Garden Gone Wild: Growing Lettuces, Peas and Herbs

We were on vacation last week, and came back to find big changes in the garden!  Given that my last post was on the garden as well, it’s pretty fun to see the changes from just nine days ago …

Early summer is a tough time to go away with a vegetable garden, because lots of things can sprout up and need to be harvested immediately.  Last week, our cauliflower was ready and we weren’t around and weren’t aware (it was much faster than it was supposed to be!) so I only got one little head.  The rest all went to flower.  A real bummer!

Otherwise, though, all good news.

The peas are GIANT. Like, falling off the trellis they’re so big, giant.

As a reminder, this is what they looked like on May 17, just over a month ago:

And how beautiful are the purple peas in the cover image?  We’ve already had peas twice as part of dinner in the three days we’ve been home.

The lettuces have shot up.  You can see the epic heart of romaine in the top right above.  We already harvested one and grilled it – really good.  You can see some spinach in there as well – believe it or not, that’s post-harvest!  You can see the hollow stem in the middle.  It had bolted up, so I chopped it.  Supposedly the leaves when it bolts are bitter, but I took the leaves off the bolted plants (not a small amount, either, about a gallon-bag full) and it tastes much better than anything in the store, so we got lucky there.

The purple lettuces and herbs are also coming along nicely, protected by our anti-deer netting.  Please ignore the weeds!  Another side-effect of being out of town.

The curly endive is looking pretty great – but I think it is VERY safe to say we planted them too close together!

The tomatoes are being dwarfed by our nasturtium:

They’re good companions, but the nasturtium have never grown this huge before!  We actually cut some back to be sure the tomatoes get sun, and may cut back more.

The potato flowers are out:

And we’ve got some beautiful pumpkin blossoms:

I was also able to harvest a bunch of garlic scapes, with more to come. On the flower front, the roses are looking beautiful.

So much color, and they smell so good.  One odd thing I’ve seen a number of times this year but never saw in the past is that the chipmunks seem to be really into the roses.  They’ll carefully pull and eat petal after petal.

This rose is laden with buds about to open.

It produces tiny pink roses like this:

It has never gotten this large before, so I’m pretty excited about it!

Lots of other flowers around the garden are also just generally being beautiful and smelling good:

I love these little fuzzy flowers!  So do the bees.

The catmint is on its last legs, but it smells good and is still adding a ton of color.

And of course, there’s the bean that my kids planted in a little cup at school, brought home, and planted:

I mean, it’s pretty hilarious.  But they are super proud of this one little bean happening here!