Nature’s Delights

For those of you readers who are not still shoveling your driveways, I would like to inspire you to get outside and plant something. If you are still snow-laden, then I would like to present to you some hope.

Some of these pictures come from my own yard. Since my house is just over 2 years old, I don’t have very mature trees (not that I’m showing you the whole tree anyways). The other pictures are from my parents’ house. They have now lived there for 21 years. Mom’s garden is a bit untamed this year – she has spent a lot of time on us kids, with me being sick for 2 months, my older brother’s wife having a baby, and my little brother’s wife having her gall bladder removed. I often pull weeds when I’m over at her house, but I think just as many grow up in my absence, lol.

Ten points if you know what this is.

It’s rosemary. I’m not sure how long this bush has been there, but it’s quite the sight to see (and smell – I think Braden will take some to show and tell next week, for a little show and smell). That’s my mom with him in the picture. As you can see, the bush is pretty large.

Herbs are wonderful, aren’t they? Both mom and I really need to work on adding more fresh herbs to our food. We both have cilantro growing – mom could have supplied the whole city with as much as she’s got.

Mine has decided to grow between my raised beds and out in the yard, too. It is flowering right now.

We love to make pico de gallo with fresh cilantro (tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all chopped up).

We both have a good supply of parsley. I have a curly-leaf variety, and mom has a flat-leaf.

In both pictures, you will see mint growing in with the parsley. That is because mint loves to move, and just grows all over the place.

I planted 6 varieties of mint – I thought I was so cool, lol. Now, I have 6 varieties of mint intermingled with each other and the parsley, and I have no idea which is which (the mints, that is). This is a newer batch of mom’s mint – it’s all the same kind right now.

Our favorite thing about the parsley in our yard is that every summer, it is covered in monarch caterpillars. They are quite fascinating to watch. But don’t touch them – they leave a foul smelling substance on your hands that takes forever to get rid of.

Chives are also a great addition to the garden. Yummy on baked potatoes!

We’ve never gotten humongous onions, but we still like to try! This one has grown pretty tall on top.

I have never liked asparagus. Perhaps, one day, one of you can treat me to a meal with asparagus that may change my mind. Mom, however, merely blows the dirt off before eating it. (Those are the weeds that I’m constantly battling, in the background. There are very tiny asparagus plants growing within the weeds, so I have to be very careful about yanking the weeds out.)

Mom has quite the forest growing, doesn’t she? If you leave the smaller asparagus to grow tall and flower, then it will grow back fatter next year.

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About 15 years ago, my brother created this trellis area for my mom’s blackberries/boysenberries. It usually makes it much easier to pick the berries. Unfortunately, mom has not had the time to work in the berries this year, and it’s a little too late to disturb them. But oh, the wonderful berries we will get! I think I’ll cover Braden in denim and send him in to pick them. :) Our neighbor (who recently passed away from cancer), always enjoyed mowing his lawn on Tuesdays. He would make many passes by our fence and pick the berries as he went.

I love fruit trees. We don’t always get a good harvest, but the fruit from our trees is so much better than what we can buy at the store.

Mom has peaches and pears. We used to have apple trees when I was little. Those were hit and miss. Sometimes, in Texas, we would not get a deep enough freeze in the winter to spark the apples into doing their thing. I think we lost them to a tree disease, though.

Andy and I have a peach tree…

a nectarine…

an apricot (which is not producing, and may not this year – it took a beating last year when Andy ran over it), and a fig tree. The fig hasn’t started it’s fruits yet. I hope we get to have some. Last year, the orb-weaver spiders stole all my figs, filled them with babies, and spun them up onto the fence or the windows of my second-story bedroom.

We usually plant bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers at Mom and Dad’s, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Some years we’ve planted peas (my favorite are sugar snap peas and snow peas), corn, squash, and melons. We don’t usually spray our plants, so we often lose a lot to bugs.

Andy and I want to create a free-growing compost pile this year (let the seeds grow in the pile). My friend, Nicole, has one. Some years she gets tomatoes and peppers, and has even gotten a cantaloupe from it. We would also like to plant berries somewhere here, with a trellis area like Mom’s. We don’t have nearly as much area to do that in as they do, but I think we can figure it out. I even have the plants to start with – I just have to dig them out of Mom’s asparagus.

Thank you for joining us in our gardens. If you would like to read more about our non-food garden (and other outdoorsy things), then you are welcome to look at my family blog. We have had fun sharing with you. I hope that this has inspired and/or warmed you. Happy Planting!

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8 Responses to Nature’s Delights

  1. Pingback: In My Pretty Garden… « Gee Family Success

  2. glutenfreesoxfan says:

    What a wonderful post! Sadly, my mother’s green thumb did not pass on to me. Although I make a valient effort at growing herbs in containers on my back deck, with adequate success. There is nothing like fresh herbs to liven up a meal.

    Growing up, my mom had a huge garden, growing everything imaginable. I remember picking peas and beans, and just nibbling on them raw while we were at it. And we always seemed to have more zucchini than we could give away! I now live in a completely different climate, and don’t have the dedication to learn how to do it all here. I do have a small spot that I’m going to try to plant a few more herbs and veggies in this year. I just have to wait until this week’s cold snap passes – should be the last one. (but perhaps I’ll keep my mint growing in a container) :)

    Karen

  3. What a great garden! That rosemary bush is amazing!! I wish I had a green thumb. It looks so relaxing.

  4. Ginger says:

    Thank you for the green photos! I miss my garden and we are so far behind here in Michigan. I just started planting some seeds for transplanting today. We had a really late winter and this week is like spring, but is unseasonably warm. It is actually 72F outside, so what am I doing on the computer? I have rosemary plant envy! Have you ever tried asparagus roasted in the oven or grilled? It is worlds away from steamed. I hate raw asparagus, but love it roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep up the garden photos!

  5. Karen says:

    WOW! That rosemary is out of control! :) I just found your blog and really like the photos and posts. Great job on a great blog!

    karen
    http://glutenfreefoodreviews.com

  6. rma451 says:

    cassandra,
    your herbs are amazing, I love my garden ,its nothing like yours though . I have been working on my wildflower and roses last few years mostly. about 2 years ago I had a large garden doing extremely well when the squirrels came in over a few nights and totally destroyed it , sort of discouraged me after that.
    I do have the beginnings of a herb garden I;m hoping to extend.
    beautiful pics any tips ?
    rosie

  7. Cassandra says:

    Oh, sorry about the squirrels. I don’t yet have to worry about them much, as our neighborhood is pretty new and it was just a bare field before that (no trees).
    My herbs just take care of themselves. We will be planting more soon, though.

  8. Aimee L. says:

    Actually the caterpillar you have in the photo is that of a swallowtail butterfly not a monarch butterfly. I get those on my parsley and dill every year. The monarch caterpillars can only be found on milkweed.

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