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Well, the weather is crazy. It is summer and I am sitting here with a shirt and the heater on!. We are definitely in a La Nina cycle. It also snowed on some of our mountains..... It is summer. It was my first day back at work yesterday and what a day I choose. I rolled up to the garden I look after and it was pelting down. And of course I forgot my beret. If I can keep my hair dry, I can cope working in the rain.
I actually did quite a bit because it stopped raining and for a moment I had taken my shirt off and was quite hot. This weather is mucking up my sowing of pea and bean seeds. I am writing another ebook on growing peas and beans and I sowed some seeds so I could take photos of the seedlings. Well you aren't meant to water the seeds until they germinate, so the seeds don't rot. Well that arn't happening. They have been watered by god quite a bit.
I am off to work today and I am planting some canna lilies and a couple of echinaceas. I hope my client like them, I got a bit carried away and bought more than I planned tooo. Impulse purchasing I think that is called.
Here we go again. Rain, rain, and more rain. Let me start out with the problems first.
This is our South gate to the back yard (looking out), we have been getting about 2-3 inches of standing water during and after any Spring rains. Issue #1, the downspout is not getting the water far enough out away from the house. Issue #2, the soil is not graded properly and will not allow the water to run down and across the lawn. Issue #3, we killed a massive amount of weeds in this area last fall, but don't really want to put in as much grass.
So on to the solutions:
A friend called and said they were getting rid of a bunch of their perennial beds because they couldn't maintain them and were planting grass. They had a guy coming in to run sprinklers on Friday and everything needed to go to a new home on or before Friday morning. So free plants available and we need plants = win, win. I went over and dug as many as I could fit in the trunk of my car. Enlisted DH to help dig holes at 9:00 pm with the flood lights on.
Here is the before:
Here is the after:
I realize with all of the mud you can hardly see the little plants, but here is a better close up:
This area will be eventually bordered by the same stone that the front beds are using:
We are currently waiting for the utilities company to come and mark any buried cables or pipes. Then we will be able to start regrading the dirt and putting in the paving stones. Not my ideal order for getting things done, but what the heck, I think I got a few hundred dollars in new plants out of the deal. I hope to be posting more progress photos soon, but it has to stop raining for at least a few days for me to be able to get anything done out there.
Cabin fever is setting in. . .too much rain when all I want to do is dig in my gosh darned garden!
I just got home after about a week long stint of work (lots of overnights this week) and was super excited to start digging and direct sowing some seeds since it's looking like the snow has retired for the year, but as soon as I get here, it starts raining. And hasn't stopped. It's actually kind of depressing.
I went out and got a few more flower seeds (who can ever have enough flowers?), so I guess I could start those today, and maybe plant up my Sumter cucumbers and stuff. It really is a poor substitute for being outside, though.
And I went down to the river the other day, while I was away from home, and picked up a few river rocks that I think I will make into garden markers for some of the veggies. Maybe that can be my rainy day craft project for today since housework does not sound appealing in any way, shape or form today. Except for maybe a load of laundry. That's about all I have in me today. . .
Maybe later I'll actually get to taking more pics of the house plants, and updating about all the plants we've got going so far. . .
Just added some pigeonberry beneath each pine. It's so perty!
Tropical storm Hermine came through S.A. on Tuesday. 4.5 inches of rain on Tuesday; 1.5 inches on Wednesday. I won't need to water for a WHILE. : )
We have had almost an 1 1/2 inches of rain in the last 5 days. There is no way for me to even walk to the vegetable garden to look at what has sprouted. However, I can get to the front driveway beds just fine. I took a couple of photos to share with all of you and added a bunch to my calendar, "What's In Bloom."
You can see the lettuce and radishes doing very well with all the rain in the photo below.
Bluebells are completely full of blooms and it reminds me that I should really split them this fall and move some around. The neighbor showed interest in having a few when the time comes to divide.
Chives are just getting ready to bloom as well. Enjoy and happy gardening to all.
We have had quite the unusual and persistent winter here! February and March have been sprinkled with alternating days of flooding rains, snowfall and 70 degree days of sunshine. It has been an adventure to say the least! The kids have loved the snow:
Each snow has topped a few inches on the landscape - which is quite something here in hotlanta!
