The Front Yard Vegetable Garden Update.

1 St

Before I continue, I’d like to take a moment to mourn the loss of several neighbours and a moulting squirrel. All entered my garden in the month of July. Not a one of them have been seen since.

I should point out this isn’t quite as alarming as it sounds because all of the neighbours were really quite small.  Freakishly small.   They were probably allowed to drink coffee as small children or something.

So anyhow, in a sly display of irony … my garden ate them.  I’m sure it never could have taken down a full sized adult.  Not a healthy one anyway.

I may find one or two of the missing in the sweet potato patch when I dig it up on October, but it’s a long shot.

Luckily I had some time off last month so I had a bit of time to train it.  The garden is slightly more well behaved now.


July Garden 34


Not a whole lot is different from last year other than a few experimental vegetables including ground cherries, cape gooseberries and a mouse melon.


July Garden 3


I think I did a better job of it visually this year.  I made it a bit more balanced and allowed for slightly more negative space.

 Left side of the yard

July Garden 7


I flanked the porch with my favourite of favourites the Dinosaur Kale.  They’re the leaf eating type of dinosaurs, so they’d never hurt a fly let alone a moulting squirrel.  I also hid a couple of kales in another area of the garden so I wouldn’t have to completely decimate the kale by the front porch.  It looks too pretty.  I do eat it, but it’s hard to tell because it’s so big and there are other kale plants I take from throughout the garden.


Centre of the yard

The space in front of the kale is where I’ve already harvested cauliflower.  I’ve now planted beets there for a wintertime harvest.

July Garden 8


Right side of the yard.

July Garden 9


Jalapeño Peppers for Jalapeño Poppers.

July Garden 10


9 foot tall “Dinnerplate Beefsteak” tomato

The tomatoes are the size of an elephant’s foot … they’ll be getting a post of their own later.

July Garden 13


July Garden 14


3 varieties of green beans run up the porch post and swag over to meet the huge tomato plant, framing the pots of herbs on the railing.

(Scarlet Runner, Lazy Housewife, French Pole beans)

July Garden 15


This is the experimental patch.  One Ground Cherry plant and one Cape Gooseberry.  I’ve been harvesting Ground Cherries for over a month now and I love them.  They have an odd taste like nothing you’ve ever had before. Sort of a cross between a tomato and a pineapple.  Tropical tasting.  People have definite opinions on the taste.  Not always favourable. But those people are stupid.

July Garden 16


Ground Cherries are toxic while they’re green and on the plant so if you come across them DON’T pick them.  They’re called ground cherries because when they’re ripe, they fall to the ground.  The yellow one in the background that you see is close to being ripe and falling off.

July Garden 17


Two squash plants.  One acorn, one Delicata.

July Garden 19


Something happened with the potatoes this year.  Everything beyond the hydrangea is potatoes.  They’re huge and I have high hopes for my harvest.  This is one of 5 potato patches in the garden.  I’ve already harvested many small, red fingerling potatoes and they’re GREAT.

July Garden 20


Herb plot.  The tall grassy stuff is lemongrass.  Then there’s sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, lime basil, regular parsley, Italian parsley and more.

July Garden 22


The tiny beet seedlings which will grow up to be my winter harvest.

July Garden 24


In a few months those tiny beets will look like this beet which I planted in May.

July Garden 25


Yet again I planted far too many tomato plants.  Especially when you consider I don’t really love tomatoes.

I do, however, love growing them.

This is last year’s favourite, Green Zebra, which is green when ripe, but tastes like a red tomato.

It’s zingy.

July Garden 26


These are Fargo Yellow Pear tomatoes which I also grew last year.

These ones I grew by accident. They just popped up and I didn’t have the heart to pull the plant out.

Besides, these are the tomatoes I let grow on the opposite side of my fence so they’re the ones the neighbours and kids pick from on their way to school.

July Garden 28


Behold … the exceptionally bad picture of my FIG!

Yes.  This year I invested in a fig tree.  And this year it shall produce one fig.  Maybe.

July Garden 30
July Garden 33


From left to right, top to bottom.

1. Bright Lights Swiss Chard     2.  Zapotec tomato   3.  Early Wonder beets
4.  Celery     5.  Delicata squash     6.  Swiss chard
Untitled 1


1.  Sweet Baby Girl cherry tomatoes (in hanging basket)     2.  Red chile peppers     3.  English cucumbers growing along fence.



1.  Mouse melon (failure for me)     2.  Variety of lettuces     3.  Portulaca
4.  Dragon carrots

Collage 2


Oh! And by the way, Canadian Gardening was here 2 weeks ago photographing my vegetable garden for an upcoming issue. Want proof? Here’s the photographer Donna Griffith and her assistant.

Sadly, neither one of them have been seen since.


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


  1. Nicki Woo says:

    Geez Louise. I’m dizzy. That is a lot of garden. I’d say getting lost in it wouldn’t be such a bad ending:)

  2. magali says:

    what interesting information about the ground cherries!
    when you say winter harvest, when does that mean exactly?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Magali – That means that beets (and carrots actually) are two of the things that prefer growing in cool weather. If you plant them late in the summer you can go out and harvest them by the end of October. You can also then leave them in the ground, protect them with a cold frame or straw and pick them all winter long. That’s a quick version. I’ll be doing a post on it all later.~ karen!

  3. Sarah says:

    Absolutely GORGEOUS, Karen! I think all front yards should taste, er…I mean look, this good. And if you ever need help eating ALL those goodies, I’m available. Ha!

  4. Chrissie says:

    You have a wonderful garden. Not so sorry the small things aren’t seen again. Seems that they met a happy end though. Blessings and keep on growing and inspiring. Thank you.

  5. Tanya H. says:

    Your garden is GORGEOUS! Delicata squash is my absolute favourite.

