My mail-ordered tomatoes and pepper plants arrived from Burpee on Thursday afternoon which means that my 2013 vegetable season has officially begun! Matt and I planted everything and, barring any stray digging from Bailey, now we can just sit back and watch our garden grow.
Once again I’m using hanging galvanized steel buckets to house my upside down tomatoes. The tops of each bucket have parsley, thyme and rosemary growing in them. I was really happy with how these dual tomato-herb buckets worked out last year and I can’t wait to see how they do this year!
Between the hanging buckets, fenced-in garden, and pots on the patio, I now have Zucchini, Tomatoes, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Strawberries, Garlic, Jalapeno Peppers, Poblano Peppers, Basil, Mint, Oregano and Beans growing in my garden.
We also have several flowers planted in the yard and in pots including Tulips, Zinnias, Canna Lilies, Gladiolus, Painted Daisies, Ranunculus, Dahlias, Gerber Daisies, Superbells, and Marigolds. I love all of the bright reds, oranges, yellows, and pinks of the plants that have flowered so far, don’t you?
Happy Spring! Our yard has made a beautiful transformation from Winter to Spring in just two short weeks. Our trees are blooming, the tulips are coming up, and the garlic that I planted last Fall is looking great. Here are some photos from April 19th:
Weeping Cherry Tree
Weeping Cherry Blossoms
That beautiful spinach patch is actually leftover from spinach that I planted in October. It never really took off at the time (probably because I planted it too late) but as soon as the weather warmed up in April it started growing like crazy. I harvested it today and I can’t wait to enjoy with some cucumber, feta, and toasted almonds tonight!
As predicted, Hurricane Sandy is slowly turning into the New Jersey coast and we have already experienced 40 mph wind gusts, almost 2 inches of rain, and a short power outage. We’ve also found a leaky spot in our roof by the chimney… eek! Other than that everything is fine so I thought I’d share something completely unrelated to the storm: photos from my garden in August!
This pink zinnia plant was at its peak in early August but, believe it or not, it STILL has a few blooms on it today! We’ll see how they look after the storm…
These Gladioli bloomed in August and did a nice job of covering up the big propane tank that powers a little stove in our living room. That stove might come in handy if the power goes out tonight!
Vine-ripening tomatoes in early August… yum!
These “Dinnerplate” Dahlias bloomed outside of our front door for most of the summer.
I picked all of these vegetables during my lunch break one day in August. Pretty good harvest, right?
And, last but not least, an isolated Orange Cosmo. You might recognize this plant from my August post “The Bee’s Knees.” I’m definitely planting more of these flowers next year!
Thanks for stopping by my blog and good luck to everyone in the storm’s path!
Guess what? All of these veggies came from “volunteer plants” in my garden. Volunteers are plants that grow on their own, either from the wind or a bird dropping a seed or, in my case, from compost. Seeds aren’t normally supposed to sprout out of your compost so, judging by the huge quantity of volunteers that are growing around my house, I think I must be doing something wrong! (Or very right, depending on how you feel about volunteer mystery plants!)
The squash and pumpkin plants sprouted by our front door and quickly took over our pink cosmo/dahlia flower bed. By mid-August the crooked-neck gourd vines were completely out of control and could be clearly seen from the street so we picked the mature squash and ripped out the vines. The pumpkin vines were growing across our front walk so today I finally decided that the pumpkin looked ripe enough to pick it and pull out the plant.
The tomatoes are the most exciting volunteers because we’re actually getting to eat those. We have about a dozen volunteer tomato plants and the campari-sized tomatoes are just starting to ripen on their vines. This is perfect timing because my “planned” tomatoes are pretty much done producing. Can’t wait to each some of them for dinner tonight!
First of all, congratulations to Pami from Pa-BLAM and Om Nomalicious for winning the Digital Kitchen Scale in the Slimkicker Giveaway! Pami, please e-mail team (at) slimkicker (dot) com to claim your prize!
