An entire bowl of strawberries from the garden this morning! How sweet is that? We ate them for breakfast, right out of the bowl, and it was the perfect start to the day. It's good for me to have sweet garden moments like these occasionally, to help me muster enthusiasm for weeding. My strawberry patch got a good weeding early this spring, but I haven't paid much attention to it since then, so searching for the strawberries in all that green was like a little treasure hunt.
In addition to the bowl of strawberries, my early morning harvest also included a handful of chard and kohlrabi leaves. I blended these into a smoothie, with some overripe bananas and some frozen blueberries, which is my first green smoothie of the season made with my own greens. It's also the first time I've ever eaten kohlrabi, and I have to say it's becoming one of my favorites.
In this bed you can see some broccoli (with chicken munched leaves), several leaf lettuces, and some frilly fennel leaves, near the back. I've tried growing fennel in the past, and this is the first time I've managed not to kill it before it was barely more than a sprout. Jamie and I did a garden tasting tour last week, and we decided the fennel was so tasty that it deserved it's own mixed drink. For our drink invention, we crushed some fennel leaves in a glass (muddling?), added ice cubes and a shot of wild turkey, and filled the glass with lemonade. It was the perfect follow up after the tasting tour, and we definitely needed something to drink afterwards. If you have ever visited my garden, you may have been coerced into taking the tasting tour, but if you haven't, then you are missing out on being forced to look at and eat a bite of everything I have growing and tell me how much prettier and better tasting it is than anything else you have ever seen or eaten. It's fun!
We decided that we should start with the mildest flavored plants and work our way up to the strongest tasting. Since Jamie isn't as familiar with the plants and herbs as I am, I enjoyed giving him a bite and watching his reaction as he tried to figure out what it was. Here is the order we taste toured: strawberry, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli leaf, fennel, parsley, beet leaf, kohlrabi, chard, carrot top, thyme, oregano, dill, and cilantro. I know Jamie doesn't like cilantro, so I saved it for last, and his reaction was particularly fun to observe! He did admit that after burning his taste buds on fresh oregano, cilantro didn't taste that bad. That's what I like to hear.
I took the photo above this morning since the flowers surrounding my front gate seem to have magically appeared in the last few days.
The peony flowers along the front fence no longer have tight spherical buds, but instead are weighted down with giant pink blooms. They don't last long once they hit the ground, which is a great excuse to cut them and fill a vase inside.
The climbing rose looks particularly pretty right now.
Unfortunately the rose has some kind of fungus that causes black spots on the leaves, which causes it to loose it's leaves shortly after blooming every year. I've tried to treat it with sulfur, but I'm never very good at keeping up the applications and it washes off with the rain. So, I just admire the roses while they last.
I like the way the purple spiderwort looks with the yellow sundrops. The sundrops are so aggressive that they crowd most things out, but the spiderwort is strong enough to hold it's own. When I read about garden design, most folks seem to think it's a good idea to pick a color scheme, so there isn't visual chaos with too many colors vying for attention. Uh oh. It even seems like real gardeners, with sophisticated taste and an eye for elegance, prefer mostly white flowers. White? No way. No one could ever accuse me of elegance, and I must be comfortable with chaos based on the condition of my office desk and my floral pallet.