Tuesday, July 15, 2014

come to my garden

As I spent most mornings in the garden last week, sprucing things up in preparing for having a crowd coming over on Sunday (always a good motivation), I thought I'd take a few photos when everything was looking its best.

If you enjoy vegetable gardening, you might enjoy taking a stroll with me.

Things are coming along nicely. I really start to enjoy my garden come mid-July. The plants have filled out enough to crowd out most of the weeds (I tend to cram in more plants than I really have room for.) and the harvesting begins in earnest.
Probably the biggest joy in having a garden is just for it's aesthetic beauty and appeal. It becomes a work of art to me-- a canvas of colors, shapes, textures, aromas, and tastes. I'll often just walk around the paths just for these sensorial pleasures.
 I'd be surprised if I'm not the only one that will stoop down to basil or rosemary bushes and pluck off some leaves to just inhale. Ah, there's nothing quite like it.
Or just going out for no other reason than to really see. Taking my time to mindfully look and examine all the intricate details of this world within a world-- the insects and earthworms that might not be noticed at first glance, or the way droplets of water form little beads that cling to the leaves, reflecting light like tiny, crystallized gems do.
The pleasure it is to pick a small bowl of raspberries to top my morning oatmeal, or clipping a handful of greens for a smoothie or stir-fry.

Or the joy it is to spy the first red tomato of the season.
A little celebration in itself!

Then, there's the peace I feel in my garden. I love to go out in that morning quiet or the cool of the evening to weed. I feel a sense of grounding. (Literally--having my hands and feet in the soil). A sense of quiet, calming, and stillness comes over me. Weeding has really become a very meditative and relaxing practice in my life. In it, I find myself in the present-- immersed in the now, the task at hand.
And even while I enjoy the mindfulness of that, I often use this time to think, remember, plan, and dream.
I think about so many things while I'm weeding.

Some years our garden seems to flourish and produce more than other growing seasons. Especially when we've brought in a truckload of compost in the spring. I wish I would have made the effort this year. Some of the plants like my peppers and tomatoes just aren't as I'd like them to be at this point, but overall, I'm satisfied.

Here's a rundown of what I'm harvesting right now:
:: we've got zucchini and yellow summer squash coming out of our ears.  
:: herbs and green onions. Especially nice for Sunday's potato salad.
:: the greens are flourishing. Kale, chard, and collards. Noticing that the leaves aren't as big this year and a few holes eaten through and sunburned spots, too. I think I'll give up next year with growing bok choy. Not a success.
:: no success with the broccoli as well.
:: a few English cucumbers. Lovely, long, prickly, and curly. Perfect eating and not a trace of bitterness. No sign of the lemon cucumber plant-- I think someone pulled it out when they weeded.
:: noticed yesterday that the green (bush) beans will be ready to pick soon. I didn't plant as many this time, as some years we've been inundated and had some bags remaining in the freezer way past their prime.
:: I guess I could harvest the rhubarb. It kind of hurts me to pluck all those beautiful ruby stems, and like the green beans, I still have a few forgotten bags in the freezer from last year.

Since there are a lot of gardeners in our neighborhood, we've enjoyed having a "garden share" table set up throughout the summer (on the front porch of a willing and hospitable family) for folks to drop by any surplus produce they'd like others to enjoy. This also goes the other way in that if there's something you would like, you can help yourself. The whole idea based on sharing and helping each other. A really wonderful way to strengthen and bless our little community.

Don't you think these tomatillos are beautiful? Delicate and papery, they remind me of Chinese lanterns.
I wonder what it would look like if I shined a flashlight through them in the dark?

Yes, so much beauty and goodness in this little corner of my home. And I can't think of anything more rewarding or fulfilling than growing and harvesting my own food.

A garden is a delight in so many ways. Thanks for letting me share it all with you today!

other garden-themed posts here:

:: harvest and may second then and now (poem-ish gardening thoughts)
:: a handy trick for staking tomatoes
:: a "I Need To Do Something With All These Veggies" chopped salad
:: sweet days... and my own homegrown sweetener
:: picking pears and other garden/harvest musings


  1. Your garden looks so amazing! And yes, the tomatillos are beautiful...I may have to grow them just for looks, kinda like I do eggplant. I don't care for the taste but they're so gorgeous to grow! I love the idea of the neighborhood share stand...that is very cool!

  2. I highly recommend shining a flashlight into your tomatillos! I do this all the time because my fairies like it. ;)

    Gorgeous edibles!

  3. Your garden looks lovely Emily! I just have a couple boxes in my backyard but I so wish I had the time and space to grow more. Your basket of abundace looks so nice. I too can't help it, I must rub a basil leaf between my fingers each time I see one!

  4. Your garden looks so beautiful! You've obviously worked very hard to get such great results. Your Sunday visitors are really going to benefit by just walking thru and taking a garden tour:) On another note, I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Your photography and writing are very calming in style and bring tranquility to my days. All the best, Jeannette in So Cal.