It has been a curious gardening season. I still have only a handful of spinach to show for my time and efforts at planting five different times in several different places. I just put in another sowing in the new kitchen garden I made... up next to the house. Time will tell if I will reap what I have sown! Come have a look at my gardens with me... I'll share what's been up.
The perennials are thriving in this hot weather... the rudbeckia and shast daisies are thick and tall this year. The beebalm (monarda) provides enough blooms for the many hummingbirds the flitter about, but they are not as spectacular as in previous years.
Down around the barn, the shasta daisies are competing with the bee balm and rudbeckia, but they are getting out of hand and will need to be transplanted come fall. I still need to complete the bottom half of the stone wall that I started rebuilding last year.
This is the tiny kitchen garden I built a few weeks ago... I finally got a few things planted in it. I got the stones from a beautiful old stone wall out in the woods. I put this right off the porch near the kitchen out of sheer laziness! It will be so much handier to step out the door to grab that snippet of basil or chives, or a handful of mint, without having to run out to the main garden. (I ought to be ashamed of myself!)
Now here is the pride and joy of my berry garden this week, and will be for several more til I get tired of picking (and eating!) them. One whole length of the garden is full of these beautiful raspberry plants! This year they are stretching towards seven feet tall in places! They are just coming on...
This is the summer-bearing varirty... not as tall as the fall-bearing, but tasty just the same. They are just beginning to ripn well, and with the fall-bearing crop, I will continue to harvest berries daily right up til a hard frost kills them in late autumn. I believe this variety to be Heritage Red raspberries, and I recommend them to all Northern gardeners in Zone 4... they are fantastic producers!
They are good pickins', and my very favorite thing to throw on top of a spinach salad, along with a handful of walnuts and a healthy dollop of Caramelized Balsamic Dressing. if you were here for luch, I'd serve you this. But at least I'll share the dressing recipe with you! I devised this quite a few years back when I had a similar salad at a now-gone diner up north. I couldn't find anything that tasted like that thick, sweet and vinegary dressing, so I came up with this. It's perfect for a greens and fruit salad. I LOVE it with raspberries and blueberries together, but it goes well with any combination of fresh strawberries, peaches, blackberries, mangos, etc. And if you don't care for walnuts, try sliced almonds! For the recipe, you can check in my blog archives from February 25th, 2011, or click here... http://wildenbluefarmjournal.blogspot.com/2011/02/fire-up-those-stoves.html