Category Archives: Gardening

Quick Walk Around the Yard

Red impatiens. We also have some really nice fuchsia ones.

 

Cluster of Rio Samba roses.

 

There are two clumps of these yellow lilies, one on either end of the planter with the tulip tree in the center.

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New Green Tomatoes!

QuartoKnows

I’m hoping we’ll be like this cute little boy soon, picking fresh, ripe tomatoes off the vines to slice for a meal!

 

It’s kind of like treasure hunting now. You don’t see the tomatoes until you get up close, and sometimes you have to search a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

I worked out in the square foot garden for about an hour yesterday, trying to undo the neglect due to too much rain, then my husband’s cataract surgeries, and then the new puppy. I’m basically down to tomatoes, onions, two kinds of lettuce, some spinach, some celery, and one spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed in the kitchen. I’ll try to get pics of the garden tomorrow. I’ve been using a push weed-whacker, trying to go around the outside of the garden today. It’s hard work for an old lady. I ran into a tough something-or-other, snapping off the whacking cords. My good husband put some new ones on, so when the sun is a bit lower, I’ll do another hitch out there.

I hope your day is good.

 

 

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Filed under Gardening, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Arkansas, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Quick Trip Around the Yard

Since we adopted Amber and my husband had his 2nd surgery, I have spent very little time in the flower beds, and no time in our square foot garden. I noticed, though, that we had some pretty things doing well in spite of my neglect and I thought I would share them with you.

We have a trio of 8 foot long brick planters between our driveway and the front yard. I’m trying to get these to the point that most of the things are perennial, and then I can simply add some color with annuals. Here we have iris, petunias, gerbera daisies, and some phlox, plus a shovel bird.

 

In the same trio of planters, we have some lilies, a yellow forsythia plant, the new ‘evergreen’ foliage with small blue flowers that I’m hoping will spread throughout the three planters and a ‘mama snail.’

 

These lilies are in a planter in front of the house. They fill up the bottom of the planter around a tulip tree.

 

This is a planter on one side of our porch. We have some orange impatiens, some fuchsia impatiens, some phlox, iris, and more.

 

And finally, we have some portalaca that really loves the hot weather we have in the summer. This is one of four planters we have on either side of the garage door, by the shop, and on one side of the driveway.

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Meet “Sedona”

I told you awhile back that we lost one of our three Rio Samba rose bushes. We went to the local nursery to get a replacement to find that of the 15 plants they had gotten in, none was left. We walked around the variety they had, both deciding we liked this one. It’s called, “Sedona.”

 

It started its first bloom today, the buds opening quickly this morning. It’s a nice contrast to the yellow and coral Rio Samba and we hope it’s happy with us.

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Harvest May 8, 2017

Families Online

Cold temperatures and nearly torrential rains for over a week followed by intense sunshine wreaked havoc in my square foot garden. I spent an hour weeding, pruning, and harvesting today, and another hour cleaning up what I harvested. I’ll probably do one more session out there before the day is gone.

Just at the wrong time for the broccoli and cauliflower. I found a bit of harvest-able broccoli, but the cauliflower was granular-looking and dry. The rest of the main broccoli plants had bolted, so I had to cut those off and hope for some more shoots off the main plants.

 

The romaine lettuce really surged, showing me that next time I plant this, I’ll only have one plant per square. When they touch another plant, the outside leaves get yucky and croak. I have a lot of pruning to do to get these plants happy again.

The spinach went nuts, as well. I harvested a bunch today, cleaned it, and froze it.

The red leaf lettuce plants look like small BUSHES now. I’ll tackle them tomorrow. I harvested the rest of the radishes and will start another two squares of seeds soon.

I’ll need to try to either get up earlier and get right out to the garden, or plan to work out there right before sundown. The sun is really intense and this old lady gets more than enough in an hour’s time.

I feel bad when the garden isn’t at its best. It’ll probably take another day or two before it is under control again. My goal will be to have it done, plus the weed whacking of the yard finished, before the rain comes again Thursday.

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Happy Saturday!

