for you. And great photo bomb on Justin’s part, hehe.
    Jessica

    April 29, 2014
    • Lol justin is there every time I photograph anything he is funny! Thank you, I hope my plants make it also. We can’t seem to ditch the cold weather had to turn the heat back on!

      April 29, 2014
  28. What a wonderful idea, Suzanne, growing a small vegetable garden! Having access to fresh herbs must be really wonderful. And well done with Justin! :-)

    May 26, 2014
    • I am not a good gardener and most of what I plant doesn’t make it. Thanks Stefano, so far so good the plants are still alive!!

      May 26, 2014

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