Saturday, June 15, 2013

Astilbe My Beating Heart


Aren't they gorgeous? I wish my picture captured the fireworks they are in person.

I planted a few bulbs that I purchased super cheap last year and look at them now! They filled in so nicely.

The best part is, this area is almost totally in shade from my house and they still grow.

I just love these flowers.

All Finished Planting

This is a bit late but you can see what my garden looked like two weekends ago when I finished planting. Details about what I planted are on the 2013 garden plan tab. I still need to weed the paths and fix the stones, but other than that it is done.


Now I just have to sit, drink lemonade and watch it grow.



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homegrown Berries Can't Be Beat

There they are, this year's first ripe berries. I picked them on May 30, and we ate them!

I can't help saying that now every time we harvest something from the garden. It comes from one of my son's favorite books: In the Garden.


The book goes through a variety of fruits and vegetables like, "the green beans grow on a vine" and then says, "I pick it and eat it!" Even my son says that now when we go outside in our own garden.

He was thrilled to eat the fresh strawberry and thought it was delicious. They really are so much tastier than the ones you buy in the store.



Too bad I won't be getting many more this year! There are a couple more about to be ripe, but I don't think we'll get more than a handful or two.

On a positive note, the trees have grown over the fence a lot more this year, so the strawberry bed is in shade half the day. Hopefully this year they won't get burnt to a crisp if we have another heatwave.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lettuce Have Breakfast

Picked the first lettuce leaves of the season today. They really shot up after all the rain we had this week. I don't have a pic of the garden because it is raining, but here's the maple sausage biscuit & jack cheeze sandwich my husband just ate with fresh buttercrunch. Yum!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Umm, so it's been a year....

I've been gardening, just not blogging. I do still find my blog useful occasionally though, so I'd like to try to keep it a little more up to date.

For instance, this week I noticed my chive plants were finally blooming. I thought for sure they were about a month late, and I remembered that two years ago I'd kept notes on harvest times. So I looked back at that list, but lo and behold, they were right on time. Amazing how your memory can be so wrong!

I'm still living in the same home, although hoping to move. For a variety of reasons, we just haven't put the house up for sale yet. My son is now 2.5 and keeping us busy. Therefore, I'm continuing to go light on gardening and trying to keep things simple.

Here's a few pics I've managed to take so far this spring.
On March 31st I had my first harvest: some baby chives that I used on potato salad for our Easter dinner. They really put this humdrum side dish over the top!

     
And this is my strawberry bed on April 21st. Unfortunately you can only see 2 strawberry plants, and the rest are romaine and buttercrunch lettuces that I'd just planted. The triple digit heatwaves last summer burnt my poor strawberries to a crisp, and this is all that came back. Compared to this photo from 2010 it really is so sad. Hopefully they'll survive and send out some runners for next year. 
I also planted a few flowers in the back, along with some wild violets I'd successfully transplanted from our lawn last summer. 

That's it. Not very exciting, but at least it is something! We'll see how much I can blog the rest of the season.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tah dah! Summer garden is in!

I finally got around to planting my garden yesterday. Even though I hope to sell the house over the next few months, I figured I should at least make the garden look nice. I'm going to try to sell without removing it, hopefully someone will like it.

The garden was a pretty big mess, since last fall I was too busy with my 11 month old son to do any cleaning up, and unfortunately my husband has a brown thumb. So as you can see below, the before pic is pretty ugly! But I'm happy with the after pic, even though I have a few more finishing touches to complete (like fixing the fence). You can't see much b/c they're still all seedlings or seeds, but you get the idea. The entire list of what I planted is on the 2012 garden plan tab.

 Before
After

Now the other side of the yard was an even bigger mess. I'm embarrassed to show this before pic, but I guess at least I had a decent excuse. The good news is a month or so ago I removed everything and replaced it with grass seed. That side of the yard was just too hard to maintain, the paths grew so many weeds and it never really got enough sun. So even if I wasn't selling the home, I'd decided last year to remove it. I didn't really believe one little bag of grass seed would fix it, but lo and behold it came out great! I can't get over how you can't even tell there was a garden there 2 months ago.

I guess that is a testament to the benefits of concrete block gardening. One of the reasons I originally chose them was so I could move them if needed (low cost being the other reason). I was really happy to find out that they truly were easy to take apart.

  Before - beds 1 and 2.
After!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Garden (& Home) For Sale!

Big news here at the Grow Peace household! I got a new job about an hour away from my current home. So we're going to move to a bigger home somewhere close to that job. That means my current home and garden are for sale! Anybody want to buy a great little house?

Here's also some gardening pics just for fun. I had two patches of arugula completely survive the entire weirdly mild winter. Here they are I think sometime in late February or early March (unfortunately my cell phone doesn't seem to save the date! So annoying. I really need to buy a new camera)





We are definitely going to buy a new home with plenty of space for gardening. I can't wait to build a new garden with everything I learned from doing this one. It is going to be awesome!! And I'm sure I'll have lots to post on my blog about it, so please stay tuned!

P.S. This is not an April Fool's joke. My garden really is for sale!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Happy New Year everyone! It was a wonderful holiday season for the grow peace family. I hope you enjoyed yours too.

Winter has been especially mild so far, especially compared to the last two years. So we were able to enjoy a salad on Christmas day with fresh cut arugula from the garden! It was very simple, just the arugula, red onions, oranges, almonds and a vinagrette made mainly with fresh squeezed orange juice and mustard.
 










We also had vegan 'goat cheeze' crostini, with fig balsamic jam, topped with fresh garden sage. It wasn't just a pretty garnish - it really did taste better with the sage. Our roasted potato side dish was flavored with fresh rosemary from the garden. Easy yet delicious.

I was really happy we were able to have a few treats from the garden for our holiday feast. It just makes things so much more special when you're grown them yourself!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

July Harvests

I feel really bad about neglecting my blog all summer! I can't believe it has flown by so quickly. We've had lots of fun taking K. to the beach, boardwalk, hiking, and swimming in the pool.

Unfortunately the garden was not as great as all that. It was another relatively unlucky year, with a 106 degree heatwave killing the blackberries again, a gopher devouring all my green beans and cucumbers, blight on the tomatoes, mislabeled peppers, carrots choked out by weeds and now I've even got poison ivy but can't identify where it is in the yard. Yeesh! Lately I've felt like plowing it all under and replacing it with sod! Of course I'm not going to do that, but I may downsize to just one side of the yard. We'll see how I feel.

In any case, here is a photo roundup of pretty much everything I harvested in July. At least there was something, I guess!

 Albino Peppers
 Little Dickens and Cubanelle Peppers
 Tiny Jalapeno's (Supposed to be Grandpa's Favorite)
 Very Spiny Cool Breeze Cucumbers (All I got before Gophocalypse)
 Genovese Basil
 Aunt Mollie's Ground Cherries
 Napoli Carrots & Gold Ball Turnips
Good ol Purple Top Turnips

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Berry Delicious Harvest

Last year it seemed the heatwaves killed off most of my strawberry patch. But I was wrong! To my great delight, we had quite a good harvest this year. To the left is the 1st ripe strawberry, picked on May 20th.



Then over the next two weeks I picked all of these (and another bowl, but the picture is still on my camera):






I ate them in several delicious salads and a heavenly chocolate breakfast. Details and recipes will follow soon in another post.
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