Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garden 2011

We've had our garden planted for a month or more now, and I realized I still had not done a post on it.

This year we decided to do more herbs, and more flowers. We also went with a purple/ red and green theme, mostly through colorful foliage.

Our plants included:

In the herb garden:
Sweet Basil
Opal Basil

French Lavender

English Lavender
Purple sage
Regular sage (not sure of species... we stuck a seed in the ground last summer and it survived ALL winter, including snow and ice storms, so that plant was a keeper)

Lemon Verbena

- sorry about not knowing species, we planted all of this 1-2 months ago
two kinds of cherry tomatoes

one heirloom tomato
one compact patio tomato
banana peppers
2 jalapenos
anaheim peppers
green and red bell peppers
swiss chard

Onions (starters given to us by our neighbors, who are awesome at gardening)

Shade garden

2 boston ferns
3 red and green coleus
2 green and white coleus
2 dark purple coleus
some kind of vining hanging plant that has both dark purple and light green foliage

Blanket flowers
some kind of flower I bought two years ago that was labeled as an annual that has not died despite huge neglect on my part. will try to find out what it's called because it's a super star if you have a black thumb.

Last year we grew 4 tomato plants and got 3 tomatoes. We said we wound never plant them again, but after doing some research, we re-thought it. After some research, we realized that unlike the midwest, if you want to grow tomatoes in Texas, you can't start in May. It's too dang hot. Also, we learned that if you get cherry tomatoes, the maturation time is more conducive to Texas' two short (spring and fall) growing seasons. I bought two plants on March 1, and just covered them with some Christmas lights and a sheet when it was cold overnight. They're both doing AWESOME, and I will plant them again next year. we also got a patio tomato (fruits seem to be on the smallish side of a regular tomato size) and one heirloom. It's doing okay, but not as proliferative as the other plants have been. We probably have 75-100 cherry tomatoes growing right now!

our peppers aren't doing much, but I think that's because they need heat to thrive. I expect more from them when it gets hotter during the middle of the summer.

Another key to success in our garden this year was putting up a simple fence (made from gray PVC piping and twine) to keep Reagan from stomping on things. this has helped a lot, especially in the shade garden. He could get over it if he wanted to, but it serves as a reminder to him of where he's not supposed to go, and it seems to be working pretty well.

I'm really excited about the opal basil and the idea of making purple pesto, and having our nieces and nephews over to eat it. I think most kids love weird-colored food, and it's better that it's naturally weird-colored than that you add a bunch of artificial coloring. we could make purple pesto chicken and serve it over purple potatoes! the possibilities are endless.

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