going green

April 10, 2013

Our gardening season has begun here in our Northern California garden 
and there's no turning back now! 

We've taken care of most of our spring chores but plenty more to do.

Sticking my fingers in the picture so you can get an idea of the size of this massive peony!

Tree peonies the size of a dinner plate.

Most everything has been set out,  still a few babies still being coddled in the greenhouse.

All the little tiny seeds I've planted over the years and yet I'm still transported when their little green selves pop up.  I am not a terrifically adventurous gardener anymore, I admit I've done all that in the past.  One year it was white endive and white asparagus (there's a trick to that), red popcorn one year (that was fun!), also peanuts, soybeans and okra (disaster, they don't and won't grow in my region).  And then there's the year I planted paprika peppers:  ordered seeds from a specialty seed catalog, planted them and nurtured them, harvested them and dried them, then ground them up.  For all my work I had a few jars of terrible tasting paprika that I threw out.  So now, for the most part we plant the tried and true standards that we know will be successful in our region 9 garden.  We plant the same vegetables every year but like to try new varieties.   You gardeners will want to know what they are:

Leeks, French Baby Primor (new variety for us this year)
Beets, Baby Ball, Golden and Candy Stripe
Radish, Sparkler and Cherry Belle
Onion, Evergreen Bunching, White Lisbon Bunching and Italian Red of Florence (new variety)
Carrots, Cosmic Purple and Carnival Blend (both new varieties for me, very exciting!)
Dill, Long Island Giant, this reseeds itself
Basil, common sweet
Pole Green Beans, Emerite
Bush Green Bean, French Filet Bean Rolande and Classic Slenderette
Chard, Italian Silver Rib and Pot of Gold
Cucumbers, Fanfare (a new-for-me semi-dwarf plant with large fruit)
Lettuces, Sea of Red, Baby Mesclun Cut and Come Again Mix, Parris Island Cos
Garlic, Soft Neck Gourmet
Summer Squash, Yellow and Light Green Pattypan
Red Bell Peppers and Eggplant, we purchased as 6-packs at the garden center.

Tomatoes are our most favorite crop and this year we have Red Brandywine, Green Zebra, Amana, Black Krim, Goldie, Sun Sugar, Coustralee, Big Rainbow, Pineapple, Black Cherry, Momotaro and Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, 30 plants in all.  We also purchased plants of Better Boy, Early Girl and Big Beef from the garden center in case our heirlooms fail.  That has happened before and it's heartbreaking, so I plant these hybrid varieties just in case disaster strikes, God forbid.   Last year my hubbie took over the tomato department and I was glad to hand it over, he did a great job and I renamed him Mr. Tomato.

Tomato plants in cages.

Bye for now, and there's still time to enter the Kidsilk Haze Glamour Giveaway!

You Might Also Like


  1. Good Morning Kristen, How lovely to see such colour at this time of year. This peony is stunning and what a size.
    Our garden is too small to house a greenhouse, so we share a greenhouse with George's brother, as his garden is huge....that works well, it is housing our lemon trees and bonzai trees at the moment.
    Is that Wisteria I see in one of the photographs?
    Thank you for sharing your lovely garden, it is such a treat to see a little sunshine.
    Enjoy your day.
    Best Wishes

  2. I can't believe you have peonies blooming already! Those bloom in June for us here in the Midwest! I'm so impressed with the size and variety of your garden. Thanks for letting us know what veggies you've planted - I find it very interesting!

  3. How beautiful! All the walkways and arbors and peonies! My little seedlings are begging to be transplanted today. I've got the soil and pots, and now to get the job done!

  4. Your garden looks so amazing and is such refreshment for my spirit today. Here is Mn it snowed over night with more on the way today and tomorrow. I have some tiny tulip leaves poking up but peonies are a long, long time from now still. It has been a hard winter here and I am so ready for the smell of plants and dirt and the colors. Thanks for sharing the happy, growing things pictures!

  5. Hi Kristen, so beautiful !!!
    Im in Ontario, Canada, so we are not even close =0S
    Your garden looks amazing, clean and organized =0)

  6. Hi Kristin, lovely garden..such beautiful photos. Your peonies are spectacular. Here in ontario, well, we won't be seeing peonies for months......I'm very envious.


  7. The Garden looks just beautiful. You guys do a great job.......

  8. Seriously??!?!? A peony as big as an adult's head??!?!?! That thing is huge!!! Beautiful! My hat is off to you guys for such a huge undertaking!!! I'm sure your hard work is going to yield a fabulous lot! I'm sure having that greenhouse is one of the best investments ever!!!

    Have a great weekend, and enjoy playing in the dirt! :-)

  9. Oh my gosh Kristen! I have serious peony envy (hehe)!!!! How do you have time for all this gardening, entertaining and knitting?
    The pictures of the peonies just made my day - especially here in New England, it's only in the 40's and cloudy!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Oooh your tomatoes are off to a good start. Never heard of Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter! I wonder who came up with that one? Just thinking about the first juicy tomato of the season makes my mouth water. And those peonies are amazing!
    I'm hoping to plant this weekend : )

  11. Kristen, wishing you a wonderful gardening season! I always enjoy your every post about your amazing fruits of labor!
    I've been working in the garden as well. My biggest issues are the slugs now. They multiply like crazy with every rain and eat everything that's on their way. Today I cut tulips to make a bouquet, brought them in. While I was prepare a vase, one slug came out right out of the middle of a beautiful tulip. Goodness! I hate them! If I didn't cut the flower, it would have been devoured that morning.

  12. Your garden is absolutely stunning. How many day workers do you employ?



You make my day when you make a comment!


afghan Alana Dakos ally pally ambassador Amy Herzog Ankestrick Arte Italica baby Baby Cocktails bakelite baking berry picking Best Friday of the Month best of Ravelry Big Sur blue transferware book review books boutique brook cables California candy child children children's activities Christmas Christmas crafts Christmas knitting cleaning collections cookie cutters cookies cooking craft Crafts crochet cross-stitch day trip decluttering decorating designer spotlight discount diy dog dolls Easter eau de vie Elizabeth Bradley Elizabeth Zimmerman embroidery entertaining Facebook fall fall decorating fall garden family featured first car fit flower arranging flowers free pattern Friday night party group friends funny Fur garden gardening Giants Gifted Hostess give-away giveaway gluten free gourmet group Halloween herbs holiday home how to set up a party group jewelry Kaffe Fassett KAL Kim Hargreaves kitting Knit Picks knitting laundry Le Jacquard Francais Little French Knits Los Altos lunch Mailbu Making Things Marie Wallin Martin Storey menu minimalism money talk mosaic movies my house my patterns my town nails needlepoint needles October challenge Octoberfest ollalie organizing original design outdoor seating owl party prep pear peg dolls pies pomegranates poncho preview quilting recipe recycling redwork review roses Rowan San Francisco Sarah Hatton sewing sewing room tour shawl shopping shower social media softie spring spring garden stash Stitches West summer summer garden summer knitting Sunday Morning Swans Island table setting test test knit Thanksgiving Three Irish Girls TNNA tomatoes top 10 list toys travel tutorial twinning ufo Uncommon Threads vacation Valentine vegetable garden videos wedding winter garden wip Woolfolk yarn yarn for sale Ysolda