Bored Panda

Good afternoon!

It’s a happy day at the Lewises in Greenwood, Arkansas.  The sun is shining brightly and the day is full of possibilities.

We’re going to check into the cost of materials for building a 12′ x 14′ greenhouse on the east side of our property.  Our friends, the Taylors, are building the Taj Mahal of greenhouses. It’s 2 stories and build onto the back of their house.

Ours is a DIY plan with wood, pvc pipe and sheets of plastic. I would love an area that is protected from our cats and the weather to start seeds, nurturing seedlings until they’re ready to transfer to the garden, etc.

My husband found some plans, loaded them onto his Kindle, and then was able to print the pages so we could put them into a binder.

How to Build a Backyard Greenhouse – A DIY Practical Guide by Tristan Trubble.

 

Care2

This picture isn’t our plan, but the picture gives you an idea of what we’re thinking about doing. We’re buying all the materials, rather than a kit that is MUCH more expensive.  Ours will be made of wood, PVC pipe and plastic sheeting. We’ll have 9 ‘ribs’ of pvc pipe, rather than the 7 you see here.  We ordered an exhaust fan on the net this morning, whose vents open when the temperature is 74 degrees F., and open FULLY at 104 degrees. There are a lot of details not really covered in the plans, but we’ll work them out as we go.

We wandered around our land, rejecting spot after spot due to the fact it wasn’t flat enough, or caused problems for one reason or another. We settled on an area to the east of our tomato planter and the clematis plants on the east side of our property. We can run water and electricity to it without much hassle.

My husband, as usual, wanted to go ahead this morning and start buying parts at our local Yeagers Hardware store. Since he’s going to have a 2nd cataract surgery hopefully May 16th, I pointed out that it would be at least June before we would be in a position to start this.

So far, we bought the fan and also called the wonderful guy who helps us with our 650 foot driveway when it needs to be bladed. We left a message on his answering machine that we want him to clear a 15 x 15 plot of land to the east of our house for the greenhouse, plus blade our driveway when he can arrange to do it.

I’m going to type a list to give to the guy at Yeagers, and then another list for all the other stuff we need to get for the project. I’ll also read the manual that goes with the plans, ask my husband to read it, and then hopefully we can iron out any problems before we actually do much more on the actual construction.

I would love to be able to give serious effort to growing seeds well before the next season starts, having plants ready for transfer for the fall garden, for example.

Wish us luck!

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Tomatoes 5/5/2017

Since the rains came and the sun started shining, the tomatoes have really grown. I spent some time today tying up branches, trying to get them to climb the trellises my husband made. This is the smaller tomato plant in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch and behind the house.

 

This is the larger of the two nook tomato plants, planted about two weeks before the smaller one.

 

Here are the two together.

 

We have six more tomato plants in the brick planter we also converted to square foot garden plants, with Mel’s Mix. We bought these at three different times, again trying to expand the season and spread out when the tomatoes ripen a bit.

 

You can really see the difference between the plants here.

Finally, I just planted two grape tomato plants in the main garden a week or so ago. I’ll take pics of those when I start repairing what the rains did to the plants out there tomorrow.

My mouth is already watering! I saw some sweet yellow blooms here and there today…

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Garden Tip

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May 4, 2017 · 5:34 pm

Garden After the Storms

The temperature right now is 58 F., and there is a gusty wind. The sun is finally shining. I’m feeling really grateful that the Greenwood area of Arkansas seems to have come through the storms pretty well.  Fort Smith got some hail damage, power outages, and some wind damage, but overall, it could have been a lot worse.

I went out for the first time since Thursday to see what was left of our garden.  There is no major damage. The plants are beaten up some, but seem to still be alive. I’ll be spending a lot of time out there, once it warms up a bit, trying to prune the dead parts off the plants, etc.

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started in my kitchen from one I bought from the store. It seems to be doing fine, although there is no sign of any veggie yet.

 

I think I’ll probably go ahead and harvest all of the radishes and plant more in other squares.

