Garden Showcase

Garden and Harvest Showcase
Lets start with the Harvest of 2009.  Not all the fruit and vegetables are ripe at the same moment, generally, but I do pick a point before the first freeze and pull all the remaining produce off my garden plants.  I have a generous quantity of green Tomatoes, delicious as they are, can be ripened in a dark corner of the house.  Also I have copious quantities of green Jalapenos, they get pickled.  The red Jalapenos become Chipotles, which are first hickory smoked then dehydrated.  The are also Cayenne chiles, which get dehydrated, and Poblano chiles, which can be used fresh as a Poblano, or dried to become a Ancho chile.
 I have large quantities of chiles that I have preserved through the years.  Its funny how the really hot chiles are prolific.  Like the Habanero chile, just a couple plants produce so many chiles I can never eat them all.  The variety is also wide with Ciltepin, Tabasco, Guajillo, Ancho, Jalapeno, Anaheim, and Habanero.

The next spring, 2010, we till up all the beds and do it all over again.  The spring is always big work for me.  There is about 200 square feet of bed space in my garden, and every year it is overflowing with fresh produce.  This is a young Cayenne chile plant.
 The row of pots here is for various herbs.  Some of the herbs I grow are winter hearty like Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary.  The annual herbs will die off in winter.  They start again from seeds in the spring.  Some are unusually tenacious, like Thai Basil, it pops up everywhere in the spring, I almost have to treat it like a weed.  I have Thai Basil grow out of the sidewalk.
 Here we can see some remnants of last years garden in the spring.  Cabbage is winter hearty, and will grow all winter.  But you have to catch them quick when it starts to get warm.  The Cabbages will go to flower, and the flower stalk will best a hole through the center of the Cabbage head.
 These are my winter hearty herbs.  It is nice to always be able to pick fresh herbs for soup in the winter.  First is Sage, then Thyme, and Oregano.

 Having a green thumb I kind of look at plants with an artistic eye as well.  Some plants really were meant to be photographed.  Like the Hydrangea, the large puff like blossoms, and handsome foliage just beg to be photographed.
 Same with the Azaleas, their bright color makes the a great photo op...
White roses, same thing...
This is side yard passage to the front.  This area gets less light than the main garden, so I plant varieties that are good with the lower exposure.

Another thing to enjoy about an organic garden is the diverse creatures that it attracts.  Many different reptiles, birds, and mammals create an interesting organic space.

OK, here are the pictures from spring of 2011.  In the South Garden there are mainly the perennial herbs like Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Curry, and Sage.  They have grown out and been cut back many times since the last picture above...
Then in the North Garden I have many things.  I planted a lot of seeds this year.  First we clean out the bed, add organic matter (composted yard waste), add organic fertilizer, and then till the bed completely.  I spend extra time tilling to breakup and aerate the soil.  The organic matter helps to break up the chunks of clay in this not so wonderful Texas soil.  I planted seed Potatoes, small Onion bulbs, Garlic cloves, and many seeds.  There are two varieties of Carrots, two varieties of Radishes, Turnips, Beets, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Cilantro, Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Flat Parsley, Curly Parsley, Sage, Tarragon, and Oregano.  Then also planted three varieties of Tomatoes, and three varieties of Chiles.