I’m enjoying the garden so much these warm summer days, I had to take some pictures. I guess it is something like having a new baby who is always changing — makes you want to capture some of the wonderfulness before it’s gone forever. My memory alone is not up to the task, that’s for sure.
Most of our vegetables this year are just to the right when we step out the back door, just off the patio.
In the last couple of years we made a big effort to improve the soil and ended up with such a huge crop of tomatoes we couldn’t use half of them. I gave away a lot, and froze many quarts, which are mostly still in the freezer.
When I started popping cherry tomatoes into my mouth like candy last July I suffered some ill effects from all the acid, so I have learned to be moderate, and Mr. Glad always was restrained in his consumption of the fruits. This year we planted half as many tomato plants so that left room for some zucchini, which is bearing now. It’s been several years since we grew zucchini; I love to stir-fry it with red bell peppers and maybe some chili powder until it is toasty brown on the edges.
Remember the seeds my friend bought me at The Seed Bank? Now the little fennel plants that came up from them have grown taller, feathery and bright. I have to keep pulling out the nasturtiums that are trying to take over that area. Don’t know if the fennel will have enough summer to mature, because as I mentioned, the Baker’s Seeds packets don’t tell you how many days to maturity, and who thinks of looking up that kind of thing once you have got back in the house and need to get on with other things.
I like to do my gardening and garden-thinking in the garden. I guess that’s one reason I can’t settle down and enjoy Gladys Taber. I borrowed three books by her from the library hoping I could share the joy of her with other bloggers. I found that I don’t have the patience. I can’t enjoy reading about her homesteading because my own is more compelling. And if I’m going to ignore my housework and garden it has to be for the sake of reading and writing about some other realm.
Or maybe just writing a blog post about my garden or house. Don’t you think if Gladys were alive today she would have a blog? And I would read it, I’m sure. Though I prefer to read the blogs of people who are alive and with whom I can have more of a give-and-take, practical relationship.
Then there is the fact that Gladys lived in New England and so many of the plants and the climate are unknown to me. I’d rather spend a couple of hours trying to identify a local plant than read Gladys’s truly lovely prose about her world.
Here is a salvia plant I spent a good hour trying to identify, and which has been growing in my garden for a few years. The leaves get to be more than 10″ wide, and the flower spikes over 3″ high.
I’ve looked at a slew of pictures and descriptions of salvias but not one looks like this one. Maybe the nursery where I bought it developed it – I might take my pictures there and ask them.
I think it looks really pretty growing into the peeling manzanita, with a little red valerian in there for accent color.
I bought a new little olive tree! It was at the grocery store and was marked down 50%, and I thought it had been pruned into a very nice shape….could not resist.
So now I am the proud owner of two olive trees. The one I received as a birthday present a few years ago grew very gangly before Mr. Glad pointed out to me that it needed some training. This one seems to be off to a better start already, but it will want a bigger home soon.
I still have roses and more in pots. This last picture features the bushy variegated thyme that I always like to have around. A couple of times a year I shear it to keep it bushy, and it is forgiving if I am irregular with the water. I’m a pretty irregular gardener all around, and I specialize in growing generous and longsuffering species. Summer is also the generous season in the garden, so I am blessed.