Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mom's Cucumber Salad

My mom makes this all the time. It's super easy. If you like a really strong flavor, let it sit overnight in the fridge. It can last up to a week. I prefer English cucumbers over regular ones because of the skin and texture of the cucumber.

  • cucumbers sliced 1/2"
  • soy sauce
  • minced garlic
  • sesame oil
  • vinegar
  • chili peppers (or crushed flakes)

English Cucumbers

As I was watering today, I found these little guys. There are several of them about 8" long.

Here are a bunch of soon-to-be cucumbers. I can't wait!

I picked some for dinner and lunch tomorrow.

I'm going to try these recipes from Korean Cuisine. If there are more cucumbers than we can eat, I will start pickling them. The english cucumbers really keep their moisture when sliced, which is great for taking to work for lunch.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big and Small

As I weeded today, I spotted a wonderful surprise! A wee wittle eggie plant!

Then I found a big surprise; striata zucchini!

Corn is about 3.5' tall now.

The cleome is a awesome! What a great filler plant. It's big, tall and bushy. It smells like marijuana too.


Does anyone know the name of this?


This dahlia is different. It's long and sprawled over the ground.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome to Summer!

On Wednesday, we had our first harvest of sugar snap peas and 4 zucchinis. Both were delicious!

Edamame - They grow in clusters and are almost ready to eat. English Cucumber - The cucumber near the sprinkler is doing the best. They require a steady supply of water. It's beginning to climb the lattice.

Heirloom Tomatoes - The tomato is finally starting to show. Notice the ridges along the fruit. The seed packet description says it will look like a flower when sliced. I can't wait to taste one of these. Cherry Tomatoes - My neighbor started these. It's nice to have a variety of sizes for salads.

Corn, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, dianthus, marigolds, zinnias, perilla. Weeding is really keeping me busy.

Hydrangeas - They look beautiful this year! One side is violet and the other side is blue due to the pH of the soil. My husband says it looks like "Berry Captain Crunch" cereal.

Lilies - These are really pretty. I like these far better than the orange ones. I never cared for lilies until now. They are a very reliable sturdy flower that comes back year after year.

Foxglove - Our 2nd foxglove is finally blooming. Next year, we'll get one more, so that there will be blooms each year since it's a biennial plant. Tiny rose the size of my pinky; the plant was a present from my neighbor.

The garden beds.

Bleeding Hearts - Got these off a neighbor. I noticed they were being squashed under a gutter, so I kindly asked if they didn't care for them, if they would mind if I have it. New additions - St. John Wort - not sure where to plant this yet. Can anyone tell me what the purple plant on the left is of the St. John Wort? My mom gave it to me, but I don't know the name of it. It's really tall. I'm going to relocate it next year.

We got another jade plant (atleast that's what I think it is). We've affectionately given it the name of "Shrek ears" because they look Shrek's Ears from the movie.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Longwood Gardens - Nature's Castles

Currently being featured at Longwood Gardens until November 23rd are 3 large scale tree houses. Being an engineer and gardener, my interest was peaked. Who doesn't love a tree house!?!

Lookout Loft by Forever Young Tree House, Vermont. The ramp makes the tree house universally accessible.

I love some of the whimsical surprises found at every corner, such as this railing.

The Birdhouse designed by Tree House Workshop in Seattle, WA. The wood used for this tree house was "refurbished" from various other buildings located in WA such as an old factory and many more.

The Canopy Cathedral
by Tree House Workshop. We were told this was the most impressive of the tree houses, but I tend to prefer the "smaller scale" designs. The exterior and balcony are lovely, but the "upstairs" where the glass is was just a large waste of space.

Wouldn't you love one of these in your back yards?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gardening for Beginners

People often say to me, "Oh Anita, you have such a green thumb. I wouldn't be able to do it. Everything I plant dies. How do you do it?" Here are some tips. I swear by #1.

1. Start off Small - It can become overwhelming with the choices of soil, plants, seeds, and tools. Think about what you want to plant and just go with that initially. Purchase things as you need them and not all at once.

2. Start in the Spring - By Summer, it's often "too late" and the mosquitoes are out. That's what scared me out of gardening for a year after planting my first plant.

3. Take Notes - Often times, I carry a little notepad and pen. I go around jotting down names of plants. I go home and Google it to read about the needs of the plant. I also like to Google Image it because I like seeing how big it will grow.

4. Work with Your Space - Do you have a small plot in shade? Do you have a bright sunny window? Do you have a sunny balcony? Work with what you have and don't try to force it. Container plants do better because the variables are controlled.

Happy Gardening!