Monday, May 12, 2014

Garden tour 2: The kitchen garden

My kitchen garden was the most popular spot on the garden tour. It looks like everyone is already there; let's go and join the party.

The kitchen garden is situated on top of the hill. I know it takes a little effort to get to the kitchen garden. Once we get there, we forget about climbing all those steps. Another reason I like it because I am forced to get exercise going up and down multiple times every day. 

When we bought the property almost 20 years ago, we didn't know this area existed. It was only after we fenced the property that we realized we owned a triangular piece of land on top of the hill. We took advantage of that land and created a kitchen garden of our dreams.

There are 16 raised beds to grow almost every possible vegetable, which also gives me opportunity to organize the vegetables and  herbs. I grow over 20 varieties of tomatoes, herbs and salad greens and exotic greens such as moringa, fenugreek, and cuban oregano to name a few.

In between raised beds, there are potted plants filled with herbs and citrus plants to give height and interest to the garden design.

Philippine lemon called calamondin

I grow lots of Indian vegetables, which means they need lots of sunlight and warm weather. The garden tour was on May 4th and by that time, I could get only get plants growing but not the actual vegetables. It is the same case with this bottle gourd plant.

Lots of labels were made with the pictures of the vegetables of what to expect and  explaining their health benefits. I wanted to make this interesting as well as educational experience for the visitors.

 Bitter melon

The famed curry leaf plant

Cuban oregano

Tamarind plants grow up to 80 feet tall in tropical climate. This two feet plant can hang out in the pot for another couple of years and then will be planted in the ground. Tamarind is quintessential ingredient to South Indian cooking. 

 Golden zucchini is almost ready to harvest

Ivy gourd patch

Eight different kinds of eggplants were planted

Tomatoes are going bonkers this year!

Three raised beds are planted with salad greens

 The following bed is filled with swisschard, beets, kale and arugula

This one is with different kinds of lettuce

This is the patch with carrots, fenugreek leaves, spinach and Indian red spinach

Stevia is a zero calorie natural sweetener. I like to sweeten my tea with a leaf or two of stevia.

Different kinds of beans in another bed

Of course, we can't do without a myriad of chilies

Moringa plant

Volunteers, thoroughly did their research about the all Indian greens such as moringa and fenugreek leaves before the assignment. They explained the health benefits of each and every plant in the kitchen garden. When all the guests were done touring the kitchen garden, they had even more questions for me. I love inquisitive visitors.

Outside the kitchen garden, a long line of table grapes are planted

Rumex sorrel. Don't you love those red veins in those leaves?

The view from the kitchen garden overlooking the house, palm trees and mountains

Different kinds herbs can be found all around the kitchen garden

Visitors were very interested to know how the spice turmeric grows. Turmeric is an under ground tuber just like ginger.

Garden from a different angle

After the tour, an another volunteer, Angie stands at the arbor and says good bye to all departing visitors from kitchen garden. 

For now we are done with kitchen garden. We are heading towards the patio. Please join me in my patio in my next post. 

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website


  1. Can I grow Stevia in india .... Is the plant readily available ??

  2. my GOSH, can I just live in your kitchen garden-now?!?! I'm just SO BLOWN AWAY! you truly made my day again with your post. I'm gonna keep on daydreaming & drooling...if only you are my next door neighbor. your garden is just beyond amazing & magical. who in their right mind would not be in AWE of everything you've planted & everything else? I could go on FOREVER praising & adoring your it, love it, LLLLOOOVVEEE IT BEYOND WORDS! xo...

  3. What a beautiful kitchen garden! Every plant looks so healthy.
    Where did you get your trellises from?

  4. Oh my word, this is totally unreal. I love it. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  5. Wow how awesome to find a piece of land and it shows what a "Labor of Love" it received. I had no idea that stevia could be grown in a garden. It looks like I live in a climate similar to yours, so I will give it a try.

  6. Such a wonderful garden!! Thanks for the tour :)


  7. what a fantastic garden! please do share over here at this weeks Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage! love meeting new gardening friends! xoxo, tracie

  8. Your kitchen garden is amazing! Thank you for the tour!

  9. Coming from a family loving gardens I can appreciate this very beautiful garden! I love the raised beds, I want to try that. The tomatoes are my favorite, what gorgeous plants. I'm sure all your guests enjoyed the tour!

  10. Wow!!! I love all the geometric patterns the red brick and red supports give to the garden. Gorgeous!

  11. Lovely kitchen garden and I love those pink petunias.

  12. I do believe that this is right at the very top of all the Pink Saturday posts of all time!! Such a magnificent place you're sharing, with all the wonderful colours and herbs and vegetables, and a Stairway to Wonderland right at your back door. Daughter Caro is an enthusiastic, accomplished cook of Indian cuisine, and I never know what scrumptious aromas will come from her upstairs kitchen next. She has drawersful of spices and herbs and different seasonings which make the house fragrant and appealing for days, and we're most blessed to be able to share in her wonderful cooking.

    But this---this is an accomplishment of a lifetime, to me, this glorious palette of such beautiful plants and arrangements and the colours of earth and sky and sunset---ooh. my.

    I cannot tell you how much I admire your talents and knowledge; if I ever come to California, I think I'd rather see your garden---walk among the scents and breezes of such beautiful plants and design, than anything else that beautiful, bountiful state has to offer. Simply amazing and so beautiful as to be unforgettable, ever.


  13. WHOA, at first sight I thought it was a city garden!! How wonderful to own such a delightful slice of heaven. You have done a superb job in creating all the planters and vegetables of all kinds.

  14. I enjoy gardens, but never saw anything to compare to this. Absolutely amazing. Wish I could see it.

  15. Oh, Komali! I am delighted that you share your fabulous garden with us for Pink Saturday. It is absolutely breathtaking. I even called my husband in here so I could share it with him. Amazing!!!

    Happy Pink Saturday. I am so glad you joined us this weekend to make Pink Saturday special. I have missed you.♥

  16. Well this is like the Disneyland of Gardens! I so enjoyed this post! :)

  17. wow! I am inspired. I started my vegetable garden just few weeks back with six pots of vegetables....:) I planted the seeds and everyday I look forward to check if it is sprouting. Love your garden. Wish I had something like yours. Maybe one day. I could dream, right..:)

    -Priyam @

  18. Wow, what a gorgeous garden and what a view. Featuring at Wow tonight.

  19. Your garden is incredible. I am having a terrible time with herbs this year. They keep dying on me! I was admiring your cilantro -- the chipmunks seem to regard mine as their personal salad bar. Very beautiful spot for your garden.

  20. Love the kitchen garden.


  21. Absolutely gorgeous!!! This is such a dream space. Im looking forward to creating a potager kitchen garden in my next home. I love that you are growing so many different varieties of plants, fruits, and herbs.I had no idea i could grow turmeric at home!! Looking forward to giving it a try.

  22. Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful space. Im looking forward to creating a potager kitchen garden in our next home. I love that you've incorporated so many varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your garden. I had no idea I could grow turmeric at home! Im looking forward to giving it a try:)

  23. the seeds , where from .
    this year we planted - tomatoes , fenugreek, basil, mint and cuban oregano in our teeny tiny garden
    during the last year we put vegetable peels into the soil and making it a kind of compost .
    Can see the difference in the growth of plants.
    would be glad if you could share from do you buy the heirloom seeds from - looking for non gmo vegetables to eat .
    thank you
    dont have a blog, hence anonymous