Betsy, Betsy, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

broccoli spear 1

With broccoli spears and some chard ears, and carnival carrots in a row!

Hmmm. You know how you plan to post something wonderful that you baked or prepared and suddenly find that you can’t seem to get the simplest post worked out right? Has this ever happened to you? Well, this week it happened to me. And rather than let it be two weeks in between posts, I decided it was high time to take a little peek at my winter garden.

If you’ll remember, I do have a summer garden, but it doesn’t get very much sun. In fact, it’s actually the fall and well into winter when I get the most sun, so from now until early March I’ll have some interesting things popping up in the raised bed. No, it’s not a miracle. It’s just living in a climate that has a very mild winter…and no snow thus far!

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy this wee tour of my garden today, and I promise I’ll be back with something tasty for you in just a few days. By the way, how is…or just plain “is” your garden growing in your part of the world? Tell me about it!

A row of Rainbow chard. Yes, my "pick up stick" technique is still keeping cats out of the garden.

A row of Rainbow chard. Yes, my “pick up stick” technique is still keeping cats out of the garden.

Cannot wait for the broccoli...fingers crossed that they'll keep growing and growing!

Cannot wait for the broccoli…fingers crossed that they’ll keep growing and growing!

carrots, kale chard

If you look closely in front of the back row of chard you can see little wisps of carnival carrot tops. Thus far my success with carrots has been laughable.

chard, broccoli, carrots1

Chard in foreground and background, then carrots Lacinato and Red Russion Kale, Collards and broccoli. Pine straw and pine cones are a constant this time of year, providing mulch (good) and rather painful and prickly encounters if your timing is bad!

chard, broccoli, parsley

Italian flat leaf parsley left from summer (freshly harvested), surrounded by broccoli and hopefully some arugula at some point. And oh yes, more chard…a good year for it!

chard, kale, collards

Chard harvesting time!

Into each life, some rain must fall…hopefully!

We’ve waited and waited. Weeks on end without rain and with record high temperatures, close to or in the 90’s, and dry as a bone. Then finally this weekend, some rain!

Our house in the forest, by artist Jeanie Holland.

A time or two now, I believe I’ve mentioned that our property is mostly shaded. And by this I mean we practically live in a forest of 80-year-old and 100-foot-tall pine trees, with an understory of dogwood trees, Japanese maples, shade-hearty shrubs, and various perennial plants and ferns.

From the get-go, I knew my desire to have a vegetable garden of any type was an exercise in futility, but I pursued it anyway. And this spring, on top of having no sun in my yard, we’ve struggled with having very little rain at a time when we usually get the bulk of rainfall we’re going to for the next few months. The clouds tease, the forecasters make promises and all the moisture goes right around us. I’ve watered, only just enough to keep everything going and within our watering restrictions, but city water with all that chlorine just isn’t what the plants want. Then Friday rolls around, and what’s this? We have moisture coming from the sky…ta da! Suddenly everything is growing again. Continue reading

A Hiccup, and What I Love About Spring

Azalea blossoms in our yard shot with a macro lens. I think azaleas are fascinating!

Forgive me readers for I have been MIA. It’s been two weeks since my last post.

Missed me? I’ve missed you all….figuratively and literally! I’ve been dealing with some family health issues for the last two weeks, so had no time for cooking, blogging or keeping up to speed with other posts, either. So sorry about that…some of my fellow bloggers are so prolific I may never catch up! Since I still haven’t had time to get back on my schedule of cooking or just fun eating in general, I’ve decided to give you an update on things I will hopefully be cooking from my garden within a few months and my quarterly commentary on a few things I love about the season at hand….Spring! Continue reading

That Thing About Spring

Nothing says spring like Greek marinated and grilled pork loin chops, veggie kabobs and tzatziki sauce...at least to me!

We’re really getting a taste of spring around here now with our temps moving up from the mid to upper 60’s on Saturday to the low 80’s tomorrow and for the foreseeable future…whhaaaat???? Am I living in Florida? Pinch myself…nope, still in Atlanta. Whoa, that’s more like early summer!

Anyway, the birds are returning and the bees are buzzing, and all this activity resulted in some rather demonic energy on my part last weekend. Continue reading