There's something completely rewarding to step out front and pick our lunch. Lettuce, chives, herbs are all producing in the garden and landing in the salad bowl. I really should count the amount of steps from kitchen to vegetable bed. I don't think I'd need to carbon offset those steps, would I? Oh sweet sarcasm. Let's do it visually.
I may or may not have jazzed up that salad with homemade pickled beets, toasted walnuts, cherry tomatoes, and feta after I took that photo. Chive blossoms are spicy and tasty. Throw them in your salad for beauty and bite.
We've been working to maximize our use of space here in El Jardin Encantado. Almost all of the vegetables for our summer season are in. But not quite all. Here's a mini tour...
This bench is in the front corner and is the perfect place to take a break, visit with friends, or just rest your eye in a busy space. The barrels on either side are new this year and are to increase our space for edibles. This is a hot, sunny and valuable space, so we're maximizing it as much as possible. In the barrels are columnar apples, along with herbs and lettuce. Plants are tagged in Flickr if you click on the photo. That showstopper in the background covered in purple blooms right now is flowering maple, or abutilon. I thought for sure we had lost it to Snowpocalypse and can't believe how healthy and glorious it's looking right now.
We may be crazy, but we're trying corn. Actually, we're growing the Three Sisters trio from native american practice of growing corn, squash and beans together. The beans fix the nitrogen in the soil feeding the corn, the corn serves as a host to the bean as it grows up the stalk, and the squash leaves shade the ground and keep it cool, allowing water to not evaporate so quickly in the hot summer sun. Let's keep our fingers crossed for that hot summer sun, okay?
We're maximizing vertical space, with hopes the cucumber will grow up the trellis. Alongside the cucumber are peas. Other plants in this front-of-the-house bed include tomatillos, peppers and cabbage. I love the look of cabbage in the garden: I think they're the northwest version of the punctuation points you see in California gardens using agaves. We've lined the front beds all with cabbage in hope they'll soon be thick with giant purple and green globes.
Peppers, peppers and peppers=summer salsas!
A sneak peek of the new backyard patio area. We've removed a too-giant tree, filled in a flower bed, and are finishing up a whole new area for outdoor entertaining. This is also known as my summer office. We broke it in with a brunch with friends this weekend and it just makes me so, so happy. And yes, that salad from the garden was on the menu. Salad from the front for a brunch in the back. Here's to sunshine.