Garden Tour: Jennifer Farr of Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Friday, August 08, 2014

This week our blogger garden tour comes from Jennifer Farr, the Toronto blogger behind Kitchen Counter Chronicles. Typically Jen blogs about her kitchen counter, but today she has us outside in her wonderful city garden. I love all the colour! Read about Jen's garden oasis below.

Beautiful dill plant and more flowers from the front garden

Tell me a little about your blog, where you live and how long you’ve been blogging.

I believe that life lands on the kitchen counter. Our kitchen counter is the landing spot for so many things. Aside from the many piles of craft projects and paperwork, our kitchen counter is also where we gather with our family and friends, creating memories.

Three and a half years ago I decided to start sharing everything that lands on our kitchen counter with readers on my blog, Kitchen Counter Chronicles. I have been chronicling all of our crafting, baking, gardening and our attempts at greening our lives. We live in Toronto and are trying to raise our daughters (aged 8 and 10) to be eco-conscious individuals. As we teach them how to be more aware of the world, we are learning as well. I am an advocate for free play and the need to get children outdoors exploring, playing and learning. As such, our family spends a lot of time outdoors, discovering our city and beyond.

Pops of yellow in the front garden

What do you love most about your garden? What makes it special to you?

I love our city garden. I truly believe that a garden is for everyone to enjoy, which is why I love how our garden meets the needs of everyone in our household.

Even though we really don't have very much space, somehow we have created pockets for everyone to enjoy. My daughters and I take care of our vegetable patch...the planning, planting and harvesting. A few years ago I built and installed an outdoor chalkboard. What a fun way for kids to get creative outdoors. My husband has his barbecue zone...which is where you will find him most weekends.

I love sneaking out into the garden with a cup of tea and my laptop. I always find being outside so peaceful and inspiring. Even with the hum of the busy city all around, the back yard is the perfect place to write.

Jen relaxing in her oasis!

What have you learned along the way that you can share with others about gardening or setting up a backyard oasis?

I have learned so much about gardening over the years. I am in no way an expert, but I do love sharing what I have learned.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is to have patience. You cannot rush a flower or vegetable plant. A successful garden takes planning and once planted it will need time to develop into your vision. Our flower garden in the front yard is finally looking wild and free, like I had hoped it would. We also have a tiny vegetable patch in our backyard. I have discovered that vegetable gardening takes planning and a lot of trial and error. Sometimes the peppers don't turn yellow or the tomatillos plants produce way too many tomatillos.

Left: Kale in the vegetable garden; Right: Outdoor chalk board for the kids

Do you have any future plans for your garden or do you love it just the way it is?

We are always dreaming about new things to do in our garden. Our next big project will be building a new fence in our front yard. We are really procrastinating on that project...we are having a hard time committing to a design we love. Otherwise, the planning of our garden is a family effort. We try an take into consideration what foods the kids like, what food we would like to try growing and figuring how to grow it. Who knows what crops we will produce next year.

Vegetable Garden

When we first moved in, some seven years ago, our front yard and back yard were all flower beds. It was like someone handed us a blank canvas and we could turn our yard into a beautiful work of art. At the time, my mother was living with us and she was an incredible gardener. So, my mom and I planned, planted and poured our love into the front and back gardens. My mother passed away five years ago and I am so grateful to see the garden we planted growing into everything we had planned together. Yes, it takes time, energy and effort to grow a garden...but every year we are given a glorious reward.

Thanks for sharing your garden Jen! You can find out more 
about Jen and follow her kitchen chronicles here:

Next week, I'll feature the garden of Thea Morris from Time with Thea.

Blogger Garden Tour Series
and my garden!


  1. Beauitful! I dont have a garden, but I wish I did some days :)

  2. What a lovely interview and photographs! I am so enjoying this series because it is so interesting to not only see the garden but also the thinking, planning and learning that goes on behind it. What a delightful idea to add a chalkboard! I am really enjoying this series Stephanie!

    1. Thanks Thea - You're next! I'm happy you're enjoying it!

  3. It 's great that you get your kids outside a lot! Your garden is so lush. And that dill is such a lacy and pretty plant :)


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