It’s that time of year where so much is going on in the garden, I can’t keep up. I LOVE it!
Clockwise from Top Left: 1. Two types of mint, pink snapdragons, and a geranium in pots. I set these pots on a metal table at the back of the garden, in front of the ramshackle shed. The geranium was not happy there and has since been moved. 2. My friend Barry bought me two of these video blue metal pails a few years ago. I love the colour and always try to plant them up with complimentary plants. This one is currently holding yellow violas and pansies. 3. My lunch on holiday Monday. The salad is from the garden. It was sprinkled with dianthus petals that are now blooming in full force in the dry bed garden. 4. May 19.
Assorted and Sundry
An article I wrote about cherry tomatoes was published in the summer 2012 issue of Garden Making Magazine.
A review of my recent book, “Easy Growing” in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Interview about planting weekend with Metro Morning News’ Matt Galloway. p.s. I am eating my words when it comes to basil because this has been the hottest late May I can recall. I have put my basil out, probably the earliest ever! p.s.s I should have mentioned Hens and Chicks aka sempervivums to the question about indestructible. Tough as nails and hardy to the cold, too.
Recently on HGTV Gardens I answered questions about Making Thrifty, D.I.Y Containers, Where and How to Score Bargain Plants, and Trouble with Lettuce That Won’t Form Heads.
Have a great weekend! And happy long weekend to my American friends.
Every week, from now until I can no longer find anything living to fill up the boxes, I will be photographing and posting a collection of flowers, leaves, stems, and other plant parts that are in my garden. This is an experiment in celebrating diversity and I hope it will allow me to focus more closely on the beauty that is inherent in the different parts of each plant. It will also serve as a visual file of the seasons.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I know I will enjoy putting them together. I can’t wait to show you more! The garden is so full and alive right now, I could have put together several for this week alone.
We’re hitting that magical time of the season when a growing portion of our meals are gleaned from the garden. I enjoy moving around the space, snipping bits of this and that from here and there. I have edibles tucked in everywhere. There are lettuce seedlings in every bed, except the dry one. They would not fair well there.
Yesterday’s lunch, a simple salad (Except the eggs. No chickens here. Le sigh. Oh, and the cheese.) came from the garden.
Here’s my process:
- Photo Top Left: ‘Four Seasons’ lettuce. This is the same lettuce that miraculously overwintered. I dug up the seedlings and planted them here and there.
- Photo Top Right: Harvesting assorted edible greens. These include: Two types of spinach, bloody dock, chive flowers, viola flowers, French Sorrel, pea shoots, curly parsley, violet leaves, another type of lettuce (I forget), curly cress, ‘Green Wave’ mustard, mizuna, ‘Red Frills’ mizuna, spring onion, lemon balm, mint, and borage seedlings. These are just a few examples of salad fixins you can grow.
- Photo Bottom Left: Easy dressing done right in the bowl. Just add your greens and toss. Olive oil, a dash of Balsamic vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped chive blossoms and parsley.
- Photo Bottom Right: And eat. With boiled eggs and asparagus. Enjoyed with a kefir milk smoothie.
I am loving this combination of the chartreuse ‘Designer Genes’ hosta, flanked by the delicate Claytonia virginica ‘Spring Beauty’ blooms.
See also: Sierra Spring Beauty (Claytonia nevadensis).
God, how I love an overnight rainfall. There is nothing more optimistic than waking up to a bright and sunny day with the soil moist and fresh smelling. These are the perfect conditions for weeding. The softened soil makes it easy to slip weedlings (a spelling slip that I’m not gonna change) from the soil, and the pleasant atmosphere brings an added sense of joy to the task.
I’ve made it a habit over the years to learn about and identify as many plants in the seedling stage as I can so that I know at a glance who stays and who goes. Some seedlings are worth cultivating, but others just suck up nutrients and space — the sooner you can get them out the better.
The mystery seedling with just the seed leaves showing.
A handful of one particular type of seedling that I can not identify has been coming up in a section of the garden. They seem too delicate to be a tree, but don’t look like anything I have grown or even seen before. Some seedlings do change dramatically as they age, so there’s always the chance that they are something I am growing. They could have come in with the wind or birds but I don’t see them in my neighbors’ yard, yet many are situated near the fence. They could have come in the soil with some plants I planted last year… I can’t say for certain where they hailed from, but I do want to know what they are. They are delicate and pretty little things. Their beauty has bought them some time as well as my curiosity.
Can you identify these seedlings? I’m so eager to know I will send one of our t-shirts, any size or style to the first person that can correctly identify them.
Your help is appreciated!
UPDATE: Thanks to Kristen who identified the seedling as jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The plant came in through a bush I bought at last year’s Parkdale Horticultural Society Plant Fair and I left it because it’s such a useful medicinal plant. I completely forgot about it until Kristen made the identification.