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Herbs, vegetables, and glorious sunshine

Yesterday was green, blue & bright yellow from dawn to dusk. (And if there were a few clouds, I didn't notice them.)  A perfect summer Sunday for crops to grow & gardeners to weed, water, inspect, repot and of course, view brilliant colour & light through the camera's lens.

Though most of the excitement & growth is in my community garden plot, I'll begin with the balcony's stars, all highly recommended for culinary, olfactory & aesthetic reasons:

Balcony Garden

Left pot: four varieties of thyme: 'Doone Valley', 'Golden Lemon', Tabor', Thymus fastinoi
Centre pot: 'Alma Paprika' Pepper
Right pot: Basil ('Red Rubin', 'Genovese' ), French Tarragon, Italian Oregano

Rosemary officinalis 'Blue Spire'

Balcony Garden

'Sea of Red' Lettuce - for those of us who eat with our eyes as well as our mouths

Now, on to Plot 6A, which totally astounds me when I visit it daily. I did not know plants could grow this quickly. Because light is limited on my balcony, I'm used to a much, much slower growth rate.

Front row, left to right: chard, spinach, cucumber, eggplant, tomato
Middle row, left to right: chard, tomato, beets, eggplant, pepper, tomato
Back row, left to right: peas, beans, carrots, beets, eggplant, tomato

In a future post, I'll describe the specific vegetable varieties as well as my planting strategy & design. I've held off because my approach has been evolving to what is now a "mash-up" of square-foot gardening & crop rotation following Mark Diacono’s sequence outlined in Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No. 4 (i.e., legumes -> brassicas -> roots & onions -> potatoes/Solanaceae).

Reader Comments (6)

ooo. i love that river cottage veg patch book. he's a lotta fun to read.

that summer light! SO good.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Yes, SO good for the gardens & one's spirits.

July 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

Your community garden patch is so wonderfully abundant. Love it. Plus it looks like you have a manageable amount of each vegie. It seems to have all grown so quickly, feels like it was only a few weeks ago that you were first planning and planting.

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathryn

Hello, Kathryn. I agree -- the crops have grown quickly -- I'm surprised and thrilled. Tonight I harvested chard and greens. In a couple of days, I'll be harvesting the beets -- I'll have enough for soup, salad and frittata.

July 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

I love the light on your balcony, it makes your photos sparkle. Where do you buy your red lettuce seed? Interesting comment on the different growing rates – I think that would surprise me too. Looks like the raised beds are going to produce an exciting crop of vegetables.

July 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergardener

Thank you, Kim. The 'Sea of Red' lettuce seeds are from Renee's Garden. Yes, the community garden plot has been exciting and gratifying. I tried to not have expectations because it's my first growing season & the weather's been poor so I've been happily surprised by the growth rate and yield.

July 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterElaine

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