A Peek into the Garden

I don’t know what spring has been like for the rest of you, but here in central California it’s been unseasonably HOT.  While I’m not quite ready for summer to begin, our tomatoes and peppers sure have been loving the heat! 

Our First Serrano Chile

At the rate the serrano chiles have been growing, we’ll probably be able to start cooking with a few of them soon.  We were a bit impulsive and put some vegetables in the ground quite early in the season.  Luckily for us, the weather more than cooperated and we now have quite a garden growing already.

Side Garden Bed

This south-facing bed is against the house.  It was empty when me moved in so we took my Dad’s advice and tried a few tomatoes and peppers here.  They love it!  In this bed we have three different heirloom tomatoes, a couple chiles, and some basil and marigolds.

Potted Herb Garden

I have a little potted herb garden going in the center of the courtyard for now, but soon it will really be too hot to have these pots sitting out on the concrete so I’ll be moving them eventually.  In this area we have parsley, thyme, onion chives, garlic chives, oregano, basil, mint, and dill.  I love having an herb garden again and I’ve been using combinations of these herbs in quite a few dishes lately.

Desert Rose

This is Phil’s Desert Rose.  Well, we think it might be a Desert Rose, but we’re not sure.  We don’t know much about it, but it’s kind of strange and beautiful and it’s Phil’s pet.


I recently harvested a ton of basil and it just keeps coming.  Pesto, anyone?

Flower Pot

This is one of the first pots I planted this spring.  I took this photo before the daisies were even awake this morning!

Mini Succulent Garden

I planted this little succulent garden in the bottom part of a tagine.  The top had broken and rather than get rid of it, I asked my dad to drill some holes in the bottom of it for me and it turned into a nice planter.

Sweet Pea

This lonely sweet pea hitched a ride to my house in a potted hydrangea that came from my dad’s house.  We transplanted it in the ground against the house to see if it would keep growing and it did.  We even supplied it with a little string to hang onto.  Next year, we’ll plant some more in this area so we can have a wall of sweet peas in the spring.

Back Garden Bed

This is our new garden bed in the back.  Phil dug up the grass and then double dug this bed, which loosened the soil a couple feet deep under the entire bed.  These tomatoes went in a week or two later than the ones against the house and they didn’t grow as fast because the soil back here wasn’t as warm.  But these plants are doing well and we already have lots of fruit on both the Early Girl (far right) and the Brandywine (far left).  This bed also has basil, marigolds, and peppers as well as a few different cucumbers, an eggplant, and a yellow crookneck squash.  Behind this bed are the fig tree and tangerine tree.

Fresno Chile

Here is one of our Fresno Chile plants.  The Fresno Chiles haven’t done well in either bed – this is the only plant out of six that has thrived.  I might try planting some more in containers because I really would like to have some to play with later in the summer.  We made some delicious hot sauce last year with Fresno Chiles.

Back Garden Bed

This is another view of the same bed.  The tomatoes are on the right, the eggplant is in the middle, and the squash and cucumbers are on the left.  There are several different pepper plants hidden in the back.  Those little plants in the front are basil, which will soon be growing like crazy.  In the background against the fence on the left are a couple of watermelon mounds where Phil planted his Yellow Baby Watermelons.  Also not pictured is a green zucchini that is also planted against the fence.

Japanese Cucumber

I decided to try trellising my cucumbers with tomato cages to keep them contained and growing up instead of out.  I think this one is a Japanese Cucumber.  I also have an Armenian Cucumber and a Painted Serpent Cucumber.

Black Satin Thornless Blackberry

I’ve never grown berries before, but Phil brought this Black Satin Thornless Blackberry home from the nursery one day and has been tending it himself.  I hope it does well because I would love to make a blackberry pie with fruit from our own garden one of these days!

Herb Garden

This is one of my favorite garden beds and it’s located just outside the back kitchen door.  We have a few more herbs planted here, including rosemary, sage, lemon thyme, and French lavender.

Well, that’s a quick peek into our spring garden.  Since this is our first year here, everything is an experiment and a learning experience, and we’re enjoying every minute of it!

  1. Phillip

    Good lookin’! (-:

    3:45 pm  May 4th, 2013
  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    This New Englander is green with envy.

    4:31 pm  May 4th, 2013
  3. Jud

    Here in Chicago I will soon be able to clear every window in me house by moving my house plants outdoors.

    4:43 pm  May 4th, 2013
  4. Simply called food

    You are so lucky to have that, we are still waiting to start our gardens!

    5:08 pm  May 4th, 2013
  5. jonquil


    5:16 pm  May 4th, 2013
  6. Gwyn

    I am so envious!!!! Snow just melted here in Colorado!!! It has been a very late winter!!

    7:22 pm  May 4th, 2013
  7. m @ random musings

    So jealous. This week has been two days of snow followed by heavy rain followed by leaky basement. The only thing fluorishing in my yard are weeds!

