Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Garden Surprises

The last 10 days or so have been so busy at work and at home that not much time has been left for blogging or gardening. These days I really appreciate how the garden boxes have simplified my gardening chores. About all I have to do is keep the reservoirs full of water and pick the ripe tomatoes. The growth of the vegetables has slowed down enough that the boxes only need filled with water every other day. It is very relaxing at the end of a busy day to loiter about the garden, filling the reservoirs with water and inspecting the plants. Even though the season is winding down, there are still surprises to be found.

One recent surprise was a most unexpected visitor to the garden. I was delighted this weekend to spot a colorful green frog sitting in one of the boxes enjoying the shade of an eggplant. I have to wonder if he spends some of his time swimming about in the water reservoirs? Hopefully he feasts on some of the insects in the garden while he visits as well.

The eggplant I am growing this year is another one of my garden surprises. It is a newer variety called 'fairy tales' and it is a delight. The eggplants are baby-sized and very cheerful with colorful purple and white stripes. The eggplants grow in clusters and it appears one plant will easily produce enough for two or three people. To save time, I marinated some of the sliced eggplant in Italian dressing and grilled them on my George Foreman grill. They were pretty good prepared this way, but I think they would be even better cooked over charcoal. Next time I will marinate them in olive oil with fresh herbs and grill them with some other fresh vegetables. Delicious!

Fairy tales is so cheerful and fun in the garden that I have added another goal to my list for next year's garden. My goal is to find even more colorful and novel vegetable plants to grow such as colorful bell peppers and different kinds of squash and beans. Now I can hardly wait for the garden catalogs to start arriving in the mail. I would also welcome your suggestions!

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