This year the hubby and I are having what I’m calling an “off year” for growing. It wasn’t something we planned or decided on. Rather, due to weather and a bit of procrastination, it just kinda happened. First off a late frost threw us off schedule. Then we got a lot of rain through May and the early part of June. My favorite thing to grow are herbs and jalapenos. While the rain wouldn’t have bothered the herbs much, it would have made some “duds” out of the jalapenos. Too much water effects the capsaicin, the compound in peppers that give them their heat. Hot, dry climates create a beneficial stressor which activates the capsaicin. The more water a jalapeno plant absorbs the more it will taste like a green bell pepper rather than spicy flames in your mouth.
It hasn’t been particularly hot and dry in our neck of the woods so we held off getting starters to do any planting. By doing so we missed out. This year we went to our usual gardening center to get starters only to discovered it had been picked clean. Fortunately the hubby was able to get a few tomato plants from a co-worker since his thing is growing tomatoes.
So as I mentioned before, I like to grow herbs, particularly those from the mint family, which tend to come back on their own. But as I’ve discovered, they can be pretty invasive. Last year my garden bed had lemon balm, chocolate mint, apple mint and anise hyssop. This year the lemon balm turned into pac man and completely took over the whole bed. It now looks more like a shrub than an herb plant. Luckily I managed to get a good cutting of the apple mint before the lemon balm devoured everything. So for this growing season it’s just two tomato plants, some apple mint and this monster of lemon balm.
Actually not doing much this year is a welcomed break. Last year we went overboard and grew way more than we could possibly use. We were up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and herbs. Lets just say my poor hubby heard a lot of fussing from me. There’s only so much salad, salsa and tomato jam a woman can eat. So this year we’ve decided to keep things small from now on for both our sanity. 😊
I’ve been on a bit of a break. It wasn’t a conscious one, just something that kinda happened. I’m guessing with all the researching on doing prints, test runs, revamping my branding material and finishing up my last drawing, my spirit just said “Chill for a minute.”
I haven’t been doing anything major, just a few doodles and sketches here and there. In the meantime I’ve got four drawing ideas lined up along with gathered reference material. It amazes me how when I think I can’t possibly come up with anything more something new comes to mind. It reminds me that creativity and the imagination is inexhaustible. But I also keep a log of my ideas just in case something doesn’t come up and one of those four drawing ideas was pulled from that log.
Outside of that I’ve put aside some time to read, for pleasure, rather than for knowledge and information. I snagged a copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho from my library’s bookstore. I’m slowly making my way through it. I haven’t read a book simply for pleasure in over 20 years. My years of college has me so conditioned to reading to gain information and knowledge that I almost feel guilty about setting aside some time to read for no other purpose than enjoyment. Then again, I kind of feel that way about doing anything that doesn’t have an end goal. I wonder if that’s a cultural thing? I always feel that if I’m not sleeping, my every waking moment should be geared towards serving some meaningful purpose.
Anyhoo, I’ve also been fiddling around with our container garden. My hubby loves tomatoes so that’s mostly what we’re growing. But we have a few other things like herbs, cucumbers, lettuce, celery and more (see pictures below). I’m most excited about the sweet potatoes and ginger. This is our first time growing them so I’ve got my fingers crossed that everything turns out well. It’s nice being able to just go to your backyard when you want a fresh salad. 😊
This summer has flew by. Already I’m seeing school buses making their way through my neighborhood. August is here and soon the summer breeze will turn into beautiful hues of Autumn leaves.
This summer I let my little garden bed of herbs run amuck…in other words I’ve been a bit lazy on attending to it. Luckily herbs don’t require too much care. The Lemon balm was forceful this year, pushing the chocolate mint and apple mint to the edge to bust through and climb over the weather worn wood that boxed them in. Good thing I put my sage in a separate container. I allowed the lemon balm to flower for it was far too much for me harvest for tea, hoping that it would bring in a host of bees like last summer but the fuzzy little creatures haven’t made much of an appearance. Instead there are a bunch of these things…
I have no idea as to what they are but they seem to really like the lemon balm.