In the Garden :: May

Late May is a time of glorious growth, beauty, and promise.  After months and months of eating supermarket produce from California, suddenly we’re walking into the garden and harvesting a large salad, or a broccoli, or a new pea. The excitement of growing my own food, and the beauty of the garden is what keeps me growing, year after year.

MayGarden1 A great batch of lettuce means salad every night, before the intense heat causes it to go bitter and bolt.


The second year of my perennial flower and herb garden.  Many of the plants in this bed were transported all the way from Oregon, and lovingly transplanted. A few, such as strawberries and rhubarb (and the fruit trees) were added last spring.


Brassicas took a hit early on, with an unexpected frost. But they’ve come back to begin producing broccoli florets (!!).


I’m sure every gardener has a crop that, despite their best efforts, just won’t produce for them.  For me, they are peas and cilantro!  I can never seem to grow a great stand of peas or time cilantro seeding appropriately!  This year might be the best pea crop yet, although much of that is to Ella’s credit!  In this bed, you can get a sense of my gardening style – throw lots of different plants into the same bed, and fill whatever opening is available!  Lettuce will make way for a mid-summer sowing of beans or tucking in a few eggplants. Peas will make way for a late summer sowing of beets and carrots.


Strawberries are a true treasure, and a great way to teach kids about sharing!  We literally split each ripe strawberry into four parts so each member of our family can experience their ripe sweetness!

MayGarden6 Sweet potato slips, newly planted in the ground.  Although I did start my own slips last year, I opted for buying them from the Amish store this year.  We planted two 20 foot rows of three different varieties, in hopes that they will be a foundational food storage crop for the fall and early winter.

What is growing in your garden?  Feel free to link to blog posts or just share in the comments below!


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  1. I’m enjoying watching your homestead and gardens develop. Your photos and insights are inspirational.
    I thought I would share a post from my blog about growing grain corn at home…
    I hope that you and your readers will like the information about growing grain corn and grinding your own fresh cornmeal. I think it’s a real treat for any homestead. Some homegrown cornbread or grits/polenta would go great with your sweet potatoes this fall and winter!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Hello! Your garden is beautiful! Keep posting those great pictures!
    You mentioned having trouble with peas, so I thought I would look them up in my companion planting guide. For peas, it says “Peas grow well with carrots, turnips, radishes, cucumbers, corn, beans and potatoes. They do not grow well with onions, garlic and gladiolus”.
    Don’t know if that helps at all but thought I’d give it a try. I really enjoy your blog!

    • Teri Page says:

      Thank you Cynthia! I really appreciate you taking the time to look that up for me! My problem is often with germination. I think if I had thought ahead this year, I would have pre-sprouted the seeds. Once the peas get going, they seem to do well, it’s just that few of the seeds actually germinate.

      Thank you for reading!

  3. Rebecca says:

    We started our peas and then transplanted the plants after a couple of weeks. Most of them have done very well, even the ones my two year old pulled out by mistake thinking they were weeds! This is the first year we are growing shelled peas (we usually only plant sugar snap peas) and I am surprised at how well they are doing! I have them in a raised bed with the sugar snap peas and blue lake bush beans.

    I just found your blog and am really enjoying reading it! Thank you for sharing!

    • Teri Page says:

      Welcome, Rebecca! The peas that are doing the best for us are actually ones that my daughter started and then transplanted. They are flowering and about to set their peas. Glad to hear your bed is doing well!

  4. Thanks Teri for your amazing and beautiful blog!! I really enjoy all of the pictures. The herb and flower garden is my favorite and would like to know more about it. Also you mentioned having problems with your cilantro. Here in Puerto Rico there’s cilantro all year long and two of the most common problems are the need to crush the seed a little before sowing and how deep you sow the seeds. Hope this helps.

    • Teri Page says:

      Thank you, Carina! Thanks for your kind words, and thank you for the tips on sowing cilantro! It’s funny – I have friends who have it coming up like weeds – almost like a cover crop, with almost no effort!! I’ll try your tips and see how that goes!

  5. I love your garden pictures.

    I love peas too and can never have enough but until now I always had bad luck with germination. This year I put the peas in water the evening before I planted them, so they soaked in the water. My grand-ma used to plant peas this way and so far I am in more luck with them then the last two years. Here are some pictures of my garden

    • Teri Page says:

      Anja, Your garden is beautiful! It looks so healthy and vibrant right now. THank you for sharing!

  6. Your perennial bed looks awesome! I think peas and cilantro like to be grown really close together. I also let my cilantro go to seed, and then I get lots of volunteers. I enjoyed visiting your site and will return.

    • Teri Page says:

      Thank you, Heather! I am happy with the way the perennial bed is looking this spring. Last year it had a bit of a rough transition, as I had dug them up from established gardens in Oregon and then heeled them into top soil for a Missouri winter. They seemed stunted last year, but are looking much more vibrant now. I will definitely let my cilantro go to seed for coming years!

  7. May Evereyone have had a productive May compared to mine!


  1. […] The recent rains and subsequent hot, humid weather have caused an explosion of growth in the garden. Although interestingly, I can hardly recognize the amazing growth and changes without going back to look at photos from my “online garden journal” (last month’s entry is here). […]

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