I get to play tag in my garden.

So I got tagged. Thank you R.W. Ley for the tag. Now it's my turn to share the fun. I'm IT!!!

Okay, these are the rules;
1. Link to the person who tagged you (I did that)
2. Post the rules on your blog (I'm doing that now)
3. Write six random thoughts about yourself (see below)
4. Tag six or so people at the end of your post (see below)
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged (I will do that)
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted (I'll do that, too.)

Random Thoughts About Me:

1. My Cavalier looks like I live in it most of the time.

2. Despite all of the years I've lived in central Pa after graduating from Penn State, I never got into football. I do like the highly charged atmosphere of downtown State College when there's a home game.

3. I can't pick a favorite color. There are too many beautiful ones!

4. I know how to ride a horse, play the piano, belly dance, garden (of course), ride a bike, and swim.

5. I sleep best in complete darkness.

6. My knowledge of miscellaneous facts sometimes impresses people.

Now, for those I'm tagging; be careful out there because YOU'RE IT!!







Enjoy the tag game and let's share the fun!



I love herbs. They smell wonderful, add an attractive feature to a garden spot or a container, and are a great healthy way for flavoring meals and cold beverages, making soothing teas and so on.

Just yesterday, I used rosemary, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, a leek and two yellow peppers I had grown. Prostrate rosemary, the kind in my porch container, does not grow like a tree, but instead along the ground as you might guess from the name.

I roasted a small chicken. Springs of rosemary and cloves of garlic can be placed under the skin of the breast, the wings, and the legs. Also, place several sprigs and garlic inside the chicken.

In appearance and aroma, rosemary reminds me a great deal of pine trees. In colder climates, it can survive winter if brought inside in a container. However, it needs light and some humidity. I haven't been able to carry it through the dry indoor heat of February and low light of my apartment.

At least two types of rosemary exist: bush type (similar to a small tree), and prostrate.

Dill has long been one of my favorite. I think of pickles that are made pleasantly tart and tasty with dill, mustard (seeds or powder) and black peppercorn. Here are a couple of dill pickle recipes




I'd like to direct you to an article on a very interesting urban Chicago gardener named Carl Walton. Read about him here.

Much of the latter weeks of August into the first week of September was dry here. It looked as though my garden was finished. Amazing what a little rain -- well, we had a lot -- will do. Among the dry and dead plants, color appeared in spots I had given up on.

Bright fresh red raspberries welcomed me last week when I arrived at my plot.
(Thanks to Sharon and Mark for the plants!) I loved the Shasta daisies, too, when they bloomed. Are you surprised that I never got to my car with the berries? Sweet, fresh and ripe and rinsed just a little with the hose. A nice snack from the garden.

Daisy-like flowers of pink, blue and yellow appeared in the second bed. I don't remember planting them, but I was tickled. Perhaps they were from the unproductive seeds I planted last season.

More tomatoes, of course. I have pink medium-size tomatoes, and both red and orange cherry tomato plants.



Zucchini's reputation for proliferation is well-deserved. Even a bad year for the vegetable can provide enough to share with others. According to the book The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (Edward Smith, Storey Publishing), stories circulate in New England about gardeners so desperate to get rid of their excess "zukes" that neighbors find a zucchini-filled car when leaving the house to go to work in the morning.

It stands to reason that the vegetable has been incorporated into many meals and recipes. BigOven.com lists 250 results with a search for zucchini. Some recipes are really unbelievable -- Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies for instance.

Tomatoes are often equally prolific. Some years it seems like they'll never ripen, so recipes for green tomatoes pop up in women's magazines, cooking and gardening websites, and on morning TV shows.

My cherry tomatoes often become ripe in large numbers on the vine, split, and become fruit-fly food very quickly. Even if I discard these, the numbers still favor enough for tomatoes at every meal if I want.

I planned my garden for salsa this year. Some is in the freezer. I didn't plan well enough. My cilantro dried and "went to seed" before my tomatoes began to ripen. Cilantro seeds can be saved though if you want to start your own plants next year. The seeds from this plant, also known as coriander, are used in cooking.

Perhaps I should look into an earlier producer for tomatoes, and one that goes all season. Patchwork Farms used to sell Arkansas traveler, which is supposed to produce all season. Maybe I can find it or something similar.*

BigOven.com has some great ideas for storing tomatoes:

Store tomatoes away from sunlight and heat and at cool room temperatures.

Do not refrigerate tomatoes for any length of time (don’t buy them from refrigerated cases). Low temperatures destroy the flavor. One convenient method is this:

"Freeze tomatoes in slices, chunks, or even whole. These can be used for cooking. Double bag them and use within twelve months."

Onions did well this year. I grew a number of red and sweet white ones. Certain types are best-suited to storage, and conditions must be right. Sweet onions are more susceptible to damage when stored. All onions, in the ground and afterward, can be eaten by maggots, as I discovered. Thankfully, I only lost a few. It's not pleasant to cut through an onion that has rotted. Blah!

Here's another sample from my garden ... Sunflowers on the right. Lavender, oregano in flower (dried) and fresh basil from right to left.

An arrangement from earlier in the season. (above and below)

The miniature decorative pumpkins grew in my garden, too. Last year, I bought some at a farmer's roadside stand. I decided to cut some and scoop out the seeds. Then I spread them on layers of paper towels on a cookie sheet to dry. I stored them in a plastic baggie over the winter. One vine produced the same type of fruit as the parent seeds. The other vine had larger squash in different shapes. Perhaps this was from cross-pollination. One was green, and somewhat round, when I picked it. One my living room table it has been turning pumpkin orange. (Perhaps I will have a photo of it to share soon.)

Enjoy the abundance of tomatoes, onions, potatoes and anything else you get throughout the growing season. It's better, I say, to be blessed with too much than to be disappointed by your garden's production. I have fantasies about storing greater amounts through canning and drying since I have a small freezer; however, I have come to realize that I must take it a few steps at a time. I'm only one person and I work full-time. In anticipation, I'll keep learning in the hopes that those skills grow, too.

Zucchini oatmeal cookies

tomato storage

*Here's the story behind the tomato, including its name. Arkansas Traveler tomato.

A little bit about onions

Article on seed saving with links to others