18 July 2009

Green Growth

Since bringing my plants out a couple months back I've learned a valuable lesson: I should have been placing my small San Pedro cactus out in the full sun from the very start. Since it was brought out this spring, and placed out in the yard away from the trees, I swear it's grown at least an inch and a half! And the new growth is thicker and colored a deeper, richer green than the rest. I'm so pleased with it. It's the only perennial I've managed to get started and keep going! I have much, much more experience with annuals and am so happy to know that it is possible for me to nurture a perennial. Now if only I could figure out how the hell to get herbs to not only sprout from seed but stay alive for longer than a few weeks I'd be feeling like a supergreenwitch!

The petunias and other things I planted some weeks back are doing well for the most part, especially considering most were planted much later than I would have liked since our spring took so damn long to get sprung. The eucalyptus plants are doing quite well as are the sage plants. The two basils aren't looking as good as I'd like but I'm experimenting with placement hoping they'll improve. Just this morning the first bloom of the year popped out on the red hibiscus and it's a stunning sight and a joy to behold.

This year our vegetable garden is only a shadow of its former self since we didn't have the funds to repair our tiller, much less buy a new one. So, we've only got fifteen or so tomato plants that we'll start harvesting in the next week or so. When they're ripe we'll have tons of wonderful red juiciness to enjoy. And the dozen or so pepper plants are growing nicely as well but not producing yet. We've harvested and enjoyed quite a bit of lettuce by now and look to have some more pretty soon. We've been lucky enough to get some good corn at the local farmer's markets as well as have some gifted to us.

The fence that we used to have around the compost pile, and that the tornado ripped out, now serves as a great trellis for the cucumber plants. They're nearly chest high and just beginning to set on; we picked the first just today. We've also enjoyed a few sackfuls of homegrown cucumbers gifted to us from friends which has been awesome. They're so good peeled, sliced and soaked in apple cider vinegar with a little salt and pepper. It's super yummy and the vinegar helps the human body better absorb minerals from food. In fact, now that I think of it, cucumbers, as well as tomatoes, are the flavor of summertime. I'd probably include watermelon too. I love homegrown vegetables fresh from the garden! Sure, they can be bought in grocery stores year round these days but nothing beats homegrown veggies. Hothouse vegetables, aside from usually being chemically treated, picked too early and spending days in transit, just don't taste as good. Even if homegrown veggies aren't quite as tender, because of exposure to the hot summer sun, their flavor is unbeatable. Yay for summer food!

How are the green growing things doing around your neck of the woods?


Aquila ka Hecate said...

Mostly in hibernation, Livia - apart from some radishes and quite a few rocket plants.
Oh, and the 2-variety lemon tree is bearing, of course!

The herbs just hang on through the winter, like most of us.
Terri in Joburg

Marion said...

Sounds as if your garden is rocking, Livia...cucumbers already! And tomatoes in a week! Wow...we'll be harvesting in September, if we're really lucky.

I've found with a few perennial herbs it is easier to buy starts, rather than begin with seeds. Some herb seeds require scarifying and a period of cold before they'll break soil.

Your garden photos are excellent...they show me where my garden will be at in a couple of months.

Livia Indica said...

Hi Terri, you have lemons? Really? Supercool!

Hi Marion. We would have normally had veggies before now. We often have fresh tomatoes for the Fourth of July but since our spring took so long getting here we got plants in the ground only about six weeks ago. Yeah, I've pretty much given up on starting herbs from seed. I get a few to sprout but they always die, leaving me disappointed and out a big chunk of change.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a serious garden! Glad to see your hibiscus is blooming. Ours managed to give 2 blooms and then mysteriously died.

Livia Indica said...

Hi Riverwolf! It's a pretty decent garden, but is only a mere fraction of what we would normally have if we had a working tiller and the help to take care of it. (Junkie are not conducive to work of any kind.) Sorry your hibiscus died. We had that happen too a few years back. We had another hibiscus with peach blooms that suddenly died. This one we've still got will need a lot of trimming next spring as we let it go without trimming for way too long and now it looks very weird!