Landscapes, seascapes…how about garlic scapes? Three summers ago, we were at the local farmers market and I bought a dozen bulbs of garlic. I wasn’t having any luck growing my own and I wanted some fresh garlic. Into the fall I still had a few of those bulbs left and I’d read somewhere that planting garlic in the fall was the ideal time. So, out I marched into the garden with my leftover bulbs. I divided them into cloves and pushed each clove into the dirt in a few neat rows. I wished them luck and hoped I’d see something sprouting by the following spring. I wasn’t disappointed. Now three summers later, I’m still reaping the harvest of those original dozen bulbs I purchased. I will harvest them sometime in July, braid the stems and hang them up to dry. I make sure to set aside a few bulbs for planting again in the fall and the rest we use during the cold weather months. For now, however, it’s time to cut the scapes–I like to think of them as garlic flowers. Cutting the scapes now will put the plant’s energy into making stronger bulbs. The scapes are edible, in stir-fry and things like that, but I just enjoy them in a vase of water. The curly ends look like goose necks or pretzels or even hearts.
I also harvested my lavender plants. I have found that if I cut the blooms right at their peak, they will bloom again in a few weeks. I keep repeating the process and harvest lavender all season. I dry the lavender in even layers between paper towels. Some gardeners hang it up to dry and I’ve done this, too, but I’ve had better success drying it flat. I use the dried lavender in sachets or bath salts or I tie them in bundles to throw on the fire in our chimenea on the back patio. The scent is heavenly.
Nature always gives me something to enjoy. I put in a little effort and get so much enjoyment in return. It’s a wonderful trade-off.