Things continue to snap-crackle-pop with the garden. Every single square inch of those raised beds is jam-packed with foliage, blooms, and goodies.
The lemon bee balm started blooming yesterday - such a unique tiered flower. It brings a nice touch of lavender color to the herb bed, not to mention a sweet peppery aroma.
I pulled my carrots this past weekend - both the Red Core Chantenay and the the St. Valery. I couldn't believe how long the St. Valery were - I'm used to growing the short and stubby Chantenay. I've found that the best way to wash/peel tender garden carrots is to just scrub them with a scouring pad. It takes off the outer layer of peel without wasting too much carrot. I made a pasta salad yesterday using my carrots, as well as the CSA broccoli, cauliflower, and green onions, among other things.
The squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and melon are all out and doing well. The zucchini has gone bananas this past week, despite the cucumber beetles that are chewing lacy holes through the leaves. I'm hoping the plants can just tough-it-out until the beetle hoard subsides. I don't want to have to resort to using anything to kill them.
The tomatoes are truly outrageous this year. I can honestly say I have NEVER had tomatoes this tall, bushy, green, and downright happy. I'm sure this is mainly a function of being planted in the ground as opposed to a container, but I have to think that the good dirt and hot weather have contributed as well. Heck, the Sungold Select has already grown taller than his bamboo stake - not sure how I'm going to support him beyond that! I've been using the soft rubber ties left and right to keep the plants from blocking the walkway. There are blooms on all plants, and this week I have seen small tomatoes on all plants as well. I can finally see the green tomatoes clearly from the kitchen window - a sure sign that summer is here.
Some "baby photos"...
Sungold Select II
Aunt Ruby's German Green
I'm beginning to take after my mom - every evening after I get home from work I throw on some junky shoes and do a cruise of the yard, saying hi to all the plants, checking on who's happy, who's a little droopy, who's blooming today, and who's getting ready to unveil. I ruminate over the day and meditate on how much I love having a yard of my own. Future plans are hatched as I imagine what would look nice here, what might be happy there, and what an area could look like in five or ten years.
It's been an exciting couple of weeks as I've recently accepted a new job working from home. The timing seems perfect, as it's getting to be the time of year where I hate having to leave the house and the garden. Part of my baseline anxiety comes from having to make the daily trek into the artificial world of the corporate office - stale air, clinical fluorescent lights, droning overhead music, and uninspired dense co-workers.
Pretty soon, whenever I'm feeling writer's block or having trouble concentrating on my work, I will be able to just grab the laptop and spread out on the back deck with the peaceful shade bed or take a few deep breathes on the front porch, sitting among the flowers as they soak up the midday sun.
I've been feeling really good lately and am hoping that this is the beginning of a new phase in life where I realize that I don't need to drag my ball-and-chain of worry everywhere. The worry serves nothing and only feeds on itself until I'm unable to concentrate on the things that I love. I don't ask for much - I just want to be content, mindful of all the truly wonderful people and things that I'm lucky enough to have in my life.