This morning, because the air was mercifully cool and not too humid, I decided to sip my daily allowance of cafe au creme (cold-brewed and heated) in the tiny Herb Garden. I’ll show you the residents of this productive plot in just a moment. For now, I have a question for you! Here goes:
Did you get away this summer?
I’d love to hear about your vacation adventures, so please post them in the comments field below. Tell me about your trip to the lake, ocean, or river. Or the kiss you received in front of the Eiffel Tower. Or, talk about your stay-cation at home, and what you did to relax.
As for me, I’ve not been away at all. I’ve been right here, cooking, staging, and photographing the recipes that will appear in my cookbook. Yesterday, for instance, I whipped up three of the 20 desserts that are destined for the book’s final, and definitely decadent, chapter. I’ll write more about the book (including the arduous job of staging food-photos) in a future post.
Now back to the herb garden and its 4 raised beds. As you might recall, I papered the tops of these before planting. As a happy result, the beds have remained free of weeds. They’ve stayed miraculously moist, too. I watered them in early June, but not at all during the long, horrid drought of July. Obviously a papered bed is a happy, care-free bed.
Here’s what’s growing:
Bed #1: Chives and alyssum. Alyssum provides terrific daytime perfume.
Bed #2: I originally planted this bed with red ‘Oak Leaf’ and ‘Boston’ lettuces, as well as Swiss chard. The lettuces bolted during the July heat, but the chard is growing with the exuberance of a teenager. What a gorgeous — and useful — plant! I recently turned some of its leaves into a delicious make-ahead strata. Here’s the recipe.
Bed #3: ‘Savoy’ and red cabbage. The outer leaves have been chewed by insects, but the tight “heads” within are in fine, insect-free condition. My favorite way to eat cabbage? Roasted, with fennel seeds.
Bed #4: Flat-leaved parsley. Parsley is my go-to herb for lots of things.
Growing along the fence are tall, purple zinnias…
And some white Nicotiana.
Remember when I said that sweet alyssum provides fragrance during the daytime? Well, nicotiana perfumes the evening air. It’s a happy re-seeder. Plant it once, and you will have it forever.
Not fragrant but pretty to look at are the two baskets of pale purple Calibrachoa. I suspended these from brackets attached to the clapboard wall at the south end of the herb garden.
Also in the herb garden are myriad houseplants on summer holiday. We’ll look at these some other time. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll tell me what — if anything — you did (or are planning to do) — for your summer vacation! Talk to me in the comments field below.