Why did we not think of it earlier? Salad! How many places in the yard do we go to in order to gather one? To the garden over to the west of house, then way over to the garden to the east of the house, and a cold frame or two or three in between!
Have you ever mentally kicked yourself for not thinking of something sooner? Kinda what I did when I thought, “ok, theres all these garden spaces but no coherent spot for gathering the one food group we eat every day.”
First of all, theres nothing ordinary about any of our salads. Each one starts with a mix of greens and some onion, and then it’s whatever else is available. Right now nasturtiums are looking beautiful- they’ve vined themselves all over some heather and some lavender plants and it’s all really pretty. And we think the leaves and flowers are pretty in salads too. They add such nice peppery zip.
Making a garden just for salad was a sudden brainstorm. If only there was a handy spot near to the house! And there was! If only a few flowers were moved out first. Very do-able!
|The new salad keyhole garden|
A close-following brainstorm turned the design into a keyhole. I wrote about the keyhole earlier, here and here. The shape is ideal for a salad garden. You can walk down a center path and pick stuff along three sides of it. Fill up the salad basket and, voila, you’re done!
A great idea being too good to waste, I got busy last weekend and repurposed rows of flowers into a single-path horseshoe shape. The area is about 20 feet long x 15 feet wide and is nestled in between roses and a stone wall. After some very sweaty raking and shoveling- the weather being oddly warm for this time of year- I worked in some manure to get things off to a good start, and then started moving plants.
The chive hedge now lines the new central pathway. Lovage is transplanted to one back corner, and perennial onions to the other. These should colonize and form thick patches.
Reseeding annuals populate one side of the horseshoe. Most of them were stuck in the ground casually, because it is their seeds that will make new plants next year. They are upland cress, cilantro, and giant red mustard. Love those reseeders!
The other side of the horseshoe is left unplanted. This is for non-hardy annuals. In spring we will seed lettuces, arugula, several types of basil, and nasturtium. What's a late-summer salad without nasturtium! Wow, I feel good about this garden! -jmm