Posted by: David | June 21, 2009


So summer began early this morning, with the solstice at 5:45 UTC (Coördinated Universal Time), while I was making Zs. Speaking of making Zs, here begins that boring garden catalog post that I warned about in the last post.  For the purposes of my own garden record keeping, this is a photo-listing of what’s doing what in our gardens. If you find this sort of thing boring, but like British comedy, then please click this link and watch Green Wing on It’s an hour-long show set in a hospital, like Scrubs, but a little zanier, if that’s possible. It appeared for only 2 seasons in the UK, and a few years after Scrubs (2004), so maybe it’s an example of US TV influence on BBC? Maybe? I know it seems unlikely.

Anyway, before the tedious garden photos, here’s a nice image my wife captured as a deer bolted through the yard. The deer have not done much damage this year. Perhaps they felt guilty about eating all the tulips last year.

Yeah, it’s all blurry and stuff, but something about this image appealed to my eye.

All righty then. First the garden behind the house. There are 17 beds. Listing from east to west, here is what is planted in each one, with photos.

I climbed a ladder to get these views.

  • Bed 1- Fall 2008 -planted garlic with volunteer mustard, dill, poppies at edge
  • Bed 2- Onions started from seed
  • Bed 3- Onions started from seed
  • Bed 4- Sugarsnap peas, planted early April, volunteer mustard, dill, poppies at edges

Camera pans to the west … north is bottom, south is top of frame

  • Bed 5- Spring planted garlic, lettuces at south end
  • Bed 6- Peppers, mostly hot peppers, and a sweet red variety called Chinese Red Giant
  • Bed 7-  more peppers, 4 tomato plants, zucchini and yellow summer squash, rockpile, cucumber tower


  • Bed 8- bronze fennel, carrots, gladiolus
  • Bed 9- snap beans, basil
  • Bed 10- bronze fennel, snap beans


  • Bed 11- 2nd year parsnips going to seed, unplanted spot, 2nd-year leeks going to seed, unplanted spot
  • Bed 12- green and purple cabbages, broccoli
  • Bed 13- brussels sprouts, more cabbages

Bed 15, purple and white cauliflowers, looking northward.

  • Bed 14- asparagus overrun by volunteer mustard that I perhaps mistakenly allowed to grow. The asparagus seem to have given up. I thought they would poke through anyway.
  • Bed 15- cauliflowers and somehow a couple of purple cabbages got planted there. The seedlings look very similar.
  • Bed 16- purple cabbages, celery, and more sugarsnap peas

4 tiny celery plants are behind the pinwheel.

Bed 17 is planted with jerusalem artichokes, perennials, which are about 5 feet high now. They should grow another foot or two and start flowering. The dense foliage of this bed shows how aptly named is this variety of helianthus tuberosus: Stampede. I wish I could hover about 50 feet over the garden to get a bird’s eye view of the whole plot, but instead I leaned an extension ladder up against a couple of the large pines a bit north of the beds. It was a little scary.

Beds 15, 16, and 17, looking southward.

The asparagus are probably really mad at me for letting this mustard go. I hope they survive.

The brussels sprouts again.

Purple cabbages.


The leeks, beginning to flower.

The plot behind the barn. Tomatoes, sweet corn, winter squash, and pumpkins.

OK then. The plot behind the barn got short attention here, and it’s bigger than the backyard beds, but oh well. There will be more coverage later. The corn plants are due to be “knee-high by 4th of July” and they’re well on the way. What we need is a little warmer weather. It’s been cool and damp so far, but now that summer is officially here …




The garlic scapes from bed 1.

Whipped up a batch of pesto from about half of the garlic scapes. There were quite a few recipes to be found on the internet, but I ended up improvising. Scapes, olive oil, parmesan cheese, walnuts, juice of 2 limes, salt pepper and a little parsley and fennel. It’s sitting in the fridge maturing.


