01 October 2009

whistling garden blog

i'm not sure if i even have any readers left on this neglected garden blog. but, just in case, you should know that i have moved all garden posts to my main blog whistling leaf blower. i will keep this blog up, as an archive, but won't be posting any more content here.

while i have enjoyed keeping this blog, i simply don't post enough to justify maintaining 2 blogs. my biggest regret is that i never made that cool banner i had in mind for this blog. i took the photo for it, and never got it formatted into the blogger layout. hmmm. maybe i will someday?

please visit whistling leaf blower. i do post there (kinda) regularly. Link

19 August 2009


you may recall me waxing poetic about the humble husk cherry, aka ground cherry, aka cape gooseberry. i planted them, they grew, we have been harvesting the fruit all summer, and they just keep coming!

cosmo loves them, and enjoys hunting for them on the ground under the plants. he leaves of pile of "wrappers" around the garden bed.

they drop off the vine when they're ready, but it is best to set them aside, and wait for them to ripen a bit more. they taste okay with a little bit of green on the berries, but if you hold off 'til they turn golden---just like candy!

our favorite thing to do with them is to dip them in chocolate.

they look so lovely, like a fancy bon-bon, and taste fantastic. the berry has a slightly wild taste, and they keep very well, with or without the chocolate.

17 August 2009

flower power

considering that flowers aren't really the focus of my gardening efforts (i'm all about the food, ya'll), i do have a few scattered about the yard(s), and can't help photographing them! i love all the bees and butterflies they attract, and appreciate the splashes of color from spring to late fall. feast your eyes upon all of this summer color...

cosmo between the edamame and the black-eyed susans

my zinnia circle (in our old yard)

a small poppy, in my mixed flower bed (old place)

a surprise, unknown flower in a butterfly mix

two varieties of cosmos

i hesitate to show these, because the color is nothing close to the real thing.

these morning glories are more of a deep, velvety purple.

cosmo admires his namesake

cosmo eats a cosmo


mixed flower bed

cosmo checks out a bumble bee on the purple coneflower

dewy lotus (from the farmer's market)

lotus glows

a variety of cosmos growing along the creek down the street

cosmo harvesting cosmo seeds

dwarf sunflower (old place)

full sized sunflower!

nature's geometry

this is a Datura wrightii or Sacred Datura (new place)

the huge flowers open up at sundown

they bloom all night, and into the next morning

our landlord planted these zinnia's before he moved

they have been a real draw for butterflies

13 August 2009

while we were away...

the garden exploded! we are now maintaining gardens at two locations: our old place, and our new place. luckily, they are across the street from one another. we came home to beans galore, more husk cherries than cosmo can eat in a setting (more on those in another post), and cherry tomatoes out the wazzoo. the tomatoes that cosmo started, in his little dixie cup at pre-school in the spring, the ones i planted in our new back yard in april? a jungle i tell ya! man! woman! child! all are up against THE WALL OF TOMATOES!

photos don't do it justice. we have to send cosmo into the tangle to harvest!

i pulled up most of the potatoes. the yield wasn't quite what i expected, but it was a lot of fun digging for them. like a treasure hunt.

the carrots blew me away. lots of them, and bigger than last year. we even harvested our very first cabbage!

carl made a delicious braised cabbage with poppy seed, and we roasted some of the carrots and potatoes. yummy.

last night i made this velvety carrot ginger soup, which couldn't be easier to make:
carrot ginger soup

2T butter
1 T finely mince ginger
4 medium carrots
3 cups stock or broth
1 cup milk or cream

sauté ginger in butter, add sliced carrots, stir-fry for a few minutes, add broth or stock and cook 'til the carrots are very tender. purée in a blender or food processor, then add some milk or cream, warm and serve. (adapted from superfoods, by delores riccio).
the fall garden in the new place is growing like gang-busters. the soil may not look like much (kinda crusty, not a lot of organic material, or worms), but the landlord says it's "river-bottom." not sure what that's supposed to mean, all i know, is the plants like it here. could be all that full sun too.

the lettuce, arugula and cilantro are all mature, and ready to eat. the tomatilla plants are loaded, and the bush beans already have blossoms. the peas got munched by rabbits, but i have protected them now, and hope they can recover. even the leeks are beginning to fatten up.

we also harvested our first peppers: sweet red peppers (carmen) and one hot paper lantern. we haven't tasted them yet, but aren't they gorgeous?

09 July 2009

not exactly three sisters...

my current favorite garden view:

featuring, edamame (front), tomatoes (middle) and pole beans, dutifully climbing their trellis (not to mention offering yummy green beans).

07 July 2009

fall garden '09

this year, thanks to teresa (or her husband?) i am getting the fall garden started early. we are moving to a different house on august first, and were told that we can start gardening there any time. since it is just across the street from our place, i have taken advantage of that offer.

cosmo came home from pre-school (in the spring) with a bunch of tiny tomato starts in a dixie cup. i already had all my tomatoes in, so we planted his in the new yard. i didn't expect much from them, but they have really taken off (they are currently twice the size shown in this photo)!

i also transplanted some of the (very slow growing) leeks over there, and recently, four tomatillo plants from jack. the soil in the new garden seems good, but it appears to be lacking in organic matter, so i have been throwing compost in with everything i plant, and perhaps i'll do a cover crop in the late fall or early spring.

yesterday, with some rare time to myself, i cut a path in the new garden space, and planted beets, lettuce, bush beans, basil, cilantro and peas. hopefully i can find some broccoli plants at the farmer's market, and maybe a dill or two. i will probably plant arugula and carrots within the next few days.

last year's fall garden was a big disappointment, but i think i just started it too late. can't wait to see what happens this year.

in other news, the garlic is out of the ground! some of the bulbs were smaller than i'd hoped, but overall, they did well. most were too small for seed garlic, so i'm getting more to plant in october (double what i planted last fall). right now, the garlic is hanging to dry in our shed (where we store things like empty boxes).

we also tasted the first of our ripe cherry tomatoes this week! they are yummy, and those plants are loaded!