Category Archives: The Frilly Garden

The Frilly Garden – The Sad Update

It’s that glorious time of year again – harvest season. It’s the time when all of the hard work you’ve put in to gardening all year comes to fruition and you reap what you’ve sown. It’s the time when you understand that all of the hard work’s been worth it after all.

Unfortunately for us, we won’t be getting nearly as many of these good feelings as most gardeners. The truth is that we didn’t have a great gardening season here. We thought things were really on track and that we did everything right, and we did.

Then we realized that we were sharing the garden with a groundhog.

Once a small groundhog, he is now more the size of a terrier, all thanks to our zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumber, corn, and tomatillos. He got them. Nearly all of them.

We are very sad about the sacrifice we’ve made to the groundhog. We really are. We tried so hard. We put in a lot of hours. We’re still gathering what we can salvage from the garden. We’ve still got lots of potatoes and celeriac to look forward to. At least he hasn’t bothered to dig those out of the ground.

We’re not going to let this deter us. Next year we’re going to try again – maybe with a fence or a motion activated water sprinkler.

Here’s where we were not so long ago:

This is what we’ve managed to collect:

*sigh*

We’ll just keep trying.

[Recipe] Creamy Curried Zucchini

It’s August – the time of year when your garden produces zucchini faster than you can eat them. Gardeners try desperately to pawn off the surplus to unsuspecting neighbours. You see new ways to enjoy zucchini everywhere too. We recently picked 3 monster zucchini from our garden – the ones the groundhog hasn’t chowed down on yet. Thanks for saving us some veggies, Groundhog. This recipe was a great way to use one of them.

This dish made a quick easy side dish for our trout dinner. I will definitely be making this one again.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Company’s Coming Zucchini Zone cookbook.

[Recipe] Creamy Curried Zucchini

2 tsp olive oil
1 large zucchini, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth (I had beef, so that’s what I used)
2 tsp curry powder
4 Tbsp cream cheese
salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until really hot.

Add the thinly sliced onions and saute until just golden.

Add the curry powder to the onions and saute another minute, until fragrant.

Add the zucchini, broth, and salt and pepper (to taste). Saute for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini is tender-crisp.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream cheese.

Serve.

The Frilly Garden 2012: Progress Report

Seems the summer has flown by, hasn’t it? *sigh* We say that every year.

We are now starting into harvest season! At least for a lot of our early vegetables. I’ve been harvesting herbs for weeks now, but this week we actually picked our first vegetables from the garden – some fat green beans. Enough for our dinner, 3/4 lb.

In the rest of the garden, we’ve seen lots of progress too.

We finally figured out how the corn grows. We’ve got some litle ears coming in now.

And the cucumbers have finally shown up to the party.

Our tomatoes are really coming along. We’re just waiting for some to ripen.

Look at this heirloom monster!

Our tomatillos have multiplied like crazy! We’re still waiting patiently for them as well. Shouldn’t be too much longer now. From what I know of tomatillos, once their outer skin turns papery, they’re ripe. This is the first one we’ve seen start to turn. We kind of get the feeling that once they start ripening, we’re going to be inundated with tomatillos. Salsa for everyone!

Now, about the pumpkin. It has been growing so much! It’s really phenomenal the amount it’s gotten bigger in the past three weeks. Sadly though, there’s some bad news to report.

Something got to eat it before we could. We are absolutely devastated about it, since this is the first year since we’ve had gardens that we’ve been able to grow a pumpkin. We drive by huge pumpkin patches here and we were absolutely in awe at the number and size of the pumpkins in farmers’ fields here in the fall.

This year we were determined to be successful. We read that a pumpkin’s male flower comes out first. It’s huge. This attracts bees in droves for regular visits. This helps establish future pollination of the female flower, which is attached to the fruit of the pumpkin.

Since we don’t have a large patch of pumpkins, my husband actually took the time to watch to see when any female flowers were open for business, so to speak. When he saw one, he played matchmaker. When it was just dusk, he turned on some soft music and proceeded to rub the male pumpkin flower on the female pumpkin flower, ensuring pollination. Sneaky, isn’t he?

