We’re hitting that magical time of the season when a growing portion of our meals are gleaned from the garden. I enjoy moving around the space, snipping bits of this and that from here and there. I have edibles tucked in everywhere. There are lettuce seedlings in every bed, except the dry one. They would not fair well there.
Yesterday’s lunch, a simple salad (Except the eggs. No chickens here. Le sigh. Oh, and the cheese.) came from the garden.
Here’s my process:
- Photo Top Left: ‘Four Seasons’ lettuce. This is the same lettuce that miraculously overwintered. I dug up the seedlings and planted them here and there.
- Photo Top Right: Harvesting assorted edible greens. These include: Two types of spinach, bloody dock, chive flowers, viola flowers, French Sorrel, pea shoots, curly parsley, violet leaves, another type of lettuce (I forget), curly cress, ‘Green Wave’ mustard, mizuna, ‘Red Frills’ mizuna, spring onion, lemon balm, mint, and borage seedlings. These are just a few examples of salad fixins you can grow.
- Photo Bottom Left: Easy dressing done right in the bowl. Just add your greens and toss. Olive oil, a dash of Balsamic vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped chive blossoms and parsley.
- Photo Bottom Right: And eat. With boiled eggs and asparagus. Enjoyed with a kefir milk smoothie.
I am loving this combination of the chartreuse ‘Designer Genes’ hosta, flanked by the delicate Claytonia virginica ‘Spring Beauty’ blooms.
See also: Sierra Spring Beauty (Claytonia nevadensis).
Last night, I gleefully laid out the collection of items I had purchased from the flea market onto the floor and imagined how I will use them in the future. Most of the items were purchased for the garden and some will make an appearance in the photos I take for future book and assignments.
Most of the items that show up in my work projects are also used by me in my home. Few are purchased for one-time usage and then shuffled out the door. Perhaps it would be better that way, but I am a collector, always have been. Still, I can’t recycle the same plates, bowls, and fabrics book after book, photo after photo, so to keep things fresh, I collect an affordable hodgepodge of items that I like, primarily from thrift shops. I’ve never really been into sets anyway. It’s one part of my job that gives me an excuse to indulge in a whim that I would be otherwise forced to curb. It is why I go to the effort of dragging home dirty curbside “treasures” on my bike and why I fill up my luggage with special canning jars when I go away on business trips. In truth, I was doing these things before it became a part of my job — this just gives me the justification I need to continue.
Part of a burgeoning collection of rusty witches’ cauldrons. Some are used as pots. Some just sit there. What can I say? I like them.
God, how I love an overnight rainfall. There is nothing more optimistic than waking up to a bright and sunny day with the soil moist and fresh smelling. These are the perfect conditions for weeding. The softened soil makes it easy to slip weedlings (a spelling slip that I’m not gonna change) from the soil, and the pleasant atmosphere brings an added sense of joy to the task.
I’ve made it a habit over the years to learn about and identify as many plants in the seedling stage as I can so that I know at a glance who stays and who goes. Some seedlings are worth cultivating, but others just suck up nutrients and space — the sooner you can get them out the better.
The mystery seedling with just the seed leaves showing.
A handful of one particular type of seedling that I can not identify has been coming up in a section of the garden. They seem too delicate to be a tree, but don’t look like anything I have grown or even seen before. Some seedlings do change dramatically as they age, so there’s always the chance that they are something I am growing. They could have come in with the wind or birds but I don’t see them in my neighbors’ yard, yet many are situated near the fence. They could have come in the soil with some plants I planted last year… I can’t say for certain where they hailed from, but I do want to know what they are. They are delicate and pretty little things. Their beauty has bought them some time as well as my curiosity.
Can you identify these seedlings? I’m so eager to know I will send one of our t-shirts, any size or style to the first person that can correctly identify them.
Your help is appreciated!
UPDATE: Thanks to Kristen who identified the seedling as jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The plant came in through a bush I bought at last year’s Parkdale Horticultural Society Plant Fair and I left it because it’s such a useful medicinal plant. I completely forgot about it until Kristen made the identification.
The first pieces of flair I added to the garden early last year was a collection of bird and bee houses that I affixed to the left front side of our ramshackle shed. Recently, high winds have been knocking them off and when putting them back up I happened to notice a few stray baby yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) and a big egg case affixed to the back of one of the houses.
Since then I’ve been watching eagerly to see if there was any movement. And look what I discovered today…