Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Now for something a little bit different #minnesota #spring #gardens


It’s time. I start getting seed catalogs around Christmas, and stash them until about now. I’ve been getting those pesky marketing emails from other seed catalogs too, but there’s something about looking through an actual catalog to feed thoughts of spring and warm and gardens.

Not that the past week has been miserably cold. It’s been downright balmy here with temps around freezing. Warm enough to make snowmen, and we have enough snow. Part of me is tempted to build a snowman for old times’ sake. Part of me says, “You know, you should be writing. Or at least cleaning.”

I know a lot of you like my garden posts, so I figured I’d share my pre-garden fun (because hey, why not?)

Every year when I plan my garden, I have the old standbys I always plant: tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, green beans, radishes, brussels sprouts. I always like to plant something new, or something I haven’t planted for a while.

Last year I got all my starts from the local greenhouse; I didn’t start any of my own seeds. That was convenient, but also restrictive: I’m limited to the varieties the greenhouse has. Which is fine, but I like particular varieties of some veggies, like peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

I don’t know what onion variety I planted, but the onions were far smaller than in previous years. I like the Candy variety, which are usually baseball-size or larger onions. I intended to plant sweet snacking peppers, but the variety I got at the greenhouse ended up being too spicy for snacking. The tomatoes were okay: the Early Girls did fine (but they are small tomatoes), but the other variety succumbed pretty quickly to the blight that plagues the garden. I thought I had gotten a resistant variety. I thought wrong, apparently.

Over the years, I’ve learned what veggies grow best, or at least which ones I have the best luck with. Every year is different. Last year was bad for tomatoes, meh for onions, but a great one for brussels sprouts and peppers.

Garden, 2019

This year I’m planning to buy some starts, like brussels sprouts and peppers, and start onions, tomatoes (some tomatoes anyway), and maybe kale.

For new stuff/stuff I haven’t planted for a while, a pie pumpkin is on the list this year. I haven’t planted pumpkins for years, because, like cucumbers or zucchini, one plant = lots of pumpkins. I’ve been thinking about making pumpkin bread, so what a great excuse šŸ˜€ I can bring the overstock to work and pawn it off on them šŸ™‚

No zucchini, though. I think I cooked one zucchini all last summer, and brought the rest in to work. I can use that space for something else. This year on my “new” agenda is Persian cucumbers, if I can find seeds. Somewhere they were listed as the type of cucumbers you find in the store as those snacking cucumbers. We’ll see. I haven’t made pickles for years (I learned my lesson the year I pickled over 3 dozen quarts), but maybe I’ll do a dozen this year. Maybe.

I have to thin out the raspberry patch, too; they’re starting to choke out the asparagus (which also should be moved, or a new patch started). I love raspberries, but they spread! The problem is deciding where to move them: someplace close enough to monitor, exposed to sun, and not in an area we tend to mow. I know, with eight acres that might be a challenge šŸ˜€

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on that front again. In the meantime, take a break and page through some seed catalogs. The pictures of flowers and veggies always reminds me spring is coming!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

16 thoughts on “Now for something a little bit different #minnesota #spring #gardens

  1. That’s a veggie garden? It’s beautiful! Last year a bear came by and ate all our neighbor’s raspberries.:-(

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Priscilla! A bear? Thank goodness we don’t have any bears where we are, but we do have deer. And raccoons. And rabbits. The rabbits typically chew the raspberry brambles to the ground over the winter, but the berries always come back strong. Some years I’ve had enough berries to make jelly–yum!

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your garden plans, Julie! There’s just something about connecting with the soil, with the outdoors, etc., that makes growing things a really healthy thing to do. I think even your Muse would agree, too, that it’s good exercise to get out there and work the garden. And I can see how those seed catalogs appeal – all those lovely ‘photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Margot. Even pulling weeds is theraputic (except when the weeds get out of control at the end of the summer šŸ˜‰ ). I love looking at all the pretty pictures this time of year. Sure beats looking at unbroken fields of white and barren trees (which is pretty for a week, then just a reminder that it’s winter šŸ˜€ ).

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your gardening posts always get me in the mood for some planning digging around in my own patch, Julie. I plant from starts, but you’re right, they are limited. I found an amazing recipe for “apple” crisp, but made with… zucchini! Instead of apples. It sounds so weird but I can barely tell the difference. So we’re planting zucchini this year for certain. Lol. Have fun browsing those catalogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Apple” crisp with zucchini? Hmm. That is weird. I’ve been toying with the idea of planting artichokes this year. They would be annuals, but it’d be kinda fun just to try. And garbanzo beans. I want to try them, too, if I can find seeds.

      Have a great weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like to page through a CATalog of Zoey pictures. šŸ™‚ I’m happy you have such fun with your garden and your veggies. I’m always awed by your success.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a great plan this year. Now you have me thinking what I want to try to grow:) Spring is almost here. Next week we get a sneak preview with 60 degree days and sun, although we need more rain. I will enjoy it. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, 60 degrees in January? We think we’re doing pretty good with low 30s here. Enjoy some for me šŸ˜€ Our balmy temps are supposed to last through next week, so I’m going to try and enjoy it while it lasts šŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Denise!


  6. First up: Zoey looks so comfy! šŸ™‚

    You have raspberries, too? I’m so jealous. As a kid, I used to pick wild ones in the fields. Along with the strawberries, there was nothing sweeter tasting.

    And you’re giving up on zucchini? One of my fave veggies (along with sprouts and broccoli). There is a woman I work with who keeps the rest of us supplied all summer, LOL.

    Your garden looks like so much work, but also a wonderful pastime. I could see myself doing a lot of creative musing out there while pulling weeds.:)

    Oh, and many, many thanks for your review of Eventide. I stumbled across it on Amazon today and did a happy dance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The raspberries we have in the garden are from my Mom and Dad’s garden–swiped them when they started to spread too much. Yeah, now I know why šŸ˜€ I’ve grown zucchini for years, and I like it, I just didn’t eat much last year. Maybe next year again. And pulling weeds is surprisingly theraputic, but don’t tell the weeds šŸ˜‰

      You are most welcome and most deserving! I’m terrible at keeping up with review writing. Now, when’s your next one coming out? šŸ˜€

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL!
        A short story in March if all goes well. And think how much closer that will put us to spring! I’m so glad January is almost over. I don’t have a garden, but I’ll be looking forward to hearing about yours when the weather warms.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Julie, I love learning about your plans for the garden each year, and following the growth of your labours to harvest time! The Persian cucumbers sound delicious and interesting how the success of the vegetables vary from each type from year to year! Glad you’re keeping the raspberries … if I lived nearby there wouldn’t be many left over – they are so tasty. Good luck with your pumpkin – they must be amazing to grow yourself. Have a fun time with your catalogues and ordering … and may weather soon improve! Happy Weekend! xx


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