  6. Thera says:

    Gorgeous as usual!

  7. Traci says:

    The photographer can’t possibly take better pictures than you! They are gorgeous!

  8. Ev says:

    Wow! What a great garden! Thanks for all the great pictures. I FINALLY got to pick 3 whole tomatoes. They are still 80% green-just got tired of waiting! We have 8 plants. The plants did well, just not the tomatoes. Green Green Green, and not a lot of them. We needed the boost to the water table though, so guess it’s a trade off? Your lawn garden is wonderful. Well done!

  9. Su says:

    Gardening is solace to my soul…. happy harvesting!

  10. Linda J Howes says:


  11. Elaine says:

    You are a true Inspiration. I attempted flowers this year on my patio and low and behold they are still alive. I think I will try a few vegetables in pots next year.
    Your garden is beautiful.

  12. Susan says:

    Wow! Well, I feel completely inadequate. I’m going out now to bury my vegetable garden..
    What kind of fertilizer are you using? Plutonium?
    I got about 10 tomatoes and one sickly jalepeno the whole summer.

  13. ericmiami says:

    Beautiful and impressive garden.

  14. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    Lovely and enviable! Any tips on fried sage leaves? I don’t have a lush plant like yours, so practicing will be a bit more limited (…to store bought sage plants or cut stems because I don’t actually have one growing at all, lush or otherwise). Making a pumpkin parmesan soup that calls for the leaves as garnish. Would appreciate your input.

    Welcome back!

  15. Mary says:

    Good morning, Karen.
    Love your garden! I know that kind of beautiful doesn’t happen without a lot of work and planning. I live in a small Scarborough Bungalow with a big tree out front and big trees in the back garden. I do, however, have a 4′ wide strip of nothing running down the south side of the house. You know what I’m talking about, the ugly side of the house where weeds like to grow and it’s a pain to drag the lawn mower over there. Anyhow, I turned it into raised beds three years ago. This is probably the first year where it looks like I might know what I’m doing. And you know what? – it’s pretty and bountiful! My tomatos include Persimmon, Purple Cherokee, Pineapple and pear cherry. There’s something else in there, but I can’t remember the name at the moment. I’ve harvested my garlic, and beets. I pick yellow beans and zucchini almost everyday and I’m giving Kale away to anybody that will take it. Yellow banana peppers look ripe for the picking after work today. This is all done on a very narrow strip of property which still has some real estate for a few additions next year – I bought some ground cherry from Cubits which I can’t wait to plant. Anyhow, gotta make like an over-ripe tomato and split. Hi ho, hi ho.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Just beautiful. Love the pic of the bean plants meeting the tomato plants….framing the herb pots. What could be better!

  17. Beautiful garden. Amazing how you’ve managed to do so much with such a small space!

  18. mimiindublin says:

    Fab, fab garden Karen! Even your fences are beautiful, I hang my head in shame. My tomato plant looks like a straggly pile of dried-out rubbish compared to yours!

  19. Jenna says:

    Karen, how did you get your squash to train upwards like that? I planted summer squash and butternut squash and I find that especially the summer squash consumes things… I’m pretty sure they’ve swallowed up a full grown deer and family of wild turkeys. Their vines wrap around things and you can practically hear them slurp. The plus side is they’ve produced about 20 very large phallic shaped squash and there are at least another 20 in the garden. Advice for taming them?

    • Karen says:

      Jenna – Some squash are easier to get to grow vertically than others. The Delicata squash is more of a vine type so it’s easy to get to go upwards. Plus it has tendrils that latch onto the rope I’m using to support it. Different varieties of acorn or butternut squash are more of a bush type so they’re harder to train, but it can be done. Prior to planting, string a rope or heavy string straight up. This can be done on a fence, side of a house or wherever else you can manage it. Then plant your squash. As soon as it starts growing, train the main stem to go up the rope/string. That’s it! ~ karen

  20. Barbie says:

    It’s BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely LOVE the kale as an ornamental of sorts next to your front pillars! ….I do have a question…I love the idea of stringing up your squash for rooms sake! ours almost takes over one side of the garden…I never considered stringing it so it grows upwards…however when the quash comes on…especially acorn…doesn’t it get to heavy on the vine to hang? Wouldn’t it break off before it was able to mature? Do tell….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie – The acorn squash are fine to grow like this. And the delicata don’t get too big either. Plus they both have strong stems. Some people when growing squash vertically support the squash in a hammock of sorts, made out of mesh, old nylons … whatever. ~ karen!

  21. Amie Mason says:

    Watch out for that lemongrass. It will take over you whole garden before you know it! I had one tiny plant that now runs the entire length of my driveway!

  22. Therese Bourne says:

    Thank you Karen. Your garden has inspired me once more. I do really try with my garden, but I get too greedy when planting in a small space, and then things don’t fulfill their true potential. I really want to plant out the garden bed, but my chickens are ruthless destroying machines. I suppose it’s either them or me where the garden is concerned. Do I let them free range and have no veggies, or do I realise my dream veggie garden (that’s your garden) and confine my girls to barracks?

  23. Congratulations on your bounty. I suppose we did too much traveling this summer because my garden has not flourished. Oh we’ll, there is always next year. I could learn from you.

  24. Deborah says:

    I am in love with your garden, it couldn’t be more beautiful, I wish I had the opportunity to do the same, sadly I don’t have that kind of room. So glad you are back posting and for what it’s worth, I think you rock! Your ideas, pictures, creativity, decorating ability, chicken raising….list goes on! BTW, I found your site a while back when you were building your chicken mansion…another thing I can only admire!

  25. Megan says:

    Unbelievably gorgeous! Fantastic job. Dare I say I’m terribly jealous. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *