This morning's walk with Hazel was lovely; a thick fog kept it cool enough that for the first lap I needed my light jacket to keep from getting chilled. it smelled like someone was cooking bacon and I spotted a few early magnolia blooms. On the way back inside the two big spider webs were glistening with dew; I wish I had gotten pictures, but maybe I will remember next time we have a delightfully foggy morning. Now that the sun is fully up all the fog has been burnt off but it is still cool in the shade. I transplanted my morning glories and trimmed back the thicket under the bird feeder and by where I want the compost pile to be. my shears make quick work of it, and I stopped myself before I went a little too crazy.I am also working on training my creeping nasturtiums to climb down instead of up, and while it probably isn't going to work out too well, its pretty for now.
The mushrooms from yesterday in my cherry tomato pot have vanished. I have to admit it was a pleasant surprise to find them yesterday, before my worries of "wtf?" set in. Thoughts of fairy rings came to mind. Its good to know that the plants won't be bothered, though, and maybe I'll get another visit from the fungi fairy soon.
I am concerned for my indian egg plants; the seedlings are growing very slowly. Does anyone have any advice on this? I am going to also post in the forum; they just don't seem to be doing as well as my other plants and I don't know if I am doing something wrong or if that is just their tendency.
Randy is taking a late lunch today and I am going to ride with him when he goes back to work so I can get some groceries. I dread getting the kitchen clean in anticipation for his party, but it wont be so bad once I get started and I do love having a clean house.
I was watering that garden this morning and was surprised to find mushrooms growing in my pot of cherry tomatoes. This is the only pot that is affected, and I don't know if I should be concerned or what. I know not to eat them, but I don't know if they are going to pose a threat to the plants.
I suspect that it is because of the mulch that I am using, even though it has not affected any of the other mulched plants. I got it from walmart and it smelled very strongly. It is untreated pine mulch. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
Nearly all of my pole beans have sprouted and I thinned them a bit while I was weeding the front flower bed this morning. My flat leaf parsley plant is in a sad state; many of the stems are severed at the base of the plant, below the dirt line. I noticed it only because the leaves were turning yellow and the stems had fallen over. Luckily I still have my flat leaf parsley in a pot, so I still have some on hand, I just wish I knew what was causing the stems to be so cleanly shorn from the rest of the plant.
I have lost three pounds so far this week, much of which I think is water weight, even though I have been drinking half a gallon of water a day. That probably sounds like a lot, but we don't use the air conditioner and I have been working out and sweating a lot. I hope I can make healthy eatting and being active a habit that will last a lifetime. Before we moved I was doing relaly well, losing close to ten pounds in two months, but the move completely threw me off and I am just now starting to get back on track. I hope I can be an example for Randy so that he will want to take better care of himself. Next week, on either Tuesday or Wednesday we are having his birthday party. He will be 22 this year. We are going to grill steak, salmon, and shrimp as well as ears of corn, and I am going to make greek style devilled eggs, a vegetable tray, a fruit tray, and a cheese and cracker tray. Instead of cake, Randy wants mini berry bottom cheese cakes, which is going to be fun. For the most part, everything is going to be healthy, or at least home made, so it shouldn't sabotage my efforts to have a good time and still eat right. Who knows, it might rub off on some of Randy's family to eat a bit better, but I'm gonna worry more about my eatting habits before I start scrutinizing the eatting habits of others. I have been putting a star sticker on the calendar every time I work out, and this week I have four shiny stars in a row. Today and tomorrow are off days, though I am going to practice some bellydance drills, then its on to week two. The exercise part of gardening seems to be over for now, but weeding is a daily chore and I may start collecting rocks for another flower bed soon.
Things have been going great. Busy, but great. I started school back up and have discovered that economics has not become any more interesting in college than it was in high school. We don't have another craft show until June 13th, so I haven't been crafting jewelry as much as I usually do. I did catch a sewing bug and make a bunch of renaissance garb for the upcoming fair on June 6th in Rogersville, TN, but I am trying to take a little vacation from crafting while I can. The garden is turning out wonderfully; not exactly what I had planned back in March when I was browsing through all my seed magazines, but I am pleased.
First off, an update on the things I already had planted in pots:
From left to right; fennel, blue berry, cilantro, yellow baby belle pepper, lemon balm *new addition* and in the back are my sad little indian egg plants. I planted some new seeds in the pot a few days ago, but they haven't sprouted yet. I don't know if the plants already growing are stunted or what, but they haven't budged an inch in two weeks. Worst case scenario; better luck next year!