 

This is the largest of the celery plants I started inside, cutting the bottoms off stalks I bought at the store. I have a couple more plants to bring out to the garden. Again, I have no clue what to expect. I may just get leaves, but I’m having fun watching. :0)

 

I’ll need to do a LOT of pruning on the lettuce and the spinach. They both got pretty battered with all the wind and rain.

 

I’m going to go ahead and harvest the broccoli plants before they shoot spears up. I’m hopeful I’ll get more heads from the other parts of the plants.

Look at this! I’m delighted to see this sweet cauliflower head. I think I’m supposed to arrange for the leaves to cover the heads so the head will stay white.

 

As you can see, LOTS of pruning will be needed to get the plants looking the way they should, but I’m grateful that the garden seems to have come through all the severe storms okay.

 

 

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Rio Samba Roses

Since the rain is to start soon and will continue, according to the weather people, until Sunday, I dashed out to get a couple of pictures of our two Rio Samba rose bushes before they get beaten up by the storms.

This rose bush is just off the front porch.

 

And this one is just to the side of our driveway pad. We just love these, with the multi-color blooms. They’re doing really well right now. I hope the coming storms are kind to them.

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Flowers – Part II

I showed you pictures of the new plants I planted on our deck. I took some pics a couple of days ago of the flowers I just planted in the rest of the yard, plus a couple of others I wanted to share with you. The planting is all finished now, with the exception of nestling some hummingbird flowers seedlings into the deck pots –

My husband’s clematis. This year they’re really giving us a nice show.

 

On one side of the front portch, we have fuchsia impatiens,  neon orange impatiens, phlox, and some iris. We have an evergreen bush on the other side of the porch in the same kind of tall planter, the fuchsia impatiens, some phlox, etc.

 

I did this mosaic gazing ball a couple of years ago. This pot is on one side of our driveway. I planted some periwinkles around the edge of the pot.

 

One of four gerbera daisies.

 

Lavender stripy petunias.

 

‘violas’ or what I call bright happy pansy type flowers.

 

Periwinkles in our emu planters, plus phlox and periwinkles in the pot at the bottom of the pic.

 

This pot is on the other side of the driveway from the one above.

 

The ‘thing’ at the top of this pic is an old computer. The birds like to build nests inside. The flowers are fuchsia purslane/yubi/portalaca, and then we have phlox and periwinkles in the square planter.

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Deck Flowers are Almost Finished

Yesterday I planted the rest of the flowers on the deck and around the yard. It’s a good thing I pushed myself to get them in because, as predicted, it started storming overnight. It’s still really rainy-looking and dark outside, and more rain is forecast.

We love geraniums, and my husband likes the red ones best. We have two of these on the deck now.

 

Here you see two of the four pots of mandevilla, the hummingbird bird bath, and a pot with two colors of petunias.

 

More  petunias, plus our metal flower in the background.

 

Petunias surround our emu planter, shovel bird feeder, and our ‘party animal’ penguin.

 

 

Petunias, geranium, and nice view.

I have some small pots of hummingbird flower seeds growing on the dining table. If they live, I’ll transplant them in several bunches out on the deck, nestled in with the other flowers to welcome the hummingbirds.

 

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Tomatoes

Home-grown sliced tomatoes are one of our favorite things. Each year the only thing my husband is excited about is planting tomatoes. He hounds me from WAAAAAY before we should be planting them until every space for tomatoes is planted.  Last year the two plants in what we call ‘the nook’ beside the porch and behind the house got SO big that a big storm broke them off in the middle and folded them over into the yard. They never recovered. We still got some tomatoes, but the tomato orgy was over.

My husband built some stakes for the tomatoes in the nook this year. These blue stakes are about 6 feet high and made of metal. They are sunk to the bottom of the front of the planter and then lean against the brick wall behind. They’re super sturdy. I’m worried, though, that the metal will get hot and burn the plants. We’ll see.  The picture above is the plant we planted three weeks after the other one in the planter, hoping to extend our tomato season as long as possible.

 

Here is the other plant in the nook. It’s much larger and both have yellow blossoms already!

