Friday, June 22, 2012

Veg Garden Update

Well, can you believe it....summer already? Where did spring go? It just flew by here. Now it's time to take stock and relax a bit. For starters, we are eating a fair amount from the garden, including carrots that were planted out last fall. Yes, it is zone 6 here in our garden in Nova Scotia, Canada, but the seeds germinated last autumn and sort of chilled out under the row cover all winter. Spring came and they started to grow...time to harvest now. The neat thing is, I didn't harvest all the carrots in autumn last year, leaving one to grow to seed this year. See that bloom by the carrots..well...last year's mature carrot. Under the soil, it is rough, woody and inedible, but above ground, in it's second year, growing a fantastic bouquet of bloom.

I'm pretty delighted to be having some success with the Windsor Beans I put out, under the cold frame cover in February. Sprouted some inside for winter greens but couldn't get all the seeds in the pot, so, scraped a little soil aside in the raised bed cold frame and pushed them in to see if they would grow. Well, they did! Well, eventually they did. Firstly, they sort of sat there, but once they liked the new digs..they took off. So, the last few days we've started to harvest them. Only yesterday, did I notice the black aphids at the plant tips, that seem to plague broad beans but they don't seem to be causing any problems with the beans. By the way, not to confuse anyone, these are called Windsor, Fava or Broad beans, depending on where you grew up, as far as I can make out.

They are the most beautiful, as well as delicious bean I have ever tasted. Look at this little darling, tucked in it's furry blanket. Almost too beautiful to eat. Yummm
All the tomato plants are in now and growing well. Peas planted late but they should be producing flowers soon. Greens...well a lot got pulled out and I reseeded with more bolt resistant varieties. We are still eating salads using Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and a Cooks Blend variety that just doesn't seem to stop. Along with the lightly steamed Broad Beans, lots of fresh herbs get added, especially dill which I love. Of course, with the strawberries coming on gang busters, they also get added and with a lovely raspberry vinegar...divine. Forget the oil on this, too heavy for these light greens.
Add Strawberries to Your Summer Salad

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Orange in the Garden

If our garden wore a dress, it would be made of white linen, accessorised with a flowing pastel silk scarf. Saucy Orange 'Ballerina' Tulip lipstick would glaze her lips in spring; in summer, they would shine red with Scarlet Monarda. "But I'm getting tired of this dress" she pouted, just the other day. "All this white"! So we came to a compromise, the garden and I, that we would try a new stain on the back lattice and see if that might give us a lift.

Daringly, I thought of a passionate purple, or a hot fushia...but flowers could give me that extra punch. "Too drastic" the Captain said.! I would have loved black. But the wall would have disappeared totally. So we played it safe and well, what do you think?
Solid Stain Grenadier Pond, Benjamin Moore CC-650
I'm not going to say I love it..but I do like it. In my heart though, I miss the white. It might grow on never know. The thing is, it also disappears a little bit, and so there's a different "feel" to the garden and we did want a change, the garden and I. She's alright with it for now. "Still rather pastelly greeny blue" she said. I expect next year she will want to go all out and dress in purple passion but I will have to put my foot down. "White just looks better on you dear", I will say. "Really, it does!"

I think, in fact, a good jolt of orange is what we need, so along with orange cushions for the outside furniture, there's now a bit of glass decorating one corner bed, framing Verbascum 'Clemintine'. She's a beauty I must say, and I have high hopes a long and productive life is ahead.
Walking up the side of the house, towards the back garden, Azalea Gibralter is absolutely glowing...
And to try to prove my point about why orange gives a tremendous zing to "any outfit", look what this salad is wearing! Imagine it without the orange peppers.
So don't be shy, there's more out there than orange daylilies and pumpkins in autumn. Add some zing to your garden, your salads or your outfit. "Orange" is, the color of the year you know!