Hard to believe the summer is coming to an end. It seems like yesterday I was complaining about ice storms over Christmas, and planting seeds indoors in preparation for the summer.
As with other years we enjoyed planting, watering, fertilizing and watching the garden come to life. Adding vegetables this year along side flowers and herbs presented interesting new challenges.
One point that stands out this year is our success with green peppers. We’ve planted them for a few years and this is the first time they successfully grew to full term.
But with all good things they must come to an end. The nights are getting colder and the crop in danger of frost damage. So tonight we decided to pick the remaining vegetables and create a stir fry with produce collected from the garden ONLY.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, banana peppers, green peppers, kholrabi, yellow wax beans, rosemary, oregano, mint, thyme
This stir fry was absolutely delicious, full flavored and savory, something I find missing in grocery store produce.
Once again the garden offered challenge and surprises. Adding vegetables brought a learning curve which for the most part we successfully worked through.
The pumpkin seeds however, grew into a 6 foot vine and continues to grow through the colder evenings. It produces beautiful large orange star shaped flowers but no pumpkins. We learned late in the season when there are not enough bees the human gardener is on the hook for the pollination process. Meaning there are male and female plants on the same vine and they need to be cross pollinated with a soft brush. We’ll try again next year armed with the knowledge we need to play bumble bee to bring out pumpkins for pies and Halloween.
How was your gardening this year? Successes? Challenges? Favorite gardening moments of 2014?
Tonight we picked a couple of the Kohlrabi planted from seeds back in the spring.
Threw it into the food processor with a few seasonings, and voila:
This took about 5 minutes to make and the savory flavor is wonderful. We will have a hard time going back to cabbage coleslaw after this..
Very happy we added veggies to the flower garden this year and can’t wait to try more next year.
This morning on one of my favorite cooking shows, they made an Italian style frittata . The cook picked fresh herbs off the side of a lovely mountain in Italy. This got me thinking about the vegetables and herbs growing in the back garden. It is getting a little colder here, and I have been thinking about picking the vegetables and herbs growing out the back. So this morning I did just that and made my first frittata.
Peppers, green onion, sage, rosemary, basil and mint from the garden:
Saved the pepper seeds to dry, store and plant next spring:
Scrambled some eggs:
Added the fresh chopped herbs and peppers:
A cup of bread crumbs, dash of salt and some Parmesan cheese:
Delicious frittata. What made this dish extra fresh and special was the veggies and herbs grown and picked right here at home.
Bon appetite and here’s to the love of gardening.
It has been, for the most part, a quiet week. I was able to get out and garden, returned to my studies and did some reading. At the moment a thunder and lightening storm rages outside. Hence the title of this entry.
In my last post I talked about and shared pics of the various vegetables and herbs growing in the garden. In this one I share the flowers growing right along side them.
Compared to last years basket which didn’t do very well out front, this array of petunias has produced lovely blooms this summer:
The flowers below were purchased at various nurseries and did very poorly in the back garden. Between bugs eating them, not enough sunlight and too much rain they were almost dead. I moved them to the front garden and over the last few weeks they have miraculously (maybe miracle grow and sunlight) come back to life. I love a happy ending:
Below is a marigold planted from seed. I’ve had no luck with nursery bought marigolds, but these ones, although we had the same problem with bugs eating the leaves, seem to keep right on coming back:
This bud is attached to a miniature rose bush we gave our youngest daughter after the birth of our beautiful new granddaughter, Aria. It was brought over to transplant into the garden in a very sorry state, and totally understandable considering the demands of an infant on her parents. With some time to spare I transplanted it into the front garden and nursed it back to health. What a lovely reminder of the birth of our second grandchild:
Zinnia also started from seeds. I planted these in both the front and back gardens and only the plants in the back survived:
Not sure where these purple bell shaped flowers came from. Maybe seeds that didn’t take, or just wild flowers that blew in. Either way they make a pretty addition to this little jungle paradise of ours:
Picked up this little plant from the sale rack. It had 1 straggly branch growing out the pot. I started it in the front garden where it did very poorly in competing with the larger plants. I moved it to the back and it is now beautiful and full. Again, I love those happy endings:
The usual assortment of impatiens:
I fell in love with these black/purple petunias last summer when I found a pot of them at the nursery. It didn’t do so well, but when I saw this basket hanging in the store I just had to have it:
When my kids were younger, I found this plant growing along the side of a road. I took 1 little stem home and in a few years it had turned into 10 plants. Only 1 left blooming these days, and I still have no idea what it is called:
My memory must be failing as I don’t recall planting these lovely white and pink lily’s in the back garden last year. Anyway the white lily’s have just died off so the timing of these pretty pink and white blooms is perfect:
A batch of rose buds just coming into bloom. This young bush just keeps growing up the side of the house with very few roses to show for it. It is still very young and I will give it a few more years before considering a move:
Random pictures of back garden:
Once again, I am having a great time growing and caring for the garden. The wonder, beauty and peace this hobby offers is worth every speck of dirt under my finger nails.
We are more than half way through the summer, and I realized I have yet to write a gardening post, or share pics.
Anyway, although the fusion garden I wrote about in the spring time didn’t happen, I was able to follow through on plans to grow some vegetables along side the flowers and herbs this year.
Growing in this jungle of plants:
Sweet Green Peppers:
Also, there are herbs growing in the flower jungle. With the exception of basil, which I picked up from the farmers market and my mother in law, the herbs are perennial and have been growing well in the back garden for years.
*I added mint to the garden because it stops insects and ants away from plants. I was very dumb and failed to heed the warning to place it in the garden still in the pots. Instead, I planted them and now it just keeps spreading. However, it did cause the sugar ants to move on and helps control garden pests.
Basil, Rosemary & Thyme:
Very happy with the garden this year. It is attractive to look at and, fingers crossed, vegetables and herbs will be delicious to eat.
Until next time,
It is 22C today and finally after the longest coldest winter I can remember spring has arrived. At least I really, really hope it has.
We went outside today to do some yard cleaning and I snapped a few pics of the front and back garden.
At this point in the season I am uncertain which perennials survived the winter. But so happy to see brown earth and green grass instead of white snow and ice.
I am super excited about starting a fusion garden this year. There is lots of work to be done and I look forward to the challenge.
Very happy to report the vegetable and flower seeds planted back in late February are growing well.
Zinnia, Marigolds & Flower Garden:
Once fusion garden is ready to go (not before May long weekend) will take the plants outside and start the 2014 garden and I can’t wait. Man, I love plants and gardens!