Summer days are here, albeit masquerading as ‘fall’ every other day. Roses are in full bloom, in gardens, in parks, along sidewalks. In my own garden, I have some fabulous blooms. The licorice smell of the yellow ‘Sunsprite’ always brings a smile to my face while the beautiful multi-color blooms of the ‘Chihuly’ add a sense of awe. As I walk along my rose bed, I reach out to remove the spent blooms. By doing do, I am cheating nature and tricking the plant to produce more blooms.
Last year, my tomato plants were a total flop. Stunted growth and a few green tomatoes was all that I got. I guess the weather never really got warm enough for those heat-loving plants. This year, I hope it is going to be a different story. I have a game plan in place starting with larger starts, season extenders, drip irrigation and timely doses of organic fertilizer. I am going to ‘baby’ my tomatoes. I have chosen to plant cherry tomatoes this year, simply because they are incredibly prolific, they ripen earlier in the season and are more tolerant of weather fluctuations. And of course, I am just longing to eat one, plucked right from the vine.
Coffee!! Just what I need to perk up my day. As I pick up my espresso at the Café Ladro counter, I ask them if I could have some coffee grounds. The girl at the counter is surprised and happy – “We have just started giving our coffee grounds away, free for everyone” she says. I tell her that I am more than happy to take all she has got because they do ‘wonders’ in my garden.
In the midst of sowing radish and carrot seeds, we harvested our first crop of the season – Purple Sprouting Broccoli. It is so beautiful, so fresh and so tender that I did not use my bamboo steamer. Instead, I sautéed it lightly in butter along with some garlic, salt and pepper. It turned green upon cooking and paired up beautifully with lentils and rice. Yum-O!
Last few days have been absolutely glorious. It has been bright and sunny, with a little chill in the air; so typical of spring in the Pacific Northwest. I have been out weeding in the garden and taking stock of the changes over this winter. That’s when I noticed tiny crocus flowers in full bloom. What a treat!!
The NW Flower and Garden show is an event I wait for eagerly every year. I have ogled at the marvelous gardens, admired the floral displays and stopped at every booth to buy a bulb or a garden ornament. I am very excited by this year’s theme – “Once Upon a Time… Spectacular Gardens with Stories to Tell.” Just imagine the possibilities and the artistic interpretations of this theme!!