Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
We have been consistently enjoying harvests from our garden. Its so fun to go out before dinner and pick some yummies to come up with something with for dinner! Healthy, yummy and cheap! Gotta love it!
Beet Greens, Patty Pan Squash and Tomatillos:
The much anticipated giant Cherokee Purple Heirloom ready for eatin':
Okra, Kohlrabi, tomatoes, patty pan squash, eggplant, spinach and tomatillos!
The joys of gardening!!!
For my birthday this year I asked my hubby to build me a birdhouse as a focal point in the new berm. I showed him 2 pictures of birdhouses that I liked and asked him to use inspiration from those and come up with something....well, here it is! I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!!
We didn't do this for any type of specific bird, but in case some birdy likes it, my hubby made the bottom detachable so that I can take it apart and clean it out if I need to:
We had a busy weekend here at soapHOUSE! And, I spent a majority of it in the garden...as usual :) Pretty much worked on my usual chores: creek cleanout, weeding, deadheading, etc. I finally decided to give up on my zukes that the squash borers got to. So, I pulled them out and put in carrot seeds in their place. Hopefully they will do something! I also got a good shot of the first white eggplant to show:
I am so excited and hope he makes it to maturity! I also got a shot of a fully ripe tomatillo right before I picked him and ate em!
I also got the new berm ready for pinestraw. Once I get that...I will plant the little maple. Can't wait!
Here are some more moments captured along the way:
My new pink coreopsis:
Found this guy on a pepper leaf...i have no idea what he is and I am hoping he is a beneficial:
Off to the garden now...
FishinBC asked for some recent picts of the creek and how its going. so here its is...i am slowly chipping away at this a little every day and have big dreams for what it can become!
Here is how it started:
That picture was taken after i pulled all the vines off the fence.
Here is the same angle taken today:
You can see progress has been made, but I still have a ways to go! I have uncovered the creek...here are more shots:
I know for sure that in the fall , I am going to divide some of my ornamental grasses and plant them in front of the chain link to cover that a bit. Then I will put in some weeping willows on the creek banks to help with erosion. I will also put in some hardware so that a hammock can be hung. This is such a big project, but little by little, its coming along :)
My lovely hubby went to go get more of the city compost today for my new bed. This is a process that he is not very fond of and getting him to do it usually involves some sort of begging and bribery. I can' t say that I blame him as it is a very messy and stinky job. To prove his point he had me take this pict for all the world to see how dirty he gets:
As you can see...the dogs don't seem to mind so much getting dirty:
We got this unloaded just in time for an afternoon hail storm! It was mostly rain, but there was pea sized hail mixed in and SO great to watch from the front porch!
A nice good drink for my newly planted goodies from yesterday! Hopefully, I will start planting up the new bed this weekend!
Today, my daughter and I took a little trip to our FAVORITE nursery. I had a gift certificate and they are having a summer sale, so I got lots of goodies!
So fun to come home with this lot and plant them all...heres what I did in the front:
I dotted around the Elijah Blues and put in the yellow moonbeam coreopsis in the new berm. In the fall, i think i will divide the coreopsis and spot it around a bit. There are several clumps from the one pot I bought, but I was afraid it would shock it too much to divide right now in the heat of the summer. The rest of the plants made their way into the back yard.
My hubby also went to get the rest of the free pinestraw I scored on craigslist and I got that all spread in the back. I still need a bunch more, but it looks great. Its amazing what a difference mulch makes!
Here are some other shots of around my garden today...
wer seeds showin up:
Snacked on this guy while pulling some weeds...yum, yum! Also harvested a giant eight ball zucchini today...will sautee for dinner tonight :)
Almost ready to pick :)
Found this guy on the sunflower today and I looked him up in my insect book and he is a beneficial. Maybe he will eat some of the squash borers!
