The Garden

I decided to write a garden blog in the dead of winter.

Since I have a seasonal catering business, I have no time in the summer and fall to write about what is in my garden. Even though I am constantly amazed and awed by the visually beauty of the plants, I have no time to babble about my awe.

But, I do have time to take some photos. The awe lingers so in the winter I write.

I call my garden a “garnish garden”.

The above photos are of my shade and herb garden. I have 8 times that amount of space on the southern side of my kitchen for the annuals and sun loving perennials.

I grow what I can use in my catering business both for cooking , in arrangements , for display and for platter and individual plate garnish.

I use too much basil and thyme in our cooking to grow what I need but I can grow what I need to garnish.

I have 7-10 different kinds of basils. and 4 kinds of thyme and 3 kinds of sorrel.

I grow the herbs that are hard to get for certain subtle flavoring in our sauces, marinades, dressings and dips.

In the spring the garden is all perennials and bulbs.

Early summer is mostly plants direct sown from seeds.(like peas)

Where I fell down on the visual recording job this year is photographing the annuals.

Since the growing season is so short in Maine, these are plants my farmers,

(Polly Shyka & Prentice Grassi at Village Farm in Freedom. ) start for me.

Pam Mountain is the gifted gardener who keeps my gardens looking great and being productive.

Polly, Pam and I sit down in January and talk about what worked the previous season and what we want to continue to grow and what we will jettison. Since catered events are planned so far in advance, I can tell Pam & Polly the menus and what I will need when. Then they can plan their plantings accordingly.

Pam is the one who takes ALL the plants we get from Polly and puts them in the ground.

Pam nourishes the soil every spring with tea she makes from the nettles in the garden and other secret tricks.

Plus we have fabulous compost from our catering business.

But WHAT really fascinates and what is the focus of these photos are the different stages of a plant.

It is amazing to me how different a plant looks from it’s emerging self, to its adolescence, to its prime and then past it’s maturity. If you did one of those match column A “new growth” to column B “mature growth”, you would be hard pressed to connect who is who.

Herb garden pre early spring

Herb garden early spring

Herb garden spring

Herb garden summer