After a week in some beautiful, restful country, away from cell service and computers, flung far over the Rockies --visuals later-- we returned home to... HOME.
My gosh, it's always so good to be home. And it's not just because flying with toddlers is tough, because it is. But, it's mostly because I love where we live, our particular home--our bed. Sigh. I know there are lots of people out there who dread returning home, either to their towns or their home. We are not those people. Travel is wonderful, for lots of reasons, but especially because it makes you return with love in your heart for where you belong. You should have seen Jacky re-discovering his room/bed/toys/books/kitty/garden, with huge smiles and squeals of wonderment.
And me, I stepped outside to take stock of what transpired in the garden, under the care of drip irrigation and nothing else. Climbing squashes scrambled up, tomatoes ripened, artichokes beefed up and sunflowers opened their bright yellow faces.
And, travel makes you hungry, so I went to work with the garden shears:
These days, I circle the garden's vegetable beds like a hawk, looking for anything coming ripe. Gently squeezing, testing, peeking under leaves. Each day, the baby alpine strawberry plants yield a scant harvest, which Jacky and I gobble straight up. Same with the blueberries, but those plants are a couple years old, so there's more to gobble. Summer: yum.
As for this year's crops, I watch the tomato pots carefully, poaching off a couple pear tomatoes here, a few cherry tomatoes there. Perhaps I grab a basil plant that's getting edged out by unfurling squash leaves. Oh, how about some squash blossoms while we're at it?
That's kind of how tonight's pizza came about. A nice little pick-around in the garden.
Pear Tomatoes, Squash Blossoms & Basil Two Ways Pizza
Whether it's flowering plants I put in myself, or the never-ending, ever-changing waves of volunteer/roving/unstoppable flowering vines that grace the perimeter of our yard... we are very much in flower. Despite the foggy weather...what do you know, it really looks like Summer out in the garden. I'm totally loving it.
I really never have grown many ornamentals in my short gardening career... but I kinda get it now. Between the intoxicatingly fragrant sweet peas that grace the front arch, the ravishing roses, and the incredibly sweet, naturalized jasmine vines... my gosh, it smells REALLY good out there... come, have a look around.
'Tahitian Sunset' rose
Nigella Sativa flower, surrounded by baby blossoms. Eventually, these will form beautiful horned seed pods, which you can dry and shake out aromatic seeds for cooking.
Summer squash blossoms -- this is one of three colors of 'flying saucer'-shaped squashes: yellow, light green and dark green.
Flowering French thyme
'North Shore' sweet peas...
...which appeal to all ages
'Music Box' knee-high sunflowers
'Music Box' knee-high sunflowers
Medium-height sunflowers, getting closer to blooming. We're about to leave for vacation, and I just know they're going to open while we're away. Which is fine: I love walking outside after a trip to see what the clever plants have been up to.
Snacktime in the gah-gah. Mister man is getting really good about just eating the dark blue berries... before, he would pull just about anything off and shove it in before I could intervene. Progress.
My own first tomato snacks of the season. Super sweet.
Yellow pear tomatoes
Red pear tomatoes
'Violet Jasper' tomato... getting a little closer to the intended shade
Some other color of pear tomato... we're (happily) quite lousy with little tomatoes
In other summer plant departments: 'Trombetta' summer squash. This should climb up the arch and bear slender, long and curved lime-green squashes. Hopefully, like tiny tomatoes, we'll be lousy with summer squash before long.
Also next up will be three colors of pole beans: green, yellow wax and purple. They are crazy vigorous--popped up in no time.
And, as I mentioned yesterday, artichokes popping up all over. I am over the veggie moon...
...but not quite as over the moon as I am about my main man garden helper. Was there ever a sweeter little guy?
A few years ago, I lamented that I didn't have any hobbies. I worked. Now, with a new home and nascent garden, cooking exploits, adorable kiddo and husband to keep me, well, busy... I can't imagine such a condition. I still work some, but my free-time 'want to-do' list is long and that makes me happy. I'm a chronicler by nature, and this blog is my space for sharing thoughts, tastes and ideas. Let me know what you think!