An Edible Garden – Strawberries, Violas, and Basil
Over the last years, I’ve shared a post or two about some fruits and herbs we’ve added to our landscape and garden here in Southern California. I’ve been happy to learn that those posts were inspiring to many people and continues to draw visitors to the Teenie Cakes site (see Garden Fresh – Homegrown Herbs and Fruits and Peaches, Blueberries & Rosemary – Oh My!). During the last months we included newer additions and have surmised which do well and which don’t in either our area, our yard or with our lack of experience. I hope this post will also prove to be inspiring for anyone working on an existing garden or planning on a new one.
Some plantings have been successful, and some not so much. Cilantro has been an unsuccessful challenge for us in the inland San Diego area. Basil has had its limits and it has been hit-and-miss with Italian Flat-Leaf and Curly Parsley. However, I haven’t given up on the basil and parsley, just yet!
As hinted in the past, we have our share of critters that make it a challenge to grow many things. In an effort to work around our neighboring creatures I’ve used recycled oak wine barrels for the container plantings, primarily for a variety of herbs. Most of the herbs did so well that we’ve added yet another two more wine barrels to our lot. Herbs that continue to prosper from initial plantings back in 2009-2010 have been Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, and Mint.
We also devoted two separate terracotta planters – one for Basil and another for Strawberries.
I’m working on Cherry Tomatoes and a couple of Tamatillo plants. Also new to the garden is the aforementioned planter full of Sequoia Strawberries which may or may not quickly outgrow the planter devoted to it.
Planting flowers not only for their gorgeous color and beautifying features, I’m currently tending to some sweet edible violas. The violas won’t do well when the weather turns summer hot, but for now enjoying their beauty and experimenting with their culinary usefulness as garnish and sugaring them with desserts should be a fun experience.
Last year we started with a Black Mission Fig tree that is doing very well. Also, we added a Nagami Kumquat – not doing well. The color is concerning and it has not been fruitful. We’ve been nursing it with citrus supplements, so hopefully it will give it a kick-start for better health. In our impatience for kumquats, I’ve added yet another Kumquat tree, a Fukushu variety. I’m so hoping that I’ll see some kumquats this year!
The Babcock Peach tree was hit early with some crazy leaf disease. While there are small fruit, the tree itself does not look well. Seeking advice from our local nursery and conducting my own research has not been successful, yet.
I’m on the lookout for an Italian Plum tree. Apparently, they are not allowed entrance into California without probably being quarantined. I’m hopeful that local nurseries might surprise me by carrying this particular variety of fruit tree and having had them processed and checked for entrance into our State.
Next week I’m planning two more plantings…two different varieties of small Italian eggplants, starting with seed.
Sweet little blueberries.
With the plantings of fruits, herbs and vegetables I’ve mentioned that we’re growing or adding to our garden, you might think we have an abundance of homegrown treats. Not necessarily. The herbs mentioned have done well and it’s been a great convenience to have fresh herbs readily available without having to make a special trip to the market and having to purchase more of an herb that I really need for one dish. The Meyer lemons were of great abundance this last season, but other than that, we’ve still been trying to work through some of the other fruit trees and plantings that have not been “fruitful”.
Any nuggets of wisdom you wouldn’t mind sharing about what you might have learned about tending any of these plantings, would be much appreciated. 😉