Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Growing Season at Cafe Drake HRV: Part I


A favorite perennial herb at Cafe Drake HRV, lovage grows back bigger and stronger every grow. A rogue heatwave in May however has caused the leaves to turn slightly bitter, something that only happens in August generally, when the cool weather plant finally succumbs to the heat. Soon we'll cut it back severely in hope that new growth, and more seasonably mild temperatures, restore its delectable flavor.


Pale pink tulips and lavender-colored flowers. Ah, Spring.

We love these inky, dark tulips, grown from bulbs given to us by our friend Kristin P.

"Things are looking pretty good, Daddy. Oh wait, you missed a spot over there."

Arabella is a stellar garden assistant; although she isn't much for manual labor, she provides the best company ever.


Please pray for those tiny tomato seedlings in the lower right corner. Newly sprouted Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple plants have a long way to go . . .

Hardening off yet more seedlings: (from left), zinnias, broccoli rabe, camomile and Chinese flowering kale.




Thomas Jefferson was enamored with Persian Lilies and they're still grown at Monticello. Ours will be magnificent (we hope) in another couple of weeks. Another gift from KP.

A record-breaking harsh winter didn't destroy our hardy peony bushes. Heavy pruning and mounds of mulching helped them survive the arctic conditions of January, February and March.

Lloyd says he gets tired just watching us working in the yard all day!

Mint is among the first signs of new life in Spring.

Some herbs over-wintered in the house and a few new ones from a recent Plant Swap: marjoram, savory, lemon balm, golden sage, rose geranium and English thyme.

Red-veined sorrel, with its bright, tart flavor similar to lemon, is a treasured ingredient in spring salads at Cafe Drake HRV. We've always found it difficult to grow so fingers crossed this thriving mound continues to flourish.

And, yup, more seedlings - shiso and garden cress.

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