Garden Wars!!! (Week 3)

Despite Scott Pharr’s hand pollination tutorial and John Sarvay’s championing of raw foods, Ryan Smartt walked away with a solid victory last week. Whose greens will reign supreme in round three? Come take a look and cast your vote!

Despite Scott Pharr’s hand pollination tutorial and John Sarvay’s championing of raw foods, Ryan Smartt walked away with a solid victory last week, putting our standings at:

Sarvay: 0
Pharr: 1
Smartt: 1

We’re not naming names, but SOMEONE needs to step it up a little.


Now, for those of you new to Garden Wars, here’s the deal…

John Sarvay (of Floricane and Buttermilk & Molasses), Ryan Smartt (of ConnectRichmond), and Scott Pharr (of PharrOut and RVANews) face off each week as they showcase images of their agricultural efforts, complete with clever(ish) captions. Then you, the readers, decide who wins. Whoever has won the most number of weeks out of the three-month run of this series will be treated to a meal by the losers.

We declare this, the third week of Garden Wars UNDERWAY!


Full-disclosure: Thea harvested and ate the last of our spring peas before I could get my hands on a camera, and we also picked our first crop of green beans this weekend. The last batch of kale is scheduled to join some garlic, olive oil and black pepper linguine for dinner tonight. It seemed a good time to take a breath and enjoy the flowers. Here’s my early bird daughter enjoying an arrangement of lavender and mint from our garden. (Thea woke at 4:30 Sunday morning ready to go, and I grudgingly climbed from bed at 5:30 to take this photo and spend the morning with her. Check our her shiner – attacked by a can of black beans pulled from the counter!)

While we wait for our vegetable garden to make the transition to summer, we’ve been enjoying the flowery fruits of our garden labors – including an ocean of lilies along the side of our yard. The traditional Virginia orange daylilies are offset by a smattering of fancy, upscale lilies in shades of white, pink, deep red, and yellow.

My grandmother had a blue-and-purple hydrangea bush in her backyard in Bellevue when I was little, and the tiny nods to memory I planted five years ago in my Northside yard have now mushroomed – both of my hydrangeas fill a corner of the yard.


So this is the full view of my backyard garden. I actually have 12 tomato plants back there, you wouldn’t know it because my squash decided to overthrow the entire kingdom.

How could I go one week without talking about my squash? This week, I could LITERALLY give you 18 reason’s why. No joke. I guess I’ll continue to SQUASH my competition, at least in that category. (I know, lame joke.)

Having an 18-month-old (I love the number 18) trying to pose for a picture is difficult, especially when the game is “pull off as many green tomatoes as possible.” She got sent to timeout. JK JK.


So young and cute. It’s a shame they’ll eventually be diced up, added to delicious Pico de Gallo, and go straight into my BELLY.

I guess I won’t be going to Scarborough Fair – Parsley, (no Sage), Rosemary and Thyme.

Lyla works for minimum wage. And by minimum, I mean stickers and animal crackers.

There you have it, readers. Cast your votes in the comments and tell us…


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  1. I’m going with Sarvay this week, mostly because I’m hoping my vote will prompt him to deliver a bouquet of those flowers to my place of business.

  2. Pharr! Nice puns. That’s using the old gourd.

  3. Pharr b/c it’s his birthday

  4. I’m voting for Sarvay out of my love for hydrangeas.

  5. Ryan Smartt on said:

    I don’t usually feel sorry for Sarvay, but I do right now. He gets my vote.

  6. wren on said:

    Sarvay for the lavender and the loss of sleep!

  7. Pharr!!

  8. Erik B on said:

    Pharr because of that whole garden shot.

  9. Eric on said:

    Pharr for this week. Even though I don’t think he was “JK,JK” with the timeout for picking green tomatoes.

  10. Holly on said:

    This week is a tough one, but I think I’m going with Mr. Sarvay. The tomatoes and squash are gorgeous, but the flowers make me smile. Go Sarvay!

  11. Pharr this week. Because his garden has grown into a jungle.

  12. The flowers sealed it for Sarvay this week.

  13. Erin on said:

    Sarvay! For I hope to have a kid one day that loves her veggies as much as Thea does!

  14. Since my votes have correctly anticipated each week’s winner (I voted for Scott for week one, and Ryan for week two), I’ll be casting a vote for myself this week!

  15. Gotta got with Sarvay this week for the floral focus. The nod to his grandmother’s hydrangeas reminded me of my Meema’s hydrangeas. Nice memories!

  16. Mary on said:

    Sarvay this week

  17. Tarliman on said:

    Pharr, because of the squash. My own plants are just now producing fingerlings, nothing more than an inch and a half long, and he’s already got edibles. I’m envious and admiring.

