I love our backyard. It’s small and plain, but there are some elements here that make me so happy that I love to just sit outside and enjoy the space. When it’s nice out, the back deck is my happy place. Here’s what’s growing and blooming right now:
Lemon balm (it’s growing wild in patches here and there all around the property),
an artichoke, and a tomato plant that is as tall as I am.
Frank is checking out the progress of his red peppers. He says this is the kind used in making chimichurri, a kind of hot sauce/relish. That’s his plan for these peppers. I’m too much of a Scandinavian wimp, though, (Scandinavian hot sauce is butter with a pinch of black pepper) and don’t think I have the guts to try it.
Yes, Frank has long hair. He was growing it to see how long it could grow until chemo made it fall out. The plan sort of backfired though, when he didn’t lose a single hair from the chemo. Now it’s almost like a trophy, and so he continues to let it grow. I don’t care. Could be worse, like him wanting a sports car or a mistress.
Back to the yard…
My all time July favorite is this big vine-y shrub on the left: Jasmine.
A little stroll down the alley behind my next door neighbor’s house brings another treat:
Gladiolus and blackberries and more wild lemon balm.
(This neighbor is the crafty lady with the colored pencil fence.)
I asked her what variety she planted and she said, “I don’t know, black ones?”
Did you know there are over 1100 varieties of blackberries. We have lots of commercial caneberry (blackberry and raspberry) farms here in the Willamette Valley. Marionberries were developed here in Marion County and are full bodied and sweet, like a cross between raspberries and blackberries. My favorite blackberries for eating out of hand are the hardest to find in the markets: Black Cap. They’re so mellow and sweet and will turn your mouth dark purple in an instant. They’re hard to find for raw consumption because they’re processed into food grade dye and sold to the meat packing industry to be used for marking sides of beef with grades such as “USDA Prime” and the like.
But I digress. With all those tomato plants I can’t wait until late August when we can start picking and eating and drying and canning all the tomatoes. Mmm.