The First Summery Weekend

Living all of summer in one weekend. In Chicago, where we have had an extremely cold and wet spring, these last three days have been a welcoming sign of summer approaching.   And I filled every moment possible with family, friends, and fun.   And projects that will hopefully pay us back this summer. It is amazing …

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Up to My Knees in X#@$%

It has been a wet, wet spring, raining three weekends in a row and many days in between.  No planting has been done, between rain, sports, work, and more rain. Greens are coming up in the garden, but it needs a lot of grooming.  Hot, sunny yesterday was the perfect day for the annual run …

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The First Frost

So sad, decimating the gardens after two mornings of hard frost.  In early October, no less.  Basil, so fragrant in pesto last week, now rubbery black leaves, the tomato vines collapsed and shriveled with a few lingering green ones oozing seeds, the cucumbers withered in the dirt, peppers wilting. I yanked everything but a couple …

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Uneven Garden Bounty

A wintry summer in Chicago has resulted in fewer beach and pool days, evening sweaters in August, lower air conditioning bills and a sadly underwarmed garden.  The biggest loser in my tiny three-step levels and overflowing garden seems to be the teeny sad tomatoes lacking the sun-kissed flavor we usually get.  They usually thrive in …

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Sweet Surprise

I spent a warmish, windy Saturday afternoon prepping the garden for winter, continuing the task of cutting back flowers, deadheading, and pulling out many of the now unproductive tomato plants, though a few valiant survivors remain for a few short weeks.  And grape vines.  Have you ever cut back the reddening, hardened vines from a …

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Tomato Overload Sadly Over

Bruschetta. Salsa. Tortilla soup.  Tomato Sauce.  Chili.  Rice and beans.  How many ways are there to use up the mountains of beautiful, fresh tomatoes growing in my garden?  We went through weeks of chopping, slicing, dicing, stirring, cooking, mashing the mounds of tomatoes we brought in daily.  The bowls were daunting, piled high with oblong …

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An Inviting Garden

Here is a sample of what the garden reaps.  A swallowtail, so beautifully detailed and graceful.    My children called me to the gardeen to see the "funny bug" which turned out to be the tiny hummingbird who has been enjoying our garden.  He departed before I had the camera, but this is who showed up for …

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