Monday, August 3, 2009

All You Need Is...


All I need is a fresh, picked from the vine, red, juicy, heirloom tomato - a few snips of fresh basil - some good mozarella and a twist of the pepper & salt shake and life is good.

For dessert a few handpicked grapes (my first harvest) as I stroll Flowerhead Farm smelling the Four O'Clocks. And of course my trusty 4 legged companions within a foot or more of me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The First Figs


Although it was pouring rain today I could not resist picking a bowlful of figs. And during a respite in the downpour I took a photograph of these succulent, sensual fruits.

This eve friends were here for dinner. For our dessert we sauteed the figs in butter, Triple Sec and some dark brown sugar with a pinch of cinnamon which we then poured over vanilla ice cream.

Divine.

Monday, July 6, 2009

You say To-may-toe I say To-mah-toe


Of course I had to take a photograph of my FIRST "mater" (southern for tomato) from my own garden - sandwich of the season. I sliced that juicy baby, slatered on some mayo and plopped onto some good soft sourdough bread and sprinkled with lots of salt and black pepper. There is heaven on earth after all.

Panoramic of my garden Mid Summer 2009


Each season I've been doing a panoramic of my backyard garden. And as you can see there is so much foliage and the darn fig tree is so huge that it is almost impossible to see all the details. It requires a long walk with a cool drink to fully enjoy it. However, there is an upside to the fig tree - it is currently covered in unripened figs - and in about one month I'll be drizzling w/ olive oil and grilling them. Delicious. OR maybe just plucking from the tree and eating as they are fresh, ripe and succulent.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Bundle of Oregano - and hope



Lessons learned about restraint and discipline.

Today I had to cut my oregano in order to allow it to continue to produce fragrant, green leaves the remainder of the summer.

The bundle however will go up into my attic to dry and will give added flavor to soups, stews and sauces next winter.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One of the many reasons I garden - - FOOD


This time of year is my favorite. I traipse through my yard, snatch a handful of blueberries, maybe pop a fresh juicy red strawberry into my mouth and peruse my veg garden to see what is ready for the kitchen and ultimately my tummy.

Today it was the fresh crookneck squash, some flat leap parsley and the first of the season cucumber. I pulled out a casserole dish - sliced the squash, the purple onion and even added in some fresh corn. Dribbled on some virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and popped into the oven. Next I chopped up some tomatoes, my cukes & the parsley for my salad and as a third item I sliced some red potatoes, boiled them till just barely soft in water, added some bits of proscuitto and a bit of milk. Yum. It was all so very good.

The rewards of gardening.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mid May Panoramic of my yard.


Here is a panoramic I created about two weeks ago. My fig is taking over the yard. And with this rain I may soon have a jungle in my backyard.

My own garden path


Fortunately for me I have wonderful neighbors (Tom & Sherri) who gave me all this planking for a walkway. It completely surrounds my backyard. And wonderful when kids are here - keeps the cookie crunchers off my flowers.

I've always been fond of pathways...secret walkways that lead off to who knows where. Seems like the perfect metaphor for life.

Companion Planting In Your Garden

http://www.albertahomegardening.com/does-companion-planting-work-just-ask-my-beans/

Onion - plant with parsley to keep away onion fly
Celery – plant with cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower to deter butterflies (grows well with beans, tomatoes, and leeks)
Asparagus – plant with tomatoes, parsley, or basil
Swiss Chard – plant with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, lettuce, or herbs - do not plant with string beans
Beets – plant with kohlrabi, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, onions, cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower - do not plant with string beans, dill, or fennel
Brussels Sprouts – plant with onions
Cabbage – plant with herbs, onion, garlic, peas, celery, potatoes, or beets
Kohlrabi – plant with beets or onions
Peppers - plant with basil, okra, or tomatoes
Cucumber - plant with corn, sunflowers, peas, beans, beets, or carrots
Pumpkin & Squash - Plant with corn, peas, or beans
Carrot – Plant with onions, annual flowers, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, or peas - do not plant with anise and dill
Lettuce – Plant with cucumbers, onions, radishes, carrots, or dill (dill protects them from aphids)
Tomato - Plant with basil, parsley, and asparagus or French marigolds (French marigolds deter whiteflies)
Bean – plant with celery, corns, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or melons
Peas – plant with beans, root crops, potatoes, or corn
Radish – Plant with peas or lettuce
Potato - plant with corn, cabbage, beans, or marigolds
Spinach – plant with beans, peas, corn, and strawberries
Corn – Plant with beans, peas, sunflowers, cucumbers, squash, melons, and potatoes

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What could be more beautiful?

A peaceful spot


I love this bench...a good spot to sit and listen to the sounds of the pond.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Musings and lettuce


No matter how hard I try I just can't seem to capture in a photograph my garden - the feelings I get when I wander through, tug at a weed...remembrances of my grandmother who when I asked "why did God make gnats" laughing heartily come to mind; the pride I feel in creating something that was not here before, something that I think is extraordinarily charming and beautiful; a place that gives me peace and a joy I've never felt anywhere else on earth. All I have to do is look at the deeply jeweled garnet color of the Don Juan rose or the baby leaf that unfurls and I am lost in that place that is "the zone" or the spot I'm supposed to be while meditating.

Okay - on to less poetic driven thoughts. Laughing - my contradictions are upon me today - LETTUCE. I've got beautiful heads of romaine, buttercrunch, red leaf and the strawberries ripen so quickly I can't eat them all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The long awaited Rose.


These are the first few blossoms of my Paul's Himalayan Musk Rose that I planted one year ago. It grew 18 feet in one year. I swear - it is not a "fish" story. It is planted at the base of a tree and I've trained it to cascade down in fragrant, pale tendrils toward earth - surrounding a small cafe table and topped off with a bright red chandelier hanging from a limb. Made for those early evenings out in my garden with a glass of Prosecco.

Mid Spring Pano of my backyard.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden Gifts


I picked these juicy berries just a few days ago from my strawberry bed. They were so sweet from the sun and slightly warm. And in a few weeks I'll have blueberries and figs and by summers end - grapes.

Just spotted two bumble bees mating outside my window. X-rated!

A visitor in my garden...balance in the form of a brown snake.


Something about gardening makes me really appreciate the small creatures in life - the squirmy worms that mulch my small piece of earth, the writing spider that weaves her poetic web, the hummingbird that flies near my office window daily, the frog that plops amongst the waterlilies in my pond, the dragon flys that flit and fly, even those damn green worms that crunch on my roses...everything seems to have a purpose. I am sure one of the many reasons I love gardening is balance...natural order.

Today while removing some weeds (but yes composting them for life's cycle) I spied 2 tiny dark eyes staring at me. His or her tongue flicked out at me as if to say - don't get too close..."you give me space, I'll give you yours". Like Aretha that snake just wanted some r-e-s-p-e-c-t and I gave it. I geniunely felt love for this creature and was glad it was in my garden "doing it's thing", hanging out on a flower branch, sunning and helping with the bug population.

March 2002



These are some of the first DIGITAL photos that I took - so all that I currently have to post of the beginning of my garden. And quite honestly the time I consider my world changed and began to flourish metaphorically and literally. I began to change - like my garden.