 

This is the other tomato planter. It has been converted from a flower planter to a square-foot garden planter. We have fairly sturdy tomato cages that stick down to the bottom of the planter. I planted the six plants at three different times, hoping for the best. They have really grown this past week. They weren’t even touching the cages last week.

Yesterday I found two grape tomato plants at one of the stores in town. I throw these into salads, eat them with carrots, celery and dip, and love the way they give color to whatever you’re eating. I HOPE they’re happy in the garden.

As soon as the rains quit, I’ll go out and see if I can tie the plants up carefully to give them as much support as possible. We’ve been having heavy rains, lots of wind, some hail, and flying hair balls lately. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop, but I hope all this doesn’t batter my poor little plants…

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Outside – Days 2 and 3 of 3

APA-Sick Child

A couple of days ago I told you I was going to use the 3 days of sunshine we had to finish planting the flowers around the yard.

Day 1/of 3 was productive.

Day 2/of 3 we bought a bunch of flowers and two grape tomato plants. Before we went to do errands and buy the plants, I wasn’t feeling up to par. By the time I got home, I was feeling BAD. Something I had eaten didn’t agree with me. I ended up asleep under my throw in the recliner most of the day.

Today is Day 3/of 3 – and it’s been a good one. I’m feeling 90% back up to par.

 

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I just came in from getting all of the planting finished. It took me several sessions, but things are good now.

I planted

  • 4 yubi/purslane/portulaca plants
  • 4 gerbera daisies
  • 2 geraniums
  • 1 whole flat of petunias
  • 1 whole flat of periwinkles
  • 2 grape tomato plants in the garden

It’s almost 2:30 now – time I fixed lunch and I’ll continue to rest and re-hydrate.  Then I’ll go out and take some pictures to share with you.

This is why I’ve had to hurry to get the plants in. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop.

 

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Outside – Day 1 of 3

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I got in a good stroke on this, Day 1, of the three sunny days we’ll have through Tuesday.

  • I harvested veggies from the garden
  • I pruned and weeded in the garden
  • I prepared the planters for the flowers we’ll hopefully get tomorrow: phlox, geraniums, purslane (yubi), periwinkles, and gerbera daisies  (if we’re lucky. )

I’m hoping to have things pretty much under control by the end of Day 3…

I hope you’ve had a good, productive, happy day, too.

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Garden Images – April, 2017

I’ve just come in from a little over an hour of weeding and pruning in the garden. The pictures here were taken BEFORE I did that, ad I’m cringing a bit that you can see some little weeds and leaves that need to be removed, etc., but I wanted to share my delight in how well things seem to be doing now.

I actually have little bitty heads of broccoli coming on!

 

This is a terrible picture, but I have TWO cauliflower heads showing!

 

This is the largest celery plant, though I have several others. No clue yet whether I’ll actually get a stalk or not. (See what I mean about the little weeds? Most of them are gone now.

 

These are Georgia Sweet Onions. They seem to be happy now, rebounding from the hail storm.

 

This is one of two squares of radishes.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started from seed in the house.

 

And spinach. I was so delighted to find plants for sale this year at the local co-op. I hope that I thanked the guy effusively enough that he’ll try to get them again and again. I can’t be the only person looking for them and wanting to grow it.

I mainly cut up spinach for salads, or put the leaves in the rare sandwiches we eat now. I’m going to try to actually cook the leaves this year. It might be a thing where we love the stuff in the can, but the actually fresh leaves taste like a completely ‘different animal.’

Does anyone have directions for how best to cook fresh spinach leaves?

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1st Real Harvest of the Year – 2017/04/23

After the hail storm, I cut off lots of broken leaves. We had good eating from the sweet, broken plants, but it was sad to see everything so battered. Today, things have rebounded and I got our first real harvest of the year. I could have harvested much more, but I’d like to ‘eat our way through the garden,’ if possible this year.  These were the largest of the radishes so far.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

Romaine lettuce

 

Spinach.

My husband came in just as I was finishing washing everything. He said he’s looking forward to a big salad with our grilled steaks tonight!

