Almost Time

The first tomato is almost ripe. I’ve had to use every ounce of self-control to wait to pick it until it is truly red. Today. For sure.



On the opposite end of the spectrum are the herbs.I always plant more than I can use. I’ve been snipping and snipping, but even the basil blooms and bolts. Last night, mint, Vietnamese basil, parsley and lovage topped a peanut noodle salad.  I plant some varieties simply because I like to look at them. How pretty is this combination of chamomile and lavender?

lavendar and chomomile


This patch of herbs is a feast for bees and butterflies, but I’m sure that they could spare me some.  Later this week, I’ll be picking a small handful of lavender which will be baked into cookies for the garden party on Saturday.  I’ve never dried and stored the chamomile – any suggestions?

Totally unrelated to this gardening post is this photo of Tonka:

Tonka in trailer


Yesterday was one of those pitch-perfect New England summer days. There were blue skies, a strong breeze to keep the biting flies away, it wasn’t too hot, and it was a day after a rain storm, so the woods smelled piney and the scent of milkweed drifted in from the edges of the fields. A friend asked if we’d like to join her for a ride at a state park. Her good boy, Nelson, is a 20-year old Morgan. Tonka was happy to explore new trails with him.  As a reward, he got carrots that I’d thinned from my patch. There – I managed to tie this into the gardening post!)


  1. You’re right, yesterday was a perfect day. Handsome buddies, what a great way to spend part of your day. Any more pictures?

  2. I`m always amazed at how fast gardens come on back east. You get a later start but quickly zoom ahead. I love the pic of Tonka and his buddy Nelson. Horses and carrots are a natural combination, so how could you not include them? :) Isn`t nature at it`s best on a sunny morning after a rain in the night? Your ride must have been glorious.

  3. The flowers of chamomile can be picked and dried on a pan in a cool location. You can also tie and hang bundles to dry. Cut off the flower heads after drying. Either way, store dried flowers in a clean lidded glass jar.

    I’m sure all of you enjoyed that excursion–it’s always more fun with a friend!

    • I do mine the same….tie and hang. After dry snip top off. Great tea!

  4. It was always when my tomatoes reached that point of ripeness that, while I was at work thinking of picking them when I got home, that my backyard squirrels did it for me. Well, as I told you a month or so ago, I’m trying again this year. I have 3 planter boxes going with 6 plants total, 5 different varieties. When I get the trellises finished (bamboo poles lashed together), I will wrap everything in bird netting, hoping that the squirrels can’t reach all the fruit. I did see some squirrel deterrent at the garden shop. I’ll have to investigate that further.

    Tonka and Nelson are a couple of handsome guys!

  5. I have had my first lone ripe cherry tomato. Couldn’t believe I managed to get it before the critters as it was nearly touching the ground.

    Speaking of critters – I can no longer grow tomato plants in a pot off my front porch. One year a cherry tomato hit the sidewalk and split. And my food obsessed dog realized that plant had food on it! I have a tie in my front yard for him so he can enjoy all the action on the road without getting anywhere near it. The first day out he cleaned out all the ripe tomatoes. I rolled my eyes and decided I would have to move the plant before anymore ripened. Snort. The next day he ate all the green ones!

  6. This is too funny! My tomatoes are finished. Had a haul this year. Loved the Cherokee purple variety. Huge tomatoes and soooo yummy!

  7. Last year I planted a Sun Gold cherry tomato and it produced so well I gave lots to the chickens and still had plenty for me, my husband, and the neighbors. This year, I found out that the chickens didn’t eat all of the tomatoes because there are a gazillion new Sun Gold cherry tomato plants at the garden fence line. And they taste just as great as last year! So, while I wait for the tomatoes that I actually planted this year to start ripening, I am very happily munching on Sun Golds…and so are the chickens!

  8. What a lovely pair of horses, I haven’t had a ride in months…