The tulips are up in the white garden. They bloomed just in time for the garden tour last Saturday.

The tulips take all the attention, but the edibles are thriving in the white garden too. If you didn’t notice them in the first picture, you’re not alone. My garden tour attendees didn’t see them at first, either, which also means they’re not immediately noticeable to my neighbors. The flowers steal the show, and unless you’re looking for them, you won’t see the edibles, which is just the way I planned it.

The Katy apricot has fruit on it already. This tree ripens 3-4 weeks before my Royal apricot, which means we’ll have fresh apricots twice. I specifically sought out this tree, not knowing what it was called, but knowing that it had fewer chilling hours than my Royal. My father-in-law’s tree is always ripe 3-4 weeks before ours, so I figured out what would be ripe then, and went to a different nursery that carried this particular tree.

Near the Katy apricot is this Swiss chard plant. Iris are coming up in front of it. The grass-looking wisps near it are leeks. Just out of view of the picture to the left is a bush variety of zucchini. 
I’ll plant basil in place of the iris when they’re done blooming.
In the upper planter behind the bench are mache, spinach, tarragon, oregano, and my new Meyer lemon tree. Behind the lemon tree I added some garlic chives this year. A single daffodil is up here, but others are starting to come up in this area. When the mache and spinach are harvested, Armenian cucumbers will take their place. I planted seeds for them this week in the garden. 
I planted two thyme plants between the roses. While the roses are edible, rose-petal jelly is prettiest with pink or red flowers, so I will be leaving these roses as landscape roses. They are a floribunda rose, so they will bloom every 2-3 weeks until frost. They’re just about ready to bloom for the first time this year.
Next to the driveway is this planter. Eventually the bushes will grow larger and be pruned into ball shapes. The yellow flowers are the decorative white kale that are bolting. They grow well here from October to early spring. It’s time for me to pull them. Between the bushes are daffodils; one has come up here as well. To the left of the daffodils is a red looseleaf lettuce, and to the left of that is parsley, which is still rather small. I’d like to stop buying dried parsley, so I have been planting it all over in order to have enough. I’ve realized that I would like to use a lot more than I have in the past, which is also incentive to grow more. 
The lettuce will be replaced by basil when it gets hotter; I planted basil seeds to the right of the dripline. I usually don’t plant basil until April, but everything bloomed here a month early and it is plenty warm enough for the basil seeds to germinate.
In the same planter, to the right of the daffodils, is a different red leafed lettuce, and then I have some white alpine strawberries that have just germinated. To the right of that, lining the walkway, are white violas (these are edible if you like edible flowers on things). The violas are tiny, and it will be a month or two before they bloom, as I am growing them from seed. Violas can be planted as plants in October here and grow all winter, but seeds were more cost effective. I may try seeding indoors in mid-summer for fall plants this year.

Closer to the front door there isn’t as much direct sun. In this area, I have primroses planted in front of parsley. When they primroses fade, the parsley will fill this space. The vine in the center of the picture is a passionfruit vine. I don’t know how it will do in this space, but it as it grows it will reach sun further up the wall.

Not photographed are the peach and lime trees, nor the chamomile that is starting to come up.

The next flowers to bloom should be the Star of Bethlehem, daffodils, ranunculus, and roses. I’m looking forward to them!

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  1. Another frozen upstate New Yorker here, delighted to see anything green and growing at this time of year. We are still looking at piles of snow, although they are melting somewhat. Your chard and red leaf lettuce look so delicious from here! Nothing is blooming here yet, but my snowdrops are up and ready to, if we get just a little warmth and sunshine. Normally we would be starting greens, peas, etc at this time, but this year it’s still way too wet or snow covered. Our planting date for tender crops isn’t until the end of May–and if we’re lucky our growing season lasts until the end of October–very short compared to yours! Many people here use started plants in order to have vegetables earlier in the year. I will probably do that this year, since it looks like the season will be late again. I like to start seeds and do have grow lights indoors, but my personal energy is in great demand this year, so it looks like I’ll be buying some. I enjoy your blog and while I am fairly frugal, I realize there is always more I could do. Thanks for showing us one way to do it.

  2. I’m so impressed! I’ve never been able to garden where we live but I would like to try growing some edibles when we get settled.Fresh parsley is so much better! When I buy a bunch of fresh parsley, I freeze the leftover by chopping it up, packing about a tablespoon into one compartment of an ice cube tray and covering it with a little water. Perfect for dropping into a pot of soup!

