Memorial Day, and a long weekend that was long overdue. In all the hustle and bustle of working, running errands, and then coming home to work in the garden, our little cottage was in woeful need of a good cleaning. But first, a morning stroll through the garden, just to check on things. Is that the first Jalapeno? Yes! Pepper season has begun. And is that the first ripe tomato? Yes! Summer has begun! I wandered over to the No-Dig Beds, and tah-dah! The garlic was laying on its side, patiently waiting for attention. I grabbed my gloves and got to work. When a crop is ready, the gardener must be quick, or the insects will beat the gardener. The insects do not rest. Once again, the housekeeping would have to wait. The garlic takes precedence, and that’s okay with me!
To a gardener, harvesting a beautiful crop is pure joy. I gently dug each bulb from its comfy bed and stopped to admire each one. The large, tight bulbs were heavy with juicy cloves that promised to season many a fine meal. The bodacious Russian Giant lives up to its name! The Ajo Rojo, with its delicate, pointy cloves, begs to star in a hot, spicy Southern Creole dish. The garden was filled with that fresh garlicky scent, coupled with the wonderful, somehow clean, smell of healthy earth. I lifted each one, careful not to bruise their delicate bulbs, and carried them to dry under the gazebo. Later, I will carry it inside to cure for several weeks. This process really brings out its flavor, and the drying of the delicate, papery skins provides protection to the bulbs.
The next day, I brought the first of the garlic into the cottage and spread it carefully on a wire rack I had set up in the guestroom. No guests for awhile, and no vampires, either, I chuckled to myself. I finally gave the cottage some attention, scrubbing, vacuuming and polishing away the everyday garden grime that sneaks into every corner of our house. Soon, it was gleaming again, and the scents of bleach, lemon oil and well, garlic, were wafted through the air. But little did I know, the frightening scene I was about to walk into.
I poured myself a tall, fresh iced tea and headed towards our little den to put my feet up for a few moments, and I walked right into a really scary sight. A vampire! Oh, my goodness!
Look at those scary fangs!
No animals were harmed during this photo shoot. This vampy creature is actually Riley getting his belly scratched. This is how Riley looks when he is in the depths of belly scratching euphoria! I guess we are safe from the vampires after all. Because if the garlic doesn’t chase them away, Riley will!