Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stealing Tomatoes

Technically, I didn't steal my neighbor's tomatoes. My 12-year-old son was charged with keeping them watered while they are away. I don't know many boys that age who either (a) know how to water a garden properly or (b) have the attention span to water a garden properly. Of course, I went along under the guise of supervising, when what I really wanted was to check out their vegetable garden.

You see, I'm green with veggie garden envy.

I just cannot seem to work out where to place the vegetables in my own garden, which is chock full of shady spots that would be ideal locations for eggplant, peppers, squash, maybe even some potatoes -- if only there was some sun. My sunny spots are full of perennials and shrubs and a tiny little lawn (got to have some negative space). As a designer, it just makes no sense to plop down a vegetable garden without a completely well-thought out long-term plan, perhaps a complete re-design. And, I must keep a few open spots for fancy new cultivars of perennials and shrubs that I want to try out before adding to a client's garden. How can I just stick a couple of tomato plants next to my late summer blooming Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'!

My interest in growing food has expanded. For clients, one of my first questions is how many kinds of herbs and vegetables they want to grow -- I always try to work food plants into the design or incorporate their existing kitchen garden into the overall plan. I know it is important for my kids to learn how to tend a garden (other than pruning roses and dead-heading annuals). I relish fresh and tender produce. So, I will plot out a spot for fall greens. I will have a new vegetable garden in the garden next spring (I've got all winter to plan). For now, I'll just keep volunteering my son for watering jobs around the neighborhood so I can have some home-grown, juicy tomatoes.


  1. There is no greater garden joy than being able to eat stuff you grow!

  2. Katherine in HoustonJuly 28, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    So glad to have the address of your blog...I thoroughly enjoyed reading every entry and look forward to reading more!

  3. Farrah--apparently Caroline would amend that to "...stuff you steal!"

  4. Not sure of DC laws prohibiting stealing tomatoes, but the one I did take was worth every delicious ounce! I will try to grow my own (and live up to sister-in-law Farrah's amazing example), but for now, happy taking from others!