Today we're continuing our August tour of Harriet Robinson's garden in Maine with a look at her veggie patch. She says, "My love is ornamental gardening, mostly flowering perennials, but I feel that I should grow vegetables since I am into growing things. Certainly the quality of what I can grow myself is vastly superior to what I can buy so I spend time planting, maintaining, harvesting, and preserving my produce. It is a pretty normal thing to do in rural Maine and a frequent topic of conversation ("How is your garden doing?"). It is also really hard as weather and pests create problems. Two years ago I had zillions of cucumbers and last year not a one. Last year I had too much winter squash and this year both plants withered and died. This is my best tomato crop in years but the cucumbers are so-so. Since the vegetable raised beds are in the same back yard as the formal garden, I try to make them pretty, although they usually turn into jungles. Combining flowers helps them look prettier and attracts beneficial insects. I am completely organic in my methods and I rely heavily on compost and mulch (newspapers covered with leaves and grass clippings. All photos were taken on August 28 except the two from 2012 put in for comparison." For someone who just "feels like she should" grow vegetables, Harriet, your veggie patch is stunning! I love how you've mixed in flowers, and I'm soooooo envious of your tomato crop.

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