Grocery Shopping in the Garden

gardening

It is summer and the vegetables are thriving in the garden. Vines thick with green beans, heads of crisp lettuce, carrots popping through the soil, and tomatoes of all sizes can be found in our modest backyard garden. Now the fun begins.

I’m finding it quite enjoyable not having to add vegetables to my cart at the grocery store this summer. Oh, a few make it in, but for the most part, I am trying to shop in my own garden for the vegetables I need this summer. Not only are they fresher, but they are cutting down the shopping bill a bit as well. Not to mention the fact at how enjoyable it is to pick the vegetables right before they are prepared in the kitchen.

My routine, as of late, has been to snatch a bowl from the kitchen, kick off my slippers, slip into my garden clogs, and grab my floppy hat as I head out back to my own little store. Along the way taking in the fresh air and greeting the birds at the feeders. Once there, I fill my bowl from the lovely produce isles envisioning what I will turn them into tonight.

The key to cooking from garden produce is variety. I think one can easily get sick of having green beans the same way throughout the summer. Preparing them slightly differently can reduce the boredom. No home cook wants to hear, “Are we having tomatoes again!”. It is really about presentation and creativity. Last night, for instance, I turned the ever abundance of tomatoes into a fresh tomatoe tart in a rustic crust. Along with that a side salad with a homemade dressing. Fresh yet inviting. Did you know that zucchini can actually taste like apples when baked as a cobbler? Delicious and with less carbs to boot. Zucchini also makes a wonderfully moist chocolate cake. A sneaky way to add vegetables to your diet. Clever!

Tonight I will head out and pull up enough carrots to fill my French-style chicken pot pie. No worries about finding a parking spot or finding the shortest checkout line. I do not even need to bring my wallet, just a bowl.

Advertisements

The Beautiful Rotary Botanical Gardens

Travel

The Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful gardens I have visited. Full of interesting plants, colorful flowers, and fun sculptures, it is well worth the trip. Let me give you a tour…

kaleidoscope to view flowers – so cool!

The Rotary Botanical Gardens is developed into 26 garden spaces on over 20 acres of land. Some of my favorite garden spaces are the French Formal Rose Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Shade Garden, and the Japanese Garden. I also was delighted by the interactive kaleidoscope sculpture that allows you to look at flower petals through a kaleidoscope.

A view of the Japanese Garden

I went in the summer, however, the Gardens would be wonderful to see in other seasons as well. The plants are changed out for different seasons so there is always something new to see. Along with different seasons come different hours of operation. Be sure to check the hours and days they are open before making your trip.

The Gardens are a photographer’s dream. Tons of beautiful flowers, interesting backdrops, sculptures, and insects make it well worth the trip. Charge your batteries before going and be sure to allow time to take in the gardens. There are plenty of benches throughout the garden to sit and enjoy nature or to take a break.

The admission to The Rotary Botanical Gardens is reasonable and they have events and classes throughout the year , so be sure to check-out their calendar. One can also have meetings or weddings held at the Gardens. How nice that would be! On the way out, do not forget to stop in the gift shop. A nice selection of garden merchandise is available for purchase.

So, if you like gardens and find yourself in Wisconsin, be sure to stop by Janesville and enjoy an afternoon at the Rotary Botanical Gardens. You can bring a lunch and have an enjoyable meal on their terrace. Remember to stop and smell the roses.