The garden is really starting to take on a life of its own — and resemble a jungle. We have been having odd weather this year, but the plants seem to love it. We’ve been getting a lot of rain, many more cool days than usual, but now are in a heat wave with temps hoving around 100 degrees.
All of the plants are doing really well. They are vibrantly green, bushy and standing tall. The zucchini in particular is going strong, but as I have read, it is not that hard to grow zucchini. I picked the first one today and I am looking forward to a summer of Italian meals. My husband also wants to pickle it. I also picked the first two sweet peppers, and both my husband and I have been eating the first cherry tomatoes straight off the vine.
The herbs are also doing very well. We planted arugula, dill, flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, several varieties of basil, thyme and sage. We already had mint, rosemary, chives and oregano overwintering. This is the first summer I’ve tried cooking a meal organized around an abundance of one or more herbs. For instance, the other night I made poached chicken breasts with a tarragon-lime pan sauce, accompanied by sugar snap peas in a tarragon compound butter. It is fun to start with the herb and see where that takes the meal.
The only disappointment are a few of the tomato plants are quite wilted, notably the heirloom varieties. Perhaps they don’t like the rain or the lack of sunny days. The hybrids from the local garden shop are doing very well, though. As my husband has noted, perhaps we are better off planting tomatoes that don’t need quite so much care, as we are strong believers in benign neglect around here.
I am really enjoying the garden this year. I can’t wait for cantaloupe, hot peppers and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!