Just a quick Saturday post this morning to bring you the August prompts for the #garden365 Photo Challenge! I am so looking forward to August and all that the garden will bring this month and I hope you’ll join in or follow along with me on Instagram!
This year’s garden layout did not come together easily. I usually start out with a general idea of where I would like the “big stuff” (tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, cucumbers, etc.), and everything else falls into place relatively easy, but this year I spent months sketching out potential layouts before I finally created something that satisfied my needs for both function and aesthetics.
Sometime in the last week or so, we turned a corner and it finally feels like “real” summer has arrived. These hot, hazy summer days always feel like home to me. The tomatoes are within inches of the top of the fence, loaded down with bunches of shiny green tomatoes. The different colors and textures of kale, beans, and artichokes intermingle into a low lying jungle across the raised beds. Old, familiar varieties return and new varieties unfold. The garden is punctuated by blossoms and seed pods that will be carefully saved for next year. If ever there was a time that the full potential of the garden is so close that you can reach out and touch, taste, smell, and feel it, it’s right now.
After last year’s bunny problems, I made sure that the rabbit fence went up around the raised beds immediately after the seedlings were transplanted. Things had been going well until I inadvertently left a very small opening in the fence when I removed the vertical garden fence to make room for the tomato cages last week. The gap was less than two inches, but sure enough, some hungry little bunny found that opening and squeezed its way in to feast on my pepper plants.
I am resuming the #garden365 Photo Challenge this month! While taking last month off after the birth of our daughter, I realized just how much I have enjoyed the creative challenge of finding daily inspiration in the garden and I am anxious to pick it up again–especially now that the garden is brimming with endless possibilities! If you are so inclined, I hope you’ll join in, too!
This is the time of year that gardeners have been waiting for: long, warm days spent in the garden, preparing for the season ahead, spreading compost, hardening off seedlings, and watching in awe as things begin to thrive and produce. If you have been on the fence about joining in, there is no better time to start capturing your garden in photographs than right now!
Next month will mark 5 years of my very own backyard garden and the humble beginnings of this blog. I can’t recall exactly when I first discovered Garden Betty, but sometime during that first year of gardening on my own, Linda Ly’s smart and fierce approach to edible gardening quickly became one of my favorite garden reads and I’ve followed along ever since. From practical growing advice to kitchen inspiration, I’ve always been able to glean something new and interesting from her posts, so when I was offered the opportunity to review Linda’s new cookbook, I was thrilled! I could not wait to see how all of the bits and pieces she has shared over recent months had finally come together in The CSA Cookbook!
This week might be off to a dreary start, but these April showers are definitely welcome as the garden continues to wake up after a drier than usual winter. The rhubarb is making the most dramatic changes from day to day, which has me thinking about rhubarb everything lately. I can hardly wait to start harvesting long, lovely stalks of rhubarb, and I am on a serious mission to find some fun new recipes to test drive with the upcoming harvest. Judging by the steady increase in traffic to my rhubarb posts and pins, I am not the only one with rhubarb on my mind these days (if you have questions about growing, cooking, and preserving with rhubarb, this postis a very good place to start).
What are your plans for the rhubarb harvest this year?
One of my favorite things about seed starting time is that moment when the scents and smells of the garden start to come to life. Releasing the very same scent that fills the garden during a late summer tomato harvest with little more than a light touch from even the smallest of true leaves is something that will never, ever get old. I trimmed up the onion seedlings last week and I just couldn’t get over how fresh they smelled! The soft sage leaves pack a powerful, heady aroma. Even the teeny, tiny true leaves on the lavender and rosemary are packed with an intoxicating perfume. It’s starting to smell like a garden!