Category Archives: Gardening

Flower Planters Looking a Bit Better

I did two sessions of weeding in the trio of 8′ long brick planters that are between our front yard and our driveway today. I thought I would take advantage of the cooler temperature and overcast sky to do some good outside. Of course, the MINUTE I walked out there, the sun came out in full force…

I came in dripping twice, and then called it a day. I’ll try to do more tomorrow. I wanted to share some nice flowers that are blooming now, though. This is a burgundy lily. It’s all one bloom and knocks our socks off each year when it blooms.

 

This is impatiens on the front porch.

 

 

Pink phlox.

 

Deep pink phlox

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Tired, But Clean

Klyker

My husband and I bought two kinds of salvia, 3 six-packs of impatiens, 2 mandevilla, and 15 small pots of wave petunias at the nursery yesterday. Since our weather has been wonky – with a cooler than normal spring followed by hotter than normal summer temperatures – it’s been all I could do to try to keep up with our vegetable garden, our flower planters, and the yard.

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get ANY of our normal choices, but we did pretty well. Then there was the prospect of getting everything planted. Yesterday I planted the two mandevilla and some of the petunias on the deck. This morning it was already in the high 80s when I started planting. I finished the deck, saving one wave petunia to go in the planter at the entrance to our shop. My husband keeps a jug of water out there so that he can water ‘his’ flowers…. :0)

Then I cleaned out Amber’s kiddie pool. I scrubbed it with the car broom, drained it a bit more than halfway, scrubbed it again, and then dumped out the rest of the water. My husband suggested that we put it on the east side of the house where it gets a bit more shade so the water would stay cooler. I got it into a reasonable spot, sprayed it out again, and then started to fill it. Amber came running around the side of the house, jumped into the filling pool, laid down in it, drank some of the water, then jumped out into the dirt, now made into mud by her dripping body. She loved it. She ran all around like a mad thing, started digging in the dirt, and then, of course, jumped into the pool with the muddy paws. She laid down again, smiled at me, bit at the sprayer hose, jumped out…. You get the picture. The water isn’t pristine, but it’s much better than it was, the pool has been moved to a better spot now, and the dog is ecstatic. Mission accomplished.

I then used another hose to clean up the deck where I had made a mess planting. I used the “less is more” philosophy this time, emptying 4 big pots I usually fill with flowers. We have really nice, bright burgundy wave petunias and mandevillas on the deck now – making a nice spot to sit outside – assuming this abnormally hot weather tames down for a bit before we officially get into the too-hot-to-sit-outside part of the summer.

I took time while the pool was filling to move the nice Joseph’s Coat climbing rose-bush my friend Kay gave me for my birthday in March to a sunnier spot where I think it will be happier.

That’s it for the day on working outside, until this evening before the sun goes down, when I plan to mix up batches of ‘ant-to-elephant’ bug spray that I can use on my veggie garden. I plan to hose everything down, use a stronger spray for the ant hill I discovered, wait a day or so, and then see how things are out there. I still have pink areas up and down my arms from the angry ants that bit/stung me for disrupting their ‘homes’ as I pulled up cool weather plants, but the swelling and itching are finally mostly contained, thank goodness.  I’ve just come down from taking a long shower and putting on clean clothes. Ahhhh!

I hope that you have fun playing in the dirt at your house, too.

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

Ants – Ouch!

I worked with the bug crime artist yesterday to come up with this drawing of one of my assailants yesterday. I’m still swelled up in big, pink, itchy welts all over my forearms from trying to clean up our square foot garden yesterday. I’ve taken Benedryl and am slathered with anti-inch stuff that is supposed to be soothing.  The welts aren’t quite as puffy as they were yesterday, so I think I’m getting better.

I’ve never had this problem before. It’s one of the many reasons I love my raised bed (chest level) square foot gardening boxes. Today we’ll talk to the people in town at the co-op, seeing if we can find something that will ‘kill the ants without hurting the plants.’  (Hey! That could be a good slogan for the ant spray people! :0) )

I looked up ants to see what good they do for us – and mostly found stuff to kill them. Supposedly, though, they  “clean up dead bugs and organic waste in your landscape.” I’m not sure that this makes taking residence in my veggies acceptable. I have pulled out the plants (that’s why I got all these bites/stings),  but I’ll treat the Mel’s Mix in the boxes before I do much more out there.

Most home remedies I’ve tried are ineffective, but I really don’t want to cause harm to my plants (or us – eating the plants after washing carefully.)

If I find something that the experts at the co-op suggest, I’ll let you know.