  3. Your garden is so amazing. You have a real talent. We grow such an abundance in our garden (and I’m thankful for that!) but it doesn’t look so beautiful like yours. This week I have been saving water from our sinks, showers, baths etc. Well, I haven’t saved all of it just some, but I have been wandering around our acreage watering plants with it all. I decided that I should sell my treadmill which I did like to use. However, I started thinking that I would rather save money on things like water and get a little exercise doing more practical things. It’s far more satisfying. The funny thing is that it has only been a few weeks since I starting back into more frugal things and my husband asked me if I had lost some weight! I think I have. All of those weeks on the treadmill with little as far as results and then just living frugally and I’m lose some weight. I’m excited about the upcoming year’s garden. If people don’t have a garden I encourage them to start one. My husband is the gardener in this family, but I have started to get involved. I think anybody can grow blackberries or raspberries and then go on from there. We freeze, can and dehydrate a lot of fruit (along with our vegetables.) I’m really grateful for the produce. Thank you for the gorgeous photos of your garden. I long for Spring and you bring me hope that it is coming!

  4. Beautiful! Have you seen the latest blog entry from “Tone on Tone?” I know you would love to see his white gardens. Your tulips, my favorite flower, are lovely!

  5. Oh Brandy your garden is so pretty.. Love that you pointed out the edibles too. I am going to try to integrate some edibles into my plantings around my house. In the last few years we have only been planting edible trees (dwarf fruits) and berries, etc. along with perennial plants. Only plant a few annuals from seed any more, the price of plants has just gotten to be way out of reach in the last few years. I generally will only buy a few vegetable plants It is still rather cold here, although we have had 1-2 actual nice warm days but we will be down to 18 degrees this upcoming week. I can’t wait to get planting but it is way too early here. I did have a beautiful purple/yellow blooming crocus the other day, so Spring is coming but it is just taking it’s sweet time for sure. Always look forward to your blog and the lovely pictures you post.

  6. I wish raspberries grew well here! Between the heat and our 8.2-8.4 ph soil and water, they don’t do well. If they flower at all, they are the third the size of a regular berry. Blackberries will grow here with afternoon shade, but there is no danger of them taking over. It really depends on where you live.I hope you can sell your treadmill quickly! Then you can use that money to plant more things or pay extra down on your mortgage!

  7. Since putting in the garden, I have gotten to know many more of my neighbors, who comment on the garden every time I see them when they come to get their mail! There are a few who never say hi still, but I think they are just not as outgoing. The others talk to me every time.

  8. Allison, check out for a few annual seeds for a fantastic price. They have packets of seeds 1000 or 2000 (depending on variety) for $5. Also check out Wildseed Farms. Those are my sources for annual seeds for fantastic prices in large (very large!) quantities. Plus many things will reseed in planted if an undisturbed spot.

  9. Thanks. I guess I show my gardening ignorance in my comment. I never thought of that! Well, I used to get all jealous of people for what they had (gorgeous gardens with white tulips etc.) and then I finally began to realize that every place is different and we all have different things to be grateful about. You have a warmer, longer growing season and can grow certain things and those of us in the Midwest where I am have four distinct seasons and we can grow different things. It’s all good in the end! 🙂 I will admire your tulips and be grateful for raspberries. I’m just glad I can learn and be inspired from your blog. (Liz)

  10. If you plant white tulips, they will return. If I want these to return, I will have to dig them up and refrigerate them for 10 weeks ago.My dad mentioned to me that he never heard the term “set fruit” in Missouri. He said he just planted tomatoes and they grew. He didn’t have to worry about it being too hot to get tomatoes like we do here.A reader wrote to me from Brazil and made the comment that it must be really different to have seasons! I thought that I don’t have nearly the seasonal difference that others have, but compared to being closer to the equator, it’s certainly a difference! I think it’s hard for us to imagine gardening in a different climate. Each area has its own challenges. I live in a place of extreme heat and 2-4″ of rain a YEAR. I like to bloom where I’m planted.

  11. Very nice!You mention not wanting edibles to be immediately noticeable to the neighbors, are you not supposed to have vegetable gardens? You have really implemented them very well into the garden.

  12. Brandy….ur white garden is gorgeous!How long did it take u to plan out ur garden and bring it to this pt?Also ur backyard…did u have a garden in the backyard in ur previous home?

  13. If you click on the white garden image on the right-hand side of the blog, you can go to all of the posts on my white garden, including our planning and work.Our current backyard can be seen on my website under the Edible Landscaping page.In our last house we redid both the front yard and the backyard and we had edibles in both. I like this front yard SO much more.

  14. Thank u Brandy! I went back and read those posts. I guess i just want it to happen overnight. It took alot of thoughtfulness, research and patience. The transformation is incredible!

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