Take Your Garden to Work

By Martha Thompson

At our office this spring, we planted a community vegetable garden.  Everyone was offered a 6’x12' plot in which we could plant whatever we wanted.  There is a mix of everything out here — from corn and cabbage, to potatoes and watermelon, and even some cut flowers.  Everyone has embraced gardening-at-work and we all enjoy seeing each other’s plants’ progress. In my plot, I planted the usual suspects like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and cucumbers.  I also like to plant new and different things that I've never tried to grow before, so I planted swiss chard, banana peppers, and white eggplant — all of which are doing fantastic.  Trial and error is my gardening philosophy.  If I plant it and it does well, it will probably earn a spot in next year’s garden. If something doesn't do well, it won't make the cut. Here are a few photos of the happenings in my garden right now:

White eggplant
 

I don't think I've ever eaten a white eggplant before.  But these are putting out so much fruit, I'm going to have to try one soon.  In fact, this white eggplant is doing much better than my regular purple eggplant, which has not put out fruit yet and I'm doubtful that it will produce any at all.

Swiss chard 
 
swiss_chard2 
 

I never realized how beautiful and colorful Swiss Chard is.  This variety, 'Bright Lights', has bright red, purple and orange stems.  It keeps growing and growing - I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of it!

Big_boy_tomato  
 
Cherokee_purple_tomato
 

Here are my Big Boy and Cherokee Purple tomatoes.  They are green, but there are lots of them and they will be delicious when they are ready.  Patience is a virtue.

Cucumbers
 

I planted these cucumbers a little late.  The frost killed my first attempt at them.  But they are gaining momentum and I'm sure will be taking over my whole garden soon.

dead_zucchini
 
squash_bugs 
 

I've never experienced squash bugs before, but they sure didn't waste any time devouring my zucchini, which they have completely decimated.  The plants are now brown and crunchy and have no hope of recovering.  That's ok, my cucumbers and tomatoes are more than happy stretch out and claim the empty space and I’m running out of zucchini recipes!

Hello, baby bunny!
 

Surprise!  We found a baby bunny hiding in the cool shade of the corn stalks in a neighbor’s garden.  He sure is cute, but I bet he's going to have a good snack in someone's garden. Next week, I'll share some of the kitchen creations I made with the vegetables growing in my garden.

Star® Roses and Plants employees share their unique horticultural perspectives.

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