This is a clipping from a magazine that I have been carrying around with me since I was about 18. It has traveled to and fro in boxes of old journals, waiting to become a dream realized. Always in the back of my mind. Now that I finally live in my own home where I can build this, and my boyfriend likes it too, I believe it will now finally become a reality. This is a plan for the strip down the middle of our new driveway, when it gets laid. A path beckoning guests to a backyard kitchen garden, yardfarm in the making.
After two weeks of very hot weather, so much that the nursery could not bring in my wooly thyme, last weekend it was finally delivered after about a month! The dining patio is finally complete. It took two solid days of planting and approximately 140 transplants painstakingly pulled from 4 growers flats.
In other news the Roma tomatoes, as you can see, are hanging in for a fall crop. Weather is cooling just in time to start my winter plantings. Leaf lettuce, bush peas, carrots, beets. Maybe I’ll be able to try that Romanesque Broccoli this season? Potatoes and sweet potatoes too….
Three years ago after clearing the bramble in the backyard, I had uncovered many buried concrete pavers that had been piled up under a tree. Remanence of a vestigial patio in a back garden of decades passed. I first used them to build the walls of a new raised kitchen garden and dreamed of using the rest of them to build a new patio connecting the kitchen garden to another set of stone planters at the fence line of the property. I dreamed of having family dinners on this patio on a long table with a white tablecloth, surrounded by the gardens that grew the food we were eating. This is my current project. Three years in the making. I am almost done… the woolly thyme for between the pavers is being delivered next Friday. (!!!) More pictures to come!
Today’s harvest from the “cocktail garden”: Limes. Ooooh baby. Two years ago a friend introduced us to the lovely Moscow Mule, a vintage 1941 cocktail. A new purpose for my lime tree. A companion to the Maui Rum Mojito. Yesterday I purchased two copper mugs specifically for this year’s harvest. Copper mugs being the traditional vessel for such concoction. Today, right now in fact, I am enjoying this in the back garden:
1/2 lime | 1 1/2 shots of vodka | ginger beer
Add ice to a frosted copper mug, squeeze lime juice over ice, add vodka, and fill cup with ginger beer. Add garnish of lime to the frosty drink and sit back and enjoy.
Surprise in the garden. This year, after three years of building my yardfarm - something of somewhat of a surprise popped up. When I first moved in, I spent several months clearing brush, saplings, and vines out of the backyard. One of these included two old fig stumps - which I couldn’t quite remove by myself so I just keep cutting them back again and again. They had never produced figs, so I did not want them. Then, last summer, after removing two large ash trees near the fence line close to the house… the fence line began to look hot and bare. And, this year, since I was growing and watering zinnias by the fence for the butterflies, the water seeped into the fig stumps and they got lush and bushy. They were shaped nice and had interesting shaped leaves….so I decided to leave them to give the fence “structure” and green it up…. And then one day out of the blue while I noticed the zinnias starting to bloom I saw them. A handful of tiny green figs. As I have been watching them get bigger and bigger, I wondered “So how do I know when they are ripe?”, says the Midwestern girl. This is what I have just learned: It is less about the color and more about how they hang on the tree. If they are firm and hanging straight out: Not ripe. If they start hanging down (see picture above) and swelling, even splitting: Ripe. Pick before birds. So this is my task now - watching figs ripen. Not a bad way to spend summer mornings.
One of my purchases this spring was 3 columnar bottlebrush trees. Callistemon species are native to Australia and can definitely handle the dry climate of Southern California. I needed something that I only had to water infrequently, something tall and skinny to be a “green” curtain to my bare livingroom windows but not spread into the driveway outside, and preferably something with either red berries or flowers that birds liked. I wanted to be able to watch them outside my windows. Tall order, I know. I was a plant hunter for quite a while until I found these. And now, they have already grown at least 6 inches taller, and already attract some fast feathered friends. I love hummingbirds. I love that a group of them is called a “charm”. Charming indeed. This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Betty. Hugs.
Tiny timeywimey garden plan from the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show. The garden was titled “A Garden in Time”.
Wish I could have seen it. xoxo <3
So similar to one I was looking at recently.
re~blogged from: idigressonline.com
A companion garden of eatn’~ 3 years in the making. Three years ago I received a lovely gift in the mail of 24 daylily rootstocks. That winter I planted them and babied them until they all sprouted. Then that spring I interplanted them with New Zealand Spinach seeds. My thought was when the daylilies were growing in the spring, the spinach would grow full and protect the daylilies, and as I harvested the spinach it would be time for the daylilies to grow tall and protect the spinach from the heat of summer. And, in the middle of summer, a treat of herbed cream cheese-filled daylily blossoms would be on the garden menu. A garden dream realized. (And plenty of spinach in the freezer while more grows every day ~ as it is guarded by my faithful garden companion, Molly.
One timey wimey piece for the garden I have been on the lookout for: a Jeffersonian wind gauge. Thomas Jefferson was an avid plantsman and weather watcher. He devised several useful weather instruments in his time. We don’t get much rain here so a Jeffersonian rain gauge would be second on my list. Wind, however, comes each year by the name of the “Santa Ana’s”. I also collect blue glass, so this adds extra interest for me.