Happy Summer to everyone in the northern hemisphere. 🙂



  1. Holy crap, David! That’s awesome. What a cool place to wander around. And if you ever get lost back there at least you won’t starve!

    I like the deer pic too. Looks like a painting.

    Thanks Mr. Z I like to wander around in between the beds every day. Today it was raining. 😦

    I thought the deer pic TOTALLY looked like a painting. 🙂

  2. Great photos! Love the blurry deer. Great lighting too. I love purple cabbage leaves.

    Thank you maleesha. Did you have to leave your spring planted garlic behind in your move? I hope not. We went a little nuts with the cabbage this year. I’m a real cabbage head. 🙂

  3. OK — first I like that candy bar in the fridge! Then — that garden looks phenomenal. We are always happy to take any of your overage. And I love the expressionist painting of the deer! That sister of mine was always the artist! Let’s now root for a little sun to balance the rain.

    Yer sister likes the Hershey’s with almonds, I like the Symphony bars. 5 for $5 at the good old Market Basket. Hope we can launch some cabbages your way. MT on the BM BTW.

    Some sun will be nice, come Thursday …

  4. those sun showers are really encouraging. what a happy ole horse, too. for the record, this AM there is not a cloud visible in the sky, though the southern horizon goes from blue to creamy white rather abruptly. i will bet, though, that the day turns out more rainy than not. Today I am making a strawberry charlotte I read about in the NYTimes. It will *taste* like sunshine anyway. I expect it to taste like nostalgia — the way an old radio sounds when you plug it in and tunes from the 1930s come out.

    Well this day only turned out to be 1/3 rainy down here. We got a whole 3 hours of sun I think. I could see it from my basement office window as I slaved over hot CPUs.

    Strawberry Charlotte. Its very name sounds delicious.

  5. Looks like a full-time truck farm to me. So much work!

    Forget the candy bars. I’ll take the strawberries.

    We decided not to plant trucks this year. Nyuk nyuk. Sorry. Had to write that. It reveals my empty-headed aplomb, no?

    The strawberries, alas, they came from the supermarket. We should be growing those ourselves dammit.

  6. The funky sense of movement, unbalanced – in a way, of the deer shot, gives one pause… Golly, DO encourage the sun to come back to New England!!! I dearly miss that big round hot yellow ball in the sky.

    Your pie is ready… 🙂

    Thanks C! And what a lovely and yummy looking pie it is too! I gotta try that soon!

    We saw the sun for a few hours this morning. We’ll really appreciate it when it finally does return, eh?

  7. What would a connoisseur like you think of Michael Jackson’s place in the history of American music? I see that in those eulogies the writers take a cautious distance saying things like “highly popular” or “his fans wholeheartedly…” or “at any rate highly successful”, as if they had to concede to the evidence, and with a reluctance they do not intend to hide. It is rather sickening to watch.

    I got to know only 1 of his songs, We are the World, but even so I thought he was really somebody, not just one more.

    You think I’m a connoisseur?

    I dare not speak for history’s holding of MJ. There’s never been any argument over the greatness of his talents as a musician and a dancer. This greatness, in the event of his passing, has now to be resolved against the forceful weirdness of his publicly exposed personality, or so some people seem to think. It is sickening to watch, as you say, and unnecessary. But also inevitable for someone of such widespread fame. Personally, I take pity on anyone who has lost their childhood to the demands of being a performer in a family of performers. The poor guy never had a chance at living a normal life. 😦

  8. The fridge looks good. Are all these pots full of food? And are you still only two people living there?! Maybe that food lasts for a long time. Are you maybe preparing for hibernation with food for Xmas? The sun on the photos does not look very strong.

    The leeks look very different from those I can buy here. Here they have broad leaves, nearly two inches in width, and thick, almost leathery, but get tender in a very short time.

    We are “foodies”. We take great pleasure in the whole process of making and eating things. Glad you liked the fridge photo :). Sadly, I just threw out that plastic container of strawberries. They were spoiled. The other items you see in that photo are mostly condiments. There are 3 of us in the household. And we actually do attempt to “put up” as much of our garden produce as we can. Mostly by freezing. If we could hibernate we wouldn’t need all the food now would we?

