Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Harvest This Year

Yesterday I harvested my first batch of vegetable from my little garden, some Chinese chive and asparagus. And there are more to come. I just love these perennial vegetables. You plant them once, and that's it. As long as you water them and fertilize them well, they will just keep coming. Last year, I cut my Chinese chives 8 times! Lots of very tasty dumplings and of course DH's favorite dish, Chinese chive with five spice Tofu and chicken/pork. I have lots of american chives ready for harvest as well, need to find some good recipes for that. My asparagus look very promising this year. I planted them two years ago, and have been waiting very patiently. Finally this year, I am cutting some and enjoy my fruit of labor. Tomato seeds haven't germinated yet, it's still a little cold for that. And I need to start the green beans and cucumbers soon. Going to be another very busy and quite rewarding season. And since I am planting more flowers for cutting, there will be fresh beautiful bouquets to enjoy this summer.

I was trying to figure out how to arrange my plants. I put all my plants out onto the sunny deck and the covered porch. I have a very old metal wire shelving unit for the porch, it's not very sturdy, but after tying tightly to the railings, it will be fine. I am one of those thrifty girl, who never throw away anything "useful". So, this shelf just have to work for at least one more season. And I found it on the side of the street, so I won't feel sorry if I have to throw it into the trash at the end of this year. However, I am having hard time arranging the plants on the deck. Most of them love full sun, which others need very bright light but can be burnt under direct sunshine. And I don't like to put the pots directly on the deck, worrying that could damage the wood. So, do I have to buy some expensive outdoor flower shelving unit, or build some wood shelves which will start rotting after a couple of years? This morning, it hit me. I have an old coffee table in the basement, it has those thick glass top with metal frame. I got it for $10 from a yard sale about 8 years ago! It served it's purpose until we moved into this new house, and then was replaced by a big ottoman. It has been sitting in my basement for the past 3 years and taking too much floor space. Also, I picked up another metal/glass cart from the curb last year. It also has metal frame, with 2 glass shelves, and the best part is it's on wheels. Both of them are little rusty, so I can paint them the same color and if I do it right, they won't rust any more, which is very important, since they are going to be watered along with my plants everyday. Oh, I am a GENIUS! And this way, DH won't complain how messy the deck is and won't push me to give away my plants or sell my coffee table. Huh, one stone, how many birds? I will definitely show you the finished pictures. The question now is, WHAT COLOR DO I WANT?WHITE could be too bright for my eyes under the sunshine. BLACK doesn't go with my furniture so I cannot use it indoor for winter. How about some fun summer colors? I do have some summer stuffs in BLUE. So many options. But you know me, I have to wait till DH on business trip to start this project. Oh, boy, will he be surprised when he comes back!

Here is a close up of my wonderful jasmine flowers! You can see it in the other picture, not very clear though. You have to be here to really appreciate it. There are about 300 flowers now, the smell is just heavenly! It was attacked by spider mites earlier this winter, and lost lots of leaves. I thought it was going to die. But after careful treatment, shower every other day, and some spring sunshine, look at it now! Just simply breath taking. One thing I learned from gardening is to be patient, which I was not very good at. I am very glad with the result.

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