Spot of Gardening

Gardening in South Louisiana

My New Back Porch – Phase I Complete

Phase I of my new back porch is finished!  Phase II will have to be put on hold for a while due to the intense summer heat but I love what I have.  I’ve planted two hardy kiwi plants (hopefully 1 male & 1 female) and a Baronne Provost climbing rose to climb up the lattice on the side of the porch with some nice Vietnamese Perilla and a Stevia plant in the planter The Sushiman made for me.

June 22, 2010 Posted by | Family & Friends, Fruits and Vegetables, Herbs | Leave a comment

Blooming Pomegranate

My pomegranate tree is blooming.  I wasn’t sure it would since I moved it from the side of the house to the pond in March.  I needed something to replace the papaya tree next to pond.   The Sushiman didn’t want to put another papaya tree there since it was so difficult to keep covering it every winter.   I guess this spot is perfect for the pomegranate since it is happily growing there.  For those who are interested in such things, the cultivar is Wonderful.   The blooms are a beautiful crimson color, which my camera doesn’t quite catch properly.   It looks more orange than red in the pictures.  This shrub is drought- tolerant which is perfect when summer comes around.  I feel that this summer is going to be a scorcher.  Temps are already in the 90s and it’s only May.   Meanwhile, I think I’ll enjoy the heat after such a cold winter.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables | | 2 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, we show our appreciation for mothers everywhere, especially our own.  Since my mom went to Houston where my sibs will take my mother out and make sure my mom feels appreciated, the Sushiman and I are spending our Sunday with the Sushiman’s mom.   I made a cake with whipped cream frosting and fresh fruits for the Sushiman’s mom.  Unfortunately, the fruits are all store-bought except for the wild blackberries when I went berry picking.

For my own mom and mothers everywhere,  Have a happy and blessed Mother’s Day!

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Cooking, Family & Friends, Fruits and Vegetables | 1 Comment

Tumbler Tomato Harvest

The Tumbler tomatoes have been a very successful experiment this year.  I have never grown this type of cherry tomato before.  Well, this will be a tomato that I will add to my garden from now on.  It’s easy to grow and takes very little space since it’s in a hanging basket.  Visually, it’s stunning with dozens of cute little round tomatoes hanging off the branches.  The fruit looks very uniform and smooth just like the ones you buy at the store.  My MIL loves harvesting from the tomato basket every morning.

May 7, 2010 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | , , , | Leave a comment

Lil’ Peaches

It seems like it was just yesterday I was admiring my peach blossoms.  Now, dozens of little peaches are hanging on the dwarf peach tree in the container.  I should thin the peaches to get larger fruits but I can’t bring myself to pluck these cute little peaches off while they’re still green.  Well, it’s not like I was growing a dwarf peach tree for the fruit anyways.  Yep, it was for the ornamental value…….

May 1, 2010 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | Leave a comment

Yuzu, Yuzu

The Yuzu trees (Citrus Ichangensis x Citrus Reticulata) have burst into bloom with beautiful flowers and fresh green leaves.  Hopefully, this year’s multitude of blooms will turn into beautiful yuzu fruits which will ripen into fullness.   Last year, the fruits kept falling off while still tiny and only about 4 managed to ripen.

The yuzu trees has huge 2″-3″ thorns which I usually snip off every spring.  Yes, this is a lot of work but so is weeding.  For me, the extra work is preferable to being  stabbed by a 2″ thorn while trying to admire or pick a beautiful aromatic yuzu fruit.

My yuzu tree has finally grown taller than the neighbor’s 6′ fence!  It just celebrated its 3rd birthday with us and really has grown very nicely.  I’ve hesitated to prune it since I wanted it to grow taller but I think I will have to prune it this year to encourage a fuller look.   I am thinking of selecting the branches that need pruning and trying to propagate those branches.   I’d love to have a few extra yuzu trees!

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables | , | Leave a comment

MIL’s Vegetables

The Sushiman’s parents are currently visiting us from Shanghai, China.  Since they are from the big city, my MIL was pretty excited to be growing her very own vegetables!  In an earlier post, I posted about going tomato plant shopping with her.  I thought I’d show a few vegetables she has planted:  snow peas, a type of chinese pac choi and some lettuce.

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | Leave a comment

Squash and Zucchini

The Sushiman and I picked up two squash and two zucchini plants from the RedStick Farmers Market.   This is a first for the both of us.  I’ve never grown a squash or zucchini in my life but they seems to be an essential garden plant to grow.  Every time I’ve talked about my kitchen garden, someone always ask if I have squash or zucchini.   Well, this year I will be able to say, “Why, yes I do.”

In my ignorance, the yellow squash and zucchini are interchangeable.  Besides the fact that one is yellow and the other is green, I’ve always felt these vegetables are similar.  Well, I am mostly right.  Both the yellow squash and the zucchini are actually summer squashes (Cucurbita pepo).

The yellow squash can be either the Yellow Crookneck or the Yellow Straightneck.  I have no idea which one we picked up.  Guess it’ll be a surprise to look forward to in the summer.

The zucchini or courgette can be yellow, green or light green!   I always thought they were green.  LOL.

Both the yellow squash and zucchini should be grown on mounds or hill.   I, however, will attempt to trellis my yellow squash and zucchini plants.   Since my dragonfruit did not survive this winter, I have redesigned the dragonfruit trellis and will be planting new dragonfruit again.  Meanwhile, the squash and zucchini will be using this trellis since it’s handy.  This will keep the leaves and vegetables off the ground which will reduce the chances of ground-borne disease, hopefully.

My newly planted yellow squash and zucchini plants:

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | Leave a comment

Tomatoes in Law

This year, I went tomato plant shopping with The Sushiman’s mom in Mid-March.   After much debating, we came home with four tomato plants:  2 Better Boys & 2 Creoles from Lowe’s.  These were to be the reliable hybrids for this year.   (I want to make sure that I will have plenty of tomatoes for the summer.)  Last year, I was late in planting my garden (Late April) so this year I had a bit of a head start (for me, at least).  Well, 1 Better Boy and 1 Creole promptly died within a week but the other two thrived.  I replaced it another Better Boy from Lowe’s and a BN 660 from the LSU Garden Show.  I also picked up a Sugar Snack cherry tomato plant and Beefsteak tomato plant from Clegg’s Nursery when I went with my parents.  Then, I went to the LSU Garden Show with my mom where I picked up a Patio cherry tomato plant in a hanger.  So cute!

Two weeks later, the Patio Tomato is huge and looks like I should be able to harvest some cherry tomatoes within the next few days!

The Sugar Snack cherry tomatoes are also looking good.

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | Leave a comment

Better Late than Never….

I wanted to share a few early spring flowers from March which I didn’t get around to posting last month.  After a pretty frigid winter for many South Louisianians, Spring arrived with a rush of flowers:

Dwarf Peach tree, Japanese Magnolia, & Flowering Plum tree:

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables | 1 Comment