The crazy weather and my work schedule has made it harder to get out in the garden. Luckily - it is at the stage where most of it takes care of itself (woo hoooo!)
I did tackle the annual chore recently of pruning back all of the ornamental grasses. I usually do that with a pair of scissors! HAH! But - I have SO many now - that just seemed to daunting. So, after some poking around I found a friend of the family with an electric hedge trimmer that I could borrow. What a wonderful invention! I can see why people get carried away with those and end up with lolly-pop trees! That made the task super easy. I MUST put one of those in the budget for next year! Also, instead of taking the time to bag up all the cuttings and lug them to the curb, I decided to use the "free mulch" around the veggie beds:
Not a bad idea if I do say so, myself!
Speaking of the veggie beds, all of this moisture and sun has prompted all the fall seedlings (that didn't grow much in the fall/winter due to the extreme cold that we had in the early winter) to start growing. So, I may have a spring crop of brussel sprouts to enjoy! Of course, the same conditions have also prompted all the weeds to start growing. But, the moisture has made the soil prime for the pulling - and I plan to tackle some of that this weekend!
The deck is finally completely finished - other than adding furniture!
I just love it! Hubby did such a good job and I can't wait to enjoy it this spring and summer! We also plan to add some planing beds around it and a gravel path at the bottom of the stairs. So FUN!
We took advantage of the yucky weather and being forced inside to do some great projects on the interior of our home. We have redone some things in the sunroom (which feels like an extension of the garden - due to all my windows.) We also completely redid the kid's playroom/guestroom! And - Hubby plans to do a complete demo of one side of the house and loft the ceilings this spring! He does stay busy!
Spring is officially happening in the garden and I was so blessed to see that ALL of my crocuses bloomed this year!
The lilac is in waiting once again and I am hoping it will bloom this year - being its 3rd year in the garden. (Although I understand that some have to wait many more years to be graced by a lilac bloom)
THe daffs are bursting today and will be all all their glory soon!
I truly have been gardening on the computer lately - as my most recent work project has been doing some vector illustrations of trees in their seasons. I also had a fun opportunity recently to contribute a small article on "spring gardening tips" for a website my church did for Easter. But, I am super excited to get my head out of the computer this weekend and out into the garden! Except that it just started pouring down rain again!
Happy gardening everyone!
You would have to be in a cave to not know about all the crazy rains that this part of the country has had! Quite crazy, really! I think the weather channel has dubbed it "the Deadly Deluge". Well, we are blessed! The only way this has impacted us is all the schools have closed down, which makes for an interested week in the land of little children. HAH!
It has cleared up very nicely today and it is just gorgeous outside right now! We are forcasted for more rain the rest of the week. The news is still reporting 90 roads closed in our county....
I took advantage of the dry day to go take some picts. With all the rain, mixed with sun, the grass is SO high and it is still too wet to mow...
The trumpet trees are all just bursting with blooms and they are over 8 feet tall with all this rain we have had. They will start opening any day now!
The creek had quite a time in the "deluge" Our back yard was full of water, prob about 6 inches high at one point and the creek looked like white water rapids. (If it hadn't been so wild out there, I would have stepped out to take a picture) All the rain did a bit of re-shaping to the creek and took up some dead wood:
Our raised veggie beds really paid off, if we didn't have them, they would have been washed away! I have been slowly clearing out summer's spent crops while I wait for the garden centers to get their fall merchandise in. I am ready to plant! Good thing I hadn't yet - the rain would have drowned any seeds!
All that is left to produce anything is the pepper plant and all my basils.
Funny thing is... I pulled out all the marigolds that had died back and with all this rain, all the dropped seeds are growing. Nice fall color!
Hope none of you have damaged homes due to this rain. My boss had her entire downstairs flooded and has had to take vacation time to clean it!
Happy gardening and Stay dry!
Well, I suppose its about time that I post something! My new job is 100% on the computer, so when work is done...the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer. So, I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog! Things continue pretty much as usual here in the garden. I am enjoying watching things fill in and am trying to resist all urges that I have to buy more plants. I planted so much the last couple of years that I do believe it is now time to sit back and watch it do its thing for a bit.