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The Sun is Shining!

After several cool days and rain, the sun is shining! HOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!

We have what looks like a three-day opportunity to spend time outside before four more days of cool and rain this week.

It’s been SO cool and rainy, I haven’t checked on our garden in several days. I’ll do that today. I’m hoping there will be some good things to harvest. If so, I’ll post pictures later.

I have flower planters to clean out, weed whacking to do, and planters to get ready for new plants. We’re hoping to go to the local nursery tomorrow for a flat of periwinkles, several purslane plants, some geraniums, and maybe a flat of gerbera daisies – one of my very favorite flowers – if they still have flats for sale.

To celebrate having such a nice day today, my husband suggested that we get steaks to grill on the deck tonight. We always turn on the rope LED lights while we’re out there, and we can listen to our wind chimes on the porch and the new hummingbird bird bath waterfall while we sit, enjoying the evening and each other.

The errands are done for the day. I’ll finish my coffee and head outside to see how our garden is faring.

I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Sunday, too!

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Hope for the Future

Hope via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

I, aka “The Serial Seed Killer”, have had some successes with seeds lately!

  • I started some spaghetti squash seeds I scooped out of one I bought at the store, dried, and then planted. I have several plants that got large enough to be transferred to the garden and are still alive. I’m not sure if I’ll actually get a spaghetti squash – or just a plant with leaves – but I’m having lots of fun hoping.
  • I also planted several celery plants in the garden. I cut off the ends of celery bought from the store and put them in small glasses of water. When they had a nice looking – though tiny – little green plant, I transferred them to the garden. At this point, some of them have lived and some have died. Again, I have no clue whether I’ll actually get celery stalks or not, but they make me smile each time I check on them. (Too cool and rainy today to check)
  • The latest hope for the future is that I planted what are advertised as “Hummingbird Flower Seeds” in small pots and put them in frisbees (to catch the water) on the end of our dining table closest to the window. I’m hoping they’ll live to be transplanted into larger pots on the deck for the entertainment of the hoped-for hummers.

Here you can see the little fragile seedlings of the hummingbird flowers, plus two more celery ends I just put in water yesterday.

It’s a good thing we didn’t have to depend on my luck in getting spinach seeds to grow. The ‘serial seed killer’ still is alive and well in that area…

 

 

 

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New Plants!

Yesterday I told you I spent the afternoon and early evening planting new plants, mostly on the deck.

We have two of these pretty burgundy wave petunias.

 

 

 

We have these impatiens planted on both sides of the front door.

 

These are electric orange wave petunias. I planted two of these in the planter to the left of the front porch.

 

 

I brought these blue iris in yesterday, since we’re supposed to have lots of rain and possibly severe weather today, tomorrow, and into Saturday.

 

This is the new ground cover I planted in the trio of brick planters between the driveway and the front yard.

 

A pretty purple wave petunia. We have two of these on the deck.

 

This rose is called “Sedona.” We liked the color of the roses a lot, and thought it would be a nice addition to the Rio Samba rose bushes.

 

 

We have two white wave petunia plants on the deck. We’re hoping all of these will spill over the sides of the planters.

 

And, finally, this is the official hummer welcome area. We have two feeders out right now, plus the bird bath. My friend, Carla, told me the hummers are due around the 12th. I’m hoping for sooner…

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Playing in the Dirt

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I’ve decided that, for the past week, I’ve been paying for ‘SOMETHING’ I did wrong – first, the wisdom tooth that needed to be extracted, and just as I’m almost over that, a really bad earache kept me up all night. I tried the heat pad, but that didn’t work. I tried some ear drops, and they didn’t work. I got up at 4:30, found some Sweet Oil and some Advil, got under my comforter in my recliner and read,holding the heat pad to my ear until I was sleepy enough to drop off. My husband came down to find me this morning, still asleep, light on, book and glasses on my chest.

The pain is mostly gone now – I think.

