I find that time spent in my yard nurturing plants and trees is both soothing and relaxing. I would recommend gardening to anyone needing some downtime from a hectic lifestyle. An Organic yard with blooming plants and trees will encourage visits from birds, bees and butterflies. Planting both nectar plants and host plants will make your garden an ideal destination for many different kinds of butterflies. They lay their eggs on host plants and once the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, the new butterflies feed from the nectar plants.
Bees love all of my citrus trees. Citrus trees are an excellent choice. Different varieties bloom, fruit and ripen at different times. Once the trees are mature, the abundance of fruit can be shared with friends and family. My Mexican Lime fruits first followed by my Satsuma, then my Cara Cara, and lastly my Tangelo.
Some veggies and herbs are more perennial in nature. I have some peppers that flower and fruit all year and sometimes last several seasons. I have been giving the gift of Rosemary for about ten years. It is very easy to grow and is very drought hearty. Seasonal tomatoes are ripe now, which means Gazpacho is the must have cool summer soup.
Gazpacho, as adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen
4 cups tomato juice
1/2 a small onion minced
2-3 cups freshly diced tomatoes
1 cup minced green pepper
1 cup cucumber diced and skinned (leave skin on for more crunch)
2 chives chopped
1 clove crushed garlic or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
Juice of 1 lime
Squeeze of honey
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T Olive Oil
10 Basil leaves chopped
Palm full of Parsley leaves chopped
Good pinch chopped Tarragon or1 tsp dried
Good pinch of Cumin
Dash or two of Tabasco or Cholula
Cracked pepper and sea salt to taste
Combine all and Chill for two hours. Serve chunky or pureed. Enjoy a bowl of healthful goodness with ingredients from your yard. Good Gardening!