Thursday, January 6, 2011

Salad Days and Balmy Nights!

The steady buzzzz of the katydid chorus and the bass solo of the croaking frog - a summer night's serenade! ~ Michael Garofalo ~
Sun-ripened, bite-sized salad tomatoes ready for picking...just loving these "Salad Days!"

One of the BEST things about summertime is the opportunity to eat more healthfully.  When temperatures soar to the mid-30s (degrees Celsius), few of us want to spend time behind a hot stove.  Quick, easy, cold meals become the order of the day, not only because they are easiest, but because they look and taste good too...especially when they consist mostly of fresh garden salads and, even better, when you've grown them yourself and can pick what you require, as needed! 
 Please click the read more button below to continue ;)

What is a garden without some whimsy to ignite a smile?
At the moment, I'm growing salad tomatoes, Italian parsley, basil, rocket and spinach.  Unfortunately, my lettuces are finished...and it's been far too hot to venture out to the nursery, to buy more seedlings to see us through the season.  Bad planning on my part, I know!

These staples from my garden, served with a selection of cheeses, cold meats and crusty rolls, make for a perfect summer meal.  Topped off with a glass of chilled white wine, and finished off with fresh fruit, it becomes a meal fit for a king! 

This tomato is self-seeded and is growing well.  We tried them in the greenhouse last summer, but they didn't perform as well as we'd hoped.  It was probably just a tad TOO hot in there for them!

I love the blue of the lobelias contrasted with the red of the ripened tomatoes. 

This was a beaut!  I ate it as soon as I'd photographed it!

Red and green berries full of promising goodness!

Homegrown tomatoes really do taste nicer than store bought!

Bright little cherry tomatoes plump for picking.  So proud to be able to say, "I grew them!" 

Italian parsley...I've not had much success with moss curled parsley of late :(

Sweet green basil...still my favourite!

Bi-colour basil.

Red basil.

Trusty standby, spinach, grows in the same raised bed as the spinach.  You can just see it peeking in the background ;)

I use borage flowers in my salads for extra colour and interest.

As one who has "stopped growing at both ends and started growing in the middle," I'm grateful for the opportunity to eat more lightly and with greater awareness.  Sitting outdoors of a summer's evening induces the requisite leisurely atmosphere and certainly goes hand-in-hand with these "Salad Days" and balmy evenings :)
Last night was perfect to be outdoors until bedtime.  My little camera was unable to cope with my attempt at taking dusk and evenings pictures in the garden, so I persuaded my DH to get in on the act.  He hasn't attempted night photography much in the past, but sweetly agreed to give it a shot.  Herewith, the results... 

Still dusky although it was already well after 19h30.

Darkness still hasn't set in...

I have a shelf mounted on the wall adjacent to the small water feature (in the picture below).  I keep a selection of little "treasures" on it, to add some interest to an otherwise stark wall-space.  Our seating area is to the front of this spot. 

The little wall-mounted water feature outside the picture window assumes a magic of its own when lit at night.

Looking from the pond towards the upper garden.

So peaceful to sit back in these chairs and watch the stars in the nightsky up above.

Fairy lights reflected in the pool.

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. 
~Vincent Van Gogh ~

One of my favourite night-time reflections is of the tree (right) lit up by the wall light and reflected back in the mirror (left).

There are wall mounted lights running the length of the path.  Herewith the section that forks towards my greenhouse.

It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presence may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
~ James Douglas ~



  1. What a beautiful post.......nice your garden and the tomates.......all looking verry good.......happy day Ria......xxxx....

  2. Ha, I could do with some healthful after Christmas.. Sadly, I succumbed to another left-over mince pie today. Shame on me!

  3. Jenny:

    Someone's gotta eat them :)


    Des xo

  4. Thank you, Ria! Hope you had a less freezing day today ;)


    Des xo

  5. I love seeing your backyard lit up at night! I can't wait to be able to sit outside in our yard and hopefully eat some vegetables fresh from the garden. Our summer was cool and wet last year and I didn't get one tomato, I really missed them. Enjoy your salad days! :)

  6. Your night time shots are beautiful! You must persuade your DH in on the act again. That sky is a gorgeous rich, deep blue as the light is fading and all of your garden lights look bright and cheerful. An ideal place to sit out and enjoy a warm summer evening :)

  7. Catherine:

    Oh, I am :) Hopefully your summer will be more cooperative this year, too!


    Pleased you enjoyed the night time pics ;) Wish I could claim them as my own!

  8. Your garden is a fairyland at night! It looks enchanting and beautiful... I'd love to visit! The cook in me just wants to pick those tomatoes, roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper (on the vine) and serve with big hunks of crusty bread, thick slices of mozzarella and ripped basil on top!

  9. Linda:

    You'd be welcome anytime, especially if you're willing to take over my kitchen duties for me :) Really battling in that department in this heat...I'm sure I was meant to be waited on hand and foot!


    Des xoxo

  10. You are teasing us with those sun-ripened tomatoes, Desiree! 2010 was a horrible year for tomatoes in the U.S. I hope this year will be better!
    I saw your German Shepherd's picture and thought: It's my Amur! What a beautiful dog!!!

  11. So lovely to have you visit, Tatyana!
    Amur is beautiful on your profile picture and reminds me of my GSD's as pups as well :) Toby, our youngest and first male GSD is almost 10 months old. We're loving him to bits! He's a true aristrocat!

    I'll send the Tomato Fairies on the next flight over :)

  12. Your tomatoes look delicious! Thanks for visiting my blog all the way from your garden in the warmer part of the world. Here today it is a winter wonderland! We had snow yesterday and the day before. Warm weather is just a faint memory and so its great to have the opportunity to visit a garden blogger who is bemoaning the heat. My dogs send their regards to Bonny, Toby and Sheps.

  13. Thanks for popping by, Jennifer. Much appreciated :)

  14. Popped by to thank you wholeheartedly for your really, really, really nice comment you left for me and found myself wanting to lick the computer screen. Those tomatoes are sooooo delicious looking. Ah I can't wait for warmer days. I look like an eskimo at the moment...yesterday I had seven layers on because old meanie Hubby wouldn't put the heating up -enjoy it.
    Your photos always make me want to book a flight and come and visit. :)

  15. Lovely to have the Queen of Humour pop by, Carol! I feel so honoured :) I am rather proud of those homegrown tomatoes too! All compliments gratefully received!

  16. Beautiful photos! I have tomatoes growing on the patio and can't wait till they can be picked!

  17. The pictures of that mountain top with the clouds, is one of my favorite photos. It's beyond beautiful..and so mysterious...lovely...

    What a great photo of those little tomatoes...(I neeeeed a new camera!!!"


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