Garden of Surprises

The cilantro self-seeded last summer and came back with a vengeance.

And I don’t mind a bit.

At first it was hard to pull plants out that were shading the tomatoes, but when I keep seeing more little plants sprouting up even in the walkways, it’s not so hard anymore.  I kind of like how the garden looks a bit overgrown and “cottagey”.  There actually aren’t many weeds either.  It’s all edible stuff.

The tomatoes are doing well.  I’ve been treating them exactly the same as the last 2 years but these bushes are less bushy and have tall stalks at the top.  Maybe a different variety of tomato.  I got them from Canadian Tire this year.  Last year I planted them from seed and the year before that I bought seedlings from a roadside garden stand.

I read that any tomato fruit that sets after August 1st won’t be ripe until after October 1st, so I’m starting to pinch off the new flowers.  Hopefully I won’t end up with a couple boxes of green tomatoes like last year.

This was my first EVER successful attempt at growing flowers from seed!  I really like nasturtiums now.  I think I will grow some every year, even if I never eat any.  They’re so cooperative!

These plants are covered in bright orange and pale pink flowers.

I’ve had a couple of other surprises too.

This pot had a hydrangea in it for one day.  The chickens ate all the leaves off.  Since then, it grew a few little leaves back so I moved it to the garden and kept watering it.  It didn’t make it.

But this little plant sprouted up!  This pot had geraniums in it last year!

Then there was this mystery plant that showed up and didn’t exactly look like any of the weeds I’d been pulling, so I left it.

Turns out, the pot that had pansies in it last year also wanted them this year.  And it wanted to share them with some other patches of the garden.

So now I have volunteer pansies springing up in odd places.  There’s no way I’m going to pull them out either.  I’m not expecting them to take over like the cilantro did.  Maybe I’ll transplant some.

I just wish any plants (especially flowers) that self seed would come up earlier so I could move them into planters and enjoy them earlier in the season.

Hmmm…now I’m thinking maybe I should transplant these into pots in the greenhouse, so come spring, they would be up way sooner.  Think it’ll work?

I purposely let things go to seed in my garden though, like spinach and chives, and this year, oregano and basil.  The chives that stayed from last year were up before the snow was off this year!  I’d rather “manage” volunteer plants than plant my own.  I was hoping for volunteer tomato plants this year but it didn’t happen, though it did the year before and I pulled them out!  Booo!

These flowers were a gift from my mom.  They’re thriving and hopefully they’ll give me some volunteers next year too!

Oh, and here’s a tip I learned this year.  Plant lettuce between the tomato plants and let the cilantro shade the lettuce until they start shading the tomatoes, then pull the cilantro out and let the tomatoes shade the lettuce.  That kinda sounds confusing, but it works great.  The lettuce isn’t even trying to go to seed yet!



3 thoughts on “Garden of Surprises”

  1. Haha, actually, it’s from another plant Darryl bought me last year. 🙂 I can keep almost any plant alive as long as it lives outside! And the chickens don’t get to it. 🙂

  2. Loved your garden pics…. seems to me, Nasturtiums are a garden helper…. yup. Here it is in my book, “Carrots Love Tomatoes” – boy, they seem very beneficial.
    When planted near squash, they keep squash bugs away. They repel white flies, too. They are helpful to several plants and are protective in greenhouses! Petunias – which I grew from seed this year (surprise!) help keep beetles away from beans.
    Those mums are lovely, and those pansies are nice, aren’t they? I have always enjoyed them.

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