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Spring is my favorite time in the garden.  Is it yours?

Plants are in full bloom and my vegetable garden is filled with both cool-season and a few warm-season crops.

Today, I thought that I would take you to the ‘farm’ to see how my mother’s vegetable garden is growing.


The ‘farm’ is nicknamed “Double S Farms” by the family.  It is just down the road from our house and is a favorite place for all the family to gather.


My mother has two raised vegetable beds and she loves tending her vegetables.

One bed is dedicated to cool-season crops that will soon give way to warm-season vegetables.


She still has lettuce growing, which she uses to make delicious salads when we all gather together for dinner on Tuesday nights.


The broccoli has gone to flower, but it looks so pretty, that she keeps it in the garden.

Do you see the orange flower in the background of the photo, above?  That is a marigold, which is a great ‘companion’ plant for the vegetable garden because it helps to repel bad bugs who might eat her vegetables.


While we spend time looking at the vegetable gardens, the neighbor’s tortoise stops briefly, to see what we are doing from the other side of the fence.


The second vegetable garden was built by the family as a surprise for my mother’s birthday over a year ago.

She has started her warm-season crops in it, including tomatoes, summer squash and gourds.


Sugar snap peas (one of my favorite vegetables) hang from vines growing on a small trellis.


The newest vegetable bed is also home to…


A toad, which is helpful with insect control.

He recently moved from his previous home next to the chicken coop.  My nephew, who is a Star Wars fan, gave him a special name.


While the toad keeps bugs in control around the vegetable gardens – Francie, the resident ‘naked-neck’ chicken, patrols for bugs outside of the garden.

As you can see, spring has sprung at the family farm.  

Soon, summer will be here which heralds another favorite activity…


Picking peaches and making jam!

How about you?
What is growing in your garden this spring?

Will you grow something different this year?

I love using companion plants in my garden.  

Companion or complementary plants have qualities that help other plants in the garden.  They can repel bad bugs, attract pollinators and good bugs, fertilize the soil, prevent plant disease and in some cases – improve the flavor of fruit and vegetables.

I am a huge fan of using companion plants in the garden.  Nasturtiums and marigolds are planted among my vegetables and help to repel damaging insects.
I also plant garlic and onions, not only to eat, but also to help keep the bad bugs away.
The other day, I was researching an article that I was writing for a magazine and I found out that companion planting has its roots in early American history.
Native Americans would practice the “3 Sisters” method of companion planting.  They would grow beans, corn and squash in the same area.
All of these plants help each other:
– The corn provides support for the bean vines to climb upon.
– The beans take nitrogen from the air and convert to a form that the corn and squash can absorb in the soil.
– The squash shade the soil, helping to maintain moisture and keeps weeds from growing. 

So, my daughter, Gracie and I decided to adapt this plan for our garden and called it the “Two Sisters”.


We decided to plant some of our Kentucky beans (that we had been growing indoors in Starbucks coffee cup sleeves) next to the young corn in our garden.
(Gracie was happy to help me.  Please ignore the unbrushed hair, but it was an early Saturday morning and we had better things to do – like PLANT!)
You can see how big the beans had grown.
They grew quickly in the 2 weeks on my windowsill – just look at all the roots.


We planted them next to our corn, keeping the cardboard sleeve around them.  (The cardboard will disintegrate in the soil).

Just 3 days later, I can see the beans already climbing up on the corn.

I realize that we did not plant any summer squash to complete the “3 Sisters”, but to be perfectly honest – I don’t like squash.

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I spent 4 hours this morning, helping to add a hummingbird / butterfly garden with a pathway and benches in an area that is dear to my heart.

I can’t wait to share it with you soon.

On another front – we have been told that our insurance company will replace our carpet and paint some of our walls.  They took a piece of untouched carpet and padding and sent it to Florida to a place that will determine the quality of what we had, so that they can replace it with carpet/padding of comparable quality.

So, our living room is full of furniture of the kids rooms and other stuff.  We aren’t sure how long we will have to wait for our lives to get back to normal, but I am so grateful that insurance is covering the damages.

I hope you are off to a good start.

What are you doing in your garden this week?