At the end of April, here's a small peek of early spring at the Casita. For the very first time, I planted veggie seeds for transplanting. To my amazement and delight, they have sprouted and I now have healthy seedlings ready to go. My selection include Tom Thumb peas, Sugar Daddy snap peas, a hybrid zucchini for small gardens, Micro Tom tomatoes (the world's smallest tomato plant?), bush cucumbers and Sugar Pie pumpkin seeds. While we have a pretty big back yard, my actual planting area is limited; hence the micro-size selections. The kale, green onions and sweet onions have flourished beyond my greatest expectations. And the garlic is growing very well, too. There's surely no greater pleasure that gathering one's own veggies from the kitchen garden. Ray and I have enjoyed many green smoothies this season, using fresh-picked kale leaves. Kale leaves, you may ask? Mixed with bananas, pineapple and strawberry yogurt, the flavor is truly yummy. As for roses, we've been in Temecula for nearly three years now and this year's been a bumper crop; healthy, fragrant and oh so sweet! I've still much to do and, therefore, at this time of year, more likely than not, you'll find me in the garden.
Kale (Winterbor variety) seedlings in the garden, next to green onions and garlic. Temps continue to be cold, which is said to benefit kale, the colder the better to keep bitterness away. What to do with kale? I use mine to make Green Smoothies, a healthful drink made with yogurt, bananas, pineapple and kale (or spinach), all blended together; sweet and yummy, like a milkshake. This is true!
Garlic and green onions; planted late December 2012
Itching to get back to gardening despite that it's winter. I visited the local nursery and had hoped to bring home a variety of herbs, but offerings are limited this time of year. I was especially looking for parsley, cilantro, lemon thyme and sage. Still, there were garlic and green onion seedlings available and so I picked up a couple of six paks. I passed on lettuces and bak choi; we're not big salad eaters and my picked lettuce gets wilty so quickly anyway. I do enjoy growing green onions and have had good success with those. Never have grown garlic before, but want to give it a go and see what happens. As always, I bought a pak of Johnny Jump Ups, my favorite little flower, to set in among the herbs and such.
Found this photo while searching the internet for sloped garden alternatives. Ours is just barely sloped along the back fence and this would work just right. Ray says it's a "can do" plan and this is what I'm hoping to have in place for spring planting next year.
Here's a green spider making itself at home on a rhubarb leaf in my garden. This is the first time I have tried to grow rhubarb and, so far, it's healthy. In this its first season, there are only a few stalks that are ready to harvest, just enough for one strawberry/rhubarb coffee cake. Wouldn't you know, this spider decided to claim the very stalk, the very one that I intend to pick this very day.
Nearing the end of July. The determinate, container tomato that I planted into the ground several months ago is at full maturity and bearing nicely. I have had few problems with tomato worms on this variety. In June, I purchased another kind of container-type tomato for a late planting, which I put into a container. There are only two tiny tomatoes so far and the plant has just begun to take hold and flourish. It is healthy so far; I'll want to know how it does as we move toward fall.