Gardening Guide May 9-16, 2021

Spring flowers are blooming beautifully… my peonies are looking absolutely gorgeous this year. This is the week to be in the garden!!! May is a busy season of planning, planting and growing. Tomatoes plants are going in the ground this week!!!

Garden boutiques are the best!!!

“As I work in the garden, the garden works on me”…

According to Blum’s Almanac
Zucchini, squash, green beans, cucumbers anyone???
Tomato planting time has arrived!!!
Authentic whiskey barrels make excellent flower planters

Single Daisy

This little stem broke off a few days ago from a grocery store bouquet of flowers . I hated to see it go in the trash can. It seems to be thriving in a tiny crystal bowl with a bit of water. I was amazed to see it still looking so great today.

To all mom’s out there following my blog, let me be one of the first to wish you a blessed Mother’s Day.

May you always be resilient like this flower… blooming beautifully in midst of calm or chaos. As storms arise in your journey, may you be grateful for the rain to help the blooming flowers grow, and find sunshine to light your path.

Blue skies and sunshine outside our back door at Wilkes County Hardware

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

Seasons Change

Good Sunday morning!!!

Sharing my “best of” summer morning sunrise photos from 2020. Did y’all know the first day of Fall is officially on the way this week… Tuesday September 22nd???

This morning our temperature was around 40… definitely beginning to feel more like fall mornings around here. Who is happy to see Fall coming??? 🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

FYI: Most of these photos are taken right outside my in my backyard…

I’ll leave these words with y’all today as we prepare for the next season… I’m finding it maybe good wisdom for life in 2020…

“Every season is not a growing season, & every season will not bring a harvest. There are seasons of planting, watering, weeding & fertilizing the ground. All seasons are crucial & important. Have Faith in waiting through each season.”

Homegrown Tomatoes

I picked the first homegrown tomatoes from my grandparents tomato vines earlier this morning for them. My grandparents are 90 this year! Their garden is always sown with the seeds of life & love. The garden is actually mostly tomatoes, and a few other vegetables when you look at it, but it was truly a labor of love. My cousin actually planted most of the garden for them this year. Of course that makes the garden extra special to them.

Let’s talk about the mystique of a homegrown tomato. Granny has been anticipating the arrival of the first ripe tomato for the last week or so. Her plants have been loaded with with green tomatoes. Every time I visit them, we would go analyze those tomato plants and talk about how pretty they look, and wonder when the first one would ripen. I joked with Granny the other day and told her she needed to go on vacation so her tomatoes would ripen— one of those old Southern sayings. It is the mystique of the homegrown tomato… when will it ripen? How many will we have? Anticipating the taste of that first fresh tomato…

Well, it happened today, I think I actually picked about 5 red, ripe tomatoes! My grandparents were so excited about those first few tomatoes, as I was as well.

Gardening has always been a big part of my grandparents summers in the past years. Lots of great gardening advice has been taught to me by my grandparents-Passed down to all of us- kids, grandkids, & great grandchildren. We all cherish the gardening experience with the love, life and joy that our grandparents brought to the garden.

So what do you say is so great about a tomato? Oh, nothing is as good as a fresh tomato in a tossed salad. Lots of Southern folks love a good old tomato sandwich this time of year. I have never been a big fan of that one. BLT’s, fried green tomatoes, homemade tomato sauce, salsa… the list goes on and on…. ahh that must be the joy:)

Gardening tradition goes on at my house too. Growing tomatoes are on the top of my list to always have growing. Tomatoes ( tommy toes) are a bit of a snack for my son at our house this time of year. He will eat them off the vine- meaning they actually never make it into the house.

Elvis, our beagle basset dog- loves to eat tomatoes off the vine as well. I have moved my tomato plants this year to try to keep the tomato plants out of his view and out of his sight! Elvis literally eats them green or red… he doesn’t care!

Caring for our tomatoes requires watering, and sometimes pest control advice ( Wayne and Eddie are experts at Wilkes County Hardware for that ) . When I get a bit stumped, I seek them out to see how my gardening issue can be resolved. Obviously, I am not unique in that situation, many people have asked our store experts for help with gardening questions. Those guys are quite helpful and resourceful!

Often people come into Wilkes County Hardware to purchase tomato cages in order to help support the plants as they grow. I also put out several tomato cages around my grandparents tomato vines this spring to add that extra support they needed. What a difference it does make!

The winter of 2017 was the first year that Wilkes County Hardware sold tomato cages in the “off season”! Yes, we did— we had beautiful tomato cage Christmas trees out front of our hardware store on display and people wanted to make/purchase those. No mystery there, with a few zip ties and a tomato cage, and lights – the transformation was complete into a Christmas tree. It was a unique idea to share with our customers.

The mystique of a homegrown tomato might be truly a Southern experience- the anticipation of the harvest, waiting, predicting ripen time… I think those homegrown tomatoes always seem to appear around the arrival of Dog Days of Summer. Regardless, they are a great reminder to me of gardening with love, and the joy & anticipation of the harvest. Enjoy those delicious and beautiful homegrown tomatoes y’all!!!