OK, so maybe it was just before dusk, without music.

This got us our lone pumpkin this year, ultimately lost to a furry critter.

Now my husband waits, day and night, for the next female flower to be ready to pollinate.

Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be able to get another pumpkin on the go, and soon.

The Frilly Garden 2012: Quick progress report

The frilly garden has seen great progress of late. Things are coming right along now!

We have lots of questions though, and a bit of research to do. Husband’s working on that right now.

First up, the corn. We’ve never grown corn before. Does anyone know what happens next? Do each of these little “prongs” become ears of corn? Can anyone help us? Either way, we think it’s growing really quickly now, which makes us happy enough to give up coffee in the morning.

That last part was a bit of a fib, actually. Who in their right mind would give up coffee?

I’m so excited about so much of the growth that quite literally almost happened overnight.

We have a pumpkin! (We think)

The pumpkin vines are growing like mad. Mad!

Now, my most exciting moment today, discovering these beauties…

Look at those gorgeous tomatillos! I love that they just hang out in their little green jackets. They don’t command attention at all. They just hide under a few little leaves, just waiting for their moment to be discovered. Beautiful.

Now for the rest.

Beans

A lovely heirloom brandywine tomato

A cluster of early girl tomatoes

Jalapeno

Brussels Sprouts

Lettuces

Zucchini

And finally, my pride and joy… the herb garden. I’ve added some new herbs since every time we visit a garden centre, we see lots of great herbs marked down to $1 each. I can’t resist. I’ve added thai basil, sage, lemon thyme, dill, and oregano.

They’re filling in nicely now.

Lots of work on tap this weekend, since we’re heading on vacation next week. Lots of weeding, watering, and fertilizing to do.

Hope for a little bit of rain while we’re away!

The Frilly Garden 2012: You Win Some, You Lose Some

This is how humid it was here this afternoon. It felt like the rainforest.

Believe me, there’s a garden behind there. I couldn’t get a picture for a bit since the lens kept fogging up.

On to business. I know it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve updated you all on the garden’s progress.

What have we been doing for 3 weeks in the time we haven’t updated?

This:

And this:

And this:

I know that an update is overdue, but I really wanted to have something great to talk about before posting an update.

Things with the garden have progressed well in some areas, but not so well in others.

I’ll let you see the progress in pictures. The ‘Before’ pictures were taken June 10th. The second in the set of pictures were taken today, July 7th.

Green Beans:

Brussels Sprouts:

Celeriac:

Cherokee Tomatoes:

Corn:

Cucumbers:

Eggplant:

Kale:

Kohlrabi:

Lettuce:

Pumpkin:

Squash:

Tomatillo:

Green Zebra:

Zucchini:

Check this out. Our potatoes. There is no before picture, since they were just seed potatoes buried in the ground. Look at them now:

I know, right? Yowza!

Last, but not least, one of the newest members of our frilly family – jalapenos!

Wow! We’ve had some serious growth! Did you see those tomatillos? Eeee!

We’ve also lost some stuff – the kale, brussels sprouts, and the kohlrabi are toast. Some furry little critter wanted to eat them before they were ready to be eaten. We even went as far as to replace the brussels sprouts, only to realize that we’ve provided a second snack for said furry critter.

Oh well, I love the critters, so it’s OK. We may replace the lost plants with something that will grow really quickly, but we may also just leave those areas empty now.

The good news: our pumpkins, zucchinis, potatoes, corn, and tomatillos are really taking off. I’m excited to watch them from week to week now. You’ll be watching them too. From here on out, I’ll be providing you with weekly progress pictures.

We actually had to cage one of our tomatillos today since it was so heavy it was leaning over. Here’s how I did that:

Slumping tomatillo:

Get yourself a “tomato” cage. You can buy these for about $1.50 at a garden centre:

Place the cage over the tomatillo, inserting it gently into the soil:

Now gently maneuver the tomatillo up and into the centre of the cage, allowing it leaves to reach for the sunlight:

Voila:

Tomorrow we fertilize! I’ll save those details for then.