If you are going to plant any sort of vegetable garden this year let me recommend at the very least– tomatoes and basil. Tomatoes because they are a million times better out of the garden than from the store and that’s no exaggeration. And basil because it can be used in all sorts of easy summer dishes and making your own pesto (a classic summertime meal) is so easy and affordable with handfuls of fresh basil at your disposal.
Look- you don’t even need a fancy yard or garden plot to plant these delicious morsels. Tomatoes and basil both do well in pots, as long as they are well watered and splashed with Miracle-Gro once a week or so. I’ve planted Grape, Cherry, Roma and Early Girl tomatoes- you’ve got to have a variety. Grape and Cherry tomatoes are like summertime candy. Roma tomatoes are less squishy and not so full of seeds- a beginners tomatoes (if you are still learning to like tomatoes) great for making pasta sauces. Early Girl tomatoes- the traditional fat, round variety, mature in 50 days and are good for gardeners who dwell in areas with shorter growing seasons. They are excellent sliced on sandwiches and cooked into soups.
Oh my backyard- (sigh) in all its unfinished, dry and windswept barren loneliness. This summer (our second summer in this house) I take matters into my own hands and it ALL starts with this pile of rocks:
Our town of Midway is know for it’s geothermal activity. Craters are everywhere and a few hot springs can be found here and there, public and private. What this means for all the residents is heaps and heaps of pot rock (pictured above) everywhere you step. I’ve decided to make friends with the not so aesthetically pleasing rock and take care of the first matter of backyard-finishing-business- use it to build a retaining wall. It’s affordable and plentiful and I’ve got cheap labor on hand (three teenagers to be exact, not including their friends who may or may not decide to pitch in). It’s a lot to undertake, I know, but I think I can pull it off with a bit of research, heaps of rocks, some concrete and my little helpers.
One spot in the yard already looking good is my perennial bed in the front of the house. I planted all of these plants last spring and most have survived and thrived. Yellow and orange poppies- showing off their color.
Little geranium flowers (a variety I can’t remember the name of) in the foreground, lupine in the background. My delphinium plant from last year didn’t make it. I decided to treat it as a fluke, planted another one and watch with fingers crossed. This house is about 1000 ft. higher in elevation than my other house where delphinium prospered. Maybe I should just ask at the nursery- duh.
Lupine grows wild in these parts and as you can see, it’s going wild in my yard too- such a beautiful purple or dark pink flower, about to bloom in this picture. But most wild of all is the catnip (in the background) I cut it back every 2 weeks so it doesn’t take over the neighboring columbine and everything else. I wish Pierre (the cat) would get starry eyed because of it but he doesn’t seem to care a drop about the plant.
I hope the outdoor areas in your life are looking and feeling fine. As for me, I’m back to collecting pot rock…