This morning was a really good time for us to test the new-to-us riding lawn mower we bought recently. When we tried it the first time, we found a tire was flat. After testing it carefully, we discovered it had cracks in the sides, so we ordered another one. The second test it ran a little bit, and then stopped. We discovered the clutch wheel was completely sheared off on one side and the gas tank was leaking. We ordered both of those.My husband put those in yesterday. My husband also filled another tire that was flat yesterday. When we checked it this morning, it was still good! We had a little bit of trouble starting it, but we finally did. My husband went around and around and then pointed to me.

YouTube – (ours isn’t NEAR as shiny as this one.)

I’m always intimidated by new stuff. I’m afraid it will bolt, or I’ll do something stupid. I got on, it bolted, but my husband showed me how to slow it down. I mowed the rest of the front lawn and the back, gritting my teeth most of the way. It doesn’t turn quickly, so we’re adapting to that. Our weeds were really high and the mower wasn’t too happy with that, but the yard now looks as if someone cared, sometime. At the end of my turn I came too close to the tarp we have over a pallet of potting soil. The tarp was quickly taken into the blades of the mower. :0(  My husband had to cut it out. Thank goodness, it all came out and things were fine again.

We’re planning to mow again with the level lower after the rains come and go this week and the yard has a chance to dry again. We need to order a starter solenoid now, so it will start more easily, and a new muffler would be nice. Since the model we have is selling at WalMart for $1900+, and we got ours for $400, having to replace some things doesn’t seem that bad.

We rested a bit and then piled into the truck to go to Sharum’s, our local nursery again. Today we bought a replacement rose bush for the Rio Samba that died. This is something completely different. I’ll take pics when we get it planted.

We also bought 7 Wave Petunia plants for the deck. We got purple, burgundy, red, and white. We also brought some plant that has glow-in-the-dark bright neon orange flowers I HAVE to put somewhere. We got two large pots of impatiens for the front porch. I’m going to rest a bit and then get out and get planting! I love this time of year!

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Sharing

The West Australian

Yesterday when our good friend came over to get some help with a toy she had bought for her grandson, I had the wonderful pleasure of filling her hands with some things we had grown when she left.

I gave her a bright yellow iris, a pretty blue iris, and then some goodies from our garden – spinach, romaine lettuce, and red leaf lettuce.

The damage from the hailstorm is gone. We actually found some very small heads of broccoli in the garden! No actual veggies on the cauliflower plants yet. The radishes will be ready to harvest soon. I have one spaghetti squash plant that’s looking good, at least healthy leaf-wise. The onions are progressing. The tomato plants are all looking good.

One of the distinct joys of gardening is sharing with friends. Carla said she was going right home and fixing a salad. :0)

Life is great!

 

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Our Garden is Recovering!

Natural New Age Mum- Little Miss from Gardening for Kids

Not long ago I posted pics of our garden, battered by a hail storm and eaten by ‘someone’ other than us. Happily, the garden seems to be rebounding! We’ve still had too much rain for me to start really trying to combat the insects, but I cut off and cleaned things out, bringing in what was good to eat and composting the rest.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday of the garden –

These are the tomato plants in what we call “the nook” – a planter we built beside the back porch behind the easternmost part of the house. The plants are more protected here from the gusty winds we get, so sometimes, these are the only tomato plants that do well. My husband built some super-sturdy things to which we’ll tie the plants as they grow, since the medium grade tomato cages collapsed with the weight of the plants last year.

 

The is the brick planter to the east of the house that we also converted to be a square foot planter. We now have six tomato plants, planted at three different times, hopefully to expand our tomato eating season.

These are newly transplanted celery plants. I cut the bottoms off celery bought at the store, plopped the bottoms in glasses of water, and put them on the window sill.

These are older celery plants. I have no clue if I’ll actually get celery to eat, but I’m sure having fun trying.

This is the largest spaghetti squash plant, also grown from seed from one I bought and put in soil in a pot on the window sill. Again, who knows if anything will come of it, but I’m like a kid at Christmas…

The romaine lettuce and spinach have rebounded. We’re still enjoying the harvest of broken leaves I gathered after the hailstorm, but the plants seem happy now.