    Do blackberry plants naturalize in central California? I grew up in wa where they’re seen as a pest, but they’re easily controlled here in the Midwest due to cold winters…

    8:42 pm  May 4th, 2013
  8. Vera Costa

    your garden is simply amazing… greetings from Argentina!!!

    6:37 am  May 5th, 2013
  9. Ruby

    Love it!

    9:35 am  May 5th, 2013
  10. pascale

    beautiful garden! Do the marigolds help with keeping bugs away from tomatoes? I am pretty certain I have heard that before.

    12:45 pm  May 5th, 2013
  11. Nicole

    Pascale – Yes, the marigolds are supposed to help deter pests, although I’m not really sure which ones. I’ve just heard that they are good companions for tomatoes.

    11:39 am  May 6th, 2013
  12. Mr. & Mrs. P

    Everything is growing so well!!!!

    8:47 am  May 6th, 2013
  13. kellypea

    So lovely! I miss having space big enough to have a small garden and so enjoy being able to see what you’ve done with yours. The plant you call a Desert Rose is an adenium — Desert Rose is one of its common names. I have one too, and they’re pretty funky. They don’t like to be over watered and thrive in pots. We’ll have to compare notes on how ours do. I’ve only had mine 6 months. 😀

    8:52 am  May 7th, 2013
  14. Ruth

    Be careful with the Pea and the Blackberry. Both plants are opportunistic and will happily take over anywhere you plant them, and then some! It might not be as bad down where you are because of the heat, but I’d still be careful. I live in WA state and you can’t go anywhere without running into either one of them! They are particularly bad in the coastal areas.

    2:13 pm  May 11th, 2013
  15. The Twilight Chef

    Your garden looks great. I live in a flat so don’t have a garden but I can’t wait to move in the next year or so and and start my own little vegetable and herb patch. I have only just started my own cookery blog so have been spending a lot of time looking at other cookery blogs for ideas. I love your blog – the recipes and photos are fab and very inspirational. Thanks and will look forward to seeing your next post!

    7:53 am  May 14th, 2013
  16. Encinitas Chiropractor

    Nice garden. I love the fact that you planted these greens and that you use the herbs you grow. I want to have this type of garden too when I move to my new place. How long would this last? Will it survive once the season change? Would you relocate them?

    12:31 am  May 20th, 2013
  17. Jarome

    I envy you for having my dream garden. Nice photos. Keep it up! XOXO

    7:17 am  May 21st, 2013
  18. Chefs in Shorts

    That’s a good looking garden

    10:36 pm  May 22nd, 2013
  19. Linda

    I enjoy all of your updates and recipes. You encourage living in what we are given! The military wife ‘group’ with it’s ups and downs and the moves and isolation that comes with it, sets us apart, I feel. Thanks again for your encouraging posts!

    5:01 pm  May 25th, 2013
  20. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    Just found your blog and wanted to say hi! The weather here in NYC is on and off, last week was close to the 90s but then the past few days its been the 40s at night, it’s very confusing for the garden! The tomatoes though have enjoyed the heat and are blowing up, spotted our first roma babies a few days ago.

    5:52 pm  May 27th, 2013
  21. Bonnie

    Hi. I’m from New York, just like Pamela. Just wanted to say I like your blog. You my second one that I will follow. I’m a big follower of “Cooking With Mr. C.” on WordPress and wanted to add another one to check out. Thanks for the planting tips.

    7:13 pm  May 30th, 2013
  22. Ruxandra @ Gourmandelle

    Love it! I’m dreaming of having a garden like this and hopefully I will soon 🙂

    6:52 am  Jun 9th, 2013
  23. Lina@fancyfrugallife

    Hi! My name is Lina and I blog from Fresno too! I have been following a long time and didn’t realize this tidbit of info! We haven’t lived her for that long..but I love my tomato and cucumber garden here 🙂

    Stop by http://www.fancyfrugallife.com sometime!

    Also I manage http://www.centralvalleymoms.com for the fresno bee and we could always use more recipe ideas! Let me know if you’d like to guest post?



    8:39 am  Jun 28th, 2013
  24. Oakley Commit Sunglasses (4)

    sunglass web publishers are now being buzzed in the Usa, not only Western world

    12:56 pm  Jul 6th, 2013
  25. countrygilr

    I love how your garden is doing this summer. Beautiful Basil… pesto? Yes, yes!
    The pictures of all of your plants… perfect!!

    2:39 pm  Jul 6th, 2013
  26. countrygirl in the PNW

    A little envious of your peppers and tomatoes, but our lettuce grows beyond any I’ve seen in the grocery store. Nice for you to enjoy ‘fresh’ in your neck of the woods!

    2:42 pm  Jul 6th, 2013
Leave a Comment