Garden Wars!!! (Week 5)

Wow, that was close, guys. Sarvay put up quite the fight, but Pharr squeeeeeeeaked by last week, earning him his second win and putting him in the lead of this epic competition for gardening greatness. But, who will take it this week?

Wow, that was close, guys. Sarvay put up quite the fight, but Pharr squeeeeeeeaked by last week, earning him his second win and putting him in the lead of this epic competition for gardening greatness. But, who will take it this week?

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.

Our gardeners are currently neck and neck and neck:

Sarvay: 1
Pharr: 2
Smartt: 1

Garden Wars Week 5: Begin!


Carrots were banned from Thea’s diet a year ago because of allergies. They’re making a test return to her life, and she couldn’t be more delighted.

It’s an abundant life we’re living this week – the last load of beets and carrots, tons of kale and chard, and about six pounds of green beans. There was even enough for the squirrels – they found two Sungold tomatoes half-ripened, and took a bite out of each.

I named my new business Floricane, which is the fruit-bearing vine of a blackberry bush. And after six years of trying, I finally managed to get a real blackberry bush in my yard to bear fruit. Now, if I can keep Thea from picking the berries before they ripen…


Those aren’t weeds and they aren’t volunteer tomato plants. Want to guess what they are? (The answer is below.)

You’ve all heard of Space Mountain, well, I present to you…. SQUASH MOUNTAIN!?

Possibly how the bees and ants see my eggplant plants. And yes you guessed it (or didn’t) the first picture are our potatoes!


Remember that TINY cucumber from last week? Here it is again, lookin’ like it could be a tasty pickle one day.

Lyla is a good sport. Right after this photo was taken, Daddy shot an arrow straight through our first tomato of the year, and then turned it into salsa.

One of the best traits of pugs is they can actually talk. However, no words are necessary…Deacon’s expression says it all: “I must eat this delicious hot pepper. Please?! C’mon!”

There ya have it, readers. Now you must decide the winner. Leave your votes in the comments and help decide WHOSE GREENS REIGN SUPREME!

  • error

    Report an error

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. AM Grohs on said:

    vote is for Smartt…way to mix it up with the dog this week..just give him the pepper!

  2. lindsey on said:

    sarvay! my mom and i have been trying to make blackberries work at our house for nearly five years as well and haven’t seen a berry yet! good work!

  3. Ryan Smartt on said:

    Pharr, where’s your daughter(s)?

  4. Jennie on said:

    I vote Smartt- that dog is so damn ugly it’s cute. Awww!

  5. While Sarvay appears to be bringing home the bounty of veggies, I’ve gotta give it to Ryan this week, for the tomato-headed cherub combined with those “Vote For Me” puppy dog eyes. I won’t be swayed by such manipulation next week though…you’ll see.

  6. Cats > dogs > babies > kids over 4.

    No cats this week, so the dog has it. Good work, Smartt.

  7. I have to vote for myself – quantity AND variety! If pressed, Ryan would get my second vote, although I’m shocked he didn’t somehow weave his wedding anniversary (and lovely wife) into the mix.

  8. wren on said:

    The puppy dog eyes are almost impossible to resist, but I have to give this one to Sarvay for the Floricane + blackberries combo. Well played, sir.

    (I hope there are more photos of Deacon in future Garden Wars competitions, hint hint…)

  9. I’m super impressed with Smartt’s tomato. I *hear* that if you get red tomatoes by 4th of July you are considered legit. Just saying. I vote for Smartt.

  10. Beth on said:

    Sarvay, for not giving up on the berries.

  11. My vote goes to @Sarvay again. The whole Floricane story sold me.
    Enough with the puppy dog eyes!
    You guys are so inspiring. How do you find the time?

  12. I vote for Smartt! I’m so proud of the cucumber! And seriously, that is one cute dog.

  13. @Sarvay gets it for the blackberries.

  14. Julie on said:

    Sarvay for his persistence with those berries.

  15. Jim on said:

    smartt wins…by a cucumber. oh, and lyla.