The broccoli and cauliflower plants look pretty good. I don’t know if I’ll actually get much from them. Last year I had good-looking plants, but not much actual broccoli and cauliflower to harvest.

It has lightened up outside now, but the wind is really whipping our tree branches around. The forecast is for scattered showers (80% chance) the rest of the day today and into tomorrow, so I won’t be outside again, probably, until Tuesday, when I hope to get more flowers!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

A Productive Day

We built 3 brick planters to divide the driveway area from the front yard. (Seeing this, you can see what my first job with the power washer will be this year…)

We went to our local nursery because I saw some ground cover that had little blue flowers on it that was gorgeous. I called, and they said they had it! When we got there, though, they only had one, and it was in the same family of ground covers, but wasn’t what we wanted. The lady guided us to another area where they had lots of ground covers. We found Bugleweed, Chocolate Chip. I bought six plants, two for each of the planters. I’m hoping that they will spread, covering as much space as they can in the planters. They have tiny blue flowers with evergreen foliage. When they finish blooming, you just cut off the blooms and the foliage looks good all year round. They’re perennial, too!

 

I spent all afternoon yesterday pulling out huge, lacey-looking vine-y weeds with really sticky, small pods on them. They stuck to my gloves. I then pruned everything so that I could see where I could plant the new ground cover plants. My husband dug out a Rio Samba Rose bush that died. You can see the disturbed dirt area on the right end of the planter. They had already sold the 15 Rio Samba Rose bushes they had, so we’ll look for something else that’s wonderful. (We still have two healthy Rio Samba bushes.)

 

In the center of this picture you can see one of the new Bugleweed plants. You can see the slightly lavender flowers sticking up from the nice dark green foliage. I’m hoping these will be really happy, spreading more each year, so I can just dot some colorful annuals around each year.

We also got four mandevilla plants for the deck. Plants go really quickly here, so my husband said he was afraid these would be gone if we didn’t go ahead and get them. We still hadn’t gotten the old roots out of the planters from last year, so my husband said he would get them out while I worked in the brick planters in the front.

 

We got all red mandevilla this year. Usually we get two different colors, but we’re hoping having four red ones will invite the hummers to come check them out.

 

We have two mandevillas on either side of the deck.

Since it’s wet and rainy today, we can enjoy the feeling of a day well spent yesterday while enjoying glorious peace and quiet – a good day to enjoy a book.

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A Glorious Day

As I walked around the yard a few minutes ago, three of our four furry friends walked with me. (Bambi was inside asleep on his bed.) This is Abby.

 

Our hummingbird bird bath came on automatically as it should this morning with NO LEAKS! Hooray!!!!!!!

 

Camellias are starting to bloom.

 

This is Molly.

 

Rio Samba Rose Bush

 

Smoke and a hydrangea plant.

 

We’re enjoying clumps of blooms like this all around the yard and down one side of the driveway. I had hoped that the dark purple iris and the pale yellow iris would bloom at the same time, but the purple iris is gone before the yellow iris starts to bud.

 

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I Love Iris!

Awhile back I posted some pictures of a glorious new bright yellow iris we got from Nanna’s Garden in Charleston, Arkansas. I love this time of the year because we’re rich in iris! The deep purple iris is pretty well gone, only to be replaced by pale yellow iris and this lavender color.

 

My husband insists these are WHITE. Then, when we talk about it, he says these are white compared to the bright yellow new ones we have…

 

This is a nice blue iris blooming in the iris bed we made for the new ones from Nanna’s Garden.

 

This is the planter for the new iris. My plan is to thin these out, this year or next, to eventually have these all over the yard.

 

These are more of the bright yellow ones, plus some yellow with rust colored centers, plus a peek at some medium purple ones in the center of the picture.

 

These pale yellow iris are all over the yard now. We had so many at one point that, after no one wanted iris, I simply threw down the hill off the edge of the civilized part of the yard. To my amazement, many of them grew!

 

These are the ones I threw off the edge of the part of the yard we mow. (Molly is checking out a lizard as I took this picture.)

