this is my winter experiment: Asclepias tuberosa (orange butterfly weed) seeds overwintering in the garage. i have them raised up bricks, on a baking sheet, the seed starting tray, a cookie rack on top to keep the critters out, and more bricks to hold it down. i’ve been watering it when it rains, and adding snow. this is about two pods worth of seeds from one plant.

The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee was so good. a hopeful book.

driving to get an oil change during snow falling.

i don’t have any idea what aquatic plant this is but i think it looks like an alien life form

still lives made by nature

nature makes the best compositions

someone lost their dock steps
this is an excerpt from Prairie Fires, a book by Caroline Frasier. Such an in-depth book about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Very good. I found this passage about native plants poignant.

portrait of a senior golden retriever on a foggy december morning.

My son took this photo from the sidewalk. we have many mushrooms that popped up this fall with all the wetness.

this flat leaf parsley can barely fit in my hand! chopped up and frozen for winter dinners.

a field trip with a gardener friend to Belle Isle to Oudolf Garden Detroit. it is 2.5 acres and sits in front of the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon.

so many plants! can’t wait to visit it through all the seasons. Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in the background.

a gift of half a dozen eggs from friends with a new baby! so gorgeous and delicious.

its time to put the garden to bed for the winter. all i need to do is pull out some marigolds and cosmos. the rest of the greens (arugula, cilantro, chard, and kale) will wilt eventually and i’ll leave those in place with some leaves on top. garlic is planted. deer are waiting for me to throw all the halloween pumpkins on the compost pile.

i was excited to see pumpkins growing in the compost pile! I throw them back there for the deer. the plants were gigantic growing all over the place and trying to grow up the fence and the tickseed plant. there is not much light back there so i guess that is what it was reaching for. as they grew i really wasn’t sure what they were. they were not turning orange so i remembered i had some white heirloom pumpkins on the porch last year. the squirrels seem to not like to eat the white pumpkins. maybe because they are so tough? i put some driftwood under them as they were nearing maturity.

the green beans that i shelled cooked down with swiss chard, garlic, and olive oil.

more beans to shell and some can go into vegetable soup.

rudbeckia and obedient plant growing together in the sandbox.

yesterday i took down the beans and tomato plants and pulled up all these gigantic green onions. i’m thinking of carmelizing them and freezing them. we usually use the green parts in salads and toppings for chili and tacos. it doesn’t seem cool enough to make chili!

this was fun. This weed is called Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) or Begger’s Lice. The first year rosettes look like violet leaves. I find it amazing that a plant’s first year appearance is so different than the second.

first cantaloupe to survive to ripeness ever! It was good too! Small, but good. High in Vitamin C!

so many green beans when we got home from the lake. A whole counter full! I shelled all the hard ones and cooked down the others with tomato sauce, fresh mint, fresh dill, onions, red pepper flakes, and lots of garlic.

a cucumber and a small Armenian cucumber. In the first photo you can see how long they can grow.

cucumbers, peaches, basil, and balsamic glaze salad.

I recommend the memoir, An Onion In My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables by Deborah Madison. I have her Vegetarian for Everyone cookbook (the first one).

will they survive the critters? the dog shook a groundhog to death this morning on it’s way over to the salad bar.

a tiny cucumber finally!

I think this could be the start of the armenian cucumber? I planted some armenian cucumbers and some yellow squash seeds. I love how this is hanging on.

the deer love to eat the leaves but the plants still produce beans! twin bucks were in the raised beds this week.

had friends over sunday for dinner for first time. made caprese and a salad with nasturtiums, mizuna, parsley, and dill. still no cukes from our garden but the little plants are trying best they can out there. and homemade “a good vinagrette for everything” all summer long.

a better look a these little beauties.

another summer dinner (just us) with yellow squash (from the farmers market) and our herbs, fresh oregano and thyme.

look at the little point on this tomato. i have 2 varieties of cherry tomatoes this year.

here is the other kind.

and this when we were having a lot of rain like everyone else.

what is in this jungle? lots of green tomatoes, green bean vines that are being eaten, onions, purslane, a few cosmos, and marigolds. below are some closeups.

a lot of these little cherry tomatoes in there.

here a couple different varieties growing close together.

another small variety. i can’t even pronounce what is on the marker.

pulled up big heads of garlic over the weekend. transplanted some of the chard that has been eaten by something (i suspect groundhog), and planted buttercrunch lettuce, and mesclun mix.

dug up almost all the potatoes. lots of fingerlings and some purple! there are a few radishes in there but they did not grow so well. i have trouble growing radishes. they get great tops but terrible roots. any advice is welcome.

a salad with nasturtium flowers, leaves, parsley, arugula, and a homemade mustard vinaigrette. that’s what i need to plant more of! arugula! that will go where the potatoes were.

snap peas are coming fast now. green beans are growing up and we will have some of those soon.

rain and humidity brings lots of ripe blackberries. the birds were fussing at me as if to say, “hey, that’s ours!”