  18. Tarliman, I don’t know what happened this year. It’s like I was blessed by the queen of squash or something.

    You should try to hand pollinate with your flowers open. I’m just saying. 18 last week, already 10 this week. It’s nuts.

  19. lindsey on said:


  20. Mandy on said:

    Sarvay for the flowers!

  21. I’m always challenged by the choosing, but going with Sarvay this week, for the beauty.

  22. Shannon on said:

    Pharr for the beautimus garden shot, and the squash, OH MY!

  23. This is tough. Love Scott’s shot of his entire garden- and those squash! And the herbs and TOMATOES (!!!) and Lyla washing those greens – too sweet. Half a vote for each?

    And, I just added my own take of this week’s garden wars –

  24. Willard on said:

    I’m voting for Sarvay this week- nice blend of photos, familial memories, and sympathy-inducing Black-Eyed Thea.

  25. AM on said:

    I vote Sarvay for an awesome daughter that could careless about a contest and more about some awesome peas and eating her little heart out!

  26. My own wife gives me 1/3 of a vote? I’m tilling up the garden when I get home…

  27. Ryan Smartt on said:

    Pharr, your garden is nice and all, but have you thought about mixing in a lawnmower at some point?

  28. Tilling it up…does that mean I’m off the hook for weeding?

  29. Justin Smith on said:

    I have to give this week to Smartt. I LOVE cooking with fresh herbs and spices. Food taste SOOOO much better that way.

    Sorry Sarvay and Pharr…..the flowers seemed like a cop out as I was lead to believe that this was supposed to be an edible garden war. I don’t think hydrangeas would taste very good, and I HATE squash. One of only two foods that I know of that I don’t like.

  30. Oh snap! Smartt just called Pharr out on his lawn mowing abilities!

  31. suzanne on said:

    Sarvay!!! anyone who gets up at 5:30am with his daughter to smell the flowers gets my vote.

  32. Chef Ellie on said:

    Sarvay… for a great shot of Thea’s shiner (the flowers are pretty, too, though)

  33. Ed/Pat on said:

    Sarvay. Love those flowers!

  34. gray on said:

    Sarvay got my vote with his very first image -ah the wonderful smell of lavendar and mint in the morning. I’m also a sucker for the glorious aroma of white lillies. And the hydrangea -my grandmother had one too. Great photos!

  35. Well, Ryan, I can’t help it if everything I touch grows in abundance.

  36. Elizabeth Smartt on said:

    Even though I think it’s against the rules, I vote for Sarvay’s hydrangeas. Second only to tulips, they are a favorite of mine. Does anyone know how to get our newly-planted green hydrangeas to turn blue?

  37. Ryan Smartt on said:

    Since Sarvay is probably going to win in a landslide this week (sympathy votes), I guess my wife is allowed to not vote for me.

  38. I’m a sucker for hydrangeas. And lavender. And mint. So, I vote Sarvay.

  39. Tía on said:

    Voto yo para Ryan Inteligente. Su jardín de tomates es estupendo. ¡Que absolutamente sensacional! Y, ¡caramba! su hija. ¡Qué preciosa! Otra vez: voto para Ryancito.

  40. Dan Smartt on said:

    Ryan’s garden is the smartt choice!

  41. Bill 3 on said:

    Ryan Smartt & Lyla get my vote this week.

  42. Oh, Ryan. did you really have to pay family to vote for you?

  43. Courtney Skunda on said:

    Pharr…cause the dude turned 30 this week. We need to show him a little love!

  44. Ryan Smartt on said:

    Turning 30 really has made you bitter, Mr. Pharr.

  45. It would be really easy to make a joke about hand pollination and turning 30, wouldn’t it?

  46. Tía on said:

    A response sent to Tía from “Who knows”


    Someone pointed out that you should have said, “Ryan Inteligentee”. J

    Thanks for your vote!


    Your pointing friend is wrong! I’ve got out my red pen to correct his/her mistake….. Oh…..I catch……very funny!!!!! smartt and inteligentee…..very clever!!!! I will put my red pen away and give extra points for creativity!!!!!

  47. Are we on Hollywood Squares all of a sudden?

  48. Kelly on said:


  49. I know its hard for both of you to remember turning 30, so many moons ago, but its been a fairly easy transition. My bitterness just comes from losing two weeks in a row.

  50. Ryan Smartt on said:

    When did I ever mention I’ve turned 30?

  51. Thanks to everyone who voted. Week 3’s winner is clearly Sarvay… finally.

    Tune in tomorrow for the next battle!

  52. e. smartt: i like this website for that!

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