UPDATE:  I found an insect killer that I can use in the garden – on the veggies and in the Mel’s Mix. It’s called Eight Insect Control by Bonide.  The expert at Farmer’s Co-Op said it kills everything he could think of (the bottle says it kills over 100 named insect pests) and can be used on vegetables, fruits, flowers, lawns, tree, etc. It keeps working for up to 4 weeks. HOORAY!  He said I could spray in the morning and eat the veggies in the evening – after washing them well, of course.

 

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Trying to Clean Up the Garden

I’ve just come in from the first session of pulling up bolted and spoiled lettuce, spinach, and broccoli from the garden. The temperatures in the 90’s are more than the poor plants can take, even with being irrigated daily.

I was pulling up plants to be added to the compost barrel when I suddenly noticed I was being bitten or stung. I found little bitty ants on the spoiled plants, and now running up and down my arms and biting me.  I’ve taken some Benedryl, since I’m swelling up in reaction, and I’ll put the ointment on, as well. This adds nicely to the still-pink, still -slightly-raised area remaining from the sting I got from a scorpion last week. I’m beginning to think I’ll have to start wearing body armor and tenting, as bee keepers wear.

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It’ll take me another couple of sessions to finish out there, and then I’ll try to get some pics to share with you.

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Consequences

We went from a cooler and wetter-than-usual spring immediately to HOT summer, with record-setting temperatures for this time of year here in Arkansas. Consequences: it has wreaked havoc with my poor veggie garden. It was nice and lush just a bit of a week ago and then the lettuce started to bolt.

what-is-this.net

This is what lettuce bolting looks like. When the weather is in the high 90’s, there is little one can do to avoid this. When lettuce bolts, the leaves get bitter, so there is nothing to do but pull the plants out and put them in the compost barrel.

 

I’m going to be pulling plants today. I’ll take pics of what’s left when I get things cleaned up a bit. A week ago I found a few more head lettuce plants and what is called, “Stir-fry broccoli” that I planted. The jury is still out on whether these will live or not.

 

If you don’t know what you’re looking at here, these plants look healthy. Lettuce plants are supposed to be lush, but NOT tall, like these are.

It’s sad to come to the end of so many things at the same time, but I’m hopeful I’ll still have many plants remaining when I finish the clean out.

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Romaine Harvest and Yard Work

All of my romaine lettuce plants are bolting in the heat. That means that the plants which used to be fat and lush, suddenly shoot up into the air, looking like miniature trees. I tasted some of the leaves on the ‘trees’ and they tasted fine, so I cut off all the bolting parts of the plants, harvested the leaves and brought them in.

I couldn’t know less about what I’m doing, but the rest of each plant still looked pretty good, so I’m hoping there are good leaves to harvest later. Time will tell.

I brought in a big basket of the best leaves, dumped them into the sink so I could get them clean, and then stored them in gallon bags and put them in the fridge. We’ll have some in our salad with dinner this evening.

The sun is so hot I was really shot when I brought the leaves in. I let them soak in the sink while I rested and gulped water. I cooled off and then washed and stored the leaves, then rested again!

I just came in from scrubbing and refilling Amber’s pool. I use my husband’s car washing broom. It works just fine to clean without hurting the plastic of the pool. I loosen everything, drain about half the water out, then use the broom again, then dump the rest of the water out. Then I spray the pool out and leave the hose in the pool, held down by two bricks, to fill it.

When it was about half full, Amber came bounding around the house, looked at me, and then jumped right into the pool. She walked around, drank some of the water, then laid down full length in the water. I could almost hear her say, “Ahhhh!” as she gave me a very satisfied look. She got out, shook water all over me, then started barking at the hose. When I laughed, she jumped into the pool again and luxuriated some more. I finally finished filling the pool and put everything away. Amber is snoring on her bed in the living room now.

At dusk, my husband and I will do our first pass at cutting back the greenery on the sides of the driveway. I’ll put our battery-powered weed eater in the back and my sunglasses that wrap around, and my gloves, so that when we get to the bottom, we can do some weed whacking and pruning. Then we’ll go slowly up the other side of the driveway, cutting things back as we go, and we’ll be finished for the day. Our driveway is long and steep – about 650 feet, so this will take several passes to get it the way it should be.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful day, too.

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Weekend of Playing in the Dirt

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This weekend we’ll be in and out, trying to get as much accomplished in the yard as we can – while living to tell the tale.

The weather looks like typical July or August for us – lots of bright sun, 90’s – 100+ temperatures and little, if any, chance of rain. The problem is that it’s only May!  We have doors and windows open most of the morning and then have to close up to run a/c for the afternoon and early evening, opening up again when if/when possible.