  16. While I have to give major props to Sarvay for those berries, I must say Smartt gets my vote this week. Little Miss Tomato Head and Deacon, one of the most precious pugs I’ve seen in a while, stirred my heartstrings.

  17. One more for Deacon. . . I mean Ryan!

  18. Lisa on said:

    Smartt gets my vote this week!

  19. Willard on said:

    My vote for Smartt is contingent on his posting a video of his dog eating the pepper and saying, in Spanish, ‘Que delicioso!’

    Props to Sarvay for consistently lovely photos, love the close-up of the berries.

  20. Ahhh tough call between Sarvay and Smartt but I am going with Sarvay for that harvest pic and those berries! Yum!

  21. Rebecca on said:

    My vote is for Sarvay- the berries look yummy!!

  22. I change my vote to me. Only because no one has voted for me today. It’s cool, I understand. I have no kids or pets in my pictures … cough *gardens* cough

  23. Paul Stephens on said:

    I would have been more impressed if Smartt had used a knife to shoot the tomato off Lyla’s head, while at the same time making the salsa, but still I’ll have to vote for Smartt.

  24. erin on said:

    Sarvay for the blackberries and Thea triumphing over her allergies!

  25. Smartt. Dog in the picture will always get my vote.

  26. Shane on said:

    Smartt. For risking a visit from child protective services for his salsa. Dedication to his craft.

  27. I vote Pharr.

  28. Shannon on said:

    I’m going with Smartt and the red tomato since I already have red ones myself!

  29. Catherine on said:

    Sarvay for the variety this week.

  30. Vanessa on said:

    smartt cuz Deacon is cute and ugly all at once. I wish he could grow more pugs.

  31. Eric on said:

    I vote for Sarvay. That is an impressive bounty this week.

  32. Cindy on said:

    I vote for John Sarvay! Gotta love Thea!!

  33. Renee on said:

    Being a former owner of a black pug named Weasley, I have to say that if this were a contest for Best Use of Cuteness While Gardening, Smartt wins, hands down. However, since this is to “showcase agricultural efforts”, I’m going to have to go with Sarvay – those blackberries are fabulous!

  34. Mary on said:


  35. Sarvay this week – for variety & quantity. Looks like you can actually eat substantial meals from your harvest!

  36. We’ve had three meals from our garden this week, and if Nikole ever cooks her beets we can call it three-and-a-half (since half of us won’t be eating).

  37. Katie M on said:

    Sarvay – because of the blackberries. Fruit-bearing vines are a bit trickier to grow than annual veggies.

  38. Edward Price on said:

    Sarvay; love those beets and blackberries.

  39. Tía on said:

    Tía dice: ‘Quiero el pepino. Quiero el tomate. Quiero el perro. Quiero taco bell. Smartt es el hombre. Voto para R. Smartt.’

  40. Molly on said:

    i vote smartt!! deacon and lyla are precious, and so is the cucumber!

  41. Stanton on said:

    Gotta go with Smartt…aka Robin Hood

  42. I vote Sarvay.

    Pharr, aren’t you supposed to have a picture with kids in it somewhere?

  43. Bill 3 on said:

    The Demon Deacon makes this week a solid win for Ryan & Lyla Smartt. They are HOT:):):)

  44. Dan Smartt on said:

    Lyla Smartt is the cutest tomato. Deacon Smartt is a peck
    of pickled peppers.

  45. APT on said:

    Sarvay gets my vote for the berries alone!

  46. Jerry Smartt on said:

    Pepe, el pepino, vota por esmartt.
    Decano, el doguito, vota por esmartt.
    Lyla, la libélula, vota por esmartt.
    ¿Yo?, soy la Mana y voto por esmartt.

  47. Winner: Ryan Smartt!

    Week 6 goes up tomorrow. Stay tuned!

  48. Elizabeth Anderson on said:

    My vote is Smart…a child AND a dog showcasing his efforts??? Way to play to the judge, Smart…way to play to the judge.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead