Hello everyone! I am so glad that you are checking out my FIRST post on my new Home & Garden page on my website! I have been wanting to create a page like this for years, and now that we have a house to call our own, I am so glad that I am able to create, grow, and bring my own sense of style to all of you!
Today, I will be giving you an update on our vegetable (and fruit!) garden. This is our first summer in our new home, and our first time ever gardening here and at this large of a scale! I’ve had a few patio gardens from living in apartments for the last 5 years, but they haven’t done nearly as well as this!
Come along and check out all the delicious vegetables and fruits that we are growing this year. Make sure to check back on my garden updates to see how it changes over the seasons!
Welcome to our garden!
Despite the cool summer that we have been having so far, our pepper plants have taken off! We are growing a variety of peppers, including bell peppers and jalapeño peppers this year. They have recently blossomed and are getting ready to grow the fruit! We plan on using these in salsa and on the grill!
OK, so I know tomatoes are technically a fruit (and I guess so are peppers), but I had to include them here! We are growing red, yellow and cherry tomatoes (pictured here) in our garden this year. Although this photo shows the blossoms, we have fruit already growing on the plants. I can’t wait to eat these in caprese salad, or just fresh off the vine!
We were lucky enough to have a trellis already installed in our garden bed, and we thought that this would be perfect for growing beans! We are growing green and purple string beans, and so far they are doing very well and look great with their full leaves and long strands! I am surprised at how fast they grow when it is hot out—they can grow up to 20cm a day!
I have been dreaming about growing my very own zucchini for years! Not only for the veggie itself, but for those gorgeous (yet fleeting) zucchini blossoms. I can never find them at markets, and if/when I do, they are incredibly expensive, so I am so glad that I finally have my very own. I have a few good ideas on how to prepare the blossoms, so stay tuned!
While we didn’t plan on growing potatoes, we accidentally started to grow them in our garden. The previous owner must have missed harvesting a potato last season and we just ended up with a potato plant smack in the middle of the garden! Next year we will have to consider better placement since these potato plants can get incredibly large and take over the garden very fast. Either way, I can’t wait to have at least one root vegetable that we can harvest and store throughout the winter this year.
Isn’t this the cutest little cucumber that you have ever seen?! Even though this little baby pickle is adorable, it won’t stay this size for too long. These are garden cucumbers and can grow up to be a foot long! You can make A LOT of pickles with that!
This rhubarb plant has been thriving since late March this year! I have cut it back (almost entirely) at least twice now, but it still keeps growing it’s gorgeous red stalks and voluminous leaves. I have used this rhubarb in a pie (with strawberries of course) and as a compote for Rhubarb French Toast!
Growing lettuce has been one of the best decisions we have made in the garden. I never really ate that much lettuce from the grocery store since they can be bland and can spoil really quick if you don’t use them up. Let me tell you, there is no waste here! Whenever we feel like lettuce, we just go out in the garden and cut some off the stalk and eat it fresh! We’ve used it in numerous salads and have eaten it Chinese-style by steaming it and topping it with sesame oil and soy sauce. Yum! Also, I love that it grows back almost immediately, so you have an endless supply of lettuce all summer long!
I am extremely happy to be growing one of the best superfoods right in my backyard! Kale is full of so many good vitamins and minerals, and you can put it in just about anything! I love adding it to stir frys, in soups, in smoothies, or just scrambling it in with eggs. This particular variety of kale has a less strong ‘kale’ taste (if you know what I mean). So if I don’t want that much kale flavour, but all the nutrients and fibre, it works well in just about any recipe!
In any Italian garden, there has to be some basil. Hey, it has to go with the tomatoes! I purchased this basil plant from a local grocery store and split it up in the garden. After a good couple waterings and strategic leaf trimming, I have a nice full basil bush coming along. I am hopeful that I can transplant this into a pot and store it in my greenhouse over the winter so I can have that taste of summer all winter long!
I will never need to buy any fresh rosemary as long as I am living in this house. We inherited this large rosemary bush (it’s literally the size of a bush) from the previous owners, who clearly loved this strong and pungent herb. I haven’t used it too much in the spring and summer months, but I am really looking forward to using it in warm and comforting fall and winter meals! I am also thinking since it’s so large, I might trim it into a nice shape to add some visual interest to the garden! I’ll let you know when I do so you can come and get some free rosemary trimmings 😛
Fruits & Berries
Every time I look at my blueberry plants, I cannot believe that I am growing my very own blueberries in the garden. We have 5 blueberry plants (they are young and very stick-looking) that we are hoping will grow to be nice, big, full blueberry bushes in the coming years. In mid-spring the plants flowered and little baby blueberries popped out. Now they are plump, green and on the verge of ripening! I don’t think that we will yield many blueberries this year, but I will take whatever I can get since I love these berries so much!
Yet another berry that I can’t believe I am growing in my own garden! We have a fairly substantial raspberry bush growing next to our patio, and I have been impressed of how many raspberries it has yielded so far. I would estimate we have eaten around 3.5 to 4 cups of raspberries—and it looks like they just keep on coming! These berries are sweet and incredibly juicy and go great on top of pancakes, yogurt, or just fresh off the bush!
Rounding off the trifecta of berries is our strawberry plants! We seem to be getting these berries a bit late in the season in our garden, as they have just finished flowering and the fruit is beginning to ripen slowly. Again, I am not expecting a huge yield as we have two little strawberry plants in our garden. Next year, I am looking to plant them in vertical boxes or hanging baskets so they are off the ground and have better air circulation around them.
At a recent get-together, we were gifted this gorgeous currant bush from our good friends, Andrew and Jodi. We received this potted 5’5” bush from them in mid-June and there were already currants growing on it! I have never seen currants grow on a bush before and I can’t wait to see how they turn out! We expect them to turn red in late summer or early fall and will update you on the taste! For now, they are gorgeous to look at!
So if you couldn’t believe that I was growing blueberries and currants in my garden, you will be blown away at the fact that I am growing my own Meyer lemons! We purchased this plant at Costco in late spring and it had a few blossoms on it. By mid-June it had produced some fruit (the lemons are just larger than a pair of dice) and are deep green and growing well in the greenhouse. The plant is growing even more flowers, which means it will soon produce more fruit! I’m curious to see how well it grows throughout summer and in the winter. I’m really hoping that I can harvest lemons in the winter time!
And that’s a wrap for the early summer garden tour! I will be following up in late summer and show you how all my fruits and veggies are coming along!
Let me know in the comments below if you have your own garden and what you are growing in there! I’m curious to see what you have on the go!