2011 Garden Wars: Week 5

As we cross over into the second half of our Garden Wars showdown, only three players remain, Jason Guard finds a friend in Jorge Salgado as they both fertilize the compost pile, and the scores are now even again to start week 5.

As we cross over into the second half of our Garden Wars showdown, only three players remain, Jason Guard finds a friend in Jorge Salgado as they both fertilize the compost pile, and the scores are now even again to start week 5.

The standings:

  • Sarah Milston (0)
  • Ryan Smartt (0)
  • Scott Pharr (0)

Make your vote count people!

— ∮∮∮ —

Ryan Smartt

My birthday is on Halloween, and this “Magic Pumpkin” might be very useful by then. It’s magic because – like all of the squash and watermelon in my garden – I didn’t plant it. It grew out of the compost. However, my daughter Lyla – who is WAY into Cinderella these days – thinks it magic because it’s eventually going to be her sweet ride to the Fairytale Ball this year.

Guys, no hyperbole here, this is the GREATEST SALAD EVER. And it’s so simple: roasted beets (from my garden), watermelon (currently growing in my garden), fennel (thinking about growing it in my garden next year), goat cheese (thinking about buying my daughter a pet goat for her birthday next year), all on top of a bed of fresh lettuce (from my garden). There you have it: a delicious recipe. My gift to you.

— ∮∮∮ —

Sarah Milston

Just to prove that I can win without the cute kid – Here are some beautiful garden pictures. I’ve had this rusting iron set for a few years. I always planned to strip them and restore them – but there were some watermelon seeds that Lily Jaymes insisted we plant in the herb garden and they are taking over. In fact all over the garden the watermelons and squash are wandering.

@FarmerRussell of Edible Old Dominion stopped by my garden in March to help me plan, think creatively and figure out how to maximize the small space. He suggested trellises (I went a little wild), containers, companion planting. By far his strangest idea, planting corn in a container. I thought he was insane but also had a container big enough. So far it is out performing the small bit I planted in the garden. Here, we have tassels.

— ∮∮∮ —

Scott Pharr

Do you hear what I hear? I’m starting to hear the sweet sound of BELL peppers ringing through the vines! (get it? bells? ringing? hello?) This is actually the first year where I have an abundance of bell peppers growing. Finally!

You know, that one squash kind of looks like a duck. Don’t you think? Well maybe not, but here’s a days bounty from the Garden de Pharr. It’s common that we pull off anywhere between 2-5 squash and 6-8 cukes per week.

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  1. I have to vote for the best salad ever. Smartt!

  2. Andrew Miller on said:

    Gotta vote for Pharr, because I CAN NOT get bell peppers to produce fruit. They are the laziest plants ever. They’re cut from next year’s squad.

  3. Ray on said:

    I’m impressed Ryan! But I think I chipped a tooth when the picture of the greatest salad ever implored my head to try and take a bite. You can really impress me by growing some mice to pull that pumpkin for your daughter!

  4. Smartt – you had me at roasted beets.

  5. Sarah on said:

    Can’t wait to try a new recipe for salad! My vote: Ryan Smartt.

  6. Jim Schuyler on said:

    Yes, the squash does look like a duck’s bill, but the Smartt salad and the clever way he brought Lyla into the story without a photo gets my vote. Smartt, the pumpkin and the GSE win over the squash.

  7. I’m voting for Ryan! My first Garden Wars vote ever! I will eat that salad asap!

  8. Sarah Milston for creativity! I love the trelis, ladder, containers… Such a fun garden!

  9. Carrie on said:

    Smartt: salad looks amaze!

  10. Smartt — I wouldn’t think to put beets and watermelon together.

  11. Renee on said:

    For her ability to grow corn, and for her creativity in re-using the iron furniture for her watermelon, my vote goes to Milston (despite the mixed up captioning of her two photos, something I’m sure the RVANews folks can fix). :)

  12. Pharr, solid garden booty.

  13. It’s kinda ironic that yall are actually focusing on the fruits of your gardens while I’ve decided to out-cute Ryan Smartt’s pug over in the compost pile.

    So, I’m gonna try and start a movement. Take a peek at the compost pile and consider voting one of us who fertilize to the soil, making the garden wars possible.


  14. Michelle on said:

    My vote is for Ryan Smartt! Thanks for the recipe :)

  15. Smartt. Salad WINS!

  16. Liz on said:

    This is getting tough to choose between, but I’m going to have to go with Scott Pharr this week, for his persistence with the bell peppers.

    Plus, the squash does look like a duck.

  17. Scott Randa on said:

    Gunna go with Scott Pharr on this one… Squash and bell peppers are my favorite… Just don’t squash the bell peppers, because they’ll be belppers

  18. BJ Marshall on said:

    Smartt gets my vote for not only growing the stuff, but showing us the practical application of the fruits (and veggies) of his labors.

    Although for me, having a “recipe” for salad is kinda like having a recipe for an ice cream sundae. You sort of just pile a bunch of good stuff on top of one another until you have something greater than the sum of its parts (please pass the Gestalt). Hard to go wrong there.

  19. No kids this week AT ALL!? This Garden Wars concept has strayed mightily from its self-absorbed origins.

    Smartt FTW this week.

  20. I am jealous of any of you that can grow watermelon because it is one of my favorite foods.

    I vote Sarah for the creative use of containers and incorporation of a member of the Twitterverse (@FarmerRussell)

  21. Michelle on said:

    My vote is for Ryan and the salad recipe.

  22. Catherine on said:

    Pharr for the green peppers. I can never get my peppers to grow.

  23. Ryan Smartt on said:

    I vote for Sarah. Her watermelon is actually growing AND she didn’t use her ridiculously cute daughter this week.

