Skip to Content

It’s Springtime!

It’s springtime, yo, and beautiful vegetables are popping out of the ground. It’s an exciting time for vegetable gardeners!

Springtime in the garden!

I can’t believe it’s mid-May already – springtime. Spring weather has been weird and chilly, but still much to do for the garden, both inside and out. My summer tomatoes, peppers, and basil are huddled under the skylight in my attic, tall and too leggy, waiting for a break in the weather (we had yet another frost just yesterday).

But spring crops are doing a-okay, and my yard is coming alive in blooms, including my lovely lilac tree (above). Spring veggies have been plentiful — crisp and sweet.

Springtime in the garden!

It’s just not spring without radishes. I’m growing three varieties this year, Pink Beauty (above), Watermelon, and French Breakfast.

I just adore the little peeps of neon red in a sea of green.

Springtime in the garden!

I’m so excited about my dinosaur kale. I have it planted everywhere, even in a pot on the deck. (I’m hoping that a pot moved in and out of the shade as the summer continues to heat up will extend its season.)

I can take or leave the standard curly kale, but dinosaur (or lacinato) kale, I love it as much as spinach, especially raw and massaged with olive oil and salt.

Springtime in the garden!

I have a number of new growing projects this year, including Hawaiian ginger (sprouting, above). I was skeptical, right up until they begin pushing their way through the surface.

I can’t wait!

Springtime in the garden!

I don’t know what possessed me this year, but I’m growing hybrid tea roses again, after a 20-year break. (Actually, I do know what possessed me — I missmissmiss that rose scent, and I’ve been wanting organic rose petals for various projects, including homemade rosewater.)

Even though it’s just springtime, I’m already dreading the onslaught of disease — roses are prone to black spot in my area — but I have to admit that walking past these beauties makes me smile, every single time.

Springtime in the garden!

This was a fun find ^^ … in my own basement. The previous occupants left some furniture behind, including this amazing workbench, which I didn’t realize was amazing until all the junk was cleared off of it. A little sanding, a little water-proofing, and it’s now my potting bench.

I {heart} my potting bench.

Springtime in the garden!

My brother, Darrell, a talented woodworker, has been hard at work helping me with some spring woodworking projects (and when I say “helping me,” I actually mean, “doing all the work himself,” since I have no finesse with a saw (I’ve worked on many houses for Habitat for Humanity, but hanging sheetrock and securing shingles to the roof is a different talent than furniture building).

I wanted a strawberry tower this year, to get the strawberries off the ground and out of view of the strawberry-lovin’ critters in my yard. One day over lunch, I asked Darrell about PVC pipe, describing what I wanted to do. He replied, with his typical inspired vision, “What about cedar?” He didn’t have to ask twice.

The plants are still young, but I’ve had three strawberries off them already, which is two more than I’ve ever had in all the years I’ve planted strawberries. Take that, chipmunks.

And, last but not least … my favorite new toy for Spring: my custom-made salad bar bench (man, does my brother rock, or what?). I can’t tell you how thrilled I’ve been, dashing out to my deck to grab some fresh greens. (Updated in to 2019 to note: I still love my custom salad bar bench. It’s just the best thing ever!)

Springtime in the garden!

Another thing to love about greens: they grow so fast!

Springtime in the garden!

Planted, left-to-right: cilantro, arugula, spinach, romaine, and Swiss chard.

Here’s to the new growing season — I can’t wait for the first ripe tomato!

Karen xo


Thursday 30th of March 2023

How is your strawberry tower doing? I just bought 12 plants and don’t know the best way to plant them, either hanging plants or pots. The tower intrigued me…


Friday 31st of March 2023

I actually stopped growing strawberries a few years ago. The chipmunks and squirrels ate every single berry from my final crop lol. The tower works great though and is so pretty draped in strawberries … if the furry woodland creatures leave it alone. It’s a little awkward to get everything planted in the holes, but once it’s set, it’s easy maintenance. I’ve also seen versions made of pvc pipe.


Sunday 17th of January 2021

Hi Karen, I’m new to gardening, and I love the strawberry tower, but I’m curious about how you water it? Is there a drip line that runs through the middle of the tower? Thanks


Monday 18th of January 2021

The assembled boards create a hollow center that is filled with soil -- I water from the top and let the water soak down. The tower sits on my deck, so splashing and dripping is not a concern.


Monday 27th of May 2013

I am loving your salad bar bench!! That is truly awesome. And boy your greens are growing fast!


Saturday 18th of May 2013

That salad bar bench is a stroke of genius. Very jealous ;)


Wednesday 15th of May 2013

Karen, I am so envious of your strawberry tower (and, I suppose, of having a handy wood-working brother who lives close enough to make stuff for your garden). My chipmunks are unfazed by the dog, the netting . . . we didn't get a single ripe berry last year. This year I am trying something new, trying to fool them first, and I doubt it will work but we'll see.



Wednesday 15th of May 2013

Oh, they've already exacted their revenge for denying them strawberries (although, honestly, all they have to do is look "up" from the base of the tower, and then climb): they've decimated my peas - not a single plant left. Their leader is pre-historic - he's the size of a squirrel (I kid you not). They're on a good feed, living in my yard. ;)