If you set a fruit tray and a veggie tray in front of a group of children, the kids will usually go for the fruit.
But not me. I've always been a veggie girl, which makes it even more fun to grow my own.
Every year, I plant the old standbys - tomatoes and peppers - and they usually do pretty well in my little garden. However, I also like to try to plant something new each spring.
My pea vines have started to flower. It shouldn’t be long now before I have fresh peas to eat.
One of the new things I've planted this year is peas. I picked up a packet of "Sabre" shelling peas from Renee's Gardens, and they went straight into the top box of my staircase planter at the end of March. By the time I put in the rest of my garden last week, my pea vines were lush and full and starting to climb the trellis I'd provided for them.
This week, I discovered some small, white flowers among the leaves and vines - that can only mean that fresh peas aren't too far behind.
Since I transplanted everything outside last week, most of my plants have been making themselves at home in the garden. I love seeing how the little plants are acclimating themselves, spreading out and perking up. In my veggie garden, the tomato plants are looking especially good, and in my cottage garden, the clover-like columbine plants look like they're getting to be quite comfortable in the spot I chose for them.
Columbines are a flower I fell in love with a couple of years ago when I first started looking into planting a cottage garden. I seem to recall reading somewhere that columbines are favored by fairies and that they use the flowers as cradles for baby fairies. A pretty story for a very pretty flower.
I had some plants in my front yard - where I'm putting together my cottage garden this year - and for two years (columbines are perennials), they bloomed gorgeously and prolifically. But last fall, they died very thoroughly, the plants withering and drying completely, and there was no sign of their reappearance when the weather warmed up this spring. Anticipating this, I picked up some seeds and started new plants. I won't get flowers this year - my baby plants will need this summer to establish themselves - but next spring, there should be plenty of cradles for the fairies to use.
I did make a sad discovery in my cottage garden this week. Unfortunately, my beloved "Rozanne" geranium didn't survive the move, and I'm going to have to replace it. That's on my agenda for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I also plan on picking up a few more plants for my cottage garden, and I want to get a few more pepper plants for my vegetable garden.
Share your gardening tips, hints and stories with me at mwyko@tribtoday. com.