I can't decide, torn between my cooking and my garden. During the dreary New England winters I am definitely Good Dinner Mrs Mellen, but once the spring is here, I am torn between two loves. The sweet promise of beautiful blooms all summer long pull me into my garden. But wait the smells of wonderful dinners alfresco coupled with fresh produce and fruit. Did I say fruit, fresh strawberry short cake, mouth watering blueberry, peach and nectarine pies. Stop what is a gardener/cook to do. This year I think I am successfully blending my two loves into a wonderful long summer season.
In my backyard right off my deck I have a herb and flower garden. Just a short walk from my kitchen down the deck stairs to an abundance of fresh fragrant herbs and flowers. I love using fresh herbs to add the extra pizza to any recipe. During one of the snowiest winters ever I started thinking how I could integrate my love of gardening and cooking even more. I decided to tweak this garden to make a true kitchen garden. I ordered heirloom tomato seeds, rainbow pepper seeds, nasturtium seeds, and all different kinds of basil seeds from Renee's Garden to start inside. As I write my seeds are sprouting in my sunny den, profusely, just waiting for warmer nights to be transplanted in my kitchen garden.
Visualizing the design has been so rewarding with the culmination last week of finally being out to move plants and plot the final plan. The design is very "Under the Tuscan Sun". I placed a piece of slate in the center of the garden where when the weather is warmer I will put a lovey Italian pottery planter with a fragrant bay leaf tree. Circling the bay leaf tree will be my heirloom tomato, rainbow peppers and an assortment of basil plants with edible nasturtium and lavender plants in between to add beautiful blooms. Additionally more herbs will join sage, parsley, dill, chives, oregano, varieties of thyme, chives and more. A true cooks garden, what took me so long!