and Cilantro and Basil and blah, blah, blah…..
I’ve got a lot of herbs growing in my garden. I love the colors and the fragrances, not to mention that I can cook with produce from my garden.
One herb I’m growing isn’t for eating, but I’m enjoying it in the garden. Helichrysum (Bracteantha) italicum, aka Curry, is an ornamental herb used in floral arrangements for its dried flowers and delicious fragrance. It likes full sun, likes good drainage and is drought tolerant. You can’t eat it, but it sure smells good when I pass it in the yard. I’ve been using it as dividers in my planting beds.
This tub below is growing African Blue basil, the heartiest basil I have ever grown. This plant is actually from a cutting from my original plant that was taking over a raised bed in the front yard. Little did I know how big that monster would get!
I have had a bumper crop of cilantro so I cut a big bunch last weekend to make ice cubes for future cooking. I brought a big pile in to the kitchen, but when I plucked all the leaves off and finely chopped it down, mixed with olive oil, the final result was nine cubes. Doesn’t seem like much, but I think this will go a long way.
This giant mound is a mixture of edibles in tiered beds. The cilantro is taking over one side of the plot so I guess I need to make another round of chopped cilantro and olive oil cubes.
The swiss chard is robust and I’ve harvested a lot for our dinners. The celery is giving me a little trouble with bugs so I’m washing it down regularly. I have some parsley, sage, mint, and thyme hiding in there, too! It’s a mess, but good eatin’!
I planted this bronzed fennel months ago and it has been a beautiful addition to my garden. I love the wispy flow of this plant in the breeze, and I like to crush sprigs to release the fresh scent of anise. I’ve also chopped up sprigs into my salads which has been yummy, but this variety hasn’t produced bulbs at the bottom like the regular variety, so I haven’t cooked with it like I typically would with fennel. I’m not sure if it’s a difference of variety or just my growing abilities this year, but that was a bit of a disappointment. Now this fennel plant is topping out at 10 feet tall and it’s taking over the garden, so this past weekend I pulled Feisty Fennel out the garden. Sorry, Fennel, you’ve been fun, but I need the gardening space!
I like the ebb and flow of my garden. I spent the weekend assessing and cleaning up out there. Cucumbers finished their cycle so they got yanked. Lemon balm was taking over and I’m not sure what to do with it anyway so it got chopped waaaaayyyy back. Same with the basil. I had planned to have the basil ready so when my tomatoes got ripe I could make bruschetta and sauce, but the tomatoes are not cooperating so they are coming out.
On the other hand, my squash is doing great, unlike last year. Last night for dinner I sauteed diced squash with some beef bacon and the last of the red onion I had grown. Delish!
With all the work I’m doing in the garden, I’m not finding many snails right now and now I know why. Possums are good snail and slug eaters.
Well, hello there!
I surprised this little possum when I walked out the front door and it ran straight into the cat’s box! No one said they were smart!
We still have a good growing season ahead of us so keep your gardens vibrant by filling in with a second round of plants when the first round finish their cycles. I visited Walter Andersen Nursery on yesterday morning for some cactus soil and ended up bringing home some new veggies to plant. I’ll try to grow some more cucumbers, beans and tomatoes. Maybe I’ll have better luck with tomatoes now that it’s getting warmer. I hope…..
To finish out the end of the year, here’s a selection of photos I took throughout the year.
Happy New Year!
You have bonsai potential!
Oh, Rosemary. I’m sorry. I started out with good intentions but I got a little carried away. It will grow back, I promise….
I bought a box of Triscuits a few months ago and when I got home from the store, thought the box had been tampered with because there was a square cut out of it but, on closer inspection, realized that it was actually part of a promotion to get people interested in gardening. The cardboard underneath was actually a seed packet of basil, so I ripped the box apart and planted my seeds.
It’s the healthiest basil plant I’ve got going right now!