My girls are growing up and my oldest has started to enjoy taking pictures with mommy in the garden:
Look at this pose!
Work continues on the deck and next step is the long anticipated railing:
Then we are going to put in some pea gravel at the bottom of the steps and create a nice patio type area.
For my upcoming birthday, i got to make over the front porch.
here is a before picture:
I am so excited! I know we will get so much use out of it...we already used it alot,but now we will even more!
We pressured washed it before repainting and the funny thing is that I think we will be picking up blue paint chips for the rest of our lives - HAH!
The veggies are exploding and we are enjoying lots of eggplants and the tomatoes are really starting to do their thing. We have been blessed with a whole lot of rain this season and I am having a hard time keeping up with all the weeding and mowing. But, I really can not complain about rain, now can I?
This is the most consistent rain season we have had since we have lived in this house and it really is quite amazing! I know it does have something to do with the garden getting more mature, but things are just going CRAZY!
For the most part, that is wonderful...but, it makes the weeds grow crazy too...lots of rain with sunny, windy afternoons...well, you can imagine. So, I have been tackling a lot more weeding (and spraying) than I normally have to do. The vinca and the mint in the front bed is just going wild and has become quite the aggressive traveler...so, I have become one with the string trimmer and have been pulling a lot of it by hand to keep it in check.
I recently bought one of the Worx GT Weedeaters from the informercial. First time I have ever bought something off the TV...and I must say, I LOVE IT! It was my mother's day present and it is awesome!
It has helped me a lot in the garden, especially keeping up with all the spring growth from all the rain.
Here are some recent picts taken of the garden:
The hydrangea bed is really coming along. This is the first year that it has actually looked like something:
The black and blue salvia is such a nice accent in this bed:
I won't show you the view of the back of this bed...which is pretty much a nice collection of crab grass that i need to get out with my special weeding tool.
My purple beauty berry that was basically a stick in the mud when I planted it in the fall - is rally doing well!
The veggies are coming along very nicely and we are starting to enjoy some srawberries, lots of basil and we are greatly anticipating the tomatoes that are soon to ripen!
Hubby has also made a ton of progress with the deck! He has gotten it most of the way done. All thats left is the railing and the skirting. We are also going to put a stepping stone patio at the bottom of the steps to create a nice landing where we can put a grill and nice little bistro set. He will begin work on the railing soon...
Here is a before and after:
And one more before and after shot of stairs:
And finally, a nice shot of the top of the deck with the Garapa Wood:
I love the rain at night, not so much during the day when I am home and want to garden...Take pictures and mow the grass... Yesterday was beautiful for the Memorial Day/birthday/graduation party...everything went smoothly.. I needed to nap today, a little too much yesterday and the rain today made me sleepy.
I was home for 4 days this weekend and needed to get out in the garden but couldn't with the weather. Too busy yesterday to get in the garden.. I am still trying to get those pictures downloaded to add a new album of my flowers. Also, took more pictures of Button this morning and I really think he likes it. He was showing off and jumping all over the place. He was playing Peek-A-Boo with me around the loveseat and when I couldn't find him for a minute he was actually on the loveseat watching me crawl around it on the floor...Very Cute...
He decided he was tired and laid down with me on the floor and took a short nap.. then decided he needed to go to the litter box. Then into his cage for a snack..I had to put up the baby gate to the bedrooms because he thinks hiding under the bed and not wanting to come out is Peek-A-Boo, but it is not!!!
Made a list of things to do today, accomplished nothing. The weather made me lazy and my husband works nights so since he was sleeping I figured I could too.
I thank God for the last few days. The rain comes and goes and the temperature is great for the veggies. It is great to have rain at night and sunny days. The plants are thriving. Except for those peskie weeds. I need to get the pine needles out from under the large pines and put them in the garden as weed control.. Last year we put manure in the garden from a horse farm. It had straw in it and now I am overrun by thistles.. Need gloves to pull those jaggy things. No problem it save the nails...
Most of my Iris's have bloomed (working on those pictures to download) The Day Lillys are full of buds, only a few of them have bloomed.... Can't wait for that beautiful sight. I want to get a few more of them for the other side of my porch.. Didn't finish the other side yet. Going to work on that for next season. The clearance sale at Wal Mart is the best way to start a new season..
