Like many of us, I’ve had more time than usual lately for spring garden clean up. So, even though my garden is still far from perfect (and probably always will be), today I’d like to take you on a little tour. Then, once we’re done, I’ll introduce you to my favorite ornamental tomato.
So pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and let’s get started. I have a ridiculous number of photos here!
First we head to . . .
Until recently, our little Sunglo Greenhouse was packed with plants. Some were brought in from the garden last fall to overwinter. Some I bought in pony packs and moved into larger pots until the weather warms. And I started a few seedlings.
This place is my little sanctuary, and I love any excuse to be in here. We’ve made some fun additions to the greenhouse over the past few years: The vintage-inspired trouble lights that my brother made, the burlap shades that I made, the simple potting sink that we installed – and the brick pony wall and bed spring trellis that we added to the exterior.
The succulents that I propagated from cuttings last fall have taken root nicely.
And now that the weather has warmed a bit, some plants are finally ready to go back outside.
Some of the succulents didn’t go far. Now they are just outside the greenhouse.
But it will be at least another month before I trust the weather enough to put the tomatoes outside. I’m still using my Tomato Tips from Mr. B and having success with that.
Our Orchard Mason Bees
We enjoy doing our part to help native bees, and this is the time of year when our orchard mason bees are out and about. Their active season is only a couple of months long, and they have a lot of work to do in that time.
Since they don’t have a hive or a queen, these little guys and gals are very docile as bees go.
They wait patiently in their little bee “apartment house” (actually a nesting block) for the weather to warm enough so they can fly.
They have been pollinating our fruit trees for us.
The Back Patio
The back patio is our favorite place in warm weather. A patio heater helps us extend our enjoyment of the space.
Around the corner from the patio, a barberry shrub is in bloom.
On the other end of the patio, a Corsican hellebore is spilling down from the raised bed.
Nearby is this little beauty: A geranium called Brocade Fire. I just brought it out from the greenhouse. So cute even before it blooms!
Near that is our most-used birdbath: A cast concrete base (made and given to us by my Mom) with a pot saucer on top.
It stands near our little green shed.
Time to move on to . . .
The Shade Garden
The shade garden is always a mix of things I planted and things that planted themselves.
Sometimes it leads to chaos and sometimes to a surprising color tapestry. I try not to be too controlling here.
The Front Porch
On the porch, we are still enjoying the new burlap coffee sack seat cover that I made for the bench.
Next to the bench, a jasmine vine is blooming and giving us some wonderful fragrance.
The little myrtle, which I’ve spent years training into a topiary, also came out of the greenhouse recently – with a ride-along lobelia that grew longer all winter.
I made a hanging garden sphere last spring and planted it with New Guinea impatiens. This year, I wanted a simple and woodsy look. So now the sphere is home to an exotic fern.
Oh dear, I’m being told it’s time to wrap up the tour. Eddie has been watching us from the window, and all this activity has interrupted his beauty sleep.
I’ll feed you in a minute, Eddie. First, let’s quickly talk about . . .
My Favorite Ornamental Tomato
Last spring, I bought a little Indigo Rose tomato seedling. I had never grown one before, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It grew into a large and hardy plant, and it bore shiny and intriguing plum-sized black fruit on dark foliage.
They didn’t really look like tomatoes, and visitors kept asking what they were.
The fruit started out green, but the side exposed to the sun turned black as it matured. The back, shaded side of the fruit remained green, and then it turned red as the fruit ripened. So I knew (after I looked it up) that if a tomato was black and red, it was ready to pick.
They took a while to ripen. We harvested our first tomatoes in August.
The flavor was just average. But we had very little, if any, split or rotted fruit on the vine. And they were such gorgeous little tomatoes.
I loved the little flower-like pattern left where the stems had shielded the fruit from the sun.
I wondered if the inside would be black as well – or maybe a crazy mix of black and red. But it was just a pinkish red.
They added interest to salads and appetizers.
Sadly, with many local stores currently closed, I haven’t been able to find any Indigo Rose seedlings or seed packets this year. But vendors, like this one on Etsy, are offering seeds.
I hope you enjoyed the tour. Thanks for coming along today!
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