Letting Go of the Veg Garden

“The wise know that too much doing and a thing won’t get done. The secret to manifesting on the highest level is to find the perfect amount of doing and non-doing to allow the doing to be done. Sometimes much more can be accomplished simply by letting go and trusting.”

~Jackson Kiddard


Every year at this time, I complete the cycle in my veg garden with a ritual.  We pick the last of the veggies, and thank the good earth for providing.  We then fertilize the beds with compost for next year, and add the last layer of leaf mulch.  It is my farewell to these beds, and there is sadness with letting them go.

This fall letting go seems to be a larger theme in my life.  Or maybe it is just that this fall, I am noticing it more.  But whatever it is, my heart is heavy as I accept so many things.  The loss of loved ones, letting go of mementos as I clean and clear….and finally letting go of the idea I can maintain my gardens anymore.

All this letting go will certainly open me up for new things to happen on my path, but it is hard to let go, isn’t it?  But before I let go of this year’s veg garden let’s see some highlights…..

At the top of the post, are the new bell peppers we tried that resist blight and other fungal diseases.  These are the first successful bell peppers we have grown and they were huge.  I will be trying them again next year.



I also tried all new tomato varieties this year.  I grew three varieties of hybrid cherry tomatoes….all did well.  One determinate hybrid red tomato also did nicely along with one yellow-orange hybrid which out performed all others.  It was so sweet even my red-tomato-loving husband couldn’t stop talking about it. 



The plum tomato hybrid did poorly, and I will go back to the hybrid I used before and loved.  I already have a new tomato garden plan for next year.  It allows me to add 2 more tomatoes, and I hope to grow a couple of heirlooms.



The eggplants did fair because of the cold beginning to our growing season and cool summer.  Actually, there was a lot of fungal disease in the cool, wet garden so squashes also did poorly with a minimal harvest.




Cucumbers were at the mercy of the cool weather yielding only a few small jars of pickles.  But the dill we grew from seed was huge, and a great performer this year. 



Basil grew nicely well into October so we made lots of pesto, and froze some of the leaves for later use.



Tomatillos were slow to start, but came on strong in September when we finally had a heat wave for about 3 weeks.  I am hoping to do a profile on this interesting veggie in the future. 



Our prolific rabbits got into the bean bed and ate all the bush beans that had just begun to form in July.  But thankfully they did not get to the pole beans which once again gave us too many beans.  We gave away several bags and still were flush with them.



Every 2-3 days we picked large quantities from late July until early October.  Good thing we love beans.



The weather also limited the growth of our onions.  We started them late and then the cold weather kept most small in size.  Most of our garlic was also small.



Lastly the carrots were fabulous, but not the beets or lettuces which were minimal.  It was indeed a strange growing season.



How did your veg garden perform this year?  Did you have a great harvest?  What’s your favorite veggie to grow?



Last of the Blooms in a Vase (Almost)


For this harvest post, I thought I would show the last of the flowers in the garden (almost).  I put them in the first vase I ever bought…a crystal bud vase.



A beautiful deep pink echinacea, one cosmos and a bit of lavender surround a hydrangea.



And popping out of the top and bottom are 2 repeat blooms of Belle a Woking clematis.  Love what they add to the vase.



I had so much lavender reblooming, I had to cut more for another small vase.  Of course I thought my blooms were finished given we had a hard frost in mid-October…..but nature and my garden surprised me.  I’ll share the surprises in the coming weeks.


I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2017.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

28 Replies to “Letting Go of the Veg Garden”

  1. I’d say you did quite well in this year’s challenges Donna! I certainly did not have bags of beans. I started them late and due to all our moisture, I think, I had an army of snails/slugs that prevented germination! Next year I plan to start everything before I sow into the garden. My garlic did do well but I was given some onions that did not grow very large at all. Could be shade. Could be cold. I will be starting some veggies now here in FL – kale, collards, lettuce. We have finally arrived!

    You will adapt to your garden, or should I say your garden will adapt to you. I made a few small changes and although I felt that I couldn’t possibly keep up with it, I feel I turned a corner this fall. I know what it’s like to get behind but eventually we do catch up and then some! That is what I hope for you! Yes, letting go is hard to do but the free fall is very nice!

    1. Thanks Kathy for your support….my garden and I are reconnecting to see what the future holds….I am happy to hear you are there in Florida and planning a winter garden. Now that I envy as I try to do one inside under the grow lights this year.

  2. Your veg looks wonderful and I rather envy you beng able to have that ritual as here things are continuing and dribs and drabs and I will have to wait till things can be cleared before I spread compost. As always you have used the apps to great advantage as your pictures are wonderful – the ones of your vase are like Chinese watercolour paintings

    1. Thanks so much Cathy….I think the vase and flowers inspire me to create the look….I love the look of this vase and the pics they created.

  3. Our garden had a lot of similarities to yours – small onions and barely any winter squash but great carrots! I am usually not overly disappointing when a new variety doesn’t perform well as it makes way to try out new ones the following year, which is so much fun. If they all did well, I’d run out of room in no time!

