Saturday, August 16

Summertime Drooling

I have a lot of work to do in the garden this weekend. Finishing an arbor, lots of weeding, planting some fall crops, staining a fence... but it hasn't been all work. I have taken out some time to enjoy the fruits of previous labor, too. The blackberries keep disappearing before the camera can record them for posterity somehow, but here is a nice shot of my continuing crop of 'Ozark' everbearing strawberries:


I get a few strawberries every couple of days now... just enough to eat over yogurt and granola, if I'm patient, and otherwise good for some bursts of strawberry flavor in my mouth as I walk around thinking about all of my unfinished garden projects. And I am proud to report my first ripe tomato! This is a mild-flavored, old-fashioned pink 'Oxheart' tomato:


Some people are known to perform weird, cult-like ministrations before devouring their first tomato of the year. I, however, am a dedicated hedonist... so I enjoyed it straightaway after this picture was snapped, out of (an admittedly very dirty) hand and warmed by the sun. Yum.


Fresh garden foodstuffs aren't the only thing I've been drooling over this week, though. Ketzel Levine, NPR's gardening correspondent, has been posting pictures of Dan Hinckley's personal garden over at her blog, Talking Plants. (Yes, the same Dan Hinckley of Heronswood Garden/Nursery fame.) Judging from the pictures Ketzel posted, Dan's garden is as amazing as you would think it should be.

You can find her "teaser" post, with some pictures, here. And the full post, including a lovely shot of the amazingly beautiful 'Cherry Coke' dyckia, here. (Annie's Annuals calls this 'Cherry Cola' dyckia, in this frame from their Summer 08 Slideshow.) As I said in a comment I left on Talking Plants, pictures like these make me want to throw in my proverbial trowel... and also propels me to start revamping my garden in the hopes that it can rise to the challenge. Amazing stuff. :)

19 comments:

Ewa said...

A lot of work in the garden this weekend - sounds familiar. Maybe thats connected with ending summer? I also have 'surprisingly' much work :)
Greetings,
Ewa

Stratoz said...

time for a hello before I get some time in the garden this morning. Yesterday I took a day off from gardening. Sorry to say my home garden has been neglected this year. But in the midst of it not being amazing we have eaten green beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, red and yellow onions, and many herbs. My first cherry tomato was eaten in the same style that your first tomato was eaten. I am surely in PA, so "?" can be removed. Some how, some way, I am honored to be in that small group with Martha. off to garden.

Gail said...

You know I don't grow vegetables but I know from hanging out in friend's gardens that very few cherry tomatoes or berries seemed to make it to the granola~ Will you rest today?

Gail

flydragon said...

Strawberries and tomatoes. Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!!!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Ewa, awww... I prefer to think of this as the middle of summer! lol. (But I'm afraid that you're probably right. Seeing those first few signs of fall are a powerful motivator, aren't they?!)

Stratoz, thanks for stopping by. Isn't it wonderful how even neglected gardens still manage to produce some kind of nourishment for us, nutritionally or otherwise? I admit that I don't even have things mulched yet, so mine has been relatively neglected, too. (And thanks for clarifying--I'll fix up your listing on my sidebar!)

Gail, I agree on the cherry tomatoes, too! Especially my favorites, the 'Yellow Pear'... which a few of my friends and I refer to as "the tomato candy." lol. Nope, no rest today... need to get the arbor stained, and do some mulching after baring the beds through all of that weeding.

flydragon, they were indeed! *GRIN*

Fern said...

I read somewhere that the smaller, heirloom varieties of strawberries are much sweeter and tastier than the ones grown commercially, which were selected for their size and abundance of fruit and not taste. Is that true?

Michelle said...

Ohh, strawberries all summer??/ I wonder if they are ok for zone 5? I have been enjoying tomatos for a month and am becoming buried in them, I made a wonderful fritatta, too bad my family decided not to like fritatta!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

fern, I would guess that homegrown strawberries in general are sweeter than those grown commercially, unless you buy directly from a strawberry grower. (We have a few local strawberry farms "back home," and there are some U-pick places around Cleveland, too. I've gotten sweet strawberries from both.)

The reason is that most of the shipped ones come from California, etc., and are picked before they are completely ripe... whereas the ones you pick yourself have been allowed to do more ripening on the vine. I think that it probably has more to do with that than with looking for the smaller/heirloom types... but that's just a guess based on my experience.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Michelle, I would trade you some strawberries for a frittata anyday! Yum. :) I just googled "Ozark Strawberries" and the info I have found says that they are hardy to zone 4... I bet you can find some other "everbearing" varieties in your local nursery, too. The Ozarks are just what we tend to have around here.

Frances, said...

Hi Kim, why does seeing your hands make me think how perfect they are to slap a volleyball around. ;-> Sorry, I'll stop now, or maybe not. I am amazed at the Hinkley garden and Cherry Coke is my favorite color too. I have save the Martha Stewart mag which features his home and garden, what a place. We mere mortals can only dream of having a garden like that. Of course it helps to have that climate and soil, but the plant selection and placement is why he is the best.

Layanee said...

My first tomato never even waits for its' photo op! Such restraint on your part is admirable. Still getting strawberries? I need to plant some strawberries so thanks for that reminder. Who doesn't love DH? He is the The Guru of Gardening.

Entangled said...

There are so many tomatoes covering the blogsphere lately, but I think this is the first one I've seen posing in front of a Brunnera ;-) (it is a Brunnera, isn't it?)

The first tomato always tastes the best.

lisa said...

That link was amazing, but so are your MIDSUMMER strawberries! ;-)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Frances, amusingly enough, my hands are actually very small! My wedding ring was a 5-1/4, and my fingers are short and stubby. Maybe that's why I'm mostly a setter instead of a hitter?! *grin*

I'll have to look out for that Martha magazine--which issue?

layanee, lol, I happened to have the camera outside with me, or mine would have missed its close-up, too! As it was, I certainly didn't even bother to wash those dirty fingers before I enjoyed the pretty tomato. :)

Yes, Entangled, it is posing near a brunnera. That was the closest silver-leaf plant to the camera, so I thought that 'Jack Frost' brunnera would work well to show off the tomato since the sun wasn't shining properly. lol.

Lisa, I know! Even if they don't get any bigger than dime-sized (and some of them don't) I still enjoy having these everbearing strawberries around.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

IMO the hedonists have it, rituals are so overrated. For me it's: pick tomato (strawberry, blackberry whatever) and over to the pearly whites to do the sinking in thingy! ;-)

Leslie said...

I'm guessing there will be a run on everbearing strawberries now...wonder where I could squeeze some in. How much space do you need to get a few every couple days?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kim, reading that you eat right out of the garden makes me think of my childhood. It would be so hot Grandma didn't want to cook so she would say go to the garden and get something to eat. Ha... often it was cabbage and tomatoes. Yummm

A wildlife gardener said...

Looking at your luscious fruits make me think of that amusing song from Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang...'Truly scrumptious...' :) A big success, I'd say...well done to you :)

joey said...

Would love a handful of your luscious strawberries on my granola and yogurt, Kim. Always a delight to visit, dear gardening friend.

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