Wednesday, March 31, 2010

first timers

Yukon Gold potato seedlings (above)! I guess they're a little bigger than "seedlings" now, and I'm so excited that my first experiment growing potatoes is looking good so far. While I've been cooling my heels waiting to move my potted tomatoes and peppers into the ground (this weekend, I hope), I bought a few new plants. Another first: soaked and sowed Mahogany Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) seeds.

Proven Winners Safari Plum Nemesia fruticans--appears to be a good spring-summer container bloom

Gray Shrub Sage (Salvia chamaedryoides)--supposed to have pale violet flowers at some point

Upright Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)--dwarf evergreen shrub that claims it will have purple flowers. I planted three of them among some gray santolina for contrast.

The verbena I planted two years ago has reseeded, popping up all over the front yard in a very pleasing manner. I never would have planted a verbena right up in that oregano, but nature did and it looks great!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

bolting beauties

freckles romaine lettuce

Despite our unpredictable spring weather--down to 34 last weekend, up to 80 today--it's been warm enough overall that most of my winter vegetables are bolting (producing seeds and flowers instead of leaves.) I tend to let the flowering ones go until the last second when I absolutely must reclaim their spots for tomatoes.

red sails leaf lettuce

not-quite-bolted purple cauliflower




The flowers attract bees and maybe a few butterflies, plus I think their airy, dainty display is really pretty.

Monday, March 15, 2010

garden bloggers' bloom day

grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

Last month I skipped garden bloggers' bloom day because rosemary and pansies were the only things blooming. This warmer month is much cheerier, as am I. Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see who has what blooming where.

verbena in the vegetable garden

loropetalum in the other vegetable garden

a white salvia I planted in September (I've forgotten what type it is.)

spring starflower (Ipheion uniflorum)

labeled "Novelty Rose" from Natural Gardener (?)

bush germander

bolting broccoli

Also blooming: rosemary and pansies

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

spring guessing games

As much as I've enjoyed our 75-plus degree weather yesterday and today, I don't quite trust that it's really here to stay--at least not enough to plant my tomatoes in the ground yet--so I potted them. The forecast indicates a low of 45 tonight, so I'll bring in my potted tomatoes tonight and let them back out for tomorrow's sun. I have Juliets, an Old German, a Valley Girl, a Sun Gold, and a tomatillo. Boggy Creek farm will have some transplants for sale in the next few weeks, so I plan to buy Cherokee Purples from them.

Last weekend husband Kurt added lots of our homemade compost and made a fluffy, 10-inch deep bed for me to plant potatoes (Yukon Gold) for the first time ever. I never considered myself much of a potato person until I tasted freshly dug Yukon Golds. They're very creamy and not overly starchy. Can't wait!

Monday, March 1, 2010

last of the beautiful vegetables

I sowed these "Chef's Choice Blend" [REVISED 3-3-10: cauliflower--forgot to identify them Monday] seeds from Botanical Interests in early September, and although this heirloom variety doesn't seem to produce large heads, it sure produces pretty, tasty heads.

I harvested these yesterday and there are still three others not quite ready to harvest. My chard, kale, lettuces, parsley, oregano, sage, thyme, and a little bit of broccoli are still going strong.

Even though I only lightly steamed it, its vibrant colors really faded. But it tasted great with this shrimp with spicy Thai-inspired coconut sauce (chopped ginger, garlic, onion, jalapeno, carrot, salt, coriander, and lowfat coconut milk) topped with the cilantro Mostly Weeds blogger Ellie gave me. Thanks Ellie!