It’s spring and great things are happening in the garden! My favorite thing right now is my variegated lemon tree. It is completely covered in blossoms, and the smell is so strong it hits you as soon as you step outside the kitchen, a sweet, intoxicating smell of white flowers that just makes you want to stay outside sipping a cool drink and staring at the garden. I am thrilled also at the prospect of an excellent lemon crop later in the fall.
It has warmed up so quickly that the brassicas and greens are bolting. I have no hope of getting cauliflower out of the last two I planted, but am not giving up yet. The arugula is another story. While it looked beautiful capped with cream-colored blossoms and the leaves were still tasty and firm, the harlequin bugs showed up… these monsters are the true sign that your cool weather crops are done. You see one or two one day and two days later there’s an infestation. Nasty critters. Pull your plants out as soon as you see them and save what you can. I got 3 bags of Brussel sprout leaves to cook next week.
After pulling all the greens I had space to plant a few peppers: serranos del sol, jalapeño, mariachi, Hungarian wax, and a pasilla called by the silly name ‘Holy Mole’, which they also misspell with an accent on the e, ugh. I also found transplants of what I expected to see in the fall: celeriac! I looked everywhere online last fall trying to find a source for seeds or plants in the area, and got nothing, then on Saturday there they were at Natural Gardener. Go figure. I think I will plant them in containers and keep them in afternoon shade and see what they do. I don’t have hope for a harvest, I am considering more of an experiment. We’ll see.
Here is the ‘Green Globe’ artichoke plant, looking good and growing quickly. We just installed the irrigation system -at last- in the Mediterranean herb bed. I am including more ornamentals -especially hummingbird attracting flowers- into the vegetable and herb beds and planting another artichoke, peppers, and eggplant in the front yard flowerbeds, thanks to the inspiration I got from a fantastic book, Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy. I highly recommend the book as a source of ideas and inspiration, although the lush gardens and varieties she grows in Northern California will not perform the same here in central Texas. Regardless, it’s a great reference.
Next Saturday we’ll be adding the eggplant, tomatillo, and tomato transplants to the garden. More on that later.