The best news

As much as I love getting away for a summer vacation, coming back to work is not so bad when it looks like this.

While I was gone the gardens grew even more beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I’ve had the pleasure of a post-vacation week spent in a blissfully relaxed pursuit of further perfection. Standing back, the gardens all looked like there couldn’t possibly be even a morning’s work. It was only when the the volunteers, Betsy, and I (Gail was on vacation this week) started to do a little light deadheading that we noticed any weeds. The thing about intensively planted gardens is that while tightly packed plants mostly out-compete the weeds, sometimes they don’t. The weeds that survive, thrive and suddenly reach astounding heights. This week, we (mostly Betsy) evicted quite a few more prize-winners (some were trees. Literally.) and standing back again, the difference without them was remarkably gratifying.

Speaking of gratifying… While I was away the tomatoes ripened on the vines in the Vegetable Garden and were celebrated with a Tomato Taste Test last Sunday. Ninety votes were tallied and out of 9 varieties (Riesentraube, Costoluto Genovese, Pink Brandywine, Jet Star, Sun Gold, San Marzano, Big Beef, New Girl, Orange Icicle), Sun Gold was deemed the very best. (Go figure. They taste like candy.) Pink Brandywine and Orange Icicle tied for 2nd best and Big Beef took third.

Speaking of bests… It’s high time I shared my own best news. I have spent the last couple of years working with Timber Press (the very best garden book publisher) on a book about making the most of some of my favorite plants. Some of you know that already but might not know that I couldn’t have started or finished it without your support and encouragement. I’m very excited to finally announce that my book has a title and a cover! It also has pages full of words and pictures that are going off to the printers any day now and should be released in early 2014. I hope you like it. (And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you “like” it!)

Care to share your best news, weeding brags, or favorite tomato?