The garden beds were overgrown with Marigolds. We saw the orange blooms from the breakfast table as we ate our pancakes this morning. Soon after, Piper and I dressed and went outside. I wore my gardening boots for courage, should I encounter the black racer I have seen once before slithering along the side of the house near the compost pile, which is currently a wilderness. I worked in the two raised beds while Piper weeded a patch of dirt nearby.
I’m surprised at our bounty this late in summer. On our ground plot we still have watermelons growing, as well as several eggplants. We have already harvested three of the latter. I used one on a pizza, and the other two I used to cook Eggplant Istanbul, a meal I grew up with. The only recipe for it that I have found online comes from a Peace Corps cookbook.
In the raised beds, though, the Marigolds reign supreme. They had grown so large and heavy that they were leaning against the broccoli plants and had found a way into the tomato cages. Piper and I snipped several flowers and arranged them in bud vases. The rest I trimmed to the best of my ability. I am glad there are still many marigolds in bloom on what remains of the bushes.
Our herbs are really taking off. We have enjoyed plenty of Genovese basil this summer, in pesto, or simply torn over pizza, soup, or pasta. I love basil in salads but haven’t really used the herb this way myself yet. I think we have enough growing that I may still get my chance.
In addition to basil, our oregano is really taking off. I would say in our raised beds this is the second most prolific plant (the first being our Marigolds). We also have very thin chives, one sage plant that is beginning to sprout leaves at its base and looks as though it will really prosper come autumn, peppers that are beginning to flower and bear fruit, and some struggling heirloom tomatoes that I hope will give us yet a late summer, early autumn bounty.
While we were out the sky turned from blue to gray and the wind that started to blow brought with it a chill in the air. Piper and I finished planting her sunflowers in a grow kit (thanks Aunt Marnie) when the rain started to fall and we went inside. What a truly wonderful morning.