Tuesday, July 13, 2010

le jardin de pizza

It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post and all I can say is I’ve been busy; and so has my garden. Last night we made a pizza using homegrown Roma tomatoes, basil, and bell peppers. It was so delicious, it has inspired this ‘pizza garden’ blog!

Part of the reason I have been too busy to blog was that I read 'My Life in France' in record time for my first book club meeting. Julia Child's book was absolutely delightful in every way; I felt as though I was travelling and eating all over France with her, ergo the blog's title. [Pizza, however, was not a part of her French culinary escapades.]

Pizza gardens are gardens that simply contain the ingredients one may want to put on a pizza. Looking into it, I found that ‘pizza gardens’ all usually contain at least tomatoes and basil. The rest of the ingredients/plants could include sweet peppers, hot peppers, oregano, onions, parsley, eggplant, scallions, rosemary, jalapeños, cilantro, spinach, etc.

This theme could be wildly popular with kids too; picture a raised vegetable/herb garden actually in the shape of a pizza pie, with dividers made to look like ‘slices’ of pizza! It was a lot of fun enjoying the ‘fruits’ of my vegetable garden labor. And as the Roma’s continue to ripen and the garden yields more peppers, I hope to try another pizza soon!

There are ‘Black Cherry’ tomatoes ripening everyday, from the bottom of the plant upward. That tomato plant is now almost 7’ tall. I also harvested my first ‘Big Boy’ tomato over the weekend and will be trying that soon. ‘Big Boy’ only has a few more tomatoes ripening so I’m a little disappointed in its yield.

‘Mr. Stripey’ has yet to produce any fruit, but I am hopeful as it continues to grow and flower. The other no-name tomatoes are still growing, but remain fruitless as well. The jalapeño plant is producing lots, though I have yet to actually try one. And the red bell pepper is growing like a weed, but hasn’t set fruit yet.

The Black-eyed Susan’s are blooming profusely, and look great next to the sedums which are finally flowering. The butterfly bush and Verbena are flowering nicely as well. Although I was surprised that the butterfly bush I relocated across the drive has a lighter bloom color, almost a soft pink/purple as opposed to the lilac of the parent plant.

The Rose of Sharon are starting to bloom more, but are darker in color than I was expecting. Now, the blooms are lilac with a darker, magenta eye. The hollyhocks have completely petered out and I see no signs of seed pods so I’ll be cutting them all back soon.

The mint is almost taking over that planting bed, but it is nice to smell. The evening primrose is still blooming, and its fragrance is light and lovely in the evenings. We’ve received plenty of rain lately, so I’ve been able to cut back on watering. Also, our mid-to-upper 90 degree days have cooled slightly. Until next time, happy gardening!

the image used above is not my creation, instead i found it here.

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