  • The bright sunshine after rain last week is causing our grass to grow as we watch, so mowing and weed-whacking will be one thing we need to do this weekend.
  • I need to scrub out and refill Amber’s kiddie pool. She doesn’t ‘swim’ in it a whole lot, but she rarely goes out during the day without running through it, drinking a bit of it, and maybe lying down in it enough to cool herself off a bit. (She is 14 months old now and weighs 93 lbs. To say it’s a ‘challenge’ for us to keep up with her is a laughable understatement. :0)
  • The rain and sunshine are causing the trees – and other ‘stuff’ on both sides of our long, steep driveway – to attempt to grow together, blocking anyone from coming up or going down. I’ll drive the truck slowly up and down the driveway – my husband with loppers and a ladder in the back – cutting things back. We’ll need to do this several times before it will be reasonable again. We also need to cut down things at the bottom of the driveway. Our robot is almost surrounded by greenery!
  • My raised bed square foot garden needs a lot of work. Yesterday we got some lettucy-type plants, broccoli ‘stir-fry’ plants, and some cantaloupe plants at the co-op. I got them planted, but need to harvest, prune, pull-up, and otherwise get the garden under better control. My bolted lettuce plants need to be pulled, chopped up, and added to our compost barrel.

And the list goes on. We’ll do as much as we can – resting between sessions and drinking boatloads of water.  Assuming we can do most of this by the end of the weekend, we’ll go to our local nursery next week to find some flowers for the deck and yard.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

 

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A Bit of New Life for the Garden

Today after a nice time at Lunch Bunch, we stopped at the co-op on the off chance that they might have a few plants for our garden. I found a couple of lettucy type plants that I hope will fill in where my romaine is bolting and not long for this world. I also found a plant called, “broccoli stir-fry.” Since I’ve harvested the majority of the main part of the broccoli plants and I’m not sure if I’ll get more from any of these, I’m happy that I may have another chance for more broccoli this season.

The fact that we’ve gone directly from winter to summer this year is hard on the garden, particularly for the cool-weather plants like broccoli, spinach, and lettuce.

 

 

This is one of the lettucy plants and two cantaloupe plants at which my husband was looking longingly. Since it looks like a lot of the rest of my plants have a very short life span remaining, I’m happy to try these. (The last melon type plant I tried took over the whole 4’x4′ box, so I’m going to plan for this.)

It’s WAY too hot right now to be trying to work in the garden, so I’m doing other stuff while waiting for the sun to tone it down a bit. (We’re having a high of around 90 with humidity at 61% right now – way too hot for this old lady.) I’ll try to take some pics to share later.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Yesterday’s Harvest

I’m grateful for the harvest yesterday. In the picture above you can see that my spinach plants are not enjoying the heat. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants and I usually enjoy quite a harvest before the too-hot begins. I’ll harvest as much spinach as possible because I can freeze it.

 

The head lettuce leaves are still okay, but looking a bit stressed. These plants are happier than anything else, with the exception of the radishes, in the square foot garden right now.

 

I’m sad because the really hot-too-soon in the season weather we’ve been having is causing the romaine lettuce to bolt. I’m not sure how much more I can harvest before the leaves taste bitter and I have to compost the plants.

 

We’ll enjoy the fresh lettuce and spinach for salad each day for as long as possible. I’m not sure whether I’ll get more broccoli, but the hope is that I’ll get more from the shoots from the main plant after the center has been harvested. The radishes and onions are doing fine, although some of the green tops of the onions are shooting up and trying to make seeds. The tomato plants on the other side of the house are growing rapidly. They like the heat. I have a few blossoms, so I’m hopeful we’ll enjoy a nice crop this year.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, Favorite Things, getting the lard off, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

Playing in the Dirt

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I’m trying to spend a bit of time each day in either my veggie garden or my flower planters. Yesterday I didn’t do anything heavy, recuperating from earlier endeavors, so today I’m redoubling my efforts to get outside.

We’re having way-too-soon hot weather here, so my romaine lettuce plants are bolting. :0(    We’ve been able to harvest a couple of times, and I’ll try to save as much as I can in the few days we have left before the plants soar to the sky, getting several feet high – I guess in their efforts to live a bit longer and make seed.

My husband wanted to go today to get flowers for the deck, but I’m so behind in my garden and my flower planters I asked him to wait until tomorrow or Thursday. I usually jump at the chance to get more flowers, but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, particularly since I can’t work very long in this heat and don’t get as much accomplished as I would like.

I love spending time playing in the dirt. I’m concentrating my efforts in the morning and then in the evening, when the sun isn