August 25, 2013

August with Awesomesauce on top

There are many species of Blue Gentian, but most are challenging to grow. If you crave the cool, color of true blue
on hot, August days, then try this more 'growable' strain - any from the Gentiana septemfida group
may be the most rewarding to try, as many have fringed blossoms, and a longer blooming season.
 I was thinking this week about how little I've been posting, but I really think that it's because a good part of my gardening season happens in the winter, or at least, the more interesting part, since much of what I love to collect happen to be winter growing species - requiring the protection of the greenhouse. These Southern Hemisphere plants either go outdoors for the summer, to appreciate the warm, summer rains of our summers, or, they go semi dormant, staying hot and dry under the protection of the summer glass roof in the greenhouse.

I know - some of you might be thinking "but Matt, it sure doesn't look like you have any shortage of content, looking at your photos!" but from my perspective, aside from a few interesting surprises like the gentians, or some red amaranth, much of my summer garden is boring, as I grow what most normal people grow during the summer - mainly, heirloom tomatoes, corn, zucchini and basil. Aside from some interesting containers, everything else you can see on most any other gardening blog. But don't fret, early September marks the start of my other gardening season - the awakening of the rare bulbs in the greenhouse, those from South African, Chile, and the Mediterranean. Until then, it's home made pickles, canned tomatoes, wild mushroom picking, and perhaps more puppy photos ( Yes, it's official, Lydia is pregnant again - pups due in mid-October).

And now... for more shots of me holding veggies? Kindly click READ MORE, below.

Just as I thought that my tomatoes were late, they arrive. Heirloom tomatoes in various sizes and colors
are now on every menu - but who's complaining?

Every size ( except black currant! What happened to those? I think the seed package was mislabeled).

'Striped German' Now a classic heirloom variety with many selections available.

Now that I have a personal trainer, and spend more time at the gym flipping truck tires than rocks in the garden,
we are all eating healthier.  Currently obsessed with the Forks over Knives Cookbook, our diet is enhanced with fresh greens like this Red Amaranth and fresh, raw kale salads.

Snack time now simply means grabbing a half dozen or so Asian pears from one of the baskets on the back porch.
This Korean variety is the first one to mature - so crispy and juicy, we can overlook their small size.

A luxurious bouquet of Gentiana septemfida - a seed raised strain from Jelitto Seeds in Germany. This
long lived perennial now grows in many places in our garden, as I had about 100 plants from one packet.
Now in their sixth year, the clumps are thick with blossoms each and every August and September.


  1. Your very bold to pick gentians like that! That picture made me realize that I treat mine with too much reverence. I sometimes put a couple of blooms in an arrangement but would not dream of picking a fistful. Thinking of it, my attitude does not make much sense. Not letting them go to seed might even make my plants stronger.

  2. oh god! (sorry for blaspheming!) those tomatoes look soooo gorgeous. by all means! no apologies for your blog practices. there is nothing here that is not chockablock with value....very happy for you to emphasize quality over quantity (as in the last post too). i'm just getting started on having my back 40 refenced and prepped for serious growing, your insights and examples are so helpful.

    continued happy growing!

  3. Thanks Mille, that means alot coming from you. I keep wanting to have our back 40 fenced in too, as it will allow me to have more space to plant larger crops, but - time, time, time! Thanks for your support!

  4. Forks over Knives is a good source of inspiration!


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