Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

My name is a derivative of Mary, did you know that? It’s an old English form of the name. Fancier than Mary, but still the same name & the meaning (of the original Hebrew root name, Miryam, that is) ranges from bitter/bitterness, salty to rebellion, obstinacy. I’d like to think I’m not bitter, but salty… yes. I can be a bit salty at times. And rebellious? Totally. I’ll even admit to obstinate.

That doesn’t really have anything to do with gardening. Does explain the title of this post, though. And it explains partially why my grandmother used to call me ‘Rosie the Riveter.’ I grow my own veggies & herbs in the spring/summer, bake, cook, can my own pickles/jams/jellies/sauces/etc. I can sew. I am the modern Rosie the Riveter, I guess. I can fix anything, I can paint, I can repair almost anything or install almost anything. I think it’s important to be independent. Women who are the “damsels in distress” make me want to vomit. There’s a balance though. Yes, I like doors held open for me and I like things done for me. Yes, I like to be protected and feel safe. Yes, it’s nice when a man shovels the snow for me, carries the groceries or offers to climb the ladder to fix XYZ, etc. Of course I like that. But do I need a man (or another human for that matter) to help me do things? Not most of the time. I can handle pretty much anything you throw at me. And I think that there are a lot of women who agree with me, but there are also a lot who don’t, surprisingly. They need a man to change a lightbulb or hang a picture. It’s ridiculous. Get up off your ass and learn to do something. I just hate whiny little wussy women who don’t know how to do anything. I remember when I was 17 I had to tell my then boyfriend which was the transmission fluid in his car and which was the oil. And I didn’t even own a car myself at the time- nor did I drive!

Anyway. I digress. I definitely scaled back the garden this year. I’ve got the same amount of herbs that I usually do, but I only got two tomatoes and one pepper. I didn’t grow from seed, I bought baby plants instead to lighten my load, so to speak. And also because I missed the seed-planting boat. But like I mentioned last time, I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have to invest in it this year, so I did want to scale back. But half the herbs were already growing (chives, both oregano, mint & parsley) so honestly, how scaled back could it be? Not only that, but my freakin’ chives could’ve taken over a small country… let alone my oregano. I mistakenly didn’t prune them back last fall so this year they were ridiculous. Scale back? Right. In for a penny, in for a pound, so I bought a few veggie plants and called it a day.

And no. I don’t care if you think that it’s cheating that I didn’t grow them from seeds. I’ve got so much else going on, and I do this for fun. I can’t be Wonder Woman. Well, not all the time. So save your preaching & crap for a blogger who cares & who buys into it. I’m not sustaining my entire family to get through the summer. I’m just doing this because I enjoy it.

So, the tally this year is:

  1. Green Zebra Heirloom tomato
  2. Cajun Belle pepper
  3. SuperTasty Hybrid tomato
  4. Rosemary
  5. Chives
  6. Variegated oregano
  7. Oregano
  8. Mint (small, but still trying to come back!)
  9. Italian parsley
  10. Sweet basil
  11. Lavender
  12. Cilantro
  13. Dill

I wanted to grow an heirloom tomato for a while, so I went with the Green Zebra because it was different. The other tomato? Well I got it because I wanted a regular old red tomato as well. The pepper is supposedly sweet but hot, which has a nice sound. After the Habanero’s last year, I needed a break from the super hot peppers. I ended up with 800 Hab’s and I had no idea what to do with them all! I might break down & buy another small vegetable at the nursery before the season is over, because I’m crazy like that. I’m like the crazy cat lady but with plants. Remember my half-dead blueberry bush from last year? It died, by the way. Didn’t make it through the winter. But I can’t help myself, I go into a nursery and I see all those little plants looking all lonely…

At any rate, here’s some photos from when I first planted & cleaned up my little container garden. The two tomatoes first (Green Zebra left and Super Tasty right), then the pepper (close up) then the herbs- the first photo of those two has the two different types of oregano/cilantro/dill/rosemary and the Cajun pepper (while it was still just flowering), the last photo has the basil and lavender. Things have changed since then, so scroll on down and see!

I’m slightly concerned that I’ve read the Green Zebra tomato isn’t very disease resistant & also that aphids seem to love it. I hate to think that it’ll die or be a waste, but even if I get one or two tomatoes from it I’ll be appeased. Aphids love my roses too, for some strange reason more so my Intrigue & Queen Elizabeth, but so far this year I haven’t seen any. Here’s hoping they stay away! Yeah. I know. I’m dreaming.

As the last thing for this post, here are some of my flowers so far. They’re absolutely beautiful; clockwise from top left… Pansy, Rose, Dianthus and Petunia.

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  1. miemo

    Your basil looks so pretty! Inspired by you, I started container gardening on my balcony. I have jalapenos, cilantro, basil and green onions, from seeds. I used to have chives, and parsley but they died. My jalapenos are growing strong but no actual jalapenos yet. My cilantro is crazy, I can’t trim it fast enough. My basil is there, but just one stalk. I dreamed of making pesto from my balcony garden… it’s not happening.

  2. Marilla @ Cupcake Rehab

    I’m so excited to hear that! I love that you started a little garden. It’s hard, especially when it’s really hot, to keep them going. I’m having trouble this year with the basil- you should go back to my gardening archives and see how it was in years past! It was like a basil BUSH. No joke. This year I’m lucky I have what I have. But I’ve got pepper buds like crazy! And I can’t wait to get some tomatoes.

  3. Kymi Roxx

    I love that, Rosie the Riveter. I wish I had the patience to grow my own food! Matter of fact, that reminds me, I need to water my poor plants tomorrow morning! LOL

    I sometimes forget that I can do a lot of things too, because I always go through phases. I used to paint, and I can still paint, but I don’t…and then I forget that I am an artist. I would like to delve back into everything I love, it’s kind of difficult these days though.

  4. Marilla @ Cupcake Rehab

    I totally hear that! My art school education is being put to use mostly doing either work for this blog, or getting paid to do crappy, plain logos for cheap people who have no concept of what I’m worth. No more painting all night, no more ink stained fingers, no more Prismacolor markers in every pocket, etc. My art supplies are basically gathering dust. I keep saying I’m going to get back into it, but I don’t know if I ever will to the extent I used to be.

    I always figured digital art would become the future of my craft, but I hoped I’d have time for the traditional kind as well. It just hasn’t seemed like I do anymore, though. It’s hard to balance when you’ve got a lot of interests. I can’t edit CSS/HTML, edit photos for the blog, bake stuff to post on the blog, write the posts; then on top of all that live my life normally and also be a full-on passionate 100% dedicated artist like I used to be. I’d never leave my house! And I like seeing the sun once in a while, haha.

    I swear, I’m going to make a really good effort this winter though, when there’s less outdoor stuff to do, to set up a little “studio” area and actually start painting and drawing again. I do miss it. It’s just… how the hell many hobbies/passions/interests can one person have??? I have enough for like 6 people. I should share it with some of the losers out there who do nothing all day but play with themselves & watch reality TV.

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