A year and now

Last spring I started working on my new garden… I planted my favorite flowers in my front yard and vegetables in backyard… After a year.. this spring I have the most gorgeous front yard and a slightly messy vegetable patch 🙂.. but a very satisfying garden on the whole..

My lavenders have grown large and hyacinth made an appearance in January… The hibiscus has become a small bush.. so has the osteospermums.. the year round brightness given by orange calendula has added perfect color to my front year…with fast growing fuschia, and chrysanthemums.. not to mention pink jasmine, jasmine fluminense, sun parasol geranium in 4 different colours, ivy geranium, creeping rosemary….I am absolutely in love with my front yard.. that said I have also planted new bulbs and seeds for this spring… Dahlias have always been my favorite, some phlox and oriental lilies.. I am hoping they grow well.. I have also seeded some coneflowers, black eyed susan, milkweed, zinnias and morning glory..

As for my backyard they need lot of lawn mowing and clearing up the vegetable patch.. but this time, i am planning to focus more on greens for my vegetable patch.. I am also getting a new raised bed.. I have planted some amranth seeds and have tomato sapling ready and waiting.. I planning to have summer squash, cucumber, bell peppers, chards this time…

Best news of all, all the trees that I planted last year have come up with new leaves.. i only hope that they grow well this year.. and my berry bushes are flourishing too..

I am planning to focus on flowers in back yard too.. may be some wildflower seeds might for the trick. I already have a calendula patch, geraniums, pink jasmine and hibiscus .. I haven’t planted my fragrant rose on ground.. so add that and phlox, more dahlias and morning glories in back yard.. with lavender, rosemary and sage added should make interesting back yard..

Who wants to eat cucumber?

Cucumbers are my favorite. I was so eager to grow them, that I sowed most of the seeds directly in the ground on the day I got seeds from the store. And I watched with dismay the next day as the Crows ate them all. Not a single seed survived them. So the next batch, I started the seeds indoor. It became my kid’s lockdown project. She dutifully watered them and took care of them, and once the saplings were big enough v planted them in the ground. I haven’t worked on any trellis for cucumber, so they are spreading on the ground. I haven’t found any difference.. only the cucumbers are little bit dirty and need thorough washing before use.

Glorious Lily

My lilies finally bloomed. I planted about twelve bulbs. Only about 8 of them made it.. and 4 of those broke just as they started budding. Of the last four bulbs, finally I got a bloom. Rest of them have buds, but looks like they are gonna take time. Let them. I am ready to wait if means I get gorgeous fragrant lilies.

Alright, I got the oriental Lily bulbs. They need to be planted atleast 8 to 10 inches deep. Otherwise, the stalk will not be able to bare the weight of the blooms when they come up. Plant them where they can get full sun. Water regularly. They are very easy to care for and as such a brilliant splash of color to the garden. They are heavy and fragrant flowers. Beware, lillies are poisonous to kids and pets.

Fragrant Asiatic Lily

Today’s recipe from garden

Green tomato and beans daal, and arugula smoothie

So, I have partially been cooking from my garden minimum 4 times a week. I have started having good beans harvest, my tomatoes are big but haven’t ripened. Arugula and cilantro are growing like weed while cucumber vines have taken over rest of my vegetable patch. Most of the snap peas gets snapped up by my kids everyday. And the rest goes in to my husband’s salad lunch.

I was having trouble with cucumber. They were flowering abundantly but there was no fruit till now. So I kind of let rest of the red radishes and bok choy go to seed hoping that the flowers will attract the bees and butterflies. Else I would been forced to pollinate cucumber by hand. My vegetable patch is one overgrown mess right now. So any flower in one plant attracts bees to all of them. Well it paid off. I am finally starting to see cucumber.

My vegetable patch

I tried growing lettuce from left over stump and looks like it is working. This is first time for me. It was pretty simple too. I will hopefully be growing more lettuce from stumps soon. Well anyway this is what I did, I cut my lettuce about inch from stump. Put the stump in water for 3 days until I saw leaves trying to come up then planted it in  partial shade.

Lettuce
Cucumber

I am also trying to grow some apricot and cherry from seed. I am trying the refrigerator method for that. I have kept my seeds in refrigerator wrapped up in wet tissue for past one month. Now I am going to plant them, some in pot and some directly in soil. Hopefully I will have some results soon.

As u can see from the pics, I follow the method of companion gardening. Only I don’t plant flowers. I mostly combine greens and herbs with vegetables. I grow tomatoes, peas, cucumber very close. Infact my peas are supported by tomato cages. It works very well. I let cucumber flow on the ground. And under the shade of these plants I planted my colocasia, though initial I wasn’t expecting much, it has flourished well. I have mostly mixed my green beans with cilantro and arugula. They seem to be doing very well.

Leaf burns

Leaf burn in beans bush

Summer had just started and already the temperature is soaring above 90f. With sudden change, I am seeing leaf burns on my beans and cucumber . So things to do with leaf burns. 1. Pinch off the burnt leaves. 2. Water frequently to help the plant. 3. If possible provide shade. Yes the list of things to do are small. But that is all there is to do where sun is involved.

Right now, in my plants the damage is low. Just a leaf or two. But I have started water my plants twice. Deep watering in the evening to help the roots. Hopefully the heat wave will pass soon.

Dish made from vegetables from garden

Paalak paneer from red radish greens/ red radish greens, chickpeas and cottage cheese soup with Naan bread

My hubby’s biggest request when I started this year’s gardening, was to cook from veggies picked from our garden. So I planned my garden accordingly. I wanted to be able to start picking and cooking from my garden as early as possible. So I started my planting red radishes and bok-choy first, them being the easiest and fastest growing plants to pick from, their harvest dates being 30 days from planting. And while that is growing I added beans, peas, broccoli, kale, potatoes, colocasia, and cucumber. So that other vegetables get enough time to grow while I use up the radishes and bok choy. Well, it paid off, I have been cooking for past 2 weeks with red radishes and bok choy greens. Finally peas has started showing up and my kids love to pick them up right from the plant and chomp them down. So I would say, Mission Accomplished!!!