summer garden

12:22 PM




We are awfully proud of our summer garden this year. The veg garden is pretty much the same as previous summers. We know what we like to eat and know what grows best for us in our Northern California garden. The heirloom tomatoes are again taking center stage. Our favorite varieties remain the red and pink Brandywines, Black Krim, Big Rainbow, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple, German Pink and Paul Robeson and are just several of the two dozen we grow. Our favorite way of eating them up is picked warm, sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper. We've also been making quarts of salsa to eat fresh, roasted tomato sauce for the freezer, and the ever-scrumptious roasted tomato appetizer. There's been plenty of fresh pesto too.  We've been harvesting baskets of green beans which we love blistered in a hot iron skillet over the stove.  The cucumbers that aren't eaten fresh are made into refrigerator dill pickles and eaten almost as fast as I can make them. The recipe is so easy and if you like icy cold, super crunchy pickles, this is the recipe. The summer squash is roasted in a hot oven or grated into a casserole. We were given a gift of beautiful backyard donut peaches and what we didn't eat fresh we made into a peach salsa that we slathered over grilled salmon, then took a spoon and gobbled up the rest.  That was so seriously good and all I did was make a traditional salsa with onions, jalepenos, cilantro, etc., but replaced the tomatoes with peaches. Our neighbor gave us 2 enormous bags of apricots that became two pies, 8 pints of apricot nectar, and 8 half-pints jam.  The roses are on their second bloom and look fantastic. The new type of zinnias that I planted in the back border are pretty, but I don't think I'll be planting them again. The border is far enough from our patio that when we sit and look at the garden we really do need to see more pops of color.  The color variations of the Queen Red Lime, while beautiful close up, are not easily seen from the patio. They are pretty in flower arrangements, and if I do plant them again, they will not be showcased front and center and instead will be mixed in with the brighter ones.

























































So it's easy to see that the garden is what is keeping us busy this summer. That and a lovely steam of houseguests (my brother is visiting now) and while we have a few little trips planned, during the summer we never stray far from home for very long.  We feel summer is at it's best when we stay put!

Oh, yes, and one very big (I mean very little) thing has captured our attention this summer. Last week our son and daughter-in-law welcomed Carter Shea Rettig into the world. We are all completely mad over this little guy and are grateful that we live close enough to be able to see him often.  What a blessing! He is absolutely beautiful and already has the most expressive face. When he has been fed and diapered and everything is okiedokie is his world, he is a pretty chill baby and very content to just look around and take in his new world.  My heart is bursting with love.  I just can't look at him enough.

12 hours old.

Five days old and already pondering what sweater he should wear next!
Pretty soon he is going to be my sweater model!
To make a comment, please click here. I'd love to hear from you.
xo Kristen



Follow 
Knitionary













You Might Also Like

21 comments

  1. Your grounds are lovely. And what a terrific harvest. Ho'omaka'i on the birth of your handsome grandson. How precious he is. And lucky him he has a grandmother with mad knitting skillz. What will he call you? My girls use nontraditional names for my parents. I had told my parents they were too young for our firstborn to be called the traditional, Chinese grandparent names. I researched online and picked out Big Pop for my dad b/c I thought it'd be so cute for a little one to run around and say, Pop! Pop! Pop! For my mum they call her Bella.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stefanie. He is going to call us grammy and papa. Our 16 year old granddaughter calls us that and it's stuck. I do love the Big Pop and Bella--beautiful!

      Delete
  2. Expressive is the word. He's really adorable and looks like he will be a lot of fun, too! And Kristen we have a friend like you, of whom we often ask "when do you sleep?" I love your blog but sometimes it makes me feel very, very lazy.-:). And thank you for all your recipes. Chloe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm not as ambitious as you think, but when I do spend time in the garden I power through like a crazy person. My brother is in town so I have neglected it for the last few days but I do plan on waking up early tomorrow and pulling weeds for a few hours. It's the weeds that kill me.

      Delete
  3. Thanks, Kristen for the fabulous garden tour. I especially love those purply/cream zinnias. And, congratulations on the birth of Carter. Handsome little guy. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Janet. I can't remember if you have grandchildren yet, but you are probably too young. I'm looking forward to many lazy days with that little guy!

      Delete
  4. Thank you Kristen for sharing your magnificent delicious garden with all of us. Your special zinnias are over the top too. You certainly have a green thumb! And there are no words to describe your newest blessing Carter Shea. Congratulations to your family. Thank you very much for sharing all...
    As for my garden, we are combating deer and rabbits. If all works out, I may be able to plant tomatoes and some other delicious veggies next summer. We are using nothing that is harmful but simply playing keep away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your congratulations. We certainly do feel blessed, and when I don't see him for a few days I miss him so much. It's a good thing my son is good at sending pictures every day.

      As for the deer and rabbits, I feel for you. In the foothills just a mile up the road the people have to deal with those big critters. We live across the street from a creek that is home to foxes, possoms, raccoons, rats and squirrels that we battle every day. But they are not nearly as bad as having deer and I understand they are impossible. So even in a very suburban setting such as our neighborhood, critters are a part of life.

      Delete
    2. Kristen,
      I too live in a suburban area. I am using "nite guard" as well as "herbs" and "deer off" o combat these destructive animals. We also are dealing with squirrels, fox. raccoons as well as skunks too. The Deer Off is our new addition this year.The last time I grew tomatoes, the deer ate the entire plants. I also have planted marigolds and other deer/rabbit resistant plants. So far so good. Still with this combat warfare, I would not give up gardening for anything. Happy gardening to you...

      Delete
  5. Congratulations to all of you, that's a very beautiful baby boy. And a stunning garden.
    It makes me 'green with envy' looking at it and knowing that I would have to have millions to be able to grow one such as yours---here in Dubai.

    Best wishes
    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for commenting all the way from Dubai! Are you a westerner living in Dubai? Do they do much knitting there? I don't imagine they would as it is so warm, but what I don't know about Dubai is a whole lot. When I think of Dubai I think of great wealth and everyone living in skyscrapers and definitely not knitting nor gardening. Please tell me more. Thank you again.

      Delete
  6. Love those tomatoes...everting else is lovely too, especially the little guy! Congratulations!
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Margie. I imagine that as soon as he can sit in a high chair we will be bringing him to the club to show him off! xo

      Delete
  7. These photos of your garden are just stunning, Kristen! And those pies look totally gorgeous! Are you using non-wheat flour for the crusts? I love the leaf pattern you used!

    Oh my gosh, Carter is sooooooo adorable! You must be enjoying him so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Leah. No, I don't use wheatless flour for my crusts. I'm sure I could find a recipe for GF pie crust, but these pies were made for a party and no one was GF but me, and I hate to experiment on something that I know will be great if made the traditional way. I'd be so mad if I ruined the pies so I just don't eat any. No big deal and I'm used to it. Thank you about Carter. We're in love!

      Delete
  8. From France: Congratulations for the little baby! ...and the beautiful garden. Your blog is very inspiring and I'm a fan! Thank you so much
    Marie-Françoise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello to you Marie-Francoise and thank you for writing from France!

      Delete
  9. Carter is a little doll! Congratulations to all! Your yard and gardens are gorgeous. You do a MAGNIFICENT job of maintaining them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and thank you. Both bring me a lot of joy!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations! Carter is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete

You make my day when you make a comment!