Making space for more

David and I took a break from inside work to head outside and tidy up.  While I was helping my sister with her patio garden last week, I purchased a flat of marigolds.  Those marigolds have been staring at me every day, waiting to get in the ground. Marigolds are great companion plants. We tried growing them from seed, but they’ve been taking forever.

While I planted, David got to work at hacking back our herb garden.  Rosie was glad when we finished, because we created her a great little shady spot to hang out.

I also took some of the herb cuttings to make herb vinegars.  We made chive blossom vinegar earlier this year, and it’s been fun to use in salad dressings (and it’s bright pink).  Today we made three different vinegars: tarragon, rosemary and chive blossom vinegar.  These will hopefully go to the next food swap, although we may just keep them for salad dressings.

We’ll need lots of dressing soon, as the cucumbers are starting to take off.  20140615-144956-53396854.jpgThe mint was trimmed the other day.  A few pieces are flowering.  Our mint seems to always attract more flies than bees. 20140615-144958-53398190.jpgFinally some of our tomatoes are coloring up.  The cherry tomatoes are also coming. 20140615-144952-53392522.jpgThe blackberries are red. I wonder how long until they get darker. Notice the strawberry in the background? We’ve been eating a few a week.20140615-144951-53391716.jpgThe onions are actually starting to look more onion shaped! I’ve been pulling some to use as we need. We think we’re going to pull a bunch to bring to the produce exchange this weekend.  We have way more than we need, especially since it seems like these won’t be good storage onions.20140615-144955-53395033.jpgIn the front yard, the Thai Red Roselle is getting bigger. This is our first year growing this crop. We just learned that if we want to make hibiscus/ Red Zinger tea, we’ll need to wait until they flower and then grab the calyx from each flower. I planted marigolds and salvia under them to help keep the area looking a little more colorful.20140615-144949-53389857.jpgOur peppers are starting to flower, finally.  They were stunted for so long. Here’s a flower!20140615-144950-53390874.jpgThe peppers in the raised bed still have a ways to go.  Today I sprinkled herb seeds, such as Thai basil, parsley, dill and cilantro, in this area.  Hopefully they’ll take. Oh, this is also where we planted okra, which hasn’t done well for us the past two years. We have seeds, so it’s worth another try.20140615-144953-53393361.jpgThere’s one section of the sideyard, which never gets watered. We planted drought tolerant plants there earlier this year. I suppose the little water we’ve given them recently have encouraged them to flower, as they all look great right now!20140615-145000-53400922.jpgThis verbena we grew from seed last year, and then transplanted earlier this year.  Remember it was taking over under the apricot tree last summer?20140615-144959-53399374.jpgOur roses are flowering again as well. I love having a hedge of roses. 20140615-144954-53394188.jpg


Waiting is the hardest part

These days when I look around the garden, I see so much potential.

I see heirloom tomatoes for sandwiches, bruchetta and tomato sauce.20140607-140813-50893575.jpgI see red zinger tea from our Thai Red Roselle.20140607-140816-50896893.jpg

I see roasted Black Cherry tomatoes in our freezer. 20140607-140812-50892677.jpgI daydream about fresh cucumber salads, pickles and relishes.20140607-140811-50891854.jpgI question what this mystery squash is, and hope that it’s a melon!20140607-140818-50898663.jpgRosie waits with me, hoping that I’ll throw the ball for here in the meantime.20140607-140810-50890981.jpg

Most of the strawberries have past (with holes in the them), but now that there’s straw protecting them from bugs, we wait for strawberries to mature.  Of course, there are blackberries that we’re waiting for as well.20140607-140815-50895985.jpgThe various hot peppers got a late start, so we wait for them. How much fish emulsion does it take to speed them up?20140607-140814-50894684.jpg

And we wait for eggplants, to be turned into Indian and Mediterranean dishes for our al fresco summer meals. 20140607-140819-50899478.jpgLuckily, the ladybug is waiting for aphids on the eggplant. I guess waiting can be useful.20140607-140820-50900295.jpgWaiting to see what our mystery compost squash will create.  The bed is starting to climb up, but there are no female flowers (that I can find) yet.20140607-140822-50902449.jpg

And we wait for zucchini and basil. We waited too long to plant ours, and they became a little stunted.  With watering and fish fertilizer, they’ve started to grow bigger, so soon we may get flowers. 20140607-140821-50901245.jpg

What a great harvest we will have!

I can’t wait!