The past two and a half weeks have brought nothing but rain. Every day there has been some form of dreary precipitation that has nearly driven me mad with longing for sunshine. I mean, come on already! Although I’ve been saving money on water in terms of garden irrigation, too much of a good thing can really be a bummer. The squash are rotting right on the vine, the peppers look horrendous and have taken to falling over just to get attention, and the tomatoes are just not looking like themselves without some hot sunshine.
In spite of this dismal downfall, the harvest is starting. One night in the lull between rainfalls, I got the tomatoes staked. Finally!!! Rob pounded these stakes into the ground for me and I used zip ties to secure the bamboo to the stakes. The result is a much better system than what I had last year. There is airflow between the plants and room to walk in and harvest.
The squash plants have already grown to gargantuan proportions. Here is the romanesco. The taste is lovely, the flowers are gigantic and buttery, but I’m having rotting issues with these due to the rain.
Here is what the garden looks like right now. The cucumber vines are already taller than I am! Thank goodness for velcro ties. They are one of the most useful things I’ve purchased for the garden. I was able to reuse the ones from last year too! They don’t damage the plants and are really easy to secure. They cost more, but are definitely worth the investment!
Tonight I harvested a bunch of goodies, so it was a bit of work when I got home. The great thing about the rain is that I can’t go outside in this nasty weather for days sometimes, so when I finally do, it’s like Christmas out there!
These are dragon tongue beans. Aren’t they so pretty and purply?! I opted for these this year instead of green beans and I don’t think I can ever go back. The taste of these is fabulous! It’s much less grassy than a green bean straight off the plant. More like a wax bean, but sweeter…I am in love!
The snow peas look like a mess in the garden right now. Even though I strung some twine they had a mind of their own and look like a shipwreck. They have a lovely crunch though!
There is a lot of food right now, so I threw a salad together with cucumbers, snow peas, fresh basil, and chick peas. I’ll drown it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar tomorrow for a crunchy lunch because you only live once, right?! I’m sorry this picture is blurry. I think I had just dropped the phone in some water on the kitchen counter, or I couldn’t hold the phone steady from the wine I was drinking, not sure which. Oops!
Beets!!! Ok, I know a lot of you probably hate beets. They have grown on me. I really like roasting them. I throw them in an oven safe glass pan, spray with olive oil, cover with foil, and roast on 350 for at least an hour until soft. Once they’re peeled and sliced, I love putting them on salad or eating them with goat cheese. Definitely prefer eating them warm as opposed to cold or pickled. Delish!
I am not a fan of beet greens, but I’ve found a way to cook them that makes them tolerable. I can’t stand to just throw them away! Dice half an onion and throw some crushed garlic cloves in a pan with olive oil, basil, pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.
Throw the greens in the pan after the onions are clear and your house smells garlicky.
You’ll end up with a sort of mushy healthy bowl of greens. Throw some pecorino romano on there…throw on some more…you can never have too much Italian cheese, you just can’t.
While I was slaving away in the kitchen like some 50s domestic goddess, this was happening.
I mean…!!! It never gets old, cats and boxes. It doesn’t matter what was in the box or where the box is placed, I guarantee you a cat will be in the box within 10 seconds of it hitting the floor. She is so adorable, I can’t take it! I hope Rob’s dog doesn’t eat her when she moves in. The tragedy…
Ok, I’m back…other parts of the yard have benefited greatly from the rain. Look at this hideous thing the previous owners left for me when I moved in. I was going to throw it away, but it’s a planter and plants can be stuck in those, so I stuck some hens & chicks in there and voila, it’s slightly less hideous, but honestly, you can’t really improve a concrete squirrel, can you?
Dad’s daylilies are the crowning jewel of the garden right now. Last year he sent 60 plants down here of his own hybridized varieties. I tagged the plants when I was home and he dug them all out, boxed them up, and shipped them down here. Looking at these gorgeous flowers takes me home. Every year when I go home for July 4th, Dad’s garden is blooming wildly and it’s hard not to get lost in the loveliness of it. Now I have a piece of that here and I can’t describe how happy it makes me!
This is what the flower bed looked like just a couple weeks ago.
Now it looks like this…
It’s so interesting to see how things grow here. One year, something does really well and then this year, it’s failing. Or last year I couldn’t get flowers to grow in a bed and this year, plants are thriving. I can’t imagine not having the garden to come home to because something is always new, a season is always changing the landscape. The garden requires one to observe or beauty will be missed. I walk along the side flower bed each day before I hop in the car and head to work. The fig is taller. The roses are blooming. The foxglove is falling over in the rain. New alliums are turning purple. The lavender is finally coming back. The purple coneflower is starting to bloom. Butterflies will be here soon.
Nothing stays the same and I’m reminded that this is a big year of change for me too. I’m getting married. I know that Rob and I will face our challenges as we try to figure out living life together after being independent for so long, but I hope that each of us provides a space where the other can grow and blossom. For now we will eat lots of fresh things and fill our stomachs and be reminded of how blessed we are.