Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh, how my garden grows!

I'm often asked by other houses in other parts of the country what I like about being a house in Los Angeles, California. Well, aside from the obvious answer (I never get buried in snow) one of my favorite aspects is the fact that it's a wonderful place to grow an edible garden. As part of my garden renovation, I was given a small vegetable and herb garden tucked into a nice L shape behind the built-in seating in the dining area. Not only is it attractive, it's also fragrant and delicious.

My owners, having never attempted a garden like this before, planted a variety of herbs and vegetables including:

Tomatoes (including the delicious Sunsugar cherry tomato variety pictured in the photo)
Japanese Eggplant
Edamame (sadly this didn’t survive)
Italian Purple Basil
Green Basil
Swiss Chard
Garlic Chives
Greek Oregano

My owners are over the moon about being able to grow the food they eat… especially as first-timers. Over the summer, they’ve used ingredients from the garden to make fabulous salads, gazpacho, chimichurri sauce and vegetable kabobs. They’ve tried new things including eating squash flowers- that they chopped up and baked them into a fritatta. They ate more aruglua this summer than all the arugula they’ve eaten in their entire lives. They can’t get over the deliciousness of their tomatoes. And the fact that they grew them themselves. In my backyard. In my soil.

I credit the soil. The climate. The climate controlled irrigation system. California. Whatever it is, this little veggie/herb garden is flourishing- as evidenced by the fresh tomato and basil salad pictured above. Delicious. (So I hear.)

It does make me proud to provide like that. A garden that gives vegetables. A tranquil place to relax and eat said vegetables. Last night, after enjoying the salad seated at the outdoor dining area, my owners then enjoyed a glass of wine by the fire. And they were happy. I could tell. They were smiling. And staring at the flame.

You may think I’m just a house. But I’m so much more than that. I’m a home. A sanctuary.

(By the way, a great resource for Southern California gardeners is Sunset Magazine. Click Here)

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