Tuesday

Revel in the Ordinary


The Fog drifted from the sea over the welcoming countryside...




...gently dropping its moisture filled air on the trees, grasses, gardens and ...
our up-turned faces...




...clinging to the graceful, feathery branchlets of the Mary Washington Asparagus...




Shimmering droplets covered its lacyness... like jewels...


...Stopping me in my tracks...






Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis... a long lived perennial, belonging to the lily family... loves sandy, well drained soil... may bear from 12 -20 years... Enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans who transplanted the wild asparagus into there cultivated plots...

...mine were planted as "crowns" or year old plants with masses of dangling roots... it likes to have shallow culivation and a yearly topping of compost in the spring... do not harvest the first year or the second if you can let it be, but full harvest may begin in the third and may last for 4 -6 weeks... for best flavor pick 6" shoots just before cooking...

As the asparagus matures, the 7 ft. tall, ferny top-growth, produces food for the shoots below... so for this reason, asparagus foliage should not be cut down too soon in the season, but allowed to wither naturally... but once in a while during the season I snip some of the feathery fronds and slip them into garden bouquets...

.

28 comments:

MamaShift said...

Iris was standing here as your post come in. She said the first shot is "so pretty." What a lovely place to live. But I've said that to you a hundred times now.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you, MamaShift and Iris, I love watching this steeple disappear and re-appear on foggy days. It feels mysterious, somehow.

My son, Max loves it here too... He loves the fresh ocean air and can't take the heat when we go inland!

Ruth said...

Yes, that view is just so sweet and satisfying.

And I can see why you would be stopped in your tracks by the fronds covered in water droplets, must have been stunning, as in the photo.

7' tall! That's incredible. I do love asparagus, and it's interesting to read the facts you shared, like waiting until the 3rd year to harvest. Patience! And the fronds must be very pretty and soft in bouquets.

So do you harvest a lot of it? Can you keep up with eating it? I wonder if it can be frozen?

Ever thought about asparagus earrings? :D

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth, next year is my third year, .. so also my first picking of this patch... This is my second asparagus patch that I have not picked yet.. At my last home, the year it was ready for picking, we moved just prior to. so I am still waiting to taste the fruits of my labors.

it never even occurred to me to make asparagus earrings... ha,

I'm sure we won't have to worry about freezing any of it, with us 3 hungry souls plus family members... I sure hope it produces well for us for next year...

I used to grow a much bigger garden which would get out of control by mid-season as I'm a bit too busy making a living with our jewelry these past years. I grow a smaller garden now and I have pared it down to good producers of what likes to grow here, and I am enjoying it much more. planted them a little closer so they self-mulch...

I even have time now to stop and sit in a grassy area of the garden with a cup of tea or a beer and just enjoy watching the growth patterns of the plants. great place to dream! It feels so good sitting there I somehow have guilt twinges... strange.. to feel guilty from a simple pleasure...

It really has been my most enjoyable summer in the garden so far...wish it could stay that way all year long...

Yes 7' tall, I could not believe it.. I had to tie them to supports to make sure they didn't fall down with the weight of the moisture in foggy or rainy weather. I'm wondering if the plants will get that tall once I start harvesting it.. Time will tell...

Wish I could have you all over for tea in the garden!!!

R2K said...

: )

Guillaume said...

Superb picture of the fog.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Guillaume,
We have plenty of these mornings and days to choose fog from.. we have finally acclimatized to it now and enjoy its return...

You have your fair share there too?

Anet said...

I love the first photo! I have this thing for steeples, not sure why. The steeple peeking through the fog is beautiful! Can you see that from your property?
Love asparagus when it's fresh, yum! I think I'll get some from our farmers market today!

RunninL8 said...

When I first saw this post I wanted to RUN SCREAMING! Because we have had NO summer here in our part of Alaska and tons of rain as of late!!!! OPPRESSIVE!!!!!!!!! But your post made me think... I just need to get back out and feel and see the beauty in it. Thanks!

denise said...

What a beautiful place, a beautiful garden, a beautiful view. SO peaceful.

I am planning to plant asparagus for next year in my ever expanding lawn removal project! :)

Gwen Buchanan said...

hey Anet,

Hope your back is repairing itself.. pain of any kind has a way of taking over our minds and is all encompassing.. Hope you much feel better soon...