  24. Paula Pilgrim on said:

    I vote for Sarah! Not only does she have an adorable daughter, her creativity is contagious!

  25. Katherine on said:

    My vote’s for Ryan’s pretty salad.

  26. Ben Dacus on said:

    watermelon growing on iron chair… my vote goes to Sarah.

  27. Sarah on said:

    Love the iron chair in Sarah Milston’s gardenl

  28. GranDan on said:

    Ryan Salad Smartt gets my vote!

  29. Courtney on said:

    Milston!!! I LOVE the creativity u have going on with the trellises!!! It all looks amazing Sarah! Great job!

  30. martha on said:

    I love the iron chair, but miss the cutie. Milston FTW!

  31. jeff on said:

    Sarah Milston, the only girl standing, for the enchanting chair.

  32. Janice on said:

    Sarah’s got my vote! That is just lovely and delicious!

  33. As long as I don’t have to take care of a “grand-goat” next year, I vote for Ryan and his goat cheese/etc salad and magic pumpkins!

  34. Cathy G on said:

    Milston garden is still the best!

  35. Juliet on said:

    Milston. What more do you need on a sweltering summer day but a juicy watermelon and a wrought iron to chair to sit and enjoy it?

  36. Juliet on said:

    Milston. What more do you need on a sweltering summer day than a juicy watermelon and a wrought iron chair to sit and enjoy it?

  37. Tina on said:


  38. Judy on said:

    Yeah Sarah! I love your watermelons! Milstons!

  39. Amy on said:

    I vote for Sarah. Container corn sold me.

  40. Kevin Glenallen on said:

    I Vote for Sarah Milstons

  41. Tía on said:

    Jabbering jack-o-lantern, Compost carriage, savoury salad….my vote is for Ryan!

  42. Mana on said:

    R ich reference to Cinderella and my “nieta”
    Y ellow pumpkin that will soon be orange
    A delightful recipe for a refreshing salad
    N ice photos that capture one’s attention and vote.

    Looks like it spells RYAN to me…he’s got my vote!

  43. Sara on said:

    I vote for Ryan…that salad looks yummy!

  44. Carla on said:

    Have to go with Sarah. First it was the old window as a trellis now its the old garden chair! I just love the creativity. And corn growing in an urban garden that looks as beautiful as hers? Now that’s something special!!

  45. Amber on said:


  46. Louis on said:

    My vote is for Smartt, the composte pile surprises continue to amaze me

  47. Molly Mulloy on said:

    considering I have the strangest obsessive dream about getting goats in my future..I was sold at goat cheese! Smartt all the wayy!

  48. Transplant on said:

    I vote for Ryan and double dog dare him to buy the goat.

  49. Eunice on said:

    Sarah you are the greatest, your creativity is outstanding. I love watermelon!

  50. Ed on said:

    You go Sarah, we have got to make a trip to Richmond with out vegetable basket!

  51. Elizabeth Smartt on said:

    Wow, Sarah. Those are frame-worthy photos! But my vote goes to my husband (resident chef and gardener) Ryan Smartt. That salad was as delicious as it looked, and the beets he grew were much tastier than the ones we bought at the store.

  52. Bill on said:

    Ryan Smartt is RED HOT when it comes to GREENS.
    My vote is for Ryan.

  53. Michal on said:

    Sarah Milston, such a cool way to grow watermelon and corn!

  54. I vote Scott Pharr. His garden’s MIGHTY fine!

  55. Not to sway anyone’s vote, but one of the competitor’s wives has come over to the compost party, throwing her vote behind beautiful tomatoes and a stout K-9. Hope no one’s marriage becomes a casualty in the Garden War.

    Come over and test your fidelity with some compost wrasslin’

  56. Ryan Smartt on said:

    Jason, because my wife voted for you in the compost pile, does that mean you’re voting for me?

  57. I hearby vote for Ryan Smartt and what appears to be his pug’s contribution atop that mozzarella ball. ;o)

  58. Ryan Smartt on said:

    This is what Garden Wars is all about.

  59. Clarcho on said:

    Goats goats goats

    Smartt gets my vote

  60. Tara on said:

    My vote is for Milston

  61. Christi on said:

    SCOTT PHARR!!!!!!!! Nice veggies…veggies we can eat NOW!! I’m too impatient for melons :).

  62. Lisa G on said:

    Voting for Milston! Next time we want to see LJ!

  63. Jill on said:

    I vote for Ryan! So excited to have a goat in the family soon! :)

  64. Scott Burger on said:

    I still want to see some solar cooking as part of the contest.

  65. Cadi on said:


  66. Arona on said:

    Sarah, even without Lily in the garden, wins hands down for creativity and beautiful veggies! Milstons all the way!

  67. Doug on said:

    Sarah! Great ideas and pictures!

  68. ksargent40 on said:

    milston. watermelon. chair.

  69. Gisela Walde on said:

    I vote for Sara Milton

  70. Ashley on said:

    Sarah! I love the pic, even without the cute kid bonus!

  71. kimberlee on said:

    sarah milston for her creativity.

  72. bryan on said:


  73. walter on said:

    vote for sarah

  74. charlie on said:

    sarah milston

  75. michelle on said:

    the great ideas of Sarah Milston get my vote

  76. shirley on said:

    i vote for sarah

  77. jade on said:

    sarah all the way

  78. bobby on said:


  79. Tom Martin on said:

    My vote is for Ryan, with the Great Pumpkin and the Greatest Salad. Wait, is that Muhammad Ali giving Ryan a hand with the weeding?

  80. Dan on said:

    Sarah gets my vote for her tenacity at coming back from the brink of disaster. That and her cool trellis.

  81. Christie Thalhimer on said:

    I vote Smartt!

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