I moved my big pots from the front plot of dirt onto the porch and like them much better where they are now. From left to right; dill, gadzukes zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, small sugar pumpkins, and in the back lady bug cherry tomatoes. I replanted the squarsh and pumpkins because they had fallen over and were acting stunted. The new growth is already as big as the old plants and they're looking much healthier, so hopefully I will get something off them before the season ends. The zucchini has been flowering like crazy but there are still no fruits forming yet and a lot of the older leaves are dying off, but the rest of the plant seems vigerous, so I don't know if this is typical or what. I painted the middle pot back in january with acrylic paints and am pleased with it, though I wish I had sealed it with something so it wouldn't chip and wash off. The empty green pot in the front will eventually hold some morning glories that I am going to train up the bamboo to help fill things out and *maybe* help attract some pollenating insects. Are bees and such attracted to morning glories? In any case they will be pretty :-)
The neighborhood cats have left my canary creepers alone long enough for them to do some growing, but they keep wanting to grow up more than down so I am thinking I am going to have to reconsider the way I have them positioned to accomodate what makes them happy over what makes me happy. I had wanted them to trail down out of the boxes, but they are persistent in traveling up. I'm open to suggestions here, lol.
From left to right: cat nip, burgundy shamrock, and spearmint. I have already gotten one harvest off the catnip and it is growing with a vengance. The shamrocks are spreading well and I am hoping they will eventually fiill out their pot, and the spearmint is growing slow but steady.
I recently added a citronella plant to my collection and am letting it settel into its pot before I start harvesting leaves. I plan on making an insecticide tincture with citronella, emon balm and sage leaves in some cheap vodka with some citronella and lemongrass oil added to it in a squirt bottle. I like the burts bees insect repellant, but I want something alcohol based instead of oil based for easier application. I don't think I am going to bother too much with chives; they grow better wild in the yard than in my pot, and I could be using that space and dirt for something that doesn't grow as a weed everywhere I step.
After breaking off at the base after a strong storm, the moonflower vine is making a come-back. The older leaves look icky, but the new growth is making a lot of progress climbing the pole I provided.
My lemon tree is doing great; I remember how sad it looked when I first planted it, but now it is mostly new growth and I am looking forward to having some hone-grown lemons next year. The hole circled by stones is where I am going to plant two of my morning glory seedlings to train up the post that supports the porch.
Speaking of morning glory seedlings, I planted there pots a few days ago and one of them has already sprouted. Hooray!
my scallions blend in really well with the grass behind them, but some of them might be ready to harvest and use soon. I am going to need to get more seeds, though to do successive plantings as I harvest them. I'll need to keep that in mind for next year when I order seeds again.
From left to right; oregano, parsley, sage, basil, tyhme *in the little purple pot* rosemary on the pedestal, and tarragon at the bottom end. My parsley is sad, as is my oregano. My rosemary hasn't really grown much, either, and I had to get new transplants of sage and basil because they just weren't happening. I can't wait to make some infused oils and such will all my herbs!
Now for the big project we've been working on: here is the "before" picture
and this is what it looks like now:
It has only been in the ground for a few days, but I think it will look great in about a month on a nice sunny day. All along the back near the railing I planted pole beans that I am going to train up twine on the railing *the twine isn't out yet because the beans haven't even sprouted*. Randy and I went to the Elk River that flows through town and collected a bunch of the biggest stones we could find.
This is my red pepper plant, locaed to the far right end of the bed iif you are facing the railing.
This is my orange pepper plant, located directly to the left of the red pepper plant.
This is my pickling cucumber plant, another step to the left from the orange pepper plant.
And this is my tomato plant, located at the far left end of the bed. its a jet something variety, can't remember exactly right now. In between the vegetables I have a few cloves of garlic planted and a bunch of marigold and purpe petunia transplants. Along the front of the bed I have some Celosia "Kimono mix" planted, and here are some picstures I took of some of the pretty flowers:
This is the Celosia, or cockscomb, at least this is what I believe it to be after searching for it on the internet. It wasn't labeled in the nursurey and Randy and I had just been calling them funny flowers.
And, last but not least, my marigolds. Yum! I think I am going to throw some of the flower heads into my insect repellant, too, though I don't know if marigolds have the same herbal properties as calendula...
Have a great thyme everyone! *teehee, I love silly puns!*