|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!
|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!|
|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 ~