Friday, May 30, 2014

Spring in the Urban Garden

Lots of garden activity going on around here!  I snapped some pictures, and this is a long post.

The lovage overwintered in the big pot.  I added thyme and purple basil, as well as some flowers.

Two weeks later, it is lustrous and lush.  And I did add a chervil plant to the side there.

The pots on the front porch posts got begonias and winter savory (still haven't looked up how it's different from summer savory). 

And we got the casualties of potting for pretty:  a marigold and a twig of savory.  I am eternally grateful to A for giving me tiny vases.  I don't always have a big fancy bouquet, but I always have tiny ones.

The hen-and-chicks succulent is coming back in Ben's old sneakers.  

In the spirit of spring, I suddenly furbished up a wire stand I found in the trash several years ago.  Doesn't it look nice in red spray paint?  It holds the shoes now, as well as a baby bay tree (and a clay pot for some stability).  That's a pot of mint next to it.  The winter killed it off in the pot, so I dug some out of my bed and repotted it.  In midsummer, the mint in the bed struggles and gets spotty while the pot keeps going strong.  The bed is close to a black walnut tree, and it's also rather damp there.  

This is a praying mantis nest that our friend Harley gave us.  They will hatch any day now.  We glance at the nest every time we go in and out the back door.

I successfully transplanted an enormous (to me) rhubarb plant from my friend Naomi.  My neighbor identified the vine growing on the fence as a clematis, although it's a mystery to us where it came from. 

Naomi also gave me a big bag of cut rhubarb from another plant.  After several pies, a batch of chutney, and a batch of rosemary rhubarb jam, I am contemplating pickling the rest.

I had put the rosemary plant back outside into a garden bed, but it seemed to be getting powdery mildew.  After a little online research, I yanked it out of the bed and potted it in a clay pot and set it where it could catch the sun and breezes.  Fingers crossed.

And this is spinach, cut from our raised bed from a spring planting.  I absolutely love going out to my back yard and getting something good to eat.  I think I am getting the hang of this gardening thing so I can do that more often.


Beth said...

I am positively jealous, um, I mean happy for you over all this garden adorableness. I love all the little pots and planning and planting!! Maybe as we get settled in the coming years, I can explore trying the same things. Beautiful and useful.

And I'd forgotten about angel biscuits. Yum! Haven't made them in years. Thanks for the reminder.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Your spring has arrived and all the gardens are looking great.. Love the new life you gave the red shelf.. So pretty ...

Hazel said...

It's all looking lovely.

Winter and summer savoury are very similar in taste, but winter savoury is perennial whereas summer savoury is an annual. Some people say summer savoury has a finer taste, but I only grow the winter one, so I don't know.

MDiskin said...

What is your secret to keeping chervil alive? Mine dies almost immediately -- I had it and lots of other herbs in a nice raised bed with compost, garden soil, and any worms my kids found. :) Does it need sandier soil, maybe?

Shauna said...

Good job on all the production with the rhubarb! I have never pickled it before, interesting idea. When I have extra, I chop it up and freeze it in measured amounts. It is then ready for winter, for baking or to make an extra batch of jam if our family runs low.

Zoë said...

Love love love this post. And that red shelf! Oh my. I have a similar one in a closet that would look wonderful with a coat of paint. Thanks for the idea!

jenny_o said...

The red shelf is adorable especially with the sneakers on it :)

I am so terrible about watering potted plants. Few plants survive and none flourish under my care :(

What does pickled rhubarb taste like?

Margo said...

MDiskin, I don't know anything about chervil! It looked pretty and I planted it. Right now, it's flowering. I'll report back!

Jenny_o, I need to let the rhubarb sit for a week or so - I'll report back on that, too. I've got a friend who requested a taste also.

Adele said...

What a beautiful garden! I'm always impressed how even a little bit of homegrown food can transform a meal (or a single flower a bathroom sink!).

katie said...

Our chervil does just fine with not at all sandy soil. However, it only stays tiny when planted in the spring (for us in WV) but the fall planted stuff. Woo! Hung out all winter, through -15 degree temps and really took to growing in the spring. We had whole salads of just chervil with some cucumber chopped in. It's all in flower now.

I'm just trying lovage for the first time this year though. Excited to see it overwintered!

I am a big fan of the small vases too. Our garden was riddled with tiny old glass bottles of different sizes so they are all vases around the place. It's the only kind of vase that works for me.

The satisfaction of "shopping" for groceries in the garden does not ever grow old.

Kim said...

Just lovely! Love the idea of using old sneakers as planters :) Happy gardening.

Heather said...

It is definitely rewarding to go outside in your own yard and pluck some food to eat. It makes meal planning in the summer a lot easier, that's for sure ;-)