Monday, March 14, 2011

Veggie Bedtime Stories

The veggie bed garden with its containerized plants is starting to show promise.  The fig tree is leafing out and the flowers planted to attract pollinators are starting to bloom.

Seed starting didn't work out well for me this season.  I tried starting the trays outside this year because of the mild weather.  The sparrows, finches, squirrels and peacocks loved this idea.  The seed trays were ravaged and no seedlings were spared.  So, no green beans or heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes for the spring veggie bed.

Purchased plants for Husky Cherry Red, Yellow Pear and Early Girl tomatoes were planted and are flowering.  Sometimes "Plan B" needs to be put in place. 

One seed sowing venture did work out.  The blue basil seeds Penny at Terra Mirabilis sent to me are doing great!  They have these beautiful flowers and the whole plant smells wonderful.

Flowering rue is calling to the swallowtail butterflies.  I'm hoping for caterpillars soon.  The rue is planted along with dill and flat leaf parsley, all swallowtail larval host plants.  I do use the parsley in the kitchen now but I'm willing to give it up to the butterflies when they begin to lay their eggs. 

How about this eggplant?  There are two eggplant plants leftover from the fall garden that began blooming just as I was going to toss them.  They are a variety called "little fingers."  They get about 5 inches long and about 4 inches in circumference.  With a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper as a marinade, they grill to perfection.

I've never seen a red admiral butterfly in the garden before this year.  So happy to have seen several this early spring season.


  1. I've never had Red Admirals before in the garden,and this year,they seem to be all over.My veggie garden is a little behid this year,as well.Those eggplant look delish!

  2. Ah, great stories you tell, Kay. Really enjoyed the 'veggie tales' (hmmm... I think I'll use that one :-). Everything is looking very promising and flourishing in your edible 'beds'. The tomato plants I somehow managed to save through the winter have been giving me ripe tomatoes for a couple of weeks. You just NEVER know in Florida what the edibles will turn out.

    Happy gardening. Oh, so glad your Red Admirals decided to show up. Beautiful little creatures. Gotta love eggplant on the grill.

  3. your garden photos are making me feel like spring is on the way!

  4. Lovely photos. Your eggplant is making me hungry! Adore the shade on those marigolds. So glad you are able to enjoy the butterflies already!

  5. Where do you buy flowering Rue? I would love to have some host plants for Swallowtails, but I have not found Rue. Any ideas?

    I have decided that I need to plant more vegetables, but guess I will have to wait until fall. I do have leaf lettuce growing. And have a few tomato plants because I reused soil which evidently had old seeds in it.

  6. Ah, yes, seedlings are not safe out of doors. I found that out, too. Your basil is pretty. Love your veggie "bed", but I'm sure I would not have had the heart to put that beautiful bedstead out in the elements. It's great decor for your garden though.

  7. Chris C - I was so happy to see that little butterfly! Since then I have seen a few others checking things out in my garden, seeing if there are enough blooms for them to hang out for a while.

    Meems - Lucky you getting ripe tomatoes from the fall/winter crop. I picked mine green. They did ripen but then I had to use them up in a hurry.

    Tamara - Spring will be here real soon even "way up north" where you are.

    Daisy - I've never grown marigolds before but I've since put in 2 flats of them. 1/2 price rack was too tempting. I'm loving them a lot more than I expected. They are so full of flowers all the time.

    Siesta Sister - Colorfield Farms in Riverview. I had never seen it before either but had been on the look-out for it and there it was. Most any herb vendor should have it I would think.

    sherryocala - I'm gradually learning about seeds. They are so rewarding when they sprout and grow. That bed was a garage sale find that I had very little financial and no emotional attachment to, so it was easy and fun to put it in the yard.

  8. Yesterday afternoon I saw the first red admiral butterfly in my garden. I've never had one here before. Sure hope he comes back and brings his friends.

  9. I love your veggie GARDEN BED. What a great use for an old bed. The rue is very pretty. Did you buy that plant or start it from seeds? I planted a basil that looks just like your blue basil, but the name was Thai basil. I wonder if they are one and the same. It looks like you'll have tomatoes very soon.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.