Seeing as you are missing nasturtiums in your garden, Emily, I am posting some photographs to give you a fix for this year! Enjoy :)
I planted nasturtiums in the garden a while back and they are really taking off now. There is one especially that sits next to the raspberry bushes and it is flourishing in that particular spot. I had no idea that it could creep along the ground until one day I spotted a cheeky runner making its way to the wall! I am fond of this plant though (perhaps a bit unhealthily, as if it were my child). It is the first and best of the lot of nasturtiums and I watch it proudly growing each day. Every evening I go out to inspect its progress. Tonight I discovered that it was harbouring its own microcosm! Lo and behold there was the first flower bud holding its head up with great pride, as it should. Look at how aerodynamic it is. It reminds me of the shape of a raptor’s head (but much more beautiful of course :))
The flower is not alone however. On every leaf there is a different occupant. Here is a little yellow spider who has delicately spun his web using the leaf’s edges as his frame.
He’s not the tidiest little fella though, not having cleaned up after his dinner. Yuck!
Across the way, little white fly eggs have been laid with military precision. Peter sorrowfully informed me that these are not the friendliest things to ooh and aah over as they will devour the neighbouring carrots.
Buh-bye eggies. Thank goodness for parasitic wasps to take care of these little things. They lay their eggs in the white fly eggs. It’s a cruel world. Not the prettiest thing to look at (turn away now if bugs make you want to vomit!).
Although the meandering lines across the leaves look nice, these are as a result of leaf miners. I enjoy squashing them between my finger tips, a bit sadistic, I know, but effective.
I guess that’s why the nasturtium is so suited to being a companion plant in the garden. It attracts all sorts of trouble by luring nasty bugs toward it with its giant saucers for leaves and exotic jewels for flowers.
The radishes have come up trump in the garden! At first, I was a bit reluctant for Peter to plant them. I mean, one is a bit limited when it comes to what to do with a radish, right? Thoughts came to mind of radish rose garnishes but besides that my mind went blank. Well, considering the amount of seeds Peter sowed, I had better come up with some ideas. In his excitement at the prospect of future growth, Peter sowed all the seeds. We had reminded ourselves after our last glut of cabbages (which we fed half the neighbourhood with) to be strict advocates of successional planting. As you can see from the above picture, this was not followed through with. So now we have radishes coming out of our yahoos!
Luckily, I am now a reborn radish addict! I underrated the radish for far too long. Pulling up the first radish filled me with glee.
This weekend I hope to make radish top soup. This name does nothing for it and my kids will probably think I am trying to poison them, ha. But I hear these leaves are high in antioxidants and all sorts of other goodness, so why not. It’s the same as with any vegetable soup. Sautee chopped onion and garlic. Add some leek or celery. Then throw in the washed radish tops. Wilt down. Then add a litre or so of chicken stock, with an added chopped potato or two. Simmer until cooked then blend. Serve with a dollop of cream. I would also like to try roasting the radishes. They will probably lose their crispiness but I bet they go good with a splash of balsamic.
I am so glad we have these growing in the garden now. It’s definitely been a learning experience for me anyway. But my children will probably have an aversion to radishes for life!
I went into the garden to take some photographs of our ever-growing jungle yesterday. The garden is really coming into itself. There are many shades of green throughout. I am pleased with how the photographs turned out. Have a look!
The above photo is looking through the potato plants. We planted rocket in between the rows. It’s about done now and I am planning to make pesto with it this weekend. Yum!
The fennel towers above the herb bed and acts as a focal point in the garden. It is great to be able to just throw some on salmon and poach it.
I love the contrast in the shades of the oregano and the crispy green lemon balm. I have used the lemon balm in vinaigrettes. It adds a zingy flavour. The oregano goes into pretty much every dish! The great thing is that it grows back so quickly.
The bumblebees are out in force now that the raspberry blossoms are out. Isn’t nature amazing. Look at those red thorns.
The lavender is just about to bloom and explode into a purple cloud.
This geranium is planted under the tree and the magenta flowers really add character to that corner, which before was void of colour.
You know, as much as we like to complain about the rain, I kind of really yearn for a good rainy day, because the garden just flourishes the next day.
Today started off at 5.20 am with Olwyn crying to get up due to those troublesome canines bothering her. They have bothered her now for near on three months and they are still a no-show! Poor thing. Olwyn goes around with her fingers permanently stuck in her mouth and leaves puddles of saliva in her trail. Anyway, I settled Olwyn and put her back to bed at 6am. I hopped back into bed and fell into my slumber only to be woken by the bright-eyed Seren sitting beside me at 6.20 am, proudly announcing “I had a really nice dream! It was about lions!”.
Needless to say, my good intentions in writing my research paper today were not fulfilled. There was a major dose of fatigue today! It is seven weeks until I give my first “professional” paper. The attendance to the week-long conference is in excess of 500 people. Gulp! No pressure. However, I was no closer to a finished product today than I was a week ago. The thoughts of sitting down and poring over books seemed torturous. I had to give a tutorial in the early afternoon though so I had no choice but to go into the office.
To add to that, it was actually a beautiful sunny day and all I wanted to do was stay home with the family and enjoy the garden. I called it quits after the tutorial and headed home. Alas, the sun was now hiding (Murphy’s Law) but we still got to enjoy the garden. Seren and Olwyn found a little snail and were intrigued at this little creature, who carried his house on his back. We sat on the bench in the reappearing sun for about ten minutes marvelling over the snail, touching his tentacles, watching him crawl. It was the moment of the day! I am so happy to have witnessed this.