July 28, 2021

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Art’s Creative Way to Enjoy the Garden

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Today we’re visiting with Art in Ada, Michigan, who has found a beautiful and unusual way to enjoy the bounty of the garden.

There was a time when I had an expansive garden in suburban Chicago, but inevitable downsizing led me in new directions. Now focusing on container gardens and a new wildflower garden for our community. I completed the MSU Master Gardener program in 2019 and was a finalist in container competition in Chicago in 2017.

Another way I like to look at my garden is how I can bring it to the dinner table. Here are a few examples of my beet salads that keep the garden always in view. OK, so the beets are from the local farmers market, but the herbs and flowers are all from my container garden. Add a little chèvre and balsamic reduction, and hey, it’s a fancy salad.

There isn’t any formula, inspiration, or other influence on how they are made. It’s all an “in the moment” creation. In addition to beets I like to use pears and other fruit, pistachios, and either chèvre (French) or blue (French or domestic) cheese. Edible flowers are finding their way into the plates as well. I grow sweet basil and Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum, annual), English thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Zones 5–9), lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus, Zones 6–9), chives (Allium schoenoprasum, Zones 3–9), Calendula (annual), nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus, annual), mojito mint (Mentha × villosa, Zones 4–9), a melon sage (Salvia elegans, Zones 8–11 or as an annual), and, of course, rosemary. Local farmers offer three types of beets (red, orange, and candy stripe) so I can mix and match as needed. I try to buy “salad-size” beets so I have an appropriate scale to work with.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsArt’s “herb farm,” which comes in handy when dressing up meals. Herbs are a great choice for gardeners in small spaces and containers because a little bit of them goes a long way, and you can easily add them to nearly every meal you cook.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsAnother view of the herbs–and flowers–growing on the small porch to make a beautiful and productive space.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsTwo chairs and a table make a little breakfast nook, while planters on the railing add beauty.

The rest of the images are of Art’s incredible creative beet salads that show off the herbs and edible flowers he grows to perfection. Such a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of gardening!

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Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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