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First Spring Harvest – 2017

I spent another couple of hours getting the garden under control, and things are looking a lot better now. I cut off dead stuff, harvested some  broken stuff and leaves that were torn or had bites out of them,  but would still be good to eat. I washed everything carefully in the sink and then patted the leaves. I harvested two gallon bags of lettuce and two of spinach. This is the lettuce I harvested today. It’s mostly romaine.

 

And this is the spinach. I hoping that the roots are good and strong and that the fact I had to harvest way more than I would have normally won’t hurt the plants.  I got a pretty good workout with the 3-1/2 hours of gardening today, and I feel good that I managed to save a lot of what I had to remove from the plants for us to enjoy.

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My Plants are Insulted

No Time for Flash Cards

My poor garden veggies have been/are under triple assault: hail, bugs, and weeds. I just came in from a session of weeding, cutting off broken limbs, harvesting some of the broken/hole-y stuff, pitching the rest. It looks like it will take several sessions to get my plants happy again.

We’ve had a lot of rain (with hail and other severe stuff), then good sun, resulting in all of the problems. I do pretty well for an hour out there, particularly with our new raised beds,  but I think it will take three or four more sessions to catch up. And THEN, guess what! We have more rain forecast for four days next week…

 

 

When you first glance at things, it doesn’t look very  bad.

 

 

The closer you get, though, the more you see.

Here you see a BUNCH of broken tops on the onions. This doesn’t matter as much on onions as it does on other plants.

The spinach has broken leaves, and someone is trying to eat the spinach before we do. I harvested a BUNCH of  broken leaves that will still make good eating, but not ‘pretty.’

This is one of the spaghetti squash plants. You can see the holes in the leaves. I don’t know if that will kill the actual squash trying to grow or not.

The romaine lettuce is basically really healthy, but you can see  broken and/or eaten leaves, plus little bitty weeds that have sprung up in the last couple of days.

Red lettuce leaf isn’t really a ‘pretty’ plant to my eye, but it tastes good IF it doesn’t get beaten down by hail and eaten by bugs…

The celery plants are still alive and kicking! You can again see the teeny tiny weeds, though.

I’ll try to get back out several times today and again tomorrow. The rains aren’t supposed to start until late tomorrow night – and hopefully, we won’t have hail this time…

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Small Setback

Clover Gazette – WordPress.com

We had hail in at least a couple of the thunderstorms a couple of nights ago. The day following was too wet and cold to play out in the garden, so I didn’t bet back to it until yesterday.

The hail did a number on my tender veggie plants. :0(

Many of the leaves on the lettuces and spinach are broken off. I’m going to spend some time this afternoon finishing weeding, but also harvesting some of the sweet, broken leaves. I’m hoping that the roots are still robust and that improving weather will bring them back to full health in a few days or a week.

Fingers crossed.

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Trip Around the Yard

My husband has three clematis plants he’s trying to nurture. This year they seem to be happy. Were walking around the yard this morning and found these.

 

Our purple iris are still blooming nicely in clumps around the yard while yellow iris are just now starting to bloom.

 

These are growing down one side of the driveway. There are a couple more ‘drifts’ further on down, but this is the main one.

 

This is one of our Rio Samba rose bushes. I cut them back harshly this past year because of various problems. I didn’t know whether they would live through my efforts or not. One of them didn’t, but two of them did.

 

 

 

And the pale yellow iris have started.

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Garden Progress

Delightful Childrens’ Books

Isn’t this little guy a cutie?

I can’t believe how much our garden has spurted with growth in just the past few days. Of course, we’ve had a lot of rain and some good sunshine, but I’m still shocked.

 

This is the north side of the garden.

 

And this is the south.

 

This gives you an idea of the whole garden (except for the tomatoes).

 

Spinach

 

This is one of the spaghetti squash I grew from seed on the window sill.

 

Romaine lettuce and spinach.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

Radishes

 

Celery plants grown from the ends cut off celery I bought at the store.

I’m really encouraged so far. I’m hoping for a good harvest this year.

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