Artichokes - the first one is the biggest, the second set are smaller, and the third and fourth sets are "baby" size.
First tomatoes have set near the bottom, and more blossoms throughout the plant.
Cilantro bolting - going to flower and seed - attracts beneficial insects. While the stalks are unchewable, the individual leaflets still taste fine.
Cuphea continues to bloom
Figs set on last years gray-brown wood will ripen in June/July, and the newly-set figs on this year's green wood will ripen in July/August. When pruning next winter, be sure to leave 3 or 4 nodes of this years wood so you'll get some of these early fruits - called the "bebra" crop.
Harvest celery from the outside so inner stalks continue growing. The burnt edges were from that heat spell two weeks ago; I watered immediately to keep the stalks fully hydrated.
Last sweet pea blooms
Sweet pea pods are gray-green, fuzzy, and thinner than edible peas. Let them get crispy dry before harvesting to save for next year - but catch them before the pods split, twist, and shoot out their seeds. You'll always miss some, but then you'll enjoy their blooms when they germinate next spring elsewhere in the garden.
Bulbine in orange and yellow. Not as vigorous as the clear-yellow ones.
Amaranth freely self-sows, but are easily pulled up to share with friends.
Beets coming up.
Arctic Star Nectarine
Salvia canariensis has wonderfully fuzzy white stems in contrast to lilac-mauve blossoms
I garden because my Mom gardened, in the garden where I now garden. I feel her every day, I visit with her every day, I garden with her every day, in our garden. Her nurturing our family through our garden is why I for more than 20 years nurtured Master Gardeners in their own gardens and all the gardens they helped Los Angeles residents garden. And I continue to do so through chatting about my Pasadena garden – her garden – on this website and in my presentations to gardening groups throughout Southern California. Since I was 2 years old, we lived in the home that my Dad designed and built, and my Mom created a vegetable and flower garden between the fruit trees that my Dad planted, all up a hillside lot anchored by a heritage oak tree. Those first years they spent terracing the hillside and planting the fruit trees. Then came the roses and dichondra lawn by the house, and the beds of vegetables, melons, corn and boysenberries up the hill behind the house. I grew up eating mostly what we grew, with only in-season purchases from the local Preble’s produce market on Green Street in what is now Old Town Pasadena. Mr. Preble went to the downtown Los Angeles produce market early every morning and then displayed the wooden crates full of whatever was ripe. But we always purchased from the sale section at the back of the store – the Thomson Seedless Grapes that were so ripe that they’d fallen off their stems and turned ochre yellow with sticky sweetness, the too tiny but most-tender green bean, corn that hadn’t filled its kernels completely, the watermelons that were so ripe that they’d cracked open merely through handling them. Between our own garden’s produce picked on a daily basis only when it was absolutely ripe, and the Preble’s bargain-priced almost-overripe treasures, I learned what it meant to eat exquisitely flavored produce -- according to the season and harvesting at the perfect moment of ripeness. This is an exploration that today’s gardeners can experience in their own gardens, harvesting several times during the development of the portion we eat to see when they’d like the flavor best. For example:
Removing the older outer leaves of lettuce and spinach and kales, and harvesting the inner tender leaves, leaving only the tiny innermost leaves to continue developing. The same plants continue growing for up to 9 months, providing enough of those most-delicately delicious leaves for the whole time.
Picking peas when they’ve just set from their blossoms, a week later, another week later, and yet a week later. The gardener gets to decide which moment offers the greatest texture and flavor, so they know when to harvest that variety in the future.
Harvesting squash blossoms, tiny fruit, larger fruit, and even too-mature fruit just so you can decide when you like them best.
This is how you can have “baby” and “gourmet” vegetables and fruits from your own garden. There’s nothing so delightful and fulfilling for the gardener-- and that that says “I love you” – more than pronouncing at dinner time – all of this came from our garden! From my Mom to me to you!