Another good productive day in the garden! I pretty much did routine chores. I posted an ad on craigslist this weekend stating that I needed pine straw and that I would rake if someone would let me take. Well, we got quite a few responses and my hubby went to pick up a load for me on his way home from work ( I had to twist his arm and beg a little :) So, I got that spread. I can tell its "used" but hey, beggers can not be choosers! He is going to go get more for me day after tomorrow! yippee!
I also harvested my first Kholrabi:
Susie, the dachshund says "hey, that would go good with hot dogs" So, I took her advice and shredded the kholrabi and will cook with onion to make a relish that will dress our dogs this evening. Yum, Yum!
Looks like I'll be harvesting my first cherokee purple heirloom tomato soon. This guy is huge and I have been watching him for sometime now wondering if he was ever going to ripen...looks like he's startin to!
Looks like 3 tomatoes in one doesn't it?
I also got some more creek clean up done and consolidated some branches and brush to get ready to haul to the curb tomorrow for wed. pickup. Other than that, I did routine weeding. Here are some moments captured along the way:
Mystery crop of shrooms growin out of compost...
Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine against Annual Sweet Potato Vine. I know I took a lot of picts of this one, but I couldn't stop myself...so pretty:
Close up of Liriope Bloom:
Some of the surviving petunias from my "annual saga" They look pretty good when isolated close up! LOL!
'Till next time...
I had a fairly productive weekend in the garden. Got more work done on my many ongoing projects. My hubby went to get me more compost for the new bed:
As you can see, Milo likes it :)
Just one more truckload and this bed will be ready to plant! I have a small red maple that will be the center. A pass along from my inlaws...
We also got some more work done on the creek clean out project. My husband cut down some of the BIG branches and trees. But, we had to stop when his saws all blade broke. But, it gave me plenty of stuff to work on getting to the curb for pickup!
Its amazing what we are uncovering back there...it makes all the work fun!
I really spent most of the weekend in the backyard and mostly did routine work in the front. I finally got around to weedeating with my new blade attachment and it is the best thing since sliced bread! no more string nonsense! Here are some picts I took along the way of the backyard and its progress:
blooming among the veggies:
Inside the world of a tomatillo husk:
The first signs of a ripening tomato:
Baby eggplant! YEAH!!!
Kale seedlings coming up:
My attempt at a squash vine borer remedy... I slit the vine and covered the wound with compost...I do not have high hopes for this:
The veggie beds as of today:
The backyard as of today:
Hope you all had a great gardening weekend!
Well, I am bummed! Its official, my eight ball zuchinni and patty pan squash have the borer :(
This is the first time I have ever tried to grow plants from this family...They are still producing, but I am not sure for how much longer. I have now researched some organic methods of control, but I am afraid it may be too late. I have been reading a book about companion planting and I hope that implementing this next year will sugnifigantly help this issue.
We have been in a drought all summer and I have had to stay up on watering and do it during the restricted time allotment. But, since last week we have been getting some consistent afternoon showers. A lot of them are even major thunderstorms that are great to watch from the front porch. Its just fabulous! The only thing is that it makes everything grow really fast...including the weeds, so I am really having to stay on top of that!!
Most of you have read my entries about the creek clean out project and I have mentioned how we are on a flood plane and our backyard changes a lot in a heavy downpour. We had one today, so here are some picts:
I didn't really realize until this season how much living on the flood plane affects my landscaping. I love having such a dynamic force of nature right in my backyard...its very exciting and after the rain, we can hear the rush of the creek from the house. But, I also have had to keep the flooding in mind when doing certain projects:
So, I am NOT a morning person. Luckily my toddler usually sleeps till 8 or 8:30...a girl after her mom's heart. well, she must have been a bit off today, because she woke up at 5:30. Oi Vey!!! I promptly brewed a giant pot of coffee and then noticed that I rarely see my garden still fresh with morning dew. Very pretty!
Yesterday, my husband was so nice to drag out his saw and ladder and do some tree trimming for me and the backyard looks so nice and tidy :) I can see clear back to the creek from my kitchen window and it brings a whole new perspective on the yard!
