Rosehaven Cottage's Winter Garden Is In!


The winter garden is in and doing quite nicely after a few days of chilly nights and no late autumn rainfall. We are looking forward to buttercrunch and romaine lettuce (see above photo), celery (see above photo), red Stockton onions, chives, Italian and curly parsley, spinach, two varieties of broccoli, and snow peas that have already started to adorn our salads with their sweet green pods of "yummy". There are little munch marks on the edges of many of the leaves, which is to be expected (don't know if it's birds or critter mouths that have munched on the greens). That's okay. There's enough for everyone in our backyard wildlife habitat. We plan for that eventuality in the garden and everything always works out fine. We always have enough to harvest and the critters also munch on the bad bugs and pests that we don't want around our garden so I don't have to use pesticides on my produce gardens (haven't had to for about 5 years now).

The sunflowers that were in their golden glory back in late summer are now stalwart stalks of goodness for the birds that will winter-over here. Like natural bird feeders, their abundant heads feed the oak titmouses, finches, and other seed loving birds. Their acrobatics get extremely creative on the down-facing sunflower heads. It's quite entertaining to watch them extracting a seed at a time, flitting to a nearby perch, cracking open one seed to get the delectable center from within, and then start the process all over again. Such tenacity has to be admired!

Our dwarf mandarin tree gave us quite a bounty this year, as I was able to fill up my harvest basket with wonderful orange gems of sweetness just a couple of days ago. Now the mandarins are inside in our counter top citrus bowl, and we eat one or two as a little snack in the chilly evenings as we warm ourselves by the fire. After peeling one, the smell of fresh picked citrus on my fingers is just heavenly. It's a heady fragrance that reminds me of Christmas mornings when I always had an orange in the toe of my stocking. The mandarin oil is such a pick-me-up, I almost wish I had a perfume made from it.

Our lemon trees are loaded with lemons that still have a while to go before I can harvest them into my harvest basket. I'm excited for the lemon harvest (I always am). There's so much that Hubby uses the fresh lemons for in the kitchen. He makes wonderful lemon chicken pan sauteed in olive oil. It is so simple and so mouthwatering. I always enjoy being able to provide fresh produce from our garden for him to make his culinary creations. And this year we have a new addition to his gourmet arsenal in the form of seasoned olive oil from Corning, California. We bought an assortment as we passed through a couple of weeks ago coming home from Lassen, and it's been a real treat as Hubby has used the various flavors in his cooking and his homemade vinaigrette on salads. Yum!

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9 comments:

  1. Your garden looks beautiful. I couldn't manage my pots of tomatoes and peppers this year!

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  2. ahhhhhh bliss! I can only dream of picking oranges or other citrus off a tree...they just wouldn't do well here, except possibly in a conservatory. What a delicious post this is--and as always a breath of sunlight in my dreary November weather.
    thanks, Cindy!

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  3. I love to see action in other peoples gardens going on all times of the year, I can just imagine being able to try those on my dinner table - yum!

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  4. What a good idea to leave the sunflowers for the birds to eat. Not sure why I hadn't thought of that before.

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  5. What a wonderful winter garden! Its turned quite cold here - so all the things that were still living in my garden have now succumbed! :(
    Also - your post about the full spectrum lights is very helpful... I think that is what we need. We've all felt very affected by the gloom of fall here - several weeks without any sunshine ... until yesterday. It really has its affect!

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  6. You sure make me homesick for California! I so miss going outside to pick a lemon for the salad dressing! Looks like you have a great garden going (mine here is long gone). Enjoy that beautiful citrus (I have some growing in the bay window)!

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  7. Ohhhh.... to have your own fresh fruit. How lucky are you! I'm just a simple flower gardener. It's kind of hard to grow fresh fruit in Missouri. Jealous

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  8. Your winter garden looks so nice. I would love to watch the birds go for the sunflower seeds. Michelle

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  9. Cindy, I only thought that stores carry that kind of fruit only. You are so lucky. These are very amazing photos. Anna :)

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