Monthly Archives: May 2007

volunteer tomatoes???!

It is a spectacle. I was weeding and sowing today and there are a few clusters of tomato sprouts. I don’t know what else they could be…but it seems impossible. Last fall I just pulled all of my tomato plants and laid them on the rows to allow the organic material to decompose into the soil and protect it from weed seed germination. Maybe it was protected enough to survive a Montana, zone 4 winter? But since I have cleaned all of that up we have had several hard frosts… I suppose stranger things have happened. I am pregnant after all. Do I qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records or something? Read more on volunteer tomatoes???!…
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garden themes

I found a thread on You Grow Girl that I totally love. It is about garden themes…here are my faves and I’d love to have other ideas: A Garden for Cats: a collection of catnips and catmints, successive seedlings of catgrass, flea-repellent plants, other durable plants that provide interesting little caves, a sunny spot or two for basking and a discreet sandy bed for excretion. Read more on garden themes…
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hot garden trends in 2007

I googled “hot garden trends in 2007″ and was inundated with a million fads explained by economic profile, urban vs. rural living, environmental awareness, families, time…you name it. Are you garden chic? Here are the hippest, most en vogue garden fashions this year. Warning: I beleive some of the following hot trends to be luke warm at best. 1. An outdoor living space. Supposedly their is an entire ilk of folks dying to have furnaces, bars and televisions among poppies and evening primrose. I like the bar idea…check out that waterproof flat screen! –>2. Chemicals are out. Yahoo. This is fabulous and is evidenced by MiracleGro’s new line.3. Foliage and non-flowering perennials are hot. I am more and more drawn to this. The textures are so wonderful and I think an over-blooming garden can feel funereal.4. Feng Shui approach is fashionable. The whole less is more idea of carefully selected plants and decorations that reflect your style and promote balance. The BBC likes this little garden with a table and chair as a representative of a Feng Shui garden.5. Easy plants are in. People are busier than ever…we work too much, have families, volunteer commitments, travel plans…the social aspect alone of being a cosmopolitan gen x could keep me busy for a full work week. Yes. Easy plants are a must.6. Gardeners prefer to purchase from local folks instead of Wal Mart. One study suggests that quality-driven consumers favor garden center shopping and price-driven buyers favor mass merchants. um, duh. How about people who want both? I shop the reject pile at Marchies and Pink Grizzly. Best of both worlds.7. Masses of color. I really want to do this. A chunk of red next to a chunk of orange…both bloom all season.There are some trends I have noticed that aren’t on the official lists. Here is my hip garden trend list:1. Scavenging containers from alleys, garage sales, dumpsters or wherever you happen to be struck by the perfect vessel.2. Planting edible gardens with a purpose: I tend to grow what tastes so much better out my garden instead of in a store. In other words, I decide what to plant in my small plot based on what I can’t live without. Another friend, Sara, plants what is ridiculously overpriced in the store. We all have to make decisions. What is your reason for picking only basil and squash?3. Growing dinner. This is popular among my friends. It is hard to know where food comes from anymore.4. Rocks. People really like ‘em in the plot.5. Iris. I don’t get this. I hate iris.6. Small clusters of many pots rather than two large pots flanking the front door. I like this and think it is much more interesting although my husband kicks at least one pot over every summer. He won’t assume responsibility either because, “Babe, they are just so many of them and not much room.”7. Fences. People are more and more private.My sources for hot garden trends:Green BeamTexas Home & LivingVirginia Nursery & Landscape Association Kill two birds with one stone: mass plant with easy plants and you will be an uber-hip gardener. Calendula and tulips are so easy and two of my faves. Read more on hot garden trends in 2007…
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early arugula bolt & perfect, round, sexy radishes

I came back from a backpacking trip with three inspiring girlfriends this weekend (stay tuned for a future post about plants, dogs and hilarious conversation in the lower Bitterroot) to find my arugula had bolted. In May? That is just ridiculous. The leaves are still tender and delicious but I have about a week max to eat a million salads before it will be bitter and not delicious. And, my radishes are ready to eat. They are so adorable. I think I’ll try the below recipe from Food and Wine. The original recipe served twelve, and I found this great online recipe conversion calculator…it was a bit much on a Monday morning to figure out 1/3 of 1/2 cup. So this serves four and would be great on a bed of arugula: 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 avocados 1 bunch scallions 1 pound radish 2 tablespoons cilantro directionsIn a bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the avocados and scallions with half of the dressing and toss. Arrange the avocados around a large platter or shallow bowl. Add the radishes to the remaining dressing and toss. Mound in the center of the platter. Sprinkle the cilantro over the salad and serve. Read more on early arugula bolt & perfect, round, sexy radishes…
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my first shared harvest & flea beetles on my arugula

I harvested greens from my garden last night and made a delicious salad to take to a friend’s potluck. Every spring I am always surprised by how incredibly scrumptious greens are straight from the earth. I hope I never lose that surprise–it is a wonderful gift after a winter full of flavorless fruit. And it is always a great feeling to share a home grown meal with great friends. The salad was simple and delicious: mixed greens from the High Mowing Lettuce Mix (I highly recommend this variety), arugula, dill, parsley, chives, pears, toasted pine nuts and a simple dressing of gobs of garlic, olive oil, balsamic, red wine and rice wine vinegars. It was delish and the only things not from my garden were the pears and pine nuts. In other news, I have flea beetles on my arugula. Damnit. I consulted my master gardening manual and discovered that fleas beetles are hardy little buggers and I will use Neem Oil on the crop. I found some stuff online that suggests insecticidal soap, but I thoroughly read the label on my soap and it doesn’t even mention flea beetles so I won’t try it. Also interesting in an article from the Washington Times is that flea beetles prefer radish leaves and that interplanting radishes among arugula, eggplant and other veggies they can’t resist will draw them to the radishes….and who cares if you have lots of holes in your radish leaves? My radishes are ready by the way a bit later than the promised 24-day readiness date but they are adorable nonetheless. Read more on my first shared harvest & flea beetles on my arugula…
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