Tag Archives: garden

red rhododendron blossoms.

A Lifetime of Gardening

Although much of my life has been lived in urban environments, I have a lifelong (if often frustrated) love of growing things. I’m not sure exactly how that came about. The time I remember most in my early childhood was spent in Bangkok, even then a large and very urban city. But it was also Read More…

Although much of my life has been lived in urban environments, I have a lifelong (if often frustrated) love of growing things. I’m not sure exactly how that came about.

The time I remember most in my early childhood was spent in Bangkok, even then a large and very urban city. But it was also tropical, and, for the latter half of our five years there, we lived in a large house surrounded by a lush tropical garden filled with plants that I came to love and now identify with the happier parts of my childhood.

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In the Garden

I spent yesterday afternoon in John & Jeffrey’s lovely, lush San Francisco garden, experimenting with the camera in my new iPhone 4. I’d say the results speak for themselves; I don’t think I’ll bother carrying around my old digital still camera anymore. Most of these were taken as macro-range closeups and further cropped afterwards. I Read More…

I spent yesterday afternoon in John & Jeffrey’s lovely, lush San Francisco garden, experimenting with the camera in my new iPhone 4. I’d say the results speak for themselves; I don’t think I’ll bother carrying around my old digital still camera anymore.

Most of these were taken as macro-range closeups and further cropped afterwards. I have not made any color adjustments.

Italian Garden 2007: July

Unintended Consequences Here’s what happens when I leave my garden unattended: I get beautiful wild grains like the above – otherwise known as weeds. A weed I had been assiduously removing (but, obviously, missed one) turns out to have charming puffy purple blossoms. The insalata riccia (curly lettuce) bolted into meter-high stalks with delicate blossoms. Read More…

Unintended Consequences

Here’s what happens when I leave my garden unattended: I get beautiful wild grains like the above – otherwise known as weeds.

A weed I had been assiduously removing (but, obviously, missed one) turns out to have charming puffy purple blossoms.

The insalata riccia (curly lettuce) bolted into meter-high stalks with delicate blossoms. Wasn’t very edible at this point, however, so I took some pictures, tore it all up, and planted onions, herbs, and more lettuce in that space.

The wild fig that I never even planted, in the lower wall, came out with a promising crop of fruit.

And the vegetables just kept on producing – I picked our first tomatoes this morning.

Italian Garden 2007: June

The garden has been largely left to its own devices in the last six weeks, and is thriving. We’ve had monsoon-like rains almost every day for weeks, so it certainly doesn’t need watering, and the vegetables are large enough now that they’re mostly holding their own against the weeds. Only three of the six zucchine Read More…

The garden has been largely left to its own devices in the last six weeks, and is thriving. We’ve had monsoon-like rains almost every day for weeks, so it certainly doesn’t need watering, and the vegetables are large enough now that they’re mostly holding their own against the weeds. Only three of the six zucchine plants survived: two at the bottom of the retaining wall, one in the main flat part of the orto. It looks as if the latter plant will be more productive, probably because it gets more sun. Six or so eggplant plants remain after attacks by beetles and slugs – we had a lot of beetles this year, I’ve never seen the like in Italy! – and are just now flowering:

eggplant blossom

eggplant blossom

We have lots of tomato plants, though a couple of them are hard-pressed to find sun around the enormous leaves of the broccoli plants. The broccoli had better be damned productive (in fall/winter) – they take up a lot of room!

broccoli plants

broccoli plants (the yellow blossoms in the center are zucchine) – compare with their size earlier!

The fennel stopped producing bulbs and got long and stalky, then it flowered. I pulled out most of it as it was shading out the lettuce, parsley, and green onions. But it’s so pretty I left some just to look at.

fennel blooms

fennel blooms

While I was away in May nobody dead-headed the roses, so the plants put all their energy into seeds and stopped blooming. Now that I’ve been cutting them back savagely, they’re starting to bloom again, though not as spectacularly as before.

zucchini flower on the plant

zucchine blossom – the plant produces male and female flowers. The female ones turn into zucchine, the male flowers do not, so are eaten as flowers – stuffed with ricotta cheese and fried in batter, if you’ve got the cooking skills for that (I don’t)

figs

a promising crop of figs – yum!

harvest in a basket

Jun 15, 2007 – today’s harvest from our garden: leggy lettuce (the turtles like it), parsley, zucchine, apricots (all we’ll get this year – 6), raspberries

photo at top: herbs for sale at an Italian garden center