    1. Ha ha…I agree Margaret….disappointments really help me learn and try new things and new ways to grow my favorites….I think that is the draw of growing my own veggies. Never a dull moment.

  4. As we can garden year-round, letting go of the garden for a time is a foreign concept for me. The relief of having some down-time is actually somewhat attractive but, being impatient by nature, I imagine that as soon as ideas for the coming season popped into mind, I’d want to get off and running so perhaps I do understand. But it’s the fact that that you prepare your vegetable beds so carefully for the coming season that impresses me, Donna – it speaks to your connection to your garden and its future.

    1. Yes I can see where it would be foreign to let go of the garden when you can garden year round Kris. The ritual of preparing the beds has been happening for years now, but I never realized how much of a spiritual ritual it really was until recently…..and it does keep me connected more to the garden.

  5. It’s good to have a record of what has worked and what has not. I’ve been admiring your harvesting basket over the last few weeks, I’ve never seen one like it. It looks as though many things have done well for you. I love having the gluts of things as they come into season but then miss them as they pass. All your pictures are lovely but the close ups of your vase are particularly beautiful.

    1. The basket is an antique up I picked up years ago that is a hand-made work of folk art. I love it, but it is a bit delicate…I also love that glut in the veg garden, and then miss it when it is gone. I am so pleased you enjoyed the pictures especially the close up flowers…..they are so lovely.

  6. Letting go is never easy.
    Our vegie garden wasn’t at its best this year. Very hot dry weather, and my inability to keep it watered… Sigh.
    Fresh tomatoes are a joy. Increasingly I am leaning towards the black and the yellow ones for their sweetness.
    As our weather warms I am slowly starting to get our patch ready, with hope for a better year (for the garden, for me, for the world).

  7. The changing of the seasons – in life as well as in the garden- can be bittersweet, but it looks to me like you had quite a successful year in the veggie garden! My summer veggies always struggle because of the bugs, the heat and humidity and the resultant fungus. I enjoy my fall/winter garden, which I planted back in late September. Cooler temps, few bugs, no fungus! I am enjoying several varieties of lettuce, Swiss chard, kale and collard greens. My favorite is the chard.

    1. Oh that is too bad about your summer garden Deb, but what a joy to have a second growing season….here’s to a big harvest!

  8. The end of the garden year is always bittersweet, but I do look forward to the rest and quietude winter brings.
    I love your dainty vase and pretty arrangement, amazing that you still have blooms!
    So many of these photos would make beautiful cards – I know I sound like a broken record!

    1. I love the rest too…I was amazed at the blooms still here as we have had a few frosts. And keep the broken record coming as I will be checking in to it this winter….finding the best way to get them printed, shipped and marketed.

  9. Oh Donna, wonderful produce which surely must have been delicious. I planted tomatoes for the first time in 20 years or more and they have been so fun. There still are a few coming in. Great vase today. The echinacea is rich color.

    1. Oh wow 20 yrs. You sound like you had fun growing the tomatoes and what a long growing season. I was shocked to find that echinacea.

  10. What a glorious harvest you had, Donna, and still there’s sadness in your words and I understand. The older we get the more we’re faced with loss and the need to let go. It’s not an easy process and although I know it’s part of life, this knowledge doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe in time I’ll get more relaxed about it. There’s a time for everything and I think it’s about embracing possibilities instead of mourning the losses. I’m working on it! Love your romantic posy too. Best wishes

    1. Thank you Annette for your lovely thoughts…yes as I age it is harder to let go, but I feel so much better when I do…I believe as you do that embracing the possibilities to come is the key!

  11. It looks as if you had a fabulous vegetable harvest and plenty to keep you fed despite the failures of a few things. I had loads of basil again this year – it was a good summer for it and we had pesto once or even twice a week! 🙂 A very pretty vase too Donna. Hope your few remaining flowers can hang on for a few more vases! 😉

    1. Thanks Cathy! I love what our garden provides….even the failures….as there is always an abundance in another area. Wishing you a lovely week!

  12. You know, I tried to grow tomatillos and they were a complete bust. The few that got close to being ripe were eaten by chipmunks.

    1. Oh that is too bad. Mine seem to need just about the same conditions as my tomatoes…..warm and dry conditions which we barely had this summer. And critters leave mine alone thankfully.

  13. It’s hard to let go of a garden that you have worked hard to build. This year I realised that as well as nurturing a garden I needed to nurture myself by downsizing my garden and spending more time taking care of myself. Instead of spending so much time in the garden, I spent the time hiking and getting myself back into better shape. At the end of the year, I feel so much healthier and still have more than enough veggies from the smaller garden. Do what feels right for you and it will the right decision.

  14. it looks like you had a good crop of veggies Donna,
    when I saw the title of this post I though you were not going to grow veg any more, I am so pleased to see you are already thinking of next year and were only refering to the end of this years season,
    where I live being so far north, not getting any hot sun and mostly not much more than luke warm I am learning what veg will grow in these cool temperatures, Frances

    1. Frances, I am so happy to see that you are finding lots of wonderful veggies to grow where you are. Veg gardening always brings such unique challenges but despite them we seem to still be addicted to growing our own food.

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