Monday, July 1, 2013

Garden Update: It's Summer! (June 2013)

It's summer and our garden is growing at full speed! The sun and the humidity are just what the plants have been waiting for.

container gardening shiso

container gardening herbs

Both the Vietnamese perilla (shiso) and the Vietnamese mint (laksa leaf) have outgrown their little pots. They are now bona fide bushes. We have plans to pickle the shiso and use the laksa leaf in this recipe soon.

Not to be outshone, the lemongrass is also insanely huge and begging for a hair cut. Lemongrass is such a useful herb to have. You can use the leaves to brew tea to help with digestion, the stems are great for flavoring Thai dishes, and in the garden, lemongrass keeps mosquitoes at bay.

We're also growing and regularly harvesting a variety of veggies for stir-frying.

Molokhia, Middle-Eastern in origin, is also called Egyptian spinach. When you cook it, it has an okra-like consistency. Definitely unusual and not for the faint of heart.

 Red stripe amaranth (top) and asia red amaranth (bottom) are also known as Chinese spinach. These  varieties are great for growing in the summer heat. No bolting.

In other delightful news, the kaffir lime plant that was struggling in spring, has now grown its second set of leaves. Yay! Super exciting, considering how the curry leaf plant that we bought and planted at the same time, is long gone.

And the raspberry bush that we thought was dead, is well alive and amazing! 

 The tomato plants are fruiting and so far, no hornworms! We're growing three different kinds this year: sweet baby girls, roma, and hybrid bush champion.

As for new additions, Zach's mom bought me some plants for my birthday ...

Wishbone flower. A great container flowering plant that is perfect for adding some color in the shady portion of the patio. There were also pink and yellow ones to choose from, but I picked the midnight blue.

Ornamental oregano. We are growing this in a hanging basket so the flowers can cascade down the sides. We're also growing bright pink and red petunias for the hummingbird that I've been spotting in the garden.

I also chose a bay leaf laurel plant,

two different kinds of eggplants, (lavender eggplant, pictured)

and another blue ray blueberry plant.

Gardens are so awesome we are dedicating this week's posts to growing, cooking, and enjoying the fruits of your labor!

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