My daughter in Squamish BC, recently popped a few ribs from doing her landscaping job... she is also a rock climber and a very active outdoors girl and apparently she has strengthened her front muscles so much so, they popped the ribs from her back.. freaked me when she told me... they could have punctured her lungs... but her doctor who is very familiar with the side effects of climbing popped them back in and told her to do opposing exercises... and rest her body a bit.. so what next?? her latest letter tells me she was just in a triatholon... crazy kid!!! I guess she mended.. hard when they are so far away!! I can only send best wishes...

I think it is the architecture and care that was taken in the old structures that is so attractive about steeples. If you enlarge the second photo, you can see the Steeple in the background... as a matter of fact from up on the hill here we can see 3 very different steeples, but only one is seen in this narrowed view...

Gwen Buchanan said...

RunningL8.. I know what you must have felt like.. when we first moved here I was waiting for the longest days of the year and the sunshine... and it never happened.. just fog and more fog! everyday seemed the same that summer short and dark!! (mostly in July) I now realize it does drift away quite often and when it is sunny I practically make any excuse to pop outside for a while... I had to adjust myself to the climate and now I love it...

Oh it just got sunny.. I'm heading out!! see ya.

Gwen Buchanan said...

You are right Denise.. it is very peaceful here.. I used to wish for more activity here but now I tell myself I can go to the city for that any time. Then I woke up and realized we are very lucky to have the tranquility surrounding where we live.

That is the best incentive for lawn removal... something yummy to eat..
Jersey Giant Asparagus is also a hardy producing variety.

Robyn said...

The top photograph is stunning!Very peaceful.

Annette said...

Gwen, I just love these pictures and Asparagus, my favourite thing to eat!
The Vale of Evesham, where we live, is famous for growing asparagus.My husband's family, who were all Market gardeners have grown it for many years, there is a whole culture surrounding it with lots of lovely old fashioned traditions, such as when it grows best(warm dry nights) etc.We have Mike's grandfather's asparagus knife, which must be at least a hundred years old.It has a wooden handle, worn smooth by many years of use and a short metal blade ending in a little 'hand' shape. I'll get Mike to search it out so that I can send you a photo of it.best wishes, Annette

Gwen Buchanan said...

thank you Robyn, it won us over when we found the overgrown neglected land, the moment we peeked through the trees and saw the expanse before us!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Annette, Ahhhh, what a history.. It sounds glorious...You must have so many tips and knowledge on growing , preparing and serving this delicacy!
I'd love to hear about them ...

...and I would dearly love to see the old asparagus knife.. If you are able to find it and send the picture I'll post it to share with everybody!!! thanks so much ahead of time!!

...even the town where you live "the Vale of Evesham" sounds ancient and magical!!!

Anet said...

It's just the most beautiful place I can imagine!

rivergardenstudio said...

Gwen, what a lovely post, the fog, the church and the lacy asparagus... Your garden too is wonderful. Roxanne

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Anet, and Roxanne!! sweet of you to appreciate the quietness!!

Sandy said...

ahhh I love that top photo!! LOVE it.

Ruth said...

Wouldn't I love to sit in your garden with you and be guilty together.

Sharon said...

Ordinary??? Extraordinary is more like it! Beautiful photos and garden. I love seeing your world.

Jo Horswill said...

What an absolute thrill to discover you and your beautiful blog Gwen.

VioletSky said...

I have never seen asparagus growing like that - 7' !!

What is that like to walk through?

Lovely foggy photos.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank-you Sandy!

^^^^

Oh Ruth, being a mother is "to feel guilty" .. haven't figured out why yet! I'm wondering if it is in my own head??

^^^^

Thanks Sharon,
I guess if we appreciate the ordinary... everything becomes special!

^^^^

Hi Jo, I'm so glad you visited me.Thank you!!
My daughter lived in Australia for a while about 3 years ago.. such a different world from where we live...

^^^

Sanna, it is so cool to wander up and down the row of this delicate fluffy plant.. but only after the breeze and sun have dried it, like today!! It kind of tickles! To tell you the truth I have not been in anyone elses asparagus patch and I never knew 7' was unusual...

pRiyA said...

Oh Gwen, when I look through the pictures of your home and surroundings, i too long for so much open breathing space around me and i think, this is the way to live.
I live in the city, crammed with buildings, noise and pollution.
I live in an apartment, but my tiny, wild 400sq ft garden is a little green jewel, a heaven that i give thanks for every single day.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Priya, I love living here... and I love and long for summer.. we are a far distant from the nearest city(45 min. by car) so we have to make a long list to remember what to pick up each time we head there which usually isn't more than every 2 weeks...
Gardens really calm the soul don't they?