summer garden + a refreshment

Last Saturday the weather was sunny and 75 degrees, the birds were singing, and I walked out my front door to behold all the  men on our street working outside. 

Even my neighbor Trent was out mowing his lawn, but he prefers to work topless and since this is a family friendly blog, he shall remain anonymous.  

My windows hadn't been washed since the last big rainstorm, and although the filth was a good detourant from peeping Tom's, I decided to join in the ranks and accomplish some cleaning.  I got so caught up razoring fly poop off the panes, I almost overlooked the beautiful mint leaves that had popped up in my herb garden. 

I looked over at our lemon tree and decided the windows could wait.  I gathered handfuls of lemons and mint, and decided to treat these hard working men to an icy, lemon, refreshment. 

Matt's exact words.  "That was a little piece of heaven.  You should blog about it."

Summer's Day Lemon Cooler

Fill your blender jar with 1 1/4 C fresh lemon juice and 3/4 C sugar.  Add ice until it's almost to the top, then add water to the top of the ice.  Blend until ice is crushed.  Add 4 large strawberries and 3/4 C mint syrup (recipe below).  Pulse until incorporated. 

Fill a tall glass with slushy lemonade and pour a shot of heavy cream on top.  Garnish with mint leaves and a lemon wedge. 

Mint Syrup (also delicious in water, juice, ginger ale, etc)
2 C sugar
2 C water
bring to a boil for 1 minute and let it cool for 5.  Add a large handful (approx 1.5 cups) of coarsely chopped mint leaves and let steep for 20 min. Cool in the refrigerator.  Keeps for 2 weeks.

This time of year is one of my absolute favorites.  My plants are bouncing back from the winter, the garden is growing, the nights are crisp and cool, and it's the perfect weather to have dinner together on the veranda. 

Last year my man built this retaining wall so we could have a bigger garden.  It's complete with it's own drip system and weed barrier, and is also a handy step for the kids to get themselves over the wall to the neighbor's pool. 

Nothing brings more happiness than walking outside the back door and bringing in fresh produce for my family.  I always have a salsa and herb garden including several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, onion, basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme.  My boys help us plant and take care of the garden so when it's time to harvest the strawberries and spinach, they eat it up. 

We planted our summer garden about 2 months ago and it's coming up nicely. 

There's only one problem, these ladies love our garden too, which is why they are not permitted to be out of their coop without supervision.

Last night el Nino requested spaghetti with broccoli for his 7th birthday dinner and I harvested it right from our garden.

If you want a garden and don't know where to start, may I suggest {square foot gardening}.  It's an easy NO FAIL way to grow produce.  It will show you exactly how and what to plant, including the ingredients to mix for the perfect soil.  You can get creative with the planter boxes and the best news is there are no weeds. 

Happy planting.


  1. May I put in a request that we drink some of that fabulous lemonade next project day? Seriously Mia, I SOOO wish I could garden... you saw my backyard and how dead it is. I either over water or under water or thereat kills it before I can. I would be so content with just some basil and rosemary... but alas, it will never be. Your new wall looks great and so do all the plants, good for you!

    1. That's "the heat", not "thereat"... see? I kill words before too long as well...

  2. Talk to me about weed barrier.... the hubby thinks it doesn't really work. Is it too late to plant a summer garden here in AZ?

    1. Hi Sally,
      we have a raised planter and used new, weed free soil which eliminates about 90% of weeds. You can also mix in something called Amaze (by greenlight, found at home depot or lowes) with your soil before you plant and it does wonders. If you're doing a square foot garden, you'll want to put landscape fabric down under the soil which will allow the water to drain but no weeds to pop up. Tell your husband my husband said It really works! BTW, it just happens he's a landscaper:)
      It's the perfect time to start your summer garden, so get planting!


  3. I need to put my hubby to work - this is great!

  4. You harvest your own spaghetti??!! You ARE good ;) Have a great weekend!

  5. Hello Mia,
    I so much enjoyed your post. What a lovely thought to offer such a nice treat! Thank you for the recipe. Your garden is inspirational. I have some lettuce and onions, and last summer we had some cherry tomatoes. I hope to do better this year. Enjoy your beuatiful work!

  6. Hi Mia, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


We LOVE comments and we read every single one. Go ahead, make our day!
Mia & Jilly

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...