The other project I finished yesterday was my bottle path. I used to have a bottle tree. It was the center of one of my veggie beds and the focal point looking through the arbor. Well, earlier this year, it bit the dust and fell over. So, I thought instead of remaking it (besides, now everyone has a bottle tree) I decided to make a bottle path.
It needs a bit more variety, but I am quite pleased with the outcome :) Too bad i never got around to snapping a pict of the bottle tree :(
I also drug some of the creek brush to the curb for the city landscape people to pick up. There is still a LOT more, but they will only pick up so much at once.
Not the greatest pict, but look at all that!
I spent a good portion of last night daydreaming about what to do by the creek and I am getting more and more excited!
I have a full day of garden chores ahead of me (once the pookie is napping) I will:
Today was a pretty mundane but productive day in the garden. Mostly did chores such as weeding and mowing. I also put in some more sugar snap pea seeds for yet another succession planting. I also worked a bit more on the creek clear out project.
Heres a pict of me and my girl mowin the yard:
see that pile of dirt in the back? thats the free compost for the city, we are getting it to berm up a new bed right there...gettin rid of more grass!
Here are some snapshots I took along the way while doing my chores:
EGGPLANT FLOWER :)
GREEN SWEET POTATO VINE AND MINT IN BLOOM, LOVE THE TEXTURES!
HIBISCUS BUDS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL...
PURPLE POTATO VINE WITH FEATHER GRASS:
AUTUMN FERN FOLIAGE
PROGRESS OF CREEK CLEAN OUT...
COULDN'T EVEN SEE THE CREEK A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO...
MY FRONT YARD AS OF TODAY:
HAS ANYONE ELSE GOTTEN AS ADDICTED TO DOCUMENTING THEIR YARD AS ME.... SO FUN!
Here is a full view of the sunflowers. They are in the middle of one of my veggie beds. I know its hard to get an idea of scale, but I am 5'7" and they are taller than me and the arbor in the background is over 7' tall.
Here are a few more snapshots that I just took:
Well, I am super happy to say that my sunflowers are blooming! This is the first year that I have put forth any real attempt at growing them and it worked :) They are bringing such happiness to my yard now! I planted the king kong variety that can get to 12' tall. These are about 6 feet with a bloom diameter of about 6-8 inches. They provide a great shot of color when looking out my kitchen window while doing dishes.
Its working! Its working! I invested $ on seeds and raised beds and I am just getting to the point in the season where I can consistently pick something to have that very evening for dinner! What fun!!! Tonight, its patty pan squash!
The Tootle Bug likes it too :)
Funny, she will hardly eat anything we put on her plate, but if she picks it off a plant, she's game
Its so rewarding to see the "fruits" (and veggies) of your efforts!
Gettin geared up for heirloom tomatoes and eggplants too!
We haven't had a good rain here in my neck of the woods in months. Good new is that since yesterday, it has been raining on and off and we have even gotten some really hard downpours!!! Its just fabulous and it has forced me to spenc a lot of time sitting on the porch watching the garden in stead of out working in it...Here are some picts I took yesterday in between showers while stting on my front porch :)
Funny...things don't even look wet, thats how bad we need rain, just sucked it all up!
Ok, now its wet...taken 5 minutes ago:
y little girl...swinging in the rain :)
So I woke up this morning at 4 am with one of the worst migranes I have ever had...my head finally stopped pounding and I got myself together enough to venture outside with my little girl and lo and behold, my hardy hibiscus in all its glory. as if my garden was cheering me up! the magic of god and nature...
Well, My first attempt at growing broccoli may very well be my last! All seemed well until I looked a little closer yesterday and all the plants were infested with some icky worm catterpillar thing! Yuck! I had no option but to pull all the plants and memorialize them in this blog post. Maybe I will look for a more resistant variety next season...
