Dreaming in a Kitchen Garden

One of the most delightful things about a garden

is the anticipation it provides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             ~W.E. Johns

the early bird gets the worm

Bob the Rooster starts his wake-up call about 4 a.m. at Rose Cottage.  Usually, it is fairly easy to think about an early start to the day when the morning is clear and fresh, the sky is starting to brighten with the first hints of sun and the song birds are warming up their voices for the “Sunrise Chorus.”

Miss Kim Lilac looking west toward the teak swing

This morning, it is different. It’s about 40 degrees with a high probability the mercury won’t budge much, and the needed rain is expected about 8 a.m. Knowing there is a lot to accomplish, I decide to get up when Bob the Rooster sounds the alarm… in hopes of staying ahead of the rainfall.

In spite of weather predictions, my walk up the hill to the kitchen garden is full of energy and enthusiasm. Jenny Wren twitters away that I am disrupting her sleep as I bring the hoe, rake, cultivator, spade and pruners into the garden.  It’s just not spring and summer without several families of wrens in the birdhouses. Jenny Wren intermittantly peeks out of the old gnarly gourd birdhouse hanging from one of the rustic cedar arbors between the 4 x 8 raised beds. She scolds me for nearly an hour, and finally gives up and goes back to her cozy little nest…leaving me to my early morning folly and dreams. Ah, the dreams…the hopes…the optimism…

I bring out a few packets of garden seeds–a source of inspiration, I suppose. Adding compost and other magical organic nutrients to the raised beds, I have visions of exuberant lushness in just another month or so. I frequent sideway glances at the basket filled with some of the magical seeds that will make my garden dreams come true. What are your garden dreams? What do you like to grow in your kitchen or vegetable garden?

Seed Packets 1

first fruits

The rhubarb plants (Canada Red and Victoria) are exceptionally lush this year–inspite of the the near-record drought conditions in May. The leaves are supersized–as if on steriods over the winter months. Most are over three feet long, and as much again as wide. I notice a lot of pollen from the white pines on the rhubarb leaves. The rains later this morning will wash all the pollen off. The rhubarb stalks are red and seem quite tender–perfect for a rhubarb dessert. The plants have not yet developed a seed head. Although, it can seem as if the seed head can shoot up well-past the plant in just one day. This time of year, I watch for seedheads and remove them until July 4th or a bit longer depending on the growing year.

Wouldn’t some fresh, warm rhubarb crisp be delicious? Or maybe, rhubarb cake or rhubarb sauce? I am reminded to look for the refreshing rhubarb punch recipe received from a dear neighbor almost 30 years ago. What is your favorite rhubarb recipe?


The ever-hardy chives are already showing off their lavender-colored flowerheads. The garlic chives have a pungent fragrance as I brush past them while working around the garden beds. The chive bloosoms, along with minced Italian parsley and green onions wintered over, will make a nice addition to the spring greens salad for supper tonight.


and the bells toll

It seems like I have only been in the kitchen garden an hour or so. The distant chimes of the carillon from the Lutheran church just down the hill from Rose Cottage tells a different story–it has been over five hours! Time for a  cup of tea.  Walking back towards our cottage, I notice that more flowers are blooming. One of the favorites–the white bleeding heart–is blooming near one of the bird baths and hostas. They are so beautiful with their nodding blossoms! I am reminded that there are probably 50 or more pink and white bleeding heart on the woodland path to le palais de poulet (Bob’s house) that should be moved. So many things to be thankful for this morning.

White Bleeding Heart and Bird Bath1

White Bleeding Heart 2

The sweetly fragrant white alyssums are quite romantic as a border flower, and are filling out beautifully near the bleeding heart and hostas. The alyssum will be so fragrant on warm summer evenings.


After a cup of tea and some dry clothes, it is time for more day dreaming in the kitchen garden while gently working the soil for planting. I decide to walk around the other side of Rose Cottage to see if the pink lilac is finally blooming. Though not as fragrant as the white and lavender lilacs, it has a soft, lovely fragrance all it’s own.

Pink Lilac

There is a welcome surprise in the next garden bed on the way up to the kitchen garden–blooms on the Frau Dagmar Harstropp! While simple and no bother at all–Frau Dagmar Harstropp produces the first roses of the season and signals the beginning of the best season of all–that of roses! The heady rose fragrance of this rugosa fills the June air, and will have almost continuous bloom throughout the summer. The rugosas are perfect landscape roses that can tolerate our severe climate changes. Now, time for more dreaming…

Fra Dagmar Hastrop

 What are your garden dreams this year?

You may want to talk a morning walk over at The Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday posts.


