Friday, July 15, 2016

In the Garden


This is the exciting time of year to have an edible garden, because everything is starting to grow! The first foods to be harvested are ready now, and the next round are all green and taking shape before our eyes. Whether you are four or 30 in this house, it's all the same kind of fascinating, every year.

Blueberries ripening
Our front garden has been giving us rhubarb, chives and lavender for a few weeks now, doing very well after last fall's application of compost. Our berries, on the other hand, have become appealing to rodents. A grey squirrel beats me to the berry bush every morning. He (she?) took most of our strawberries last month, and now just as our blueberries are ripening, they disappear before we can taste them ourselves. A fence isn't really a viable solution; it's just a small plot out front. Maybe gaudy-looking chicken wire around specific bushes?

From the top: spinach, rhubarb, chives and basil
The cuisine this time of year is correspondingly scintillating. We are making a lot of green sauces with our parsley, chives, basil and spinach. I have a near fetish-level love of basil.

Garlic bulbs
I harvested my first garlic bulbs, waiting patiently for its leaves to dry and brown about halfway down. These are a bit small for my liking, so I'll leave the other plants in a few more weeks. These are hanging from the ceiling in the basement for a couple weeks to dry. I can't wait to eat our homegrown garlic. With basil...mmm

Hostas
We don't have many flowers, having a primarily purpose-fulfilling edible garden, but we are enjoying the cycle as it nears its end of blooms. In May, we enjoyed our tulips, in June our peonies, and now our hydrangeas, hostas and lavender are on display in their full glory. I am drying more lavender stalks this year to use through winter (I love the smell and will force my girls to love it, too.) The lavender and chives are from my Grama's backyard garden, the blueberries were a mother's day gift last year, the raspberries came from my mom's backyard, and the rest are heirloom seeds and bulbs we ordered and planted.

Hydrangea and lavender
In the years we have lived in this house, I have put a lot of time (and some money, in the beginning) to our garden, and I find it so rewarding. The dollars and hours may not add up to a harvest that balances out, but the practice has been so good for us all. We grow the food we eat, we notice what helps and hurt each plant, we feed it nutritious soil and fertilizer, we learn patience as they grow, and we harvest responsibly, (not too much or it won't replenish!). Then we eat or preserve our bounty, highly nutritious, straight-from-the-dirt rewards for our hard work.

4 comments:

  1. How did the garlic bulbs finally turn out?

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    Replies
    1. We're set to take them down from the ceiling in the cellar in another day or two! We opened and used one, though, and it was fabulous! aromatic, moist and tasty!

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  2. Your hydrangea and lavender are absolutely outstanding. Their raw appearance reminds me of the good old days when I used to spend my holidays at my grandma's house.

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