Flowers, Tomatoes, & Cucumbers (A first time gardener)

first time vegetable garden

Our backyard hasn’t really been a priority since we moved here in August. It’s pretty plain with a small covered area, some grass, trees, and a flower bed that has sat empty. The kids spend lots of time out here so my goal is to give it some much needed attention and create a nice space to entertain and be proud of.

(Here’s a couple before pictures.)


I plan on rearranging the furniture, adding some more potted flowers, and maybe an an outdoor rug and curtains to hide the trash cans.

The first step we completed recently was to clean up this flower bed and plant our first garden. I decided to get brave and also plant some tomatoes! I figure since we now live in central CA where agriculture thrives, I should give it a try! (We’ll see, but so far the tomatoes are growing better than the flowers.)


In the past I’ve done lots of flower planting in pots only. Sometimes it stays alive and sometimes not…I am not an experienced gardener. It turns out planting in the ground is a lot of work! Manual labor work..Ha

I decided to do this mid April when my husband was still recovering from foot surgery so lugging bags and bags of soil and plants and all the digging was up to me!

I ended up picking up all my flowers and soil at Home Depot and Costco. Costco had a great deal on tomatoes this year..A three pack of small potted tomatoes for $7. I bought two kinds of tomatoes, some lavender, lots of annuals, two bougainvillea, a few small cucumber, and two hydrangea.

Not all of these survived planting. The lavender is about dead. The hydrangeas died right away and I returned those to Home Depot. The bougainvillea lost all it’s leaves immediately and I thought it died, but now it’s starting to come back. If you have any ideas I’d love to hear. This bed gets lots of afternoon sun. I’ve been feeding with Miracle Grow plant and vegetable food, and watering regularly.


I did have some help from some from tiny eager to help gardeners 🙂

planting flowers

Here is the garden as it is now about five weeks after we did all our planting. The tomatoes are a couple feet tall now and we added some cages. I’m so excited there are tomatoes growing on all of them! The kids both LOVE to participate by watering and pulling weeds. This is such a great family project, and worth the work 🙂

(I also re-stained part of the fence where it was faded from the sprinkler…that was bugging me!)

planting aTomato garden

I painted a few garden markers last week.

painted garden markers on rocks

These are the “early girl” type of tomatoes.

first time tomato garden

early girl tomatoes

Early Girl Tomato plants from Costco

Here are the “sweet 100s” type of tomatoes.

sweet 100s

Early 100s tomato plants

After five weeks the cucumber plants have grown lots, but are not yet producing…hopefully soon!

growing cucumbers

In case you didn’t see this is what I did with my herbs. Read the details here. It’s still going strong and I’ve been using the basil to make pesto and in mozzarella tomato salads 🙂

DIY Stacked Herb Garden

Now here is the real surprise! The hydrangeas I bought for the backyard died, but guess what has bloomed in the front yard!

surprise hydrangea bush

I didn’t even know this bush was a hydrangea because we’ve lived in this house for about eight months. It just decided to bloom!

hydrangea2What a nice surprise, right?! Has that ever happened to you?


I love this quote and decided to make a little graphic for you.

gardening quote


Thanks for stopping by to visit my little garden. Stay tuned for some other fun happenings in my backyard!

New Signature Graphic


Savvy Southern Style

The 36th Avenue

House on the Way


Mom On Timeout



4 thoughts on “Flowers, Tomatoes, & Cucumbers (A first time gardener)

  1. Hi Lina! Your garden is doing great! How smart of you to decide to plant one! The kids will enjoy taking care of, and especially harvesting! So good for ya’ll to be able to get outside and get your hands dirty! The rocks are so cute! I love the mint garden! What a clever idea if you’re short on space! Thanks for sharing! Have a nice weekend! Blessings from Bama!

  2. It looks like your garden is off to a great start!! I’m afraid I don’t have much of a good thumb, I’ll have to live vicariously through your blog! LoL!!!
    I LOVE your little garden markers 🙂

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