From Verdant Shades to Violet Hues: The Potager is Beginning to Look Beautiful, Bountiful and Very, Very Veggie…

June 18th, 2010 § 7 comments

Beautiful Broccoli © 2010 Michaela at TGE…

Every morning now, when I stroll through the vegetable garden on my early rounds -coffee in hand and pets in tow- I am astonished by how much the summer crops have grown in just one short month since planting. And no matter how groggy, or harried, or pressured I may feel on any given day, the garden never fails to both invigorate and calm me; stimulating my senses, and soothing my mind. The potager is planted for utility, and of course there are always chores, but like all gardens, it is also a wonderful place for rest and relaxation. Vegetables are beautiful, especially when viewed up close in the early light of day, covered in dew. Everywhere I look, there are radiant reds, vibrant violets and deeply saturated blue-green hues. Getting up close and personal with your garden is a great idea for many reasons. And as I go through the potager each morning, pulling tiny weeds and removing pests from plants, I am also richly rewarded with fresh scents, tasty nibbles, buzzing bees and the sweet sound of birds. Hey – why can’t the practical also be the luxurious? I think it’s all in how you look at things…

Red Leaf Lettuce © 2010 Michaela at TGE…

Sage Blossoms © 2010 Michaela at TGE

Snow Pea Blossom from the Second Sowing © 2010 Michaela at TGE…

Antago Lettuce © 2010 Michaela at TGE…

Sage Leaves © 2010 Michaela at TGE

Green Leaf Lettuce © 2010 Michaela at TGE…

Edible Flowers – Red and Purple Pansies © Michaela at TGE

The Western Corner of the Vegetable Garden in Early-Mid June…

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Article and photographs ⓒ 2010 Michaela at TGE

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§ 7 Responses to From Verdant Shades to Violet Hues: The Potager is Beginning to Look Beautiful, Bountiful and Very, Very Veggie…"

  • lulu says:

    i have a broccoli salad recipe to die for! yummy! if you want it, let me know! it’s really delish.
    xolulu

  • Michaela says:

    Of course I want it… want to have it featured… ? Gimme Gimme Gimme ;) I can make it this W/E…
    xoxo

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi Michaela, It may just be the camera angle, but it looks to me that you’re also an advocate of the “less-is-more-of-a-good-thing” when using available space for planting… Less open soil means, to me at least, less need for watering, less room for weeds to start/less weeding, less wasted space over all.
    When I was a kid, Dad used to make me weed his tiller-wide rows and I swore that I would NEVER have a garden, I hated weeding so much. Well that turned out to be a lie – but I never did have that kind of garden! Love yours, though: is that pine(spruce?) needles you’re using for mulch/amendment)? D ; )

  • Michaela says:

    Hi Deb, I am a less-is-more-gardener… definitely. When Mother Nature sees a vacant space, she fills it – that is unless I do first! I garden in full beds with narrow space between. I mainly use clean straw and compost as mulch – though I use a mix of pine needle and straw in the strawberry patch to skew the flavor of the berries.

    xo M

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    So, is there actually a piney flavour, or more of a pH-shifting kind of a thing? This sounds really interesting! Wow, suddenly I’m back on your strawberry shortcake page again, only “tasting” from a totally different angle…

  • Michaela says:

    The pine needles help hold the pH to the acid side in my strawberry patch. Keeping the soil acidic, in my opinion, is better for the flavor of the berries. I find that strawberries grown in more neutral soil are less flavorful. I’m not sure everyone would agree with me on that – but it’s just what I learned to do. I actually think that pine needle mulch works well for both strawberries and blueberries. With the strawberries, I apply pine needles on top of the compost, beneath the straw mulch. Hmmm. Now I want some shortcake for breakfast.

  • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Thanks so much! I started out doing some digging (LOL) about soil pH for strawberries and wound up solving the troubles I’ve been having with my patio pots: symptoms of micro nutrient deficiency/chlorosis caused by an alkaline pH.
    The Ontario Government website I was on recommended foliar spray, repeated every year, but I like your natural approach ‘way better. It’s no accident then that berries have always had straw mulch between the rows. After all, how did the soil take care itself before we invented tractors and chemical companies? I just bet that people who live by selling stuff absolutely hate the application of traditional (logical) problem solving! ( Every farming family that I’ve ever known has at least one “McGuiver”). Oops sorry, there I go again… Rant over. D.
    P.S. Hope you enjoyed your breakfast! : )

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