In spite of this misery of rain that has battered us this month (the rainiest April on record here), I'm pleased to say that in addition to the perennials awakening out in the vegetable beds, and the transplants growing away under their snug tunnels, seeds I planted last week are up: peas and favas, spinach, arugula, calendula, mistincanza, chervil, and lettuce! This moment of the garden bursting with new green (through the mist and wind) fills me with joy more than even the sweet daffodils do (though they're wonderful, too).
And inside, I just transplanted a rosemary seedling and a bay laurel tree into bigger pots, where they'll live for the summer before needing even bigger pots when it's time to come in for the winter.
How about you? What's growing in your garden right now? Have you planted seeds? Are you already picking peas? Are you...read full post »
And I thought raised beds were the way to go...
I'm reading an interesting (and controversial) book about gardening in post-peak-oil times: Gardening When It Counts, by Steve Solomon. He pretty much would have me abandon my intensive gardening techniques, including the raised beds (the soil dries out too much), leave more space around each plant (so they don't compete for water and nutrients), and prepare my garden far more carefully than I have (to give the plants what they need). It's a fascinating...read full post »
Whether you're a dedicated container gardener, a first-timer or a serious gardener, we're here to be your Garden Coaches and answer your gardening questions. We're both long-time home gardeners--Kate on a small in-town lot and Barbara on 70 acres in the country. Kate, a painter, thinks about the beauty of her plot and the meditative aspect of tending to it as she walks through the garden every day on her way to her studio as well as the huge benefits her family receives from eating fresh vegetables straight from the garden. Find her blogging at Three Tenths of an Acre. Barbara, formerly a college writing teacher, has shifted from growing most of her family's food to growing a business in her garden and kitchen to help cooks and gardeners expand their cultural horizons while improving...read full post »
Some people like to keep their flowers and veggies separate, each to its own garden--pretty here, useful there. Not me. I like to mix things up, interrupt all that lovely green of the productive vegetable bed with a burst of salmon poppies and old-fashioned hollyhocks. Who says a vegetable garden can't be as becoming as a flower bed?
But there are more reasons to grow flowers in the vegetable garden. Some are highly nutritious in their blossom state, easy-to grow and good-looking! What's more, they bloom over the course of the full summer. What's not to love about that?
Here are three of my favorites:
They're wonderful in the kitchen: I sprinkle them in salads where their slightly peppery bite adds character to mild greens. I stuff them with goat cheese for a simple and interesting hors d'oeuvre. I make a...read full post »
I trust some of you are deep into spring by now. I sure hope so. We're not. Yet. This slow start to spring in Vermont tries a gardener's patience, but it 's not all bad. Really. The maple syrup makers have more time at their sweet art, and I have more time to plan the gardens, to put up the tunnels over the beds, clean up from winter's winds before the wild rumpus of late spring begins. I can get some more long-season planting done in the basement (right now I'm panting melons, squash, that great tomato Hilary told me about and flowers under the lights). That's good. And when I see fresh favas for sale at the natural foods cooperative, as I did yesterday, I can completely change the menu for dinner to accommodate them-- they take some time, shelling and then peeling. (But were they ever delicious in our pasta!) I can be playful in the kitchen a bit more...read full post »