Got an eye allergy this weekend. Swollen and itchy and watery... Can't see well with all of the swelling and water...Finally found the culprit.. Eye liner...I have experimented with many different kinds to see what is the best and the worst...Found the worst. THREW THAT AWAY!!!!
The slumber party went well with 6 little girls all between 3 and 9. Most of them are 7. Nobody got hurt and nobody cried. That is what makes it the best party ever.... They kept me up late and got me up early... I had to nap today. My daugther is stlll going strong without a nap...Go figure. How do they do it?
Veggie (working on the pics)
It's been raining and storming for three days now. I haven't been outside except to check on the plants that the wind blew off the plant stand on the carport - they were okay (impatiens). I had just bought some plants to replace the sprng bulbs in the planters out front, but haven't been able to plant becuase it's been raining for three solid days. Wow, this Texas Spring weather is something else.
The creek behind us is flooded again - it's halfway across the pasture to our house - a little scary. All my seedlings are waterlogged. I keep them up under the eaves, but the wind is so fierce it blows the rain right into them so they are completely waterlogged. Some of them won't make it, even tho I go out between cloud bursts and dump the water out. I was just starting to transplant them to the flower beds and containers when all this rain started.
For the most part I've been catching up on some reading and watching the birds and the baby calves next door. There are now five cute little calves frolicking around. There would be six, but one of the cows lost hers, the farmer told me it came out wrong (I think he said butt first and it should have come feet first or something like that),
I sure hope this weather clears up soon. Our carport sprung a leak also. Someone is supposed to come and take a look at it today, but it's been pouring rain all day and he hasn't shown up yet. We moved our vehicles away from the carport in case it falls down or something - not that we think it will - just being cautious.
More rain over the past few days has kept me out of the garden. We had frost overnight. I'd been bemoaning the fact that my annual seeds haven't germinated. It looks, now, like that was a good thing. More frost forecast for tonight.
Yesterday, a contractor who hires my husband to pour concrete foundations for him came by to get a price on another job. Actually, I think he dropped in because he was lonely. He lost his wife to cancer in January. Bev had been a healthy, active woman all her life, and one of the founders of our local walking trailway system and an avid gardener. The disease took her quickly - just a few weeks after the diagnosis. Her death was a huge loss to our community and devastating for her husband.
Bill stayed a couple of hours, and I was happy to share his memories of Bev. We talked about our gardens. Bill always maintained a sizeable vegetable garden and left the flower beds to Bev. But this year he intends to care for her flower beds and create a new one in her memory. What a lovely tribute. I can't think of much that would have pleased her more.
More rain again last night and this morning. I've never seen so much rain in my life. People think it rains a lot in Seattle, but it's nothing compared to this. My yard is so saturated that it squishes when I walk on it. The creek behind me in the cow pasture is normally just a little stream and now I can hear the rushing water all the way here at my house. Some young guys found a water mocassin there this morning. They stopped and got out of their truck to try and pick it up - silly and stupid if you ask me. But I sure don't like the thought of that snake so close to my house.
The ground is so saturated in places that some of my sunflowers which were growing really well have just fallen over. There's no support for them cause the ground is so soggy. And all my Shirley poppies got pounded by the rain and they are all fallen over also. I planted those seeds last fall and have been nurturing them along and they have just started blooming and now they are more or less done for. I don't think they will survive the beating that this last storm gave them.
But I can be thankful that no twisters came our way and we didn't lose any trees and didn't have any damage. Lots of others in the area didn't fare as well.
And speaking of trees, I have decided that I definitely do not like having pecan trees in my yard. Why anyone would plant them I can't figure out. So far all they have been is a big mess. When Hurricane Ike blew through here last Sept (2008) we ended up with tons and tons of pecans on the ground. Then the crows started in. They LOVE pecans and it was continuous from Sept through Oct - crows all day long cawing and cawing and making life miserable. Then all the pecans - I was out picking up pecans every single day. Then winter and all the leaves - 14 tress - that's a ton of leaves.
And now, now we have catkins - at least I think that's what they are called.
