Today I'm here to
And two years ago at this time it looked like this.
It must be what moms feel like a year or so post childbirth.
Anyway, on with the tour:
Back in April, I shared our DIY ledger stone planter beds, complete with some baby tomato plants. As you can see, those babies have really taken off. This area of the yard gets a lot of afternoon sun, so it's a perfect spot for tomatoes. I also think something about the heat of the stone surround might be helping these plants thrive.
The plant on the left is a cherry tomato and the right is a celebrity, and they were both purchased as decent size starters from Costco. We have been enjoying the cherry tomatoes for a couple weeks now, and a few of the celebrities are starting to turn orange.
There is just something about garden fresh tomatoes. They taste like nothing else on the planet.
We also have a few wine barrels on the patio to hold fresh herbs. The left barrel has two basil plants from Trader Joes (as you can tell, it's time for me to make some pesto), along with a couple dahilas that I've already almost killed. In the center barrel I've planted fresh parsely, sage and rosemary, and on the right is a zucchini plant.
Having fresh herbs in the garden is great. Not only do we save money (fresh herbs at the grocery store are not cheap) but the herbs help with last minute meal ideas. Adding some fresh sage to a simple pasta dish whipped up from what we have on hand really takes it to the next level with flavor, and it's so easy!
Zucchini plants tend to take over a garden bed because the leaves get so huge! So, when I got this one from a neighbor I didn't know what to do with it. On a whim I planted it in the third barrel and I'm so happy I did. It's flourishing, the flowers are a beautiful pop of color, and we're getting some baby zucchinis already! Score one for Hilary!
Our second planter bed is not as pretty as the awesome stone ones, but it was one of the first outdoor projects we tackled when we first moved in, so it has sentimental value. Eventually we'll face it with redwood like the succulent planter box and the barbecue, but for this year it's just fine.
In it we're growing a celebrity tomato (left) an early girl tomato (center) and a tomatillo (right) along with a cucumber and a jalapeño. It's so fun to see the unique characters of the different varieties of tomato plant.
Here's a shot of the planter box on the day I put the veggies in, April 30th. Incredible, right?
Tomatillos (below) seem to be especially happy in our yard. For anyone that is not familiar, these green tomatoes are often used in verde sauces or stews and grow inside a paper-like shell. Right now, all the shells feel empty as the tomatoes grow inside them, but by the time they are ready to pick each of those little paper lanterns will feel firm to the touch.
Isn't the plant pretty! I love the yellow blossoms and little green lanterns, and it looks like it's going to be a mega producer... hello autumn chili verde and roasted tomatillo salsa!
It's the first time I've planted a cucumber, and I'm happy to see that it seems to like it's little place in our garden as well. We have even harvested fruit, which tastes, surprisingly, just like a store bought cucumber (I don't know exactly why that should be surprising to me, but it is).
After I took the photo above, I snipped that cuke off and made a greek salad for dinner with some of the cherry tomatoes, fresh parsely and oregano, and a little store bought onion and feta. The pics I took of it were horrible, but tasted like victory.
We also have a few other fun things flourishing in the yard. I planted some flowering plants like salvia and marigold for some color and attract bees and hummingbirds. There are also two limes and a lemon that are small now, but will hopefully grow, and a number of transplants from the old yard including geranium, and easter lily.
Last I have a couple pots that I keep on the deck for color. I went all patriotic earlier this month and planted a red white and blue combo (dahlia, lavender and pansy) in the large pot. The smaller pot holds oregano and thyme, and the cement planter holds a succulent (more leftover cement from the barbecue pad - you can see the indoor succulent planters I made here).
The barrel fountain and St. Francis of Assisi statue came from my grandmother, and I treasure them both.
That's what has been growing in the yard around here. We are also hard at work on our outdoor barbecue island, which we are hoping to have complete some time this month, but we are planning on taking a little time off to enjoy the Fourth with friends and family.
Happy Fourth of July everyone!