A Spring Garden Update – And My Favorite Ornamental Tomato

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 . . .

The Greenhouse

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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.

Sunglo lean to greenhouse
The greenhouse was a crowded, chaotic mess – but in a good way!

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.

Succulents
Succulents overwintered in the greenhouse.

 

Succulents

 

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.

 

Sunglo lean to greenhouse

 

Succulent garden
Succulent container.

 

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.

Orchard mason bee
An orchard mason bee on a flower.

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.

Orchard mason bees
Wake up little bees, it’s time to 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.

 

Bluestone patio

Around the corner from the patio, a barberry shrub is in bloom.

Barberry

 

On the other end of the patio, a Corsican hellebore is spilling down from the raised bed.

Corsican hellebore

 

Nearby is this little beauty:  A geranium called Brocade Fire.  I just brought it out from the greenhouse.  So cute even before it blooms!

Brocade Fire geranium
A fresh Brocade Fire geranium in a lion pot that’s seen better days.

 

 

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.

birdbath

 

It stands near our little green shed.

garden shed

Time to move on to . . .

The Shade Garden

green garden bench

The shade garden is always a mix of things I planted and things that planted themselves.

birdbath

 

Sometimes it leads to chaos and sometimes to a surprising color tapestry.  I try not to be too controlling here.

birdbath

 

The Front Porch

On the porch, we are still enjoying the new burlap coffee sack seat cover that I made for the bench.

burlap coffee sack repurpose

 

Next to the bench, a jasmine vine is blooming and giving us some wonderful fragrance.

Jasmine vine

 

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.

Myrtle topiary

 

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.

DIY garden sphere

 

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.

“This tour has gone on long enough. Get in here and feed me!” – Eddie.

 

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.

Indigo rose tomato

 

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.

 

Indigo rose tomato

 

 

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.

 

Indigo rose tomato

 

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.

Indigo rose tomato

 

They added interest to salads and appetizers.

Caprese appetizer
A simple caprese appetizer with cherry tomatoes and Indigo Rose tomatoes.

 

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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10 Replies to “A Spring Garden Update – And My Favorite Ornamental Tomato”

    1. Thanks Kris, so glad you enjoyed the tour! I’ve got to visit your site and see how your cute shed is coming along.

  1. Your garden space is absolutely beautiful, Heidi! You must get so much enjoyment out of that space. I’m totally jealous of your greenhouse too. Thanks for the tour 🙂

  2. I am seriously in love with your spring garden Heidi! It reminds me of mine actually! Thank you so much for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens Link Party! And PLEASE continue to share, I just love seeing your garden!

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