Garden Greens greens Grow Bags Lettuce Mache See my garden and borders in various seasons. spring

What’s Happening in The May Garden

Although we’ve had some 80º F days, we’ve had more cold and damp ones.  I’m not complaining however because the coolness gives me more time to prepare and I sure need it.

As I go about my tasks everyday I think of you and all the things I want to tell you that may be beneficial to you in your garden.  Haven’t been able to give those ideas for posts priority —- yet.  But as I get caught up on things, I’ll get to them.

In the interim I wanted to show you what’s going on in my garden. And I only wish I could be with you to see what’s going on in yours!


As one looks across my garden, they see mainly big light green clumps of mache (my favorite winter green) going to seed.  In the winter it hugs the ground and isn’t as visible as in the spring when suddenly the stems develop, it flowers, and goes to seed.  After several years of working on having a bountiful amount, I finally have it.

When it finishes casting seed all over my garden I’ll cut the tops off, leave the roots to decay in the ground, and plant something else in those spaces.

from my garden gate entrance

Looking from my garden gate entrance to the top left corner of the garden.

Russian Kale

Also flowering and soon going to seed is Russian Kale.  Spectacularly beautiful this year.  I let it reseed in the garden and when it comes up in the fall, I have more than enough.  The plants are so large I only need about 4 to 6 plants and that’s enough that I can share if someone wants some.

If you want some of my seed, send me a self-addressed stamped envelope and I’ll send you some.  Email me first so I’ll know to save you some.

strawberries and mache

Strawberries. Mache going to seed.  Green arrow peas in the bottom left corner are only 3 inches tall!  Usually by May they are 3 feet tall!  Be sure to see the picture of those in the grow bag which are about 2 feet tall!


I only planted a little over a 1,000 this year.  (Usually have at least 1,500.)

Lots of experiments going on with onions in my garden. The majority are Dixondale transplants. The others are of numerous varieties planted from seed in October, November, December 2015 and January of this year.  I’ll give a lot of detail in the book I’m writing on onions. (Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish it this year because I want you to benefit from the information as soon as possible.)

These onions are from Dixondale transplants.

These onions are from Dixondale transplants. The yellow flowers are cresses. Lots of mache going to seed.  Russian Kale is flowering and to the left of the kale is my brussels sprout experiment that did not give me brussels sprouts.

Cresses and Arugula

Cresses are going to seed.  They’re backups for me to insure that I’ll have some type of green.  They’re a bitter green that’s great sauteed with garlic and mixed with pasta.

Arugula abounds.  Folks that have been in my garden tell me my arugula is the best they’ve seen or tasted.  Again — it’s a backup for me.  A bitter green, that I either sautee or mix with other lettuces when I don’t have a lot of anything else.

onions from seed

Sweet Spanish onions from seed planted in late October.  (Lots of detail on that in the upcoming book.)


onions from seed started in December

Onions from seed started in December 2015.  I also have ones started in January, but they were so small they didn’t show in the pictures I took of them.


My first spring planting of lettuce disappeared.  I was surprised, since I waited for it to get a bit larger than usual before tranplanting. I’ll feel more comfortable when I see a lot of new lettuce growing out there.

Remaining from my fall plantings are Winter Density, Sierra Batavia (which usually does not make it through the winter even under cover), Black Seeded Simpson and endive/escarole.  That’s what I’m eating now.

(Black seeded Simpson, endive and/or escarole are not my favorite tasting lettuces, but ones that I always grow as backup in case something happens to the other varieties.)


Winter Density Lettuce.  Just about one of the best lettuces for wintering over under protection.  Also one of the most delicious!



Couldn’t believe I had Sierra Batavia winter over this year.  Usually it doesn’t.  This is one great lettuce and I’ll be glad to get more growing in the garden.


black seeded simpson

Black Seeded Simpson – got it have for backup although the taste is just ok but nothing spectacular like the previous two.



Potatoes coming up.  I planted Butte, Dark Red Norland, Rose Gold, and Yukon Gold.  To me potatoes don’t get any better than these!  (When the rain stops I’ve got to get out and put more straw on those potatoes.) Some of the garlic Jack sent me is in the foreground.   The light green to the right is mache going to seed.


Thanks to Jack, my friend and reader in New Jersey, I have all kinds of wonderful garlic in the garden!

I hope to give you a lot of detail on that before the year is over. Jack is just amazing and I want to share some of his ideas with you.


In the row next to my blueberries is mache going to seed, sorrell, and arugula in the lower right hand corner.  Sorrell is wonderful in just about everything and also makes a good backup when lettuces are not producing abundantly. I keep cutting the seed stalks on most of my plants and they winter over (go dormant) and have come back for 3 years thus far.



Chard seedlings are just sitting there, but when conditions are right, they’ll take off.


Green Arrow peas in grow bag

I experimented with Green Arrow peas in grow bag. They’re doing great and look like what the ones in the ground should look like.  The soil in the grow bag is probably a lot warmer than in the beds.

Other Things Planted but Too Small to See in Pictures

Planted leeks for the first time this year.

Spinach is doing great but is concealed from view in the pictures by other things.

I started more asparagus from seed and transplanted it into one of the grow bags for their first year.  Next season I’ll transplant to their permanent place.  Established asparagus is coming up and I’m enjoying some each day.

Planted 3 varieties of beets.

Have eaten every radish planted in the winter!  Have more coming thankfully.

Some parsley planted but not enough.

approaching my garden

Leaving my garden until next time.


cow peas in the meadow bed that natures has been preparing for me

Austrian winter peas to help enrich the soil in the meadow bed that nature has been preparing for me for three years.  Friend and reader Lisa was over one day and snipped two inches off the top of some plants and handed them to me.  They’re delicious in a salad and I even ate a couple right on the spot.  Lisa uses them in stir fries with whatever vegetables she has on hand.