    The leeks in the photo are a variety we’ve been growing for some time. They are a biennial, as is the onion. If left in the ground over the winter, the second year plant produces flowers and seeds. The flowering plant is not palatable. They get rather woody and fibrous. We have some leeks growing from seeds that fell to the ground last year and came up on their own. My wife transplanted them in a more orderly pattern. They’re still quite tiny. Leeks grow slowly. But they’re wonderful for soups.

  9. For soups, AND FOR SALADS, remember. Maybe they grow more quickly here. Spaniards are notoriously impatient, but their leeks are enormous.

    Finished tax declaration. Started to learn about MP3, wav, winamp, shuffle, auto (it’s not a car), equalizer, and about 20 terms like that, only to be able to listen to some Italian CDs!! Just to find out which button to press! And the “players” look like straight out of hell, more complicated than a big airplane’s instrument board.

    Incredible. Problem is I have kept away from music ever since I first got a computer so as not to waste more time with formatting jargon, and so I am way behind. Ever heard of e-mule and e-donkey? e-upshitcreek.

    Leeks in salads? That’s news to me. We’ve never tried that. That would be the same part of the leek, right? The lighter colored part at the base … we will have to try that. Raw or cooked?

    Congrats on your taxes. I hope you fared well.

    Music has benefited from digital technology, in my opinion, though recording artists have lost money due to piracy. Never heard of e-mule or e-donkey. But if they are “peer-to-peer” file sharing sites I would strongly discourage using them.

  10. Maybe you ought to open a restaurant. Yes, I also think he is a poor chaib, but so typically American, everything so exaggerated and loud and wild.

    From a distance it looked risky, because lots of his fans seemed to simply hate him and applauded louder the more scandalous he looked.

    Restaurant work is too hard. No thanks.

    I don’t know this word “chaib”. But yes, MJ was truly American, larger than life. For the record, not all Americans are like that. Nothing is as advertised, and nothing BUT advertising … this is an unfortunate aspect of USA culture. Luckily we are, for the most part, a hardworking and industrious people as well. And show business is not easy.

  11. The Onion, which as you know is America’s finest news source, says that Jackson died about 18 to 20 years ago. This of course explains a lot of things.

    His body has been found at Neverland. The coroners say they have no idea who — or what — stood trial at the Santa Maria courthouse.

    It truly IS the finest news source, and the precursor to the fake TV news shows like The Daily Show and Colbert Report. I love it. Thanks for the link. 🙂

  12. Did you know that MJ could NEVER sleep? He got addicted to some sleeping pills and needed more and more and ended up asking for anesthesia every now and then to knock him out.

    Chaib is Swiss, pronounced to rhyme with “bribe”, but means chap, boy, guy, informal or slightly aggressive and easily combined with many ugly prefixes to create curses.

    The leeks in the salad? Raw, cut with a scissors into small pieces. I also use the green parts. They often look tough, but aren’t. And best let it sit in your salad sauce or mayonnaise for an hour or two.

    Insomnia is a terrible thing. I’m glad I don’t have it. Drugged sleep is a poor substitute.

    Thanks for the explanation of chaib. It’s a nice little word. Can it correspond to the British slang “yob”? I think so. How does the “ch” pronounce?

    I will sneak some raw snippings of leek into a salad next chance I get. I’ll be observing any reactions. I tried cooking some cauliflower in chamomile tea as a friend had told me her mother used to do. It wasn’t appreciated so well.

  13. I had to laugh at the deer photo, because they just never learn how to stand still and pose for pictures. The horse photos are great, I love the sun rays shining down on the horse. And the garden is looks fab!

    Glad to make you laugh … you know what they say about laughter being the best medicine, eh? We had some more calm deer in the yard this morning. Early July is when the garden looks best, the shrinking day-length bringing on the blossoms …

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