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The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garden Looks Good This Year...Everything Came Up. ~ Donna

That happens to be a line from my soon-to-be-re-released novel There's Only Been You. Like many authors, I've put a bit of myself in my characters, particularly my heroine Sara, who is the only female in a house bursting at the seams with testosterone.  But more on that in a couple weeks. ;-)

I've been gardening for years, so naturally I've come to understand that some years are simply better than others. I'm also a home canner, a job I've come to have a love/hate relationship with. LOL But no matter how tired I get of watering, cultivating, picking, cutting, snapping, canning, weeding, etc. etc., few things make me happier than when my garden is full, lush, and thriving.


Which thankfully is the case this year. The green beans are so beautiful in their neat little rows, my cabbage plants are thriving and will be shredded and crocked for saurkraut this fall. My green peppers, which I started from seed (as I try to do every year, along with tomatoes...I've always been fascinated by how something so small can become something so huge and bountiful), are twice as big as they were last year. I have a row full of both pickles & cucumbers, another row of zucchini (I'll share a few zucchini recipes in next month's post!), and even some sunflowers. The dill is coming up, as is the cilantro, a favorite in my household. I even found a few basil sprouts fighting their way through the throng of weeds.

Holy cats, the weeds!

See how bad they are? We were blessed with plenty of rain the last couple weeks, so while my gardens are thriving, so are the weeds. I spent several hours 'cleaning' my big garden yesterday (top picture). I could barely walk afterward, and I managed to slice my finger on a buried shard of glass, but the work was worth it. Now I just need to buy some ant poison as they seem to be out in full force this year, the little buggers.

Tonight (or maybe tomorrow as the hours grows late) my daughter and I are going to tackle the strip garden where my zucchini and sunflowers have been managing to hold their own. Then I just need to save my tomatoes...Wait, the bunnies! I have to tell you about those fluffy little evil bastards...LOL

I spent several weeks growing my beautiful tomato plants from seed. I watered them, cared for them, babied them. And they were so happy when I finally moved them outside to the garden. My husband had torn down the old fence, and since I'd read bunnies don't eat tomatoes, I decided to wait until next year to replace it. Well, these little rat devils obviously didn't get the memo, because they scarfed all but 5 of my little lovelies within three nights. Chomped 'em right down to the ground. *sigh* So I had to bribe the old man into putting up a new fence pronto, and replace the tomatoes with store-bought plants. Not that there's anything wrong with store-bought plants, it's just that I had been so anxious to try the new varieties I'd personally researched and grown with such loving care. *major lippy-faced pout*

Anyway, thanks for reading my garden ramblings. And don't forget to stop by next month for several yummy recipes, including one of my favorites, Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread!

~ Donna


  1. Your gardens are beautiful, Donna. Mine is slowly getting itself into shape, but it's taking awhile. If only I had a tiller!! :) Oh well, some day.

    My stuff didn't come in very nicely this year, a combination of the weather and old seeds, I suspect. I ended up replanting my beans and got a really really late start putting in my sweet peas and cucumbers. We'll see how things turn out as the season progresses, I guess.

  2. The gardens look great, Donna! My pepper plants you gave me are doing well--only lost one, and the other one that I thought I'd lost ended up leafing out. The tomatoes you gave me are not faring so well. I think the wind got them the other day and snapped some off right at the base. I've got 18 left out of the 28, so still better luck than you in that department. Hope you get lots canned this year. :)

  3. Very impressive gardens, Donna. Bunnies can be nasty critters for gardens whether it's vegetable or flower. I've not had my crocus ever bloom as the bunnies get them almost as soon as the shoots emerge. So not fair...bad bunnies.:-(

  4. Amazing garden, Donna. You do a beautiful job with it. Hope the fence keeps the bunnies away.