Saturday, August 20, 2011

Garden Tour 2011

Seems to me I haven't been sharing much of my garden this year.  At times, I think I've even felt there wasn't so much to share.  But, WOW, as I pulled my pictures and thoughts together, I became aware of what a blessing our garden has been this year.  This is really the beauty of blogging for me.  I would miss things.  I love reflecting in this space and remembering to be grateful.  Sorry this will probably be long and super random.

So here I started, taking pictures at one end of my garden where more of the flowers are, although they are found in all sorts of places.  Our free teddy bear plant the kids got (I tried to move the other 2 when things got crowded and they didn't survive the move.  So now, they all share this one).
 Californian poppys I grew from seed.  I really dislike the price for greenhouse plants.  But, it really is hard to be patient for most of the growing season here to finally have flowers.
 I'm still a little nervous after last years tomato crop failure to late blight.  So, I didn't invest in greenhouse tomatoes.  I started these from seed indoors :)  I'm inspecting the leaves every day now and haven't seen any signs of disease yet. 
Then there's the squash.  I'll get a couple, but I'm afraid most are too small yet and the summer doesn't seem like its going to last long enough.  Maybe we'll get a super hot September again?  I've heard of people eating the squash blossoms.  Maybe if I was picking them off the blossoms and letting the other squash grow, I'd be more successful?  Oh, I still have much to learn.

 Next is this messy looking area full of beans, beets, and potatoes.  Mostly beets.  The kids are loving beets so I planted lots.  Ian and I have been loving a feta and beet salad, but I leave some plain roasted ones for the kids as they prefer.  Way at the back is our lone zucchini plant hanging out with the lavatera.  I even tried replanting some zucchini and it still didn't come up.  Oh, well, I'm enjoying having less than usual for this year.

Aren't these so cool?  They're on some of the onions that were planted last year. I'm thinking if I let it dry, I'll get onion seeds from it.
This afternoon, I cut down these 2nd year parsnips and turned them upside down in a pillowcase.  The seeds are almost dry and I read that is an easy way to collect seeds.  I'm thinking I won't buy parsnip seeds next year.  I guess I'd better learn how to store them properly.

Its kind of made my garden look messy as I experiment with collecting my own seeds.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  It makes me happy to think of growing from my own seeds.

My herbs have been super successful this year.  I've stored jars of my own dried oregano and parsley.  This might be the favorite part of my garden.  It might look like a mess, but its given me so much goodness - thyme, lemon balm, mint, fennel, mmm...


my herb box
My lemon balm ice tea has taken time to perfect, and sometimes I don't plan ahead enough.  It's the best if I do it the night before and let it chill overnight.  Apparently it helps with feeling calm, with improved memory, and I can't remember the third one.  I'm thinking I need to be drinking more of it :)

The kale has been a new thing in my garden and I've been loving it.  Kale soup, baked kale, ginger stirfried kale...yum!
The kohlrabi have been better for me this year.  I started some early indoors.
This was ready to be picked.  Wished I hadn't have decided to wait until the next day...
I'm not sure what ate it, and not sure I want to know.  It must have been big.  Other than that, we aren't too bothered by pests.  A big failure for some reason I have yet to figure out, is our broccoli.  6 plants and only one produced anything - which was the only other casualty of the unknown large eater!! :(

I love these pretty pink flowers...and love to take them inside to enjoy.
I only wish I didn't have to ignore what's around them to enjoy them.  I really don't get how so many people I know with kids can possibly have such clean houses.
I turn my back for a few minutes and the've emptied a box of crackers and left it on the table.  Pulled out papers, crayons...which entertained for maybe all of 10 minutes.  And their off, to make their next soon to be discovered mess.  Oh, well, at least I have the garden to retreat to :)

Many of the new recipes I've been trying with the basil, swiss chard, and kale have been from a new favorite cookbook of mine.

Only problem is, I've borrowed it from the library.  i've reached my max renewals.  I don't think I have a choice but to purchase myself a copy.  It's that good.  It's got lots of good stories that inspire me.  The layout of it is so unique, I've never seen one quite like it.

Anyhow, sorry for the crazy run on post.  It's taken about 4 sittings to get it done, which doesn't help with the flow of writing.  And, I'm not rereading or editing.  I am more full of gratitude, so I can leave it here, as is.  If you have any garden advice for me, I'll gladly hear it!


Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Your garden looks beautiful. You are amazing!

pella said...

LOVE IT!! Beautiful garden tour, I'll have to live vicariously through you! Insert here.

And that cookbook is awesome! I have a copy and love it, you can get it at Ten Thousand Villages and there is a bible study guide that goes with it (found online). I use it at least once a week :)

Thanks for your always inspiring posts...

pella said...

That's suppose to say insert "jealously" here...but the word jealousy got dropped! Hmmm...