Filed under Cooking, Gardening

14 responses to “Dreaming in a Kitchen Garden

  1. Happy Outdoor Wednesday Debbykay! What a wonderful way to start the day! A beautiful post! I would love to have a kitchen garden with my very own fruits and veggies! Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

  2. happy outdoor wednesday, thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. looks like you are going to be busy. happy gardening.

  3. Happy Outdoor Wednesday !
    Your photots are lovely ! Thanks for sharing and have a great day !
    Hugs ~ Kammy
    p.s. this is my first Outdoor Wednesday – it is so much fun !

  4. Your kitchen garden is absolutely breathtaking! One of my wish is to have something like that…an edible garden!

  5. Dearest sweet Debbykay,

    I feel as though I was with you in your kitchen garden, at your lovely Rose Cottage, with your wonderfully descriptive writing and beautiful photos! I love the quote you shared! How true!

    Bob the Rooster sounds like a most encouraging fellow to wake you at such an hour, coaxing you into the early morning beauty of the day. Oh, and Miss Jenny Wren sounds so sweet, and just a bit cheeky! Our dear Wren’s fuss at us, too, but we adore them just the same, as I know you do yours! What would our gardens be without them?

    Your basket full of seeds looks so wonderful. Doesn’t it fill you with hope and such expectations of all the delicious, fresh and organic produce you will be harvesting? So much from such a tiny seed!
    I have so many garden dreams… I would love to see our vegetable garden provide all the fresh produce we need and extra, too. I dream of having it full of flowers and herbs all mingled happily with the veggies… roses, I dream of roses everywhere! I love to grow, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, green onions, chives, melons, tomatoes, beets, chard, kale, carrots, peas, herbs, and I am certain I am leaving something out!

    Your rhubarb plants and chives look so healthy. My chives really took off this year and we have been enjoying their fresh flavor.

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly the hours pass when you are in your garden? I am so glad you shared your walk back home, just look at the lovely white bleeding heart, so sweetly nestled amongst the beautiful bird bath. The white alyssums are indeed a romantic boarder flower! The pink lilac is gorgeous. My favorite shade of pink. Oh, the rugosa rose is simple delightful. I can imagine the wonderful fragrance. Thank you, my dear kindred heart, for sharing all the loveliness. The swing overlooking the lovely pond, your kitchen garden and flower gardens show what care, love and time you have given to make your Rose Cottage the beautiful place that it is!

    Much love and kindest regards,

  6. Edie

    Good Morning My Best Sister – Debbykay!
    What a lovely post – And here I thought I woke up Bob the rooster everyday! 🙂
    I sure am ready for some rhubarb crisp.. what time will it be ready? tee-hee… I would love to get a little for making the crisp as my rhubarb went to seed over Memorial Day… 😦
    I can just smell those lovely roses as I sit here having my tea and freaming of lovely raised beds and all the delicious fresh veggies to be harvested over then ext few months…

    Lovely photos continue to amaze me…


  7. What a divine post. Bob the Rooster — how cute!

    Your photos are crisp and lovely. In my dream garden i would have a “weeder” … as my darn hay fever never allows me the endless time i would need to tend ones garden.

    How ever small porch pots afford me wonderful tomatoes and great thyme and basil.


  8. You have perfectly captured some beautiful scenes and even more beautiful flowers. I thoroughly enjoyed your walk. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  9. Just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your garden.


  10. Hi I am visiting all the blogs I can find with the word rose in them. Yours is lovely, I like all the garden pictures. TTFN

  11. My chives aren’t blooming yet. The heat is about to kill everything. I can’t imagine some place cool as that this time of year. East Texas is hot and humid! The bleeding heart is very elegant.

  12. Yes I would love to have a garden to call my own. Oh not only a flower garden but a vegetable one too 🙂 I think it’s so much fun to harvest your own food cause you know you’ve worked so hard for it. A priceless reward one can get.

    Happy Outdoor Wednesday!


  13. DebbyKay,

    Thank you again for a beautiful post. Your photos are just wonderful and I love how you describe everything, it makes me feel as if I am there too. How precious to hear church bells! I would love that. I find pleasure listening to the cows, lambs and pheasants 🙂

    I am still harvesting our Rhubarb and discovered Rhubarb Streusel pie this year. Very good! I plan on making some Rhubarb Jam and Victoria Sauce too. I just love chutneys.

    The chives are beautiful and I need to plant some of those in my herb garden. I absolutely love the Bleeding hearts. One of my favorites.

    My garden dreams include Honeysuckle, Hydrangeas, More Roses and Bleeding Hearts 🙂 And the time to work on those in addition to the Vegetable Garden. I am still pretty new to gardening and want to plant more heirloom varieties in the future 🙂

    Thank you for the beautiful post and have a wonderful day!


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