See How My Garden Grows: Spring 2011 Edition

May 16, 2011


Instead of writing about something I’ve made, I thought I’d give you a preview of what I will be (hopefully!!) writing about this summer when the bounty of the fruits and veggies I’ve planted come in.

Last year, I planted a large pot with four wild strawberry plants, and Raju and I looked forward to the strawberries ripening one or two at a time. These guys taste so much better than the supermarket variety, so this year I planted 5 planters of strawberries. So maybe we can look forward to 5 strawberries at a time, or dare to dream, 10!


The strawberries aren’t the only fruits we have growing. The grapes we planted last year are doing nicely (though I think it might be a while before we get grapes, but maybe I can steal some of the leaves for dolmas), and I’ve added a small blueberry bush as well. As you can see above, there’s already a few tiny blueberries growing!


I got a late start planting the garden this year, and I started not to buy the kale, but I love it so much I decided to give it a try. I went with the Red Russian variety again, as well as the regular, curlier leaf type. I’m looking forward to more Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad this year, as well as cooking this with a little sofrito to pour over polenta if we continue having these cooler days.

Red Russian Kale

Another plant I was scared I planted too late was the butter lettuce. The leaves from this were so tasty on grilled burgers or for lettuce wraps last year. I planted two seedlings, and they both looked like they had died, but in the past few days they’ve sprang back to life and the leaves look good and sturdy, so their may be hope for lettuce wraps yet!

Given that my butter lettuce wasn’t doing too well, I was afraid to plant arugula outside, so I placed some large containers in my garden window to see how it grows inside. So far so good.

Butter Lettuce

Ahh, the pepper and tomato patch. This year I tried to be better about not crowding the poor guys. While I went with a large variety of tomatoes last year, I loved the Romas so much (Tomato Jam, Oven-Dried Tomatoes… mmmm!) I decided to plant two of the Romas, and two San Marzano tomato plants. I’m toying with the idea of adding more in containers, but we’ll see.

Tomato and Pepper patch

The other bed is a mish mash of things. Despite the fact that I killed the cucumbers twice over last year, I decided the third time might be the charm, so I planted them again. My peppers runneth over from the other bed, so I’ve placed a few here (I have serranos, banana, ancho, and jalapeno this year). And those sprigs you see in the back are corn. I have no idea if corn will actually grow in these raised beds, but I decided to give it a try and see what happens. Maybe I’ll end up with baby corn instead.

Corn, Cucumbers, Peppers

Though I didn’t slide in any pictures, I also planted watermelon (not sure it’s hot enough here, but it’s another “what the heck let’s give this a try” plant) and zucchini and squash. Given that last year I had more zucchini than I could handle, this year I decided to limit myself to one zucchini plant and one squash plant, and I had the good sense not to put them in my garden boxes.

Last but certainly not least, I planted some snap peas alongside my dining area, and they’re slowly growing up, up, up the trellis. Hopefully these will yield some tender peas soon, as there’s a salad we made at the end of last year’s crop that was super simple and tasted amazing! So keep a lookout for that recipe.

That’s it! That’s how the Madd Hatter’s garden grows for spring (and summer) 2011.

Snap Peas

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4 Responses to “See How My Garden Grows: Spring 2011 Edition”

  1. Love the garden, I’m so jealous!

  2. Thanks Maggie!

  3. Everything looks like it is off to a good start!

  4. Yep, so far, so good! The cucumbers are already starting to look suspect though. If these die, I give up.