The Garden – Spring, 2014

The Garden – Spring, 2014

We’ve been planting for a few weeks now. Just added some zucchini, lemon cucumbers, more tomatoes, and some pumpkin seedlings that my dad gave me. Had to zap the zucchini and the cucumbers with organic bug spray (sounds weird, right?); hoping it works because I’m tired of my veggies getting eaten.

But before I show you the garden, here is my bulb bed – very happy with how it turned out!

The bulb bed...

The bulb bed…

The iris area the newest up. The daffodils are gone, as are the tulips; the freesia (red, in the foreground) seem to hang around the longest, and are definitely the most fragrant.

A spider daffodil (?).

A spider daffodil (?).

Aren’t these sweet?

The hubs snuck some dainty tulip bulbs into my bed...pretty, ain't they?

The hubs snuck some dainty tulip bulbs into my bed…pretty, isn’t it?

Here, though, is the star of the garden – the first to be picked for consumption, and the first to be done for the year.

Yep - it's artichoke season!

Yep – it’s artichoke season!

See the baby artichoke, right below the bigger one? Yeah. We’ve got nine artichoke plants. Nine. That’s a lot of artichokes…

Below are the pumpkin plants my dad grew from seed. Not giant pumpkins, just regular ones – it’s gonna be interesting to see if we actually get some pumpkins this year!

Dad's pumpkins, planted too close together. Oh well!

Dad’s pumpkins, planted too close together. Oh well!

When they start vining, we’ll train the vines out into the yard.

The potato bed. Yum!

The potato bed. Yum!

Potatoes are the easiest thing to grow. Once a potato in your pantry (or fridge, or wherever) starts budding, cut it up so each bud gets a chunk of potato, and toss them in the ground, bud side facing up. I planted these about a month ago.

Here’s a mixed bed that we planted last fall – kale to the left (the insects leave the kale alone), boysenberry in the back (though Tom tried to dig that out, it’s hard to dig berries out all the way), and beets in the front. Almost time to pull the beets, the berries haven’t started flowering yet, and I’m cooking with the kale right now.

kale-berry-beet bedSo, that’s the highlight of the garden. What do you think?


I love your comments! If you like the blog, I’d love to have you follow me (because that way, I’ll be much more disciplined about putting blogs up).

Joy in the Garden

Joy in the Garden

My husband came into the house yesterday evening and made this pronouncement: “We’re ripping everything out of the yard and only planting boysenberries.” I would like to say I was shocked, but I totally understood.

Once you taste a fresh-from-the-vine boysenberry, there is no going back. You will buy the ones in the store, but they never match up to that burst of sun and summer and berry-goodness that is the fresh boysenberry.

photo of boysenberry bush

Of course, this is true, too of tomatoes and apricots and strawberries and oh, all manner of garden goodness. To this day, I can’t buy an apricot in the store because as a child we had a productive apricot tree. So much so that mom & dad would make apricot jam, stewed apricots (OH YUM!), apricot pie…whatever we didn’t manage to eat (or the birds didn’t get) all got saved, somehow, to make winter brighter with its fresh, fruity flavor. Store apricots just aren’t the same – the juice isn’t as sweet, the flesh tends to be a bit mealy, and over all they are a disappointment.

Tomatoes are one area where I will bite the bullet and buy in the store when I’m not growing my own.

photo of cherry tomato(But come on. I mean, doesn’t that cherry tomato look DELISH?) I have a confession – I make sure I eat the first ripe cherry tomato, every season. That burst of flavor, mingled with the scent of tomato plant on my hands, is, every year, the herald of summer.

I do love the flowers that summer brings, too. Every year for the past few years, I’ll get what I call “volunteer” sunflowers – ones I haven’t planted, but were remnants of seeds from previous summers. I never rip them out before they’ve grown; I like to believe they are the earth’s way of saying “thank you” to me, so the least I can do is help them grow.

photo of volunteer sunflowers

These two sunflowers are about twelve feet tall.

And then there’s the artichoke. Once we’ve eaten our fill of artichokes, we tend to ignore the plant for awhile – to our dismay, overnight it seems the artichokes open up too much to be tasty. Then we do our duty to the birds and bees everywhere, and let them flower.

Stunning, isn’t it? How many bees do you see in this photo?

Here’s the whole plant, showing lots of flowering artichokes.

photo of flowering artichoke

Yeah, spending time in the garden – even when it’s just weeding and watering – always seems to settle my spirit. Taking photos of my garden is just another delight, especially now that I can get photos from my camera and into the blog, lol! But my favorite thing to do in summer? It’s just to sit in the garden around sunset, drinking wine or a Between the Sheets, talking with my husband as he noodles around on the guitar. Pure heaven.

On the writing front, DEMON HUNT is 99% complete – the publisher just needs to finish the formatting, then once more for strictly a format edit and it’ll be good to go. I hope to have ARCs this time around, so I can get some reviews prior to the launch but we shall see.

One last photo – this one was taken at a winery in Paso Robles. It reminds me of a painting by Monet, and I am very proud of it.

photo of water lilies

All photos in this blog posting were taken by me.

The year is rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice. What is your favorite way to enjoy summer?

~ ~ ~

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving comments – I love hearing from you! Until next time – and remember to drink responsibly!