December Morning In My Garden

It was nice to have a couple of hours to myself in the garden this morning—well, almost to myself. I did have a visit from my next door neighbor, Bella. She is so nosy!

I was surprised to see a fresh bloom on my climbing rose, New Dawn. Just planted in spring, this climber is already almost reaching the top of my nine-foot trellis. I can’t wait to see how it does next year.

It seems that the garden is getting in the Christmas spirit, decorating itself in red and green. These jalapenos remind me of old-fashioned Christmas lights.

Our bed of mixed greens is intensively planted and is one of our primary cool weather crops. We feast from it almost daily.  From soups to salads, pastas to stirfries, the greens go in almost everything. They are outrageously nutritious, and I always feel better when we’re including them in our meals.

The fava beans are blooming early this year, and I wonder if they are a harbinger of an early spring. I love their silvery leaves and elegant flowers. Fava beans are a beautiful plant to add to the winter garden, and the beans are a gourmet’s delight.

These beautiful mushrooms are growing on an old tree stump. I wish I knew if they were edible, because they look delicious. Anyone know a fungi expert?

This exotic calico vine, or Dutchman’s pipe, is new to the garden this fall. The delicate vine is scampering up our outdoor shower and adds a touch of tropical elegance.

The garlic that I planted a few weeks ago is up and reaching for the sun. It’s one of my favorite crops, and I plant 4 or 5 varieties every year. Garlic requires little care once it is planted. I like to feed it occasionally with a high-quality compost tea like Authentic Haven Brand Moo Poo Tea. I use this excellent tea in all of my gardens all year round to give my plants a boost of natural nutrients. The tiny leaves that you see sprouting beneath the garlic are a new crop of baby lettuces. I think the garlic helps to protect the lettuces from pests.

I harvested gorgeous White Globe turnips this morning that I will be using to make a creamy turnip gratin to go along with our Sunday roast. The rich gratin is made with cream, Gruyere cheese, and a little chicken broth in in my cast iron skillet and warmed in the oven until the turnips are tender and the cheese is bubbly and golden on top. Turnips are very simple to grow, and they are especially flavorful when cooked soon after they are harvested, although they keep well, too. Turnip greens are also delicious when sautéed in olive oil with a little fresh garlic.

Thank you for visiting my garden on this beautiful Sunday, and enjoy the holiday season!

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Cowlick Cottage Farm Welcome to CCF. I’m Carolyn Binder, a passionate writer, avid photographer, cook and gardener. My love of gardening and writing have transformed my cooking and our lifestyle (...more)

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