Friday, June 15, 2012

The Joy of Gardening

 Sneak peek of my garden this year.


 Bitter gourd on the arbor.

Bitter gourd are widely known in Asia. It is very bitter (hints the name :) and believe to have many medicinal uses particularly stomach complaints. Some claim that it have anticancer compounds. I simply plant and consume it because it's one of my favorite childhood dish. 






 It can be thinly sliced and stir fried with eggs, season with salt and pepper and serve with rice or serve as salad. The young leaves can also be cooked and eaten. 


I also planted batches of onions all over my garden.

The bulbs are already starting to form, can be harvested soon :)

Butter beans or lima beans are doing really well. I grew up eating butter beans and it's one of my favorite but growing them was such a hassle. I remember my mom have to plant them by a medium height tree because we only have the climbing variety (never knew they had bush variety). It climbs very long ways and takes a while until it can start to produce pods. I don't remember how they harvest it, it had to be with long ladder :)

So, imagine my excitement when I discovered this fordhook lima beans that don't only grow as bush but can be harvested in such a short period of time!

 

..and speaking of which, I thought they are still on flowering stage but when I was about to take a close up photo of the flowers, I saw these PODS!!
 

 

 Well, well, well...looks like I have my first harvest! ( I have to call my mom and brag! LOL)
 

It's a good thing I planted them in two batch at different time so I can have continuous supply. 
 I also planted mustard but I never seen one before that grow really big like zucchini (my husband called it "asian invasive plant") even though it's not only asian that eat this :)
 

I like experimenting so when I saw this chayote (native to Mexico) with tiny sprout at publix, I bought it and stuck it in my garden.

I also planted sweet potato stalks that I got from a friend and they are growing great.

Cucumber for crunching.
 This type I planted, I noticed, produce several "twin" fruit (two fruits from one stem) which I haven't seen before. 
front
behind

My first time to plant beets.

But why are couple of them sticking out of the soil?

Ginger, another experiment. They are expensive (almost $5/lb) so I bought couple from grocery store that were sprouting a little, divide them and buried them  in the ground. They don't like direct sun though so I planted them where other plants will shade them. They are tropical plant also so they need to be misted often.
under the cucumber
by zucchini
Bell peppers

Jalapeño.

Jute.

 Cow horn pepper.
 Whoa! what will I do with these?

Flowering Edible Rape. One of my favorite, I harvest these when their flower stalks are still tender. I'm seeding some of it so I let the flowers mature to seed pods then pinch the rest of the flower so it can put its energy in producing seeds. They are easy to grow and can be harvested in just more than a month. Some variety even less than a month. I stir fry it or mix it with noodles.

Romaine lettuce ready to be harvested.

Young thai pepper plant.

Yard long beans

Young fruit.

 Shallots, one of my must-have in cooking, expensive at the store so I planted some for myself.


Garlic, I can't stir fry without it. Along with marigolds, are my natural pesticides.
 My two variety of tomatoes.


To the kitchen!

So far my vegetable garden are not getting attacked by insects , unfortunately though I've seen some on our fruit trees. I was checking our baby apple trees and some Japanese beetles are on them. They are scary big compared to last year!


They are now three times bigger! I am guessing because the winter temperature was not as cold as last year therefore allowing them to get this big.

I caught few and drop them in a soapy water to kill them (just to make me feel better, lol)


At my flower beds....

portulaca




Pansies, surprisingly still doing okay in this hot hot days.

Dwarf snapdragon.
I love the bright yellow color
 Periwinkle.

Angelonia,


My herbs still doing well

Portulaca and petunias,

 Check this out, ...I planted only three colors of portulaca, white, pink and orange.

But I now have three more mixture of colors giving me six, how cool is that?

...a beige one,

...a beige with pink on it, I'm guessing from cross pollination of orange and white


...and a striped pink, maybe from white and pink,

Snap dragon still going...

My husband's little evergreen garden :) to prevent the water from the gutter from washing the mulch away.

..and his hazelnuts..
 

...and if you look closer, you can see the nuts.

Now I won't be buying vegetables for a long time :) Pin It

2 comments:

  1. Ah those beetles,we used to tie a string around their legs and let them fly while holding on to them.

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