Archive for July, 2011


cucumber, corn and and chutney

After returning from India last week, I was fortunate to harvest both corn and edamame (soya beans).

A day's harvest 

Corn, edamame, cucumber, bell pepper and eggplant

As usual, the edamame and corn harvested and eaten on the same day justified growing them in my garden – they tasted superb. The beans were sweet and fresh; the corn juicy and tender. The cucumber too was water and crackled as you bit into it. I generally add a dash of lemon and some salt when I eat cucumber. 

Never keep such stuff for the next day. You pluck them and eat them immediately. When I was young and growing up in India, we didn’t have a refrigerator. Frankly, we didn’t need one! We bought fresh vegetables in the morning, cooked and ate them the same day; the next day, we again bought a day’s worth of vegetables.

That’s all about veggies in this post – we’ll go to my home garden that has some lovely blooms this summer, and I’ll also talk about a herb chutney that I tried out last week.

First, the hydrangea.



The hydrangeas did not disappoint me this year too. They stood stall and stately, welcoming me back from my trip to India.


Closeup of the hydrangea

Ain’t she beautiful?

Next, let’s go to the herb plot.

Herb plot

Yellow Camomille flowers, dark pink Monarda, yellow Soapwort flowers, fennel seeds, and oregano overflowing the plot. I decided to trim off some oregano and to make some chutney. Looked up the web and here’s what I came up with:

Chutney ingredients  

The substance of oregano chutney (my own version)

A teaspoon of urad dal

Some oregano leaves

Half an onion chopped as above

A tomato chopped up as in the photo

Two small green chillies (hot)


I fried the onions and chopped up chillies in batter (using some mustard seeds and cumin seeds) until golden brown, added tomatoes and the oregano leaves heating them for a little while. Then moved the entire mix into a small mixer, added some salt and squeezed about half a lemon into it and revved it up!  Within a minute I had some great tasting chutney in hand – it wasn’t too spicy, and I also use it as salad dressing. Do try it!


Original Oregano chutney

Now for the new additions and flowers in bloom in my home garden.



I love the delicate pink and white salvia, thanks to my friend Utiyama-san, who gave me a plant from his garden.

Monarda (Bergamot)


The lovely pink Monarda (probably called the Bergamot?) another donation from my friend Utiyama san’s garden, has quickly become my favorite flower.



The perfectly circular, umbrella-shaped petals of the pink Abutilon peeping out of leaves – this was the first of the Abutilons to bloom this year.





Yellow, red and orange in bunches that light up the surroundings


Hydrangea - white

Another variety of hydrangea with white flowers

Another tip of the hat to Utiyama-san. He gave this plant to me in a planter; within a few days the flowers were in bloom. You can see red and yellow abutilon behind and by the side of the hydrangea.



Finally, here is the plumbago – I had lost hope and thought the plant was dead. All that remained in winter was a forlorn looking stump. In summer, I watered the planter assiduously every day, and to my delight, leaves sprung up and flowers too!

Until the next post, here’s wishing you happy gardening!

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