Greenwalks

Gardening where the sidewalk ends

More Winter Survivors May 18, 2009

I know I sound like a broken record here, but I’m continuing to be surprised by all the plants that don’t seem to have minded our recent horrid winter weather. I guess more of my garden was hardy than I’d realized – I’m not great about keeping track of zone/temperature requirements, so I was half expecting nothing to come back.

Happily, my small parking strip veggie/herb patch came through completely unscathed, and the recent spate of sunny weather (now over, alas), brought many things along from winter dormancy.

The red lettuces below overwintered and were a bit on the bitter side but not too bad. I think they are “Merlot” but could also be “Red Sails,” I forget. The green ones are an oakleaf variety I planted from starts a few weeks ago, and the leeks are starting to grow a bit too, finally.

Sunlit lettuces

I only cook with chives every now and again, since my daughter isn’t a huge fan of them in eggs or risotto as I like to use them. But she will nibble on the oniony flowers once they bloom from these cute little purple buds.

Chive flower buds

I am terrible at remembering what kind of onions I’ve planted. I mix up the scallions and other types so never know when to yank them, and then they go to flower. That’s okay, I love how fat the buds get and then this mini fireworks explosion happens.

The bulbing fennel that never bulbed last summer resprouted, and it seems like maybe it’s going to form something edible underground this time. Or am I deluding myself? I like the feathery foliage and pull a few small bits off to toss in salads sometimes. That’s bolting arugula in the background – I hope to replant another round of it this week, it’s my easiest seed crop and I love its peppery taste cooked or raw.

Bulbing fennel came back

Finally, I took this photo a few weeks ago but forgot to post it. It’s some of the Russian kale flowers before they opened, in the late afternoon sunlight. Now that the rain has returned, I hope I stored up enough sun until the next time I can get out there with my hands in the dirt.

Kale flower buds in late afternoon sun

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Green Salad August 29, 2008

It’s time to go cut the last of the summer lettuce before it bolts and gets bitter. Sometimes I have a hard time harvesting the end of it, because I just love the way it looks.

I’ve had great luck with lettuce and arugula in the parking strip, they have pretty low nutrient needs so it fits my lazy lack of fertilizing ways to grow them.

This green oak leaf lettuce was part of a six-pack of mixed slightly-exotic lettuces that I bought at the Seattle Tilth spring plant sale in May (always a zoo, the fall Harvest Fair is much mellower) and that didn’t go into the ground until mid-July (I had forgotten them, poor things, but they forgave me and grew well anyway).

Green Oak Leaf Lettuce & Marigold