Last year, despite some early excitement, we basically grew no tomatoes. Well, we managed to grow one, solitary tomato from seed (which was, I swear, the greatest tomato I've ever eaten). We blamed the ridiculously sweltering weather, but I'm pretty sure our ineptness had something to do with it. This was a striking change from the year before, where our landlady had somehow magically grown a billion tomatoes that we had for breakfast on toast every day for what seemed like a month.
Undeterred, we decided to try again to grow from seed this year. I did actually harden them this year, and when it came time to pot them out, in a pathetic lack of ruthlessness, we couldn't bear to chuck them out. So every possible pot contained some sort of tomato plant. We did not have any room to even consider purchased seedlings; everything is full with one of our little seeds that could. We even removed some shrubbery and, instead of letting the strawberries grow into that spot, put in our tomatoes instead.
It appears our softheartedness has paid off, because in the ground and in a random pot we have an abundance of tomatoes. Some are plum, and ripened or nearly there; the regular tomatoes are green and will be ripe in a matter of weeks. Those ground-based plants smell amazingly tomatoey - there's no other smell like that earthy, viney smell of tomatoes growing; the stems are laden down with the enormous weight of the fruit. It's glorious.
So tomatoes we're doing better with. We also have parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, sage and thyme (and a ridiculous abundance of the latter two) which is utterly satisfying as well as (boringly enough) economically sounder than continually purchasing plastic-wrapped bunches of herbs that we don't end up using.
Now we just have to work out what I did wrong to the lavender. Gah.