Here's How My Garden Grows
The weather here has been absolutely fabulous this weekend. Saturday hit a high of 28°C and Sunday was at least as hot, sunny and downright brilliant. Most of the patio furniture is out; so, the only thing left to do was to head to the nearest nursery to pick up some plants.
We picked up some coral bells to fill in some empty spots in the front garden, and a hanging basket over flowing with a mixture of flowers. We planted them as soon as we got them home. No doubt our neighbours probably thought we were nuts to be out doing strenuous gardening in the sweltering heat. But, I’m certainly not complaining. Most Victoria Day weekends are cold, rainy, and once or twice even snowy. So, nothing could keep me indoors or out of the sun on this glorious weekend. The only drawback is that we don’t have a swimming pool. Taking a refreshing dip now and then would be great. Oh well, maybe one day…
Anyway, along with flowers, we picked up some plants for our kitchen garden – basil, rosemary, parsley, sweet peas, swiss chard, tomatoes, a blueberry bush and watermelon. Yes, watermelon. That, right there, is my problem child. Every year I’m determined to grow one (or cantaloupe even), and every year it withers and dies. You see, even though I love gardening, my attention wanes and I forget to water it or prune it. So, by the end of the season, I have a crazy maze of vines choking out the other plants with little to no useable fruit to speak of. Whatever. There’s always next year. And here we are. Wish me luck.
Two of the tomatoes are heirloom – pineapple tomato and black crimson – the third is called Italian Gold. It looks like it produces orangey pair-shaped fruit with few seeds.
Basil, like all the other herbs in my garden (garlic chives, sage, thyme, rosemary, mint and parsley) reign supreme. I wouldn’t survive in the kitchen without a steady hit of those goodies. This past winter was so unusually mild that I could make use of them throughout those long, cold days.
I can’t wait for the swiss chard to grow. My favourite way to prepare it is to sauté the leaves very lightly in olive oil, garlic and salt. Toss them with some pasta, and sprinkle it with cheese. I can’t handle too much dairy, so my newest discovery is nutritional yeast. I sprinkle a few pinches onto the hot pasta. It tastes like umami – kind of a cross between aged cheese and grilled mushrooms and steak. Mmmm, I’m craving it now. I’m thinking that I might need to go raid the fridge….