growing inspiration: tomatoes

So far my Growing Inspiration posts have been about flowers. Of course I love flowers. I love growing them and painting them. I love cutting them for the house and watching the butterflies and bees and hummingbirds visit them in the garden.

But one of my very favorite things about the garden is eating from it. It’s something I really miss during the winter months. And my favorite thing to eat from the garden?

Heirloom Tomatoes Watercolor Painting by Anne Butera

Yes, you guessed it. Tomatoes.

Anne Butera in Her Garden with a Harvest of Tomatoes

Nothing tastes like a garden tomato.

A beautiful heirloom tomato

And where I live I can only eat them for a couple months each year. It makes them extra special.

I love growing unusual and heirloom varieties. There are so many colors and shapes.

Indigo Rose Tomatoes are so Beautiful

This year I grew a dark purple variety called Indigo Rose. It’s beautifully purple and the plant stayed a lot healthier than my other varieties. As it ripens the purple dulls a bit and the green turns to red. Inside it’s all red. Tasty, too.

It’s the unusual colors that call to me.

A Watercolor Painting of a Green and Red Tomato by Anne Butera

Every year I end up painting a few tomatoes. They’ve shown up in my pattern designs, too.

Anne Butera's Watercolor Tomato Fabric is Available on Spoonflower
Watercolor Kitchen Garden Fabric Design by Anne Butera features tomatoes, herbs, flowers and is available on Spoonflower

My very first tea towel calendar (now revised with 2020 dates) has tomatoes in the design.

Anne Butera's Kitchen Garden Tea Towel Calendar for 2020 is available on Spoonflower

Tomatoes aren’t always the easiest plants to grow. They need a lot of sun. They can get unruly. Where I live they almost always come down with blight.

Summer Harvest Watercolor Painting by Anne Butera

But even with the disappointments, I don’t think I’ll ever grow a garden without tomatoes.

What about you? Do you grow tomatoes? Do you have a favorite variety? Or maybe there’s another veggie that’s a must-have in your garden?