Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Deck Gardening

Meet our little deck herb garden! Every year we plant herbs because we use them constantly when we cook. Normally we plant them directly into this old wash basin, but this year Rick wanted to try something different and have them all in separate pots.

We have other herbs in bigger pots too.

I've never grown sorrell before and didn't really know what to do with it. We put it in a few salads (it has a slightly bitter taste) and last night we made a dish with chicken thighs, caramelized onions and the sorrell. It was this recipe from Mark Bittman and it was very tasty. The sorrell went in last, and like the recipe said it would, it just basically melted into the onions. The sweetness of the onions combined with the slightly tart sorrell paired well together. I used chicken thighs because I had a bunch frozen instead of a whole chicken. Yum.

Sage is just a good herb to have around. Plus, it produces pretty flowers (that you really should snip off!).

Well, not an herb but a lovely basket to have around, especially when it produces strange berries like the triple-headed one seen here. A fluke for sure.

I like rosemary in small doses. I find it to be overpowering and a little goes a long way. This plant is huge because it wintered inside in the sunroom over the winter. We could never even begin to use it all, but it smells good when you run your hands over the leaves or when the leaves get disturbed.

Another good thing to have around, especially for making mojitos. This overgrown and somewhat scraggly plant also was kept alive by me all winter long inside. It really needs a good haircut but I can't bring myself to do it, so it gets snipped a little at a time whenever we need it.

We only use the flowers (you can see it's about to pop out) and not the hairy leaves. I think they are probably good for something but I'm not sure I'm interested in knowing what! The flowers are purplish-to-purply pink and are delicious either eaten by themselves (they taste a little like a drop of honey on your tongue) or we put them in salads. You can also freeze the flowers in ice cubes to give a pretty look to whatever you are drinking. We haven't had a borage plant in years but we always had one in our little garden area in Colorado. (The woman at the farmer's market talked us into taking both the sorrell plant and the borage plant.)

We also have two pots of tomatoes but since I just bought and planted them the other day they look pretty boring. One is an heirloom red, three normal tomatoes, and one yellow one. We are also growing cherry tomatoes inside in our AeroGrow and they are going crazy! So many tiny tomatoes I can't imagine them all coming ripe at nearly the same time. I've tried several times to get photos of them (one small plant has at least 20 tomatoes on it if not more) but during the day the grow light is on and it makes taking a photo of it pretty hard. 

So, that's our little "garden." Welcome!


wow…  you are my hero…. I have never been able to successfully overwinter rosemary.  Have you guys ever used Calendula??  It’s a pretty little orange flower the spreads easily and makes summer salads look so pretty.  It has self seeded all over my garden.  I might be up your way on Sunday to do some mountain biking… if I do, and I remember, I’ll drop a pot off to add to your little garden!  smile

Maggie, the mint was harder to keep alive than the rosemary was. They both came inside, so maybe you thought it stayed out all winter? We used to be able to overwinter rosemary back in Colorado, but not here. Too dang cold with too much snow cover! Thanks, the calendula would be a welcome addition! We should be here in the afternoon for sure.

re:  rosemary… no, anytime I have ever taken it inside it has dried up almost immediately…...  ~shrugging  

Will try to remember on Sunday!

Just read where you can eat the young non-hairy leaves of the borage plant - they taste like cucumbers.  Borage is also a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash and strawberries.  It’s supposed to enhance the flavor of your tomatoes as well as keep hornworms away from the plants.  And another source says “Do not ingest the leaves and flowers because they may contain hepatotoxic compounds.” whatever those are. But borage seed oil is supposed to be a good anti-inflammatory. Like anything else it depends on what your source is!

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