The trees are finally getting leaves, but they also get these long green dangly things called catkins and in the wind and rain last night they are now EVERYWHERE. I've been out picking them out of everything - flower beds, planters, bird feeders, bird baths, etc. They are all over the patio, the front walkway, the front porch, the carport - they make such a MESS! I will never plant a pecan tree. In fact I've been weeding a flower bed this morning and finding little bitty pecan trees growing from pecans the squirrels hid last fall. Well you can believe I pulled those little suckers right out of the ground.
Took a couple of days off from gardening due to the weather. We are getting an inordinate amount of rain this spring.
Got up this morning, raring to go! Just a smidgen of rain yesterday; and today promised to be sunny and warm. I wanted to get my onions planted at the farm. My husband was eager to get started at it, too, so I gathered my sets up and headed out. I hadn't showered this morning and I had dressed in my ratty old gardening clothes. No one would see me down there.
When we arrived at the farm, I was dubious about planting. The soil appeared too wet. It was really windy and my hubby thought that if he tilled, it might dry sufficiently to get the onions in. He got our little tiller going, but it was difficult to operate in the damp soil, so he decided to borrow a friend's tractor (The friend had already put his cultivator on.) and do the entire garden quickly.
While he went off to get the tractor (I knew it would take a long time because friend and hubby love to discuss the weather, the state of the economy, the price of wheat, beans and hay, any new equipment a neighbour may have acquired, the prospects for a prosperous harvest, the declining behaviour of teens these days, etc., etc., etc. You get my drift.), I cleaned up my holding bed. There was a lot of stinging nettle, so I used latex surgical gloves. That was a successful experiment. I'm not good with most gloves, but these worked well. Most of my plants over-wintered well. I worked away digging out old sunflower roots and lugging them to the compost pile, getting dirtier by the minute.
Back came hubby with the big tractor and cultivator. First he ripped up an old strawberry bed from which I had intended transplanting some of the healthy runners. Oh, well! Next, he came booting over near my holding bed (which isn't a bed unto itself, but rather the upper corner of our vegetable garden). Before I could place myself strategically to protect my perennials, he had managed to rip two of them out. That man is a disaster with any piece of machinery powered by gasoline!
Eventually, hubby finished cultivating with no further mishaps. I continued weeding and getting rid of the sunflower roots. I had taken my gloves off to open a soft drink and forgot to put them back on. Ouch! I hate stinging nettle with a passion. Brushed hair off my face with my filthy hands and managed to get soil well distributed throughout. Soil is definitely not an appropriate hair care ingredient!
I was just thinking longingly about a nice hot shower when I heard a vehicle come up our laneway. Customers often stop by to purchase hay, so I simply went about my business behind a large shed, assuming hubby would attend to the matter, an no one would see this unkempt, filthy old lady. Wrong!! My cousin and her husband were passing and decided to stop by when they saw our truck. Not only did I look awful, I'm sure I didn't smell very nice, either, not having showered then slugging away for most of the day. I'm sure our visitors left wondering if I was short of soap and water.
I didn't get any onions planted so will have to try to get them in tomorrow. (The forecast is for rain Wednesday through Saturday.)
The bright spot in my day was finding asparagus almost ready for harvest. Can hardly wait to enjoy it tomorrow with Hollandaise sauce. Mmmm! Mmmm!
So after several days of fun in the sun...the moisture is back...which I wouldn't call it rain, it really is more like drizzle. But the plants I planted and transplanted will enjoy the moisture and a cooler day to get settled in.
Some of my plants that are fall blooming are starting to come up...they are so late to come up in the spring I worry that they didn't make it, but I leave them and they reward me with little signs of life. Still no life out of the milk weed, but that will probably be another couple of weeks.
Although the garden still looks naked. With all the prennials, it takes time for them to gorw and fill in. I think I need to add some more evergreen plants. I recently visited a fellow gardeners garden and it was full and wonderful. Reminded me that when I add plants I need to remember winter color.
The sun is supposed to be back out tomorrow so maybe I will take some more pictures. My husband suggested taking pictures every month so we can keep track year to year. So tomorrow will probably bring pictures of the garden and maybe pictures of my slug traps. I have enough stuff to get a couple done.
Happy gardening to all!