Shades of green

There was an Irish pub called Shades of Green walking (or stumbling, as it happened) distance from one of my first apartments in NYC (I moved a lot). But I will spare you any details of what Guinness and whiskey-sour induced behavior went down on its shadowy premises. I actually shudder when I think back on it all.Image

With that consigned to its proper place in the distant past, here is a look at some of the actual shades of green in the garden today. Everything is enjoying the rain so much; even the cacti are fat with water.


My mom calls these euphorbia “Shrek ears”. They grow wild everywhere, and there is even a caterpillar to go with them — I’ve noticed a black caterpillar with white spots that only seems to go for those guys. Anyway, there is a glimpse of the “Brown House” and the outdoor kitchen off to the right behind Shrek’s ears.


There’s only the faintest sign of spring in the asparagus patches, but the artichokes look ready for action.
While I was in the garden today, I realized something. Remember those cauliflower plants that I was complaining about? The ones that were all leaf? Well, we’ve had a bit of warmer weather lately, which sent the brassicas into a panic, and many of them have bolted. I was staring at the “cauliflowers” today when I noticed that one of them was bolting, and it didn’t look like a cauliflower at all, it looked like kale. Then it hit me — I had planted Jersey kale and sea kale in that bed! They are new varieties to me, and to be honest I had completely forgotten about them — I must have planted them out in October. The lower leaves are leather-like, but they will come in handy because Ali is out of town this week, so we won’t be able to let the chickens out in the afternoons the way we usually do. I’ll be going back and forth between the city and the garden to keep everyone fed and watered, and to do some transplanting so I will feed the thick kale leaves to the chickens during the week to keep them from feeling too glum. The tender leaves I picked and made a nice Colcannon for dinner tonight, to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

In case you have some greens going spare, here’s how I made it:

Cut up some potatoes (I peel mine when they’re not out of the garden) and put them in a pot with water to cover. Then cut up the white parts of a hefty bunch of spring onions and throw those in on top. Cut up your greens (Savoy cabbage is especially nice) and throw those on top of everything then set the pot on the stove to boil and let it cook, covered, until the spuds are ready to mash. Drain the veg, then put it back in the pot. Add milk and butter, salt and pepper and mash it all together. Yum.

I hope you are having a great, green day!

12 thoughts on “Shades of green

  1. Doesn’t that green in your garden look great? We’re still a few weeks away from “green weather” but hints of what’s to come are starting to appear. I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick’s Day and colcannon.

  2. We have snow predicted later in the week, so I’m hoping that not too much green appears and gets damaged. I’m ready for spring now, thank you!

    1. Well spotted- that is an artichoke in the last photo. I will amend the text to make that clear. I hope you make it through your foul weather alright. It can’t be long now before it lightens up, can it?

  3. I too was going to say that last photo looks like an artichoke. Your cacti is beautiful. Expecting snow shortly and into tomorrow, I so need spring to arrive.

  4. Wonderful peak into the garden greenery! Thank you!

    Colcannon sounds like a lovely idea. I did a post on colcannon a while ago and was tickled pink to find out that a serving of colcannon should have a well of melted butter to dip forkfuls into. Decadent, no?

  5. “Shrek ears”. 🙂
    It happens all the time doesn’t it – standing staring at something that you later realise isn’t what you thought of!
    Loving the veggie mash too, perfect for a rainy day

    1. It’s like calling someone by the wrong name at a party, only less embarrassing (plants are so much more forgiving than people when it comes to these things). By the way, we’ve got our cola bottle cloches out and I keep thinking of you and wanting to remind you of them!


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