House Renovations viewed from gardenI’m still enthusiastic about gardening, but ever-ongoing house renovations are making it challenging this year. My sprinkling system is still torn up, and above is the view from the garden to the construction zone that’s currently my back yard. Even with those issues, the weather says time to garden, so I’ve managed to keep the volunteers alive and plant a pretty good variety of veggies. (Warning, lots of photos ahead; this is partly for me to keep a record of what I’m growing. Links to plant descriptions are purely for information and aren’t intended to be an endorsement of any seed purveyor or plant distributor.)

One thing I’m loving about the new raised beds is how easy it is to grow things from seed and this year I’m trying these French Beans, which are a bush variety of long green beans.

Another plant I’m growing for the first time, and from seeds is Methi or fenugreek leaves. (Thanks to Padma, who sent me a packet of seeds when I said I was interested in trying to grow this type of greens used in Indian cooking.)

I’m also growing radishes again this year, the easiest of all plants to grow and great for salads. These French Breakfast radishes are next to my volunteer Swiss Chard.

Every garden needs squash, and one of my favorites is this yellow straightneck squash, an ingredient in the version of Creamed Zucchini my mom always used to make.

I looked everywhere to find an 8-Ball Squash plant, and this guy needs a little nurturing but all the flowers tell me he’ll be fine. If you’re not familiar with it, 8-Ball Squash is a round variety of zucchini, which are great for Stuffed Zucchini.

I also have some regular zucchini, but this year I managed to restrain myself and I planted a reasonable amount!

A new plant for me is red cabbage, which I bought as small plants in hopes they’ll mature before it gets too hot.

The last few years I’ve loved growing eggplant. Last year I tried white eggplant, but this year I just went for Black Beauty, a traditional purple variety.

I also have a couple of plants of Japanese Eggplant, which are long cylindrical shaped eggplants with purple skin. These are great for grilling.

I always try growing red bell pepper, even though I usually don’t manage to get too many of them.

One of my favorite garden plants is Spaghetti Squash, which I planted in one end of a raised bed this year. If you grow your own spaghetti squash you can pick it when it’s still green and try Spaghetti Squash cooked as a summer squash, something I love.

I had four small cucumber plants which are Bush Cucumbers, (not named for the former president but cucumbers which grow on a bush!) One has already been completely eaten by snails, so I guess I’ll have to hit the garden center to replace it.

Finally, I wanted to show how my basil is coming up that I planted from seeds. These rows of basil will need vigorous thinning when they get a little bigger, but by mid summer I should have basil galore.

Of course there are lots more herbs and tomatoes, but this is already getting pretty long so I’ll show those in the next u pdate!

This is the second garden update for 2009. You can see all the updates in order by clicking the label 2009 Garden Updates.

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