Matt is at a lacrosse tournament this weekend so Bailey and I enjoyed a lazy Saturday. She spent hours lounging in the shade watching for groundhogs, birds, and squirrels (her favorite summer pastime) and I browsed the aisles of Pier 1 (I love looking at all of the plates, trays, and glasses… is that weird?) and spent some time enjoying my garden.
There are several flowers blooming in the garden now including gladiolus, superbells, canna lilies and cosmos. We planted the cosmos in May and recently they have really taken off. There are dozens of perfect orange blooms and several bees happily buzzing around from flower to flower. Here are a few photos of them, enjoy!
After 9 months of waiting our garlic is finally ready to harvest! I’m pleased to announce the successful unearthing of eight beautiful, nicely formed garlic bulbs.
I patiently waited for the bottom of the garlic plants to start turning brown before harvesting them. Since these plants are a “hard neck” garlic variety I was able to pull them out of the ground with my hands fairly easily. One of the bulbs was slightly damaged (a clove had over-ripened out of its papery skin) so I peeled the whole bulb and used it to make a large batch of pesto. I froze the pesto in an ice cube tray so we’ll be able to enjoy our garden’s garlic and basil several months from now.
Based on Mike McGrath’s advice, I am now “curing” our garlic in a single file row on our dining room table. The spot is air conditioned and out of direct sunlight so hopefully the garlic should be ready to store in a week or so. We use garlic pretty quickly in our household so those remaining seven bulbs should be long gone by October!
This garlic was amazingly simple to grow (just plant the cloves in October, cut the scapes in June, and unearth the bulbs in July) and we are excited to finally be enjoying our own garlic!!
Please remember to leave a comment in my Tomato Salad post to be eligible to win a digital kitchen scale!
Last week I wrote about how I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Red Tomatoes in my garden. Well, the waiting has come to an end and I am proud to say that my hanging and containerized tomato plants now have a few dozen perfect little red tomatoes on their vines. Here are some photos… enjoy!
Tomatoes after the rain this morning (the first rain we’ve had in weeks!)
Tomatoes ripening from the top down.
OK… not a tomato, of course, but also red! Our green jalapeño peppers are ripening to this beautiful red color.
These green tomatoes will be red soon!
These tomatoes will be making an appearance in our dinner on Monday. We’re having Spicy Steak and Potatoes with Roasted Chile Salsa and Tomato Salad with Guajillo Chile Dressing. Look for a post sometime later in the week!
Matt and I bought our house in the Winter of 2011 and when our first Spring rolled around I was disappointed to discover that there were very few flowers planted around the house. I decided that I wanted this Spring and Summer to be much more colorful so we’ve been hard at work digging new flower beds, planting dozens of bulbs, making our own compost, and starting flowers from seed. We’ve been rewarded with some gorgeous blooms so far this year and I’m excited to see how everything will continue to grow! Here are some photos that I took on Tuesday:
This lovely bright pink zinnia is growing in the new bed that we dug outside of our front door. I’m especially proud of it because it is one of the plants that we started from seed back in February.
We also started these painted daisies from seed. The bee landed on the flower as I was taking the photo.
These colorful little “superbells” are growing in a lime green container along with some pink blanket flowers and white Asiatic lilies.
I bought a few bags of Dahlia bulbs at Home Depot in the spring and about half of the flowers are this rich, deep red color. The other half are “peppermint” Dahlias… keep reading to see what they look like!
We planted this small purple-flowered tree in a container last Summer and, although it was supposed to be an annual, we kept it inside over the winter and it’s blooming again. I can’t remember the exact name of the plant but I think it might be in the Solanum family.
This clematis was one of the only flowering plants that came up in Spring 2011. It is planted under an overhang in a very shady spot and it’s “dirt” is a bed of river rocks… I don’t know how it survives without any water, sun, or soil but it seems to be doing well!
Last but not least, here’s a peppermint dahlia!
Oh… and on another note, I ate my first Red Tomato today!! It was delicious!