Mesclun greens, yellow crookneck squash, yellow bell pepper, watermelon, and heirloom, cherry and Roma tomatoes are the first veggies into the ground; they are accompanied by several herbs: basil, Echinacea, lime thyme, rosemary, purple sage, and lemon verbena. Eventually the plants will be joined by the seeds now in pots working on sprouting: ‘Silver ‘n Gold’ corn, sugar peas, red bell pepper and a mixture of different colored beets, sunflower and cat nip for my kitty JoeJoe. YUM! I can hardly wait for the harvest, neither can JJ.
In between the vegetables I have included plants to ward off pests. Nasturtiums are known to discourage aphids, squash bugs and striped pumpkin beetles. I also love to put their flowers in salads, a slightly peppery flavor. Plus they make the salad look “groovey,” that is what the owner of the herb farm that I used to help run said. Also interspersed in the garden are marigolds. If you see the plan for the new White House garden (really excited to see this happening!!!) you will also the beds lined with this flower known to rid the soil of not-so-good bugs. In Mexico the flowers are harvested and dried for the fall celebration, Dia de Los Muertos after which they can become part of the compost pile or put right in the ground as mulch over the winter months.
Still to come is a rose bush. I love to grow my own flowers organically for my homemade facial products. Once I pick out my rose bush I will surround it with garlic to repel aphids, thrips and ermine moths.
A variety of daisies, cosmos, morning glories and gerberas will add even more color to the plot. My patio also houses some of the plants I will harvest from: comfrey, strawberry, and English and French lavender. These four have been repotted several times because the two pups of the house, Samantha and Mona, like to stick their nose in the dirt uprooting the little plants still working on establishing a firm hold in the dirt. The only outside plant that made it from Texas; I have been babying it all winter; is the Jasmine. I am giving it a huge tressil to grow up and am hoping it will bloom its amazingly fragrant blossoms again here on the east coast.
So this is how my garden will grow. I hope. Every season is a crapshoot with new bugs and mysterious plant fungus to figure out. Till they blossom I will continue to shop my local farmer’s markets. You can find one in your area, and in Virginia find your local source of markets, farm stands and pick-your-own farms. If you want to support farmers and like fresh produce you can join a CSA, community supported agriculture program near you, nationwide they can be found also. Wanna just eat and not cook? A list of local sustainable organic establishments across the US and Canada.