I Grow (Some) Of My Own

I’ve enjoyed posts from participants of the “virtual garden club” Dear Friend and Gardener in recent months. Hosted jointly by Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens, Mary Ann Newcomer of Gardens of the Wild, Wild West, and Dee Nash of Red Dirt Ramblings, this gardening club encourages gardeners who grow their own food and flowers.  The focus of Dear Friend and Gardener is on fruit, vegetable, and all manner of edible production, but can include ruminations on growing gorgeous flowers, nattering about native plants, or gabbing about garden design. By clicking on the badge to the right, you too can read adventures in edibles gardening and tales of culinary happenings.

My personal gardening interests lean primarily to learning about and experimenting with native Texas plants, water-wise landscaping, coupled with wildlife gardening. However,  I aim to produce some home-grown herbs and veggies.  It’s a mixed veggie bag for me because I don’t have many spots of full sun on my property, so my edibles real estate is limited.   This past year, I’ve experimented with growing vegetables, tomatoes, and herbs in a vertical garden, The Green Tower.  Click here to read about the design and building of our Green Tower (GT) and here, for a late summer update on how the GT worked as an edibles garden.


Currently, for the fall garden, I have planted one Cherokee Purple tomato, which has some blossoms,


and a cherry tomato,


which has more blossoms.  The basil is crazy gorgeous,


…I can’t eat enough of it. Really, I put those leaves in everything, it seems.  I think it’s way past time to make pesto.  Lots of pesto.

I left this pepper plant from last spring and it’s blooming,


…but I’ll be surprised if it produces anything this late in the year.   The greens seeds that I’ve sprinkled on the top of the GT haven’t germinated at the rate that I’d hoped.  My plan was to seed three types of my favorite greens, let them germinate, then transplant to the sides of the GT for maturity and eventual harvest.  The plan might still work as we segue into cooler/wetter weather patterns, but so far, the Red Sails, Lactuca sativa, lettuce seedlings are the most successful,


…and that’s not saying much.  The Italian Lacinato Kale, Brassica oleracea,  is a bit of a bust with a grand total of one seedling,


…and it’s a big zilch for the Bloomsdale Spinach, Spinacia oleracea.  Ever hopeful, I’ve seeded out more of all of the above and here in Austin, it’s now consistently cooler and wetter–I hope.  Time will tell whether these greens will germinate and grow, but I can produce cool season greens throughout winter and into spring.

Aside from the honey that my little bees make (which really, I can’t take credit for) and some other herbs in planted in the perennial gardens, that’s it for me.  I like the idea of sharing my harvest, such as it is, with others–even if it is through cyberspace.

More about the fall/winter greens fest, if there is one, another time!