Seedling to come

Still have a lot to plant in the garden.  Glad for the cool weather which gives me more time.

Final Thoughts

A friend visited me this week who had not previously seen my garden.  She emailed me after that and her words touched me so deeply that I wanted to share them with you.

She wrote:

“Your veggie garden is almost as beautiful as your landscaping borders. The vastness of it all is impressive. The years of love, dedication, —that went into all that……how do you begin to quantify it? It’s all so lovely and useful, and natural, organic, healing, soulful, practical but extravagant in its earthiness, and it just gets to your very core. — it’s difficult to describe all that my visit to your gardens made me feel. Sure, its beautiful plant life, but it’s really a result and reflection of beautiful human lives shared…yours and Bill’s; a very sacred place.”

Almost everything I have come to be is in great part a result of being married to a wonderful man named Bill Martz. I’m so grateful to have had him in my life for 51 years.

And I’m grateful to you, my dear friends, for allowing me to be part of your life and for your being part of mine.




  • I so enjoyed the tour thru your spring garden. What a difference all that deep mulch makes. Still, I don’t know how you do all you do.
    Thanks for your wonderful garden tips. I do enjoy them even though I don’t write often.

  • Theresa, thanks for the tour of your garden. You are an inspiration of one who pursues excellence, contributes to the lives of others with knowledge and encouragement, and prospers because of diligence and hard work. Yours is a remarkable story. May the Lord continue to comfort you in your loss and provide for all your needs.

  • I just love reading your posts. Your words make me feel like an old friend. I just moved on 11 acres in Ridgeway, Virginia the weekend after Christmas and have been hard at work starting my garden utilizing the things I’ve learned from you and the books you have recommended and referenced. I hope one day I can come see your garden and we can become friends as we have alot in common. I’m disabled and have to pace myself and be careful with how much I do at one time or will be down for days as a result of over doing it. Your way of doing things makes it possible for me to enjoy raising my own healthy food and aiding in my healing. Thank you!

  • Good morning, Theresa. It is always lovely to see pictures of your garden. I am curious about the fencing you have enclosing the vegetable garden. Could you provide some information about the materials used, the height, and the effectiveness. Enjoy your day, Theresa.

  • Theresa,
    Your garden is beautiful. It is a lot of time consuming work. You do it gracefully it is easy to see in the pictures. When my garden has some similar look to it as yours does I will feel like I am accomplishing the work of a professional. By the way this year I can tell the garden is already doing some catching up. All the cool season crops look much, much better than previous 2-3 years cool crops. You are teaching me how to do it and I am grateful for it.
    Many blessings to you for your willingness to teach, demonstrate, and provide guidance.

  • Theresa, it is always inspirational to see pictures of your garden! We have had so much rain here that my plot is simply bursting with wild greens! LOL! The asparagus and volunteer lettuce and cilantro are the only traditional plants out there. I have enjoyed wild lambsquarters and chickweed, just an occasional handful of each as I roam through the garden.

    Thank you for keeping us close to your space through your wonderful posts.

  • Your friend captures in her words exactly what it is to walk through your gardens. I love these tours you post too! I did not know that you could eat Austrian winter pea leaves. I’ve also never grown garlic that looked like that. I’ll be interested in the post when it comes! Blessings 🙂

  • Oh, Theresa,

    Thank you for the “tour” and thank you for being you! Inspiring and beautiful!

    You and Bill created a wonderful life for yourselves, and now you are still tending that way of being.

    Green blessings to you.



  • Thanks for sharing this update Theresa!

    You say you need to add more straw to your potatoes, will you cover the existing leaves completely? If not, how much do you add? Thanks.

  • I subscribe to several vegetable gardening sites & blogs…I eventually delete most. I always save yours Theresa.Thank you for sharing, being there, and listening.

  • Thank you Kathy, Beppy, Mary, Ty, Mary Y, Steve, Pat, Farming Bear, Gail, Heather and Jim for your comments. My favorite part of putting a post up is hearing from you.

    Ty, I was glad to hear that my writings have made it possible for you to enjoy raising your own food in spite of you disabilities. I totally relate to that!

    Mary, I’ll answer about the fencing as soon as I have more time. Bear with me, please.

    Pat, I thought I might be the only one who enjoyed chickweed. Back years ago when we first started gardening and didn’t have much to eat — I discovered we could eat chickweed. Bill never liked it but I didn’t mind at all. 🙂

    Heather, when I add another layer of straw to the potatoes the existing leaves will be completely covered but it only takes them a day (two at the very most) to come right back up through the straw.
    Each layer is loose and sifts down, but it takes that to get them covered as much as I like.


  • I just started with you and love the emails about your garden. I wish I lived near you, I make my garden in N.C. Your photos this time are very inspiring to me and I am looking for easier ways to grow things. After age 70 I seem to have less energy and there are still so many things I want to try growing and things I like to grow. We are picking strawberries this week, yum. Thanks for sharing your life with us………….Margo

  • I’ve found that easier can often be better, Margo. I’m 73 and as I continue to find easier ways, I’ll pass them along.
    We oughta be good for another 30 some years. 🙂

  • It was like taking a tour all over again Theresa! Excellent May edition! Time to get busy in the garden!

  • Thank you so much for the AWESOME garden tour! I had some volunteer cress that I used in my shakes. It gave a little spicy bite to the shake that I love. I’m letting them go to seed also.
    Have a great day,

Leave a Comment