26 May 2011

Urban Gardening Update.

What a great spring we've had so far. June hasn't even started and I've already managed to spend more time in the garden than I usually get to do in an entire summer - reading in the hammock or enjoying a glass of wine on the patio.

The vegetables are growing well, and I picked the first strawberries today. I swear I've never tasted better ones in my life; I wish I had planted more.

We've harvested so much lettuce already, yet we can hardly keep up. Apart from preparing lots of salads, I've started to experiment using the leaves in other, hot recipes.

They do well in quiches and frittatas, and soon we'll have a fresh batch that will be perfect for making lettuce soup - one of my favourite kinds: velvety goodness with a blue or goat cheese for extra flavour.

It's such a versatile vegetable. You can also use the leaves as wraps, on burgers (vegetarian or not), to make pesto (instead of basil, mixed to taste with other fresh herbs), juice them with other herbs and vegetables or wilt them into pasta or mashed potatoes.

I've found a lot more recipe inspiration here:

And to conclude, a few more photos of our patio garden in evening sunlight:

What are your favourite seasonal recipes?
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  1. Oh, K.C your gardens are magnificent. I so have a black thumb and and so envious of those who can grow things.

  2. your strawberries will procreate so don't worry, just train those runners and you'll have ten times as many! if you planted everbearing you'll have more as the summer goes on :) i love them too but still go to the farms to buy in bulk so i can freeze them on cookie sheets and put into ziplock bags in the freezer - great to have berries in the dead of winter!!!

  3. This all looks delicious. Unfortunately where I live, I won't be getting my garden to look the same until late summer. I'm so jealous of your berries!


  4. Wow, you seem to be a season ahead of us. We're still wrapped in scarves here, though the plants are bravely poking their heads out of the ground and the grass is greening. I bought a new patio set and have hardly used it yet. But summer is coming. Soon I'll be complaining of the heat. :P

    Love the hammock pic. Looks comfy.

  5. No excuses- my garden is still under it's weedcloth wraps. No time. I must correct that after reading your post!

  6. Beautiful. I love fruit dishes and salads in the spring!

  7. @Karen: it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything in particular, apart from choosing plants that don't need much care. :-)

    @EcoGrrl: great ideas, thanks! :-)

    @Sara: it's really unusual here as well, but I'm not complaining. :-)

    @L.G.: I have no idea what our summer's going to be like. Probably 15°C and rainy. :-) I love my hammock, but as you can see, it's not always hot enough yet to take my socks off. =)

    @Toby: only if you feel like it. =)

    @Holly: Me too! It's much easier to eat healthily when the veggies are close by and as fresh as they can be. And at the rate everything's growing, we'll have apples and plums by July. ;-)

  8. Wow ... your garden looks like a beautiful salad bar. And isn't it just a happy problem to have too many veggies. :-) Here's another idea for lettuce ... place it in a bowl with a touch of lemon juice and then put hot stir fry over the top. It wilts down slightly but retains enough crunch to give the dish an interesting texture ... and all the juices of the stir fry "dress" the salad.

  9. I love these photos. Your garden looks so peaceful! And, relaxing in the hammock seems like heaven.

    My tongue is hanging out for strawberries now!

  10. Great garden! I love gardening too and I'm very happy that this year I could also spend so much time looking after it and sitting in it. Finally some rain today to keep the plants well hydrated!

  11. What lovely summery photos. Unfortunately summer seems to be eluding us here in the west coast of Scotland this year (so far). We had a few warm weeks in April and now it's more like autumn.

    Don't really have a favourite seasonal recipe, but I sometimes do a tasty tuna salad loaf.

  12. You've made me wish we still had a garden! Around this time six years ago we were living with Mr. G's father, and everyday I'd picked shallots from the garden and make onion and cheese sandwiches. Brings back happy memories.

    Ellie Garratt

  13. @Cyndi: lol yes, it does look like a salad bar. :-) It will even more so when the peppers and tomatoes start growing. :-)

    @Julie: I love my hammock. One of the best presents I've ever got. :-)

    @V: ah yes. It's like the perfect Mediterranean weather, with a bit of rain when it's most needed. :-)

    @Rosemary: ow, hope it gets better soon! :-)

    @Ellie: I love using shallots in so many dishes. Haven't made onion and cheese sandwiches though. Must be yummy toasted! :-)

    @Munk: I've never been a big fan of beer, which makes me a total disgrace to my country. I try to make up for it with chocolate, though!

  14. I'm so jealous! Of both your hammock and your container garden. I've always wanted a hammock, but we really don't have a place for it in the back yard.

    I never knew there were so many different things you could do with letter! I suppose it makes sense though, spinach is used in more than just salads . . .

  15. Hi C.R. :-)

    In my first Urban Gardening post are a few links to websites that give great suggestions for small gardens and even balconies. I find them such an inspiration.

    They're projects that need to grow, I think. I started off small, and when something works with not too much effort, I expand on it.


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