"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Garden Update 2013

Onions amongst the Arugula and Bright Lights Swiss Chard. I removed the Red Winter Kale seedlings that you might be able to see here in the center of the onions, and transplanted to another area so they will have room to mature.  This area is the second planting and is growing leaps and bounds with the rains we are having. Just enough rain to keep the soil wet enough so I won't need to use the sprinklers.

A few of the Red Winter Kale I transplanted on Sunday.

Beets, Early Wonder, Bulls Blood and a Gourmet Blend, all from Botanical Interests Seeds.  I will thin them out to give them room to expand and eat the baby beets with the tops attached.  I just scrub the tiny ones lightly, and eat with the roots and all.

  Third planting of Lacinato Kale and Little Gem Romaine Lettuce.

I think this is Red Velvet, and below is Little Gem Romaine, both organic heirloom seed from Botanical Interest Seeds.  I started these a couple of months ago and put them out on Sunday.


Salad Burnet, is ready to pick and some will be in tonight's salad.  This herb grows year round for me, I keep it next to the house on the West side, but it is in the shade which it prefers this far South.  Salad Burnet has a light cucumber-melon flavor and is wonderful added to a vinaigrette dressing or just mixed in with your salad greens. It is lovely added to cucumber tea sandwiches or sprinkled over Cucumber Bisque.  Lucky for us it will still be here when I am growing cucumbers.

Winter Savory growing in my herb garden.  It is much stronger and pungent in flavor than the Summer Savory and holds up well in hearty Bean dishes.  Although the flavor is strong, add it fresh, near the end of cooking. Try adding it to white wine vinegar, it will give it a spicy peppery note.  I add Winter Savory in my bouquet garni when making my vegetable broths.
Here is one of several Nasturtium Fiesta Blend patches that cover my front bank. I pick the leaves and flowers when small and tender and add them to our salads.  Many people use the flowers to stuff with cream cheese and herbs.  Both the leaves and flowers have a light peppery taste. I love the leaves tossed with apple cider vinegar and pears as a salad.  In late summer I pick the seeds that will form and when they are green you can pickle them; they will be similar in flavor to caper's.

The Snow Peas and English Peas are blossoming now.  The white blossoms are from the English Peas and the pretty, pale pink blossoms shown in photo below are from the Snow Peas.  I picked a few of the tendrils to add to my Ginger-Honey Roasted Carrots for tonight's dinner.

I didn't plant enough radishes this year, but here are some from the Easter Egg Radish blend from Botanical Interest Seeds.  The one above is large at two inches across. Too big now to enjoy as it will be hot.  I will add it to the vegetable broth pot, along with the green tops. I don't waste the roots either, I just clean them well and add to my soups or chop finely and sprinkle onto salads or use in my vinaigrette's.

Easter Egg Radish and French Breakfast Radish.

I thinned out the Parisienne Carrot's and have just enough for my recipe tonight.

I have at least 5 volunteer tomato plants coming up.  I transplanted a few of these to give them some room as they were all coming up in the lettuce and onion patches. I have no idea if they will make it through the winter months or what variety they are, but that is what gardeners love about a volunteer, the surprise. 

Here are a few Bright Lights Swiss Chard seedlings that I transplanted out on Sunday.

I think this is Arugula Rocket Salad, from Botanical Interest Seed. Most of my markers faded in the sunlight, I will know in a few weeks if it is indeed arugula.

Here is Giant Red Mustard an heirloom from Botanical Interest Seeds, just now showing its colors. This is one I transplanted on Sunday so it is looking a little sad right now. The rain will perk it up and it will grow beyond 2 feet tall if I let it, but I will start picking the leaves in a few weeks. If let to grow too tall they become bitter and tough.

I will leave you with one of many Borage seedlings; annual volunteers that pop up all over my front yard and bank.  They don't enjoy being transplanted so I leave them where they decide to sprout and work around them.  This is what is in store for us in a couple of months Borage Ice Cubes.  The leaves are also edible with a cucumber flavor, and when picked young can be added to sandwiches and salads. But don't harvest when too old or large as the leaves are 'hairy' and get prickly shape.
Hibiscus Flower Tea adorned with Borage Flower Ice Cubes.  The flowers also look lovely floating in light, creamy soups and have a slight cucumber flavor.

Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life's whole;
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven clear.

Louise Seymour Jones


  1. These are treasure I can only envy you at this time of year. My garden is bare and forlorn looking. Some herbs, the very hardy ones like thyme and marjoram, are still happy to let me pick at them, but salads have to come from the supermarket.

    1. Hi Friko, yes I know those types of winters all too well, growing up in Wisconsin we had many snow filled days. Thank you for taking time to come by and visit. It's always nice to see you.

  2. Wonderful doses of greens Carla - everything looks so fresh and enticing! The daintiness of the borage flowers is perfect - must try that next summer.

  3. Look at all of those greens, Carla. We have white and very cold. We will start getting in the garden mood in February. PS I Lo e hour pins-- the tea cups and the little felted dolls.


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog, I love hearing from you, stay as long as you like, Carla