Sunday, August 29, 2010

All That's Missing is a Margarita

Tomatillo growing on plant
Forget salsa out of a jar, there's nothing like making it yourself from fresh ingredients.  One of the key ingredients in the salsa I make is the tomatillo.  But I can't always rely on my local grocery to have them.  So this year, I decided to try my hand at growing my own.  I bought a tomatillo plant in the spring from White Flower Farm. 

A tomatillo plant looks a lot like a tomato plant and requires the same conditions, primarily lots of sun and good drainage.  The fruit is small, round, and green and it grows in a papery husk.  You know when it's time to harvest when the fruit has filled out the husk and the husk is straw colored.  When you peel the husk off, the tomatillo skin will feel sticky--just give it a good rinse and you're ready to start chopping.
Ripe Tomatillo

The final, tasty product

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oakleaf in Transition

This is a follow-up to my June 27th post in which I showed the bloom progression of my "Pee Wee" oakleaf hydrangea.  I mentioned then that as the summer progresses, the leaves begin to turn a wonderful shade of burgundy.  I didn't mention that the blooms change as well.  Here are two pictures, the first is the bloom at the beginning of summer, the second is how it looks now.  Either way would look terrific in a flower arrangement--that's if you have the fortitude to actually cut it.  I don't.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This is my sweet potato vine, after I had already cut it back.  It was taking over the deck.  You can find sweet potato vine in different colors, from this bright chartreuse to almost a purple black.  It loves the sun and even if you forget to water it and the leaves start wilting, it will bounce back quickly after a good soaking.  Sweet potato vine is an annual so I plant it new every year.  After the season is over and you do your garden clean up, you'll find the actual sweet potato (probably more than one) under the soil.  I still haven't tried eating them, I've always thought these were ornamental as opposed to edible.  Here's my post on that topic a couple of years ago.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books