A lunch of a lifetime, a surprise bloomer, chillin with the critters and so much more

Some random garden tales for this evening: 
I’ve tried for years to successfully grow tomatoes (yes, you read that right) as I’ve had to battle the deer, the rabbits and god awful, brutally draining soil. I eventually settled on growing them in containers on my deck (only once has a deer made the trip there) but even then, I have failed miserably. Keeping up with the watering has been the biggest challenge, especially with summer vacations “in the way”.
This year I vowed to make it work and so far so friggin awesome! I have a few containers loaded with cherry tomatoes and some others varieties, but the favorite by far has been the ‘Isis Candy’ cherry tomato: 

Now here’s the funny part.

I do not eat tomatoes. Never have and most likely, never will.

Don’t know why, but I am simply not a fan. But there is a huge tomato fan in my house and that is the driving force behind my wanting to pull off this seemingly easy task. My wife could live off of them and the fact that I have forced her to purchase them from local farmer’s markets is a joke.

But have no fear, that will be no longer be necessary …

This weekend, we harvested a bunch of the Isis Candy tomatoes and my wife’s reaction after the first bite was something like “these kick some serious ass”. Holla!

But there’s more … yes, more tomatoes. I’m like a real gardener or something.

Next we grabbed a Carolina Gold tomato off the vine:      

And ba-bam, we have lunch for my lady:

Now I just need to learn how to make my own cheese and we can become completely self-sufficient. Ha, even I found that funny.

One of the coolest things a gardener can discover is a plant that pops up in a completely unexpected place. That happened weeks ago when I discovered this Phlox ‘David’ growing under an ornamental grass and now she has bloomed beautifully:        

Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’ is in full bloom, smells fantastic and is a wonderland for the bees:

It has taken a few years to get to this point, but this deciduous shrub is finally taking a nice shape and good thing, as it sits right below where I grill on the deck:

My newly planted Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) has drawn in the butterflies, bees and the fast moving Hummingmoth so I spend most of my day hanging out there:

And finally, there are certain plants that go unnoticed as the season changes from spring to summer and my Cornus (Red Twig Dogwood) ‘Arctic Fire’ is a perfect example. This shrub shines in the fall/winter with its eye catching red stems, but I am digging how it looks now:  

Anything green and healthy works for me but I guess if I am being honest, I am most pumped for the fact that it has reached its full size after three years. I am expecting some serious winter interest this year, even better than it looked last year while much smaller in stature:  

And there you have it.

Back to the grind and the work week, but at least I have tomatoes.

John

3 thoughts on “A lunch of a lifetime, a surprise bloomer, chillin with the critters and so much more

  1. Gardens at Waters East

    I have the same on-going watering task as you. I have the deer, woodchucks, raccoons, and more. Deck tomatoes are the only way I can do it. Even more, here on the shores of Lake Michigan, it is just too cold to grow them away from the house. It will be a month before i have any to harvest. Good luck. JC

  2. Anonymous

    I live near Point Pleasant by the shore. I have 4 containers of tomatoes this year. I grow some every year because I love tomatoes, and down here, it is hard to get good tomatoes because of the lack of farm stands. Any how…Every year I have a problem with animals eating my tomatoes as soon as they start to ripen. One year it was chipmunks, once it was squirrels, last year I caught woodchucks climbing up the cage. This year, I don’t know what is eating them, but they are eating half of a big tomatoe at a time. Just like every other year, I always say this is the last year I am growing them……Wendy

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