A Walking Tour Around My Vegetable Garden.

Tour my 40′ x 40′ community garden plot.  No primping, propping, styling or fussing.  This is my garden on a typical day.  A few weeds thrown on the ground, dirty buckets and a chair that never gets sat in. 

Looking back at my vegetable garden post from last week I realized you really have no idea what it’s like in my garden.  You know what certain areas look like and how my hoop houses work, but I don’t feel like the pictures let you know how it feels to be in my garden.

For instance one of the feelings is itchy.  More on  that later.

In the summer this garden is a huge part of my life.  I go there almost every day to check on things, water and just wander around.  Which sounds especially relaxing and romantic. I don’t want to give you the wrong idea about vegetable gardening. It’s not all straw hats and wicker vegetable baskets.

For the first month of the season I spend all of my days off up there planting things and hauling dirt for 8 hours at a time.  I’ve come home on more than one occasion to discover something with legs in my hair.  It’s dirty and hot and sweaty and you get mosquito bites on your secret bits from weeding in shorts.

In July things are under control. They’re a Pinterest picture.

Then for August, September and October it’s back to hauling dirt, bugs in your hair, harvesting, canning and coping.  I realize that still sounds kind of relaxing and romantic so I need you to imagine a kitchen filled with hundreds of canning jars, bushels of tomatoes rotting in the corner because you aren’t done canning the chili sauce yet and a plot of fresh, sweet corn – half of which has been eaten by raccoons and the other half teaming with corn worms.

None of which you care about because your potatoes need to be dug up, your zucchini has mildew and 14 baskets of cucumbers are going to liquify in your crisper if you don’t pickle them soon.  Also, you haven’t washed your hair in 14 days and someone at the grocery store pointed out an earwig on your collar.  So there’s that.

I just felt a responsibility to all the vegetable gardeners out there to clarify what vegetable gardening really is before showing you this walking tour of my garden lest you think it’s all cedar mulch and songbirds.

Feeling a bit like you wish you’d planted a garden this year?  Not to worry.  You can still get lettuce, spinach, peas and radishes in.  There may also be time for small carrots and beets.  Get ’em in the ground and see what happens!  That’s right.  You still have time.

Don’t forget some bug spray for your hair and some long pants for your special spots.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Benjamin says:

    No biodegradable glitter to add that fabulous temporary sparkle ???

  2. Agnes says:

    Thank you. Just – thank you. For this and for all the other real, practical, interesting, useful, well written and funny posts that I have learned from since finding you.

  3. Linda in Illinois says:

    As always Karen, your garden is fabulous. And so are you

  4. Lauren Burke says:

    That was the most relaxing thing I’ve done all day, your garden is beautiful. I moved this spring so I didn’t get to put in a garden until it was too late, and I’m seriously missing all the planting, dirt hauling, weeding, pruning, etc. But the thing I miss most this year about not having a big vegetable garden is the just being in the vegetable garden. Thanks for sharing yours!

  5. Ramona says:

    So wonderful!!!! Thank you🌿🌿🌿🌿🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅 Did you ever write a post about your irrigation system? The info could change my world 🌎

  6. Grammy says:

    This walking tour, coupled with the very first shots of your garden plot this year (the one where there is nothing but soil) is really stunning. You were right to know that selected spots, while interesting and beautiful, don’t say anything about what a garden actually looks like. Seeing it in a video pulls all the selected spots into one fantastic view and, DAMN, it’s spectacular.

    As for the mosquito bites on your secret bits — HA! That’s what girls get for showin’ off legs like yours. There has to be some cosmic justice for the rest of us.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! You’re probably right. But I get those special spot bites when I wear long dresses down to my ankles too. I’m being punished no matter what I wear. ~ karen!

  7. Irene says:

    Well now I have video viewer envy.
    I get “this video file cannot cannot be played; error code 102630.”

  8. celestial says:

    At last! Someone gives a glimpse into “real” gardening life and it isn’t Martha Stewartville at all. My aunt (97) still talks about teaching school all day only to come home to 3 bushels of tomatoes to can that evening after making supper for 7 in the haying crew. I love your honesty; it is so refreshing in Pinterested-planet earth. Carry on!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Celestial. Gardening does have its perfect peaceful moments, but mainly it’s a lot of work. We’ve had quite a few gardeners rent plots up at my community garden thinking it’d by far more idyllic than it is. They and their straw hats tend to last a month before they realize it’s not what they signed up for. At all. ~ karen!

  9. Susan D'Achille says:

    Hi Karen,
    Nice pictures of your garden but is there supposed to be a video also. Only saw 2 pictures.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan. You probably have an ad blocker on my site. Which means along with any ads I have on my site you also can’t see any videos. If you turn the ad blocker off for my site the videos will appear. ~ karen!

  10. Patti says:

    So smart of you to plant ground cherries in a big pot. I love them but they sure can take over a garden plot. Also, do you disconnect and store your watering hoses each winter or just leave them on the ground where they are? I love your garden.

  11. Sabina says:

    Looks fab and yes, lots of work, before during and after and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! There’s still time for some bush beans too!

  12. Joyce Forbush says:

    My garden is bejeweled with Japanese beetles and nettles. Good thing I just found out chickens like both!

  13. Sideroad40 says:

    Good call on the irrigation for this summer…last summer- not as necessary. It’s beautiful Karen. What an amazing job with great rewards.

  14. Ryn says:

    You’re garden is garden goals! But this year I’m just happy I built a new fence for my garden and still had time to plant some stuff.

  15. Everything looks great! I love the tomatoes and squash on strings. I did try that last year but I wasn’t as successful as I hoped but I’ll try it again next year after seeing yours. Your lettuce looks amazing. Mine is long gone and the newly seeded is going slow. Your broccoli and cabbages are perfect. You are so right , they are best covered. I really liked watching the video because it did feel like a walk in the garden. The things you have shown us in pictures are much clearer in the video. Nice job!!! And thank-you for all the inspiration.

  16. Jen says:

    So much soothing symmetry…love it!

  17. Ev Wilcox says:

    Thanks Karen! Lovely. My garden “Minnie” would turn green with envy. Wait! She already is!
    I would be glad to sit in that chair for you.

  18. Cathy says:

    Pretty impressive.

  19. Maggie Andrew says:

    How many people are you catering for? That’s an enormous amount of vegetables, you must be exhausted. It looks fantastic Karen

  20. MrsChrisSA says:

    It is an amazing looking garden.
    I just wonder what you do with all the produce (pickling and canning aside).
    It looks like you could feed the whole neighbourhood with all that produce!!

  21. Lindy says:

    Ah so true. We are all glutty sluts in the vegetable garden at this time of year. If I have to even contemplate yet another courgette / zucchini monster hiding in the leaves…. And that’s all because my first seedlings were munched. So I over sowed the next. And they germinated and went mad. And I stupidly planted them out. Hah!

    But we wouldn’t swap it. Even rotting vegetable slime at the base of the pepper.

  22. Kristin says:

    Wow! What a garden! What is the name of your watering system?

  23. Kipper says:

    Wow! Very impressive. Now I wonder what your canned goods pantry looks like after September.

  24. judy says:

    I’ll bet the local wives spotting the blonde in the shorts suddenly decide that gardening might not be good for hubbys health-too much sun,exertion and distractions.
    Poor guys back to that Honey Do list…. :)

  25. Paula says:

    Awesome! I have been waiting for this post all summer.

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