Posted by: Rachel | April 29, 2012

it’s a start…

April has been a very educational month! Last week was that wonderful Thai cooking class, yesterday was a day of garden lectures at one of my favorite local plant nurseries,The Great Outdoors. They offered a day-long free series of half-hour lecture/classes and I was lucky to have the ones I most wanted to attend bunched together at the end of the day.

I attended “vegetable gardening”, “herb gardening”, “native plants”, and “making fountains” (lots of fun and slightly splashy). Even better, I went with a friend, which always improves an activity!

So I am here to tell you that while I admire, greatly admire, folks who start pretty much everything from seed, I am a fan of buying reputable locally-grown guaranteed organically-raised (yes, fingers always crossed, but I trust these guys) plants to start my short-growing season central Texas garden.

lots of 4-inch pots of herbs

small treasures

I mean, look, how can you not want to take all of these home with you? Here we explored Mexican oregano, several lavenders, sage, lemon balm, fennel, Greek oregano, lemon verbena, several thymes, chives, and a few other treasures – and you could (at this point, anyway) fit the whole garden on your lap! Looks like pesto, salads, and general mmmmm to me!

ground cherry plants

lovely nightshades

I showed restraint, though. I usually over-buy but this time I got away with nothing more than some barley pellets for my pond (more on that as the summer progresses) and a few ground cherries. These tomatillo cousins (you know I love those nightshades) grow looking like tiny paper lanterns, each with a slightly smoaller than cherry tomato-sized fruit inside. They are deep yellow to orange when ripe and they are sweet as sugar. I’ll keep you posted on their progress as the season moves along!

nearly ripe cherry tomato

patience, patience...

And, speaking of small, I ate the first cherry tomato from this year’s vines two days ago. I really meant to take a picture but, well, I just ate it. It was wonderful. All six of the plants are coming along nicely so far, although some have more flowers than others. I have no idea if this is a varietal thing or if some get a few more minutes of sun or whatever. No worries, I’m turning the pots from time to time and they all seem happy. Mmmm…

So, no specific recipe this week. Let me know how your gardens are doing and what you are planting this season, OK? Meantime I have to go repair the coon damage to my pond (again… sigh) as best I can. I’m happy to provide them water, but do they really have to pull out all the plants every night? My water lilies are looking kinda sad…



  1. I have one tomato that survived the winter and is flowering for its second spring. I have put off buying new plants so far this spring. I have chives and mint. Last year I raised Thai basil — if I can find the seeds I saved I’ll try to get a new crop of that. And I have some chile seeds hanging around somewhere…

    • Mmmmm! And lucky you to have a tomato that made it through the winter! Mine *almost* did…

  2. It certainly is am amazing start! We buy ours, like you, mainly because a lot of the family are in the business so we get given them (so we´re not actually nuying them!) and we swap plants with neighbours.

  3. Looking good….

    • Thanks! Working on it… 😉

  4. I wouldn’t have been able to resist any of them! Your tomatoes are so early! We’re a couple of months away from picking our first ones.

    • Well they come early but they go fast in the true heat of the summer. I do miss having a longer growing season, but sometimes I can get two crops a year here. It’s always a trade-off.

  5. You have your first tomatoes and mine can’t even go into the ground yet. Another few weeks and the threat of frost will be over and I can start planting. Now they are just being spoiled in the potting shed.

  6. Loved this one!

    • Thanks! Do you think we should call ourselves “pondinistas”… hmmmmm? 🙂

      • Pondinistas! I like that.

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