PS: I posted more picts in my albums so be sure to check that out :)
Most of my projects this season have evolved around my plan to minimize my lawn area. Actually, I use the term lawn VERY loosely, it is really more a patch of weeds that requires fairly regular mowing and always looks bad. So, at the beginning of spring, I asked my neighbor (who is a grass guy) about getting rid of the weeds and doing "real" grass. He described the process and really this is something I have resisted all 4 years that we have lived here because of the cost and maintence involved. But, I have done so much with the gardens that a nice patch of lawn will just be the icing on the cake and might finally prompt some compliments from my non-gardening neighbors. (I used to think I didn't care if anyone else but me liked my garden but, yes, i actually do care). So, I decided to add lots of new beds and paths to get my lawn area down to a reasonable size. I am FINALLY done with that and will put out fescue seed in the fall....Here are Picts of the progress so far. And, if you enjoyed this or any other of my blogs, PLEASE take time to add comments...I just love that , it make my day...THKS!
Area ready to make into path:
Gotta Love free mulch from the city:
A good workout later...nice path :)
Side yard with free mulch to make a nice drive area for my hubby's truck:
Good shot of new beds bermed up and ready for plants:
Good shot of my new patch of lawn "ameoba" ready for fescue:
I will keep you posted in the fall.....
So every spring I have great ambitions for my garden. Beds to start, plants to move, things to divide...etc. Every year I struggle with what to do with annuals. I have always attempted some sort of combination of Mexican Heather, Petunias and sometimes Lantana. I have had much success in the past with Mexican Heather but thats about it.
One of my problems with annuals tends to be that I always skimp. I usually try to do it on a budget, so I buy the small plants and not enough of them and I don't ammend the soi or mulch. SO, I told myself that this year is going to be different. I am going to spend the money and have some nice annuals that will make me smile every time I pull up to my house.
I proceeded to the store to purchase my shepherd's hook and hanging baskets. Then after visiting a few local nurseries i found a perfect combination of Purple Million Bells, White Wave petunias and Lobelia and of course some bags of high quality fertized soil. I go home and plant up my pretty little baskets, give em a good water, struggle to get the sheperd's hook in the ground, then hand em up...SUCCESS!
All I have to do now is keep them watered and watch the blooms spill over the edge (right?). So, I wait and wait and wait and all that happens is all my little plants slowly die. We are in a drought and have watering restrictions so I even resort to giving them a shower in my bathtub! Nothing improves, I pull out a few plants that are gonners.
THen I decide that I should go get some of the water retaining crystal stuff and repot up whats left of my baskets with fresh soil and that additive. Off to the nursery I go and repeat my previous steps. Plants look better, only problem is that now they are retaining moisture and they weigh more. I hung them on my IRON sheperd's hook and it broke!!!! So, in a last ditch effort, they are hanging on my front porch which gets NO sun and they will surely die!
Don't even get me started on the 2 FLATS of Impatients I planted in the back yard that never bloomed and look like green sticks now. ARG!!!
Harvested this beauty a few minutes ago and I can't wait to slice her up and cook her!
This is the first year I have had a real summer vegetable plot. I ordered all of my seeds from Burpee and Mostly picked things I like to eat and chose varieties that mature quickly. The reason I did this is I have never had much success starting seeds indoors. They always die! So, I prefer to sew directly into the plot. I had heard bad things about growing squash and zucchini, but so far I am having luck. This is the first one of this size that is big enough to justify cooking. the others have fallen off the plant at about the size of a golf ball and I have just eaten them right there in the garden. Not sure what causes this. I am also going to cook up some yummy beets from the garden. I have been harvesting these guys pretty regularly over the past month.
I also started on the back fence clearing project today....wow, its going to be a lot of work! Using my hands and pruners, take a look at what I accomplished in about 2 hours:
BEFORE: ( I know its not the best pict... but its all the growth you see on in the back)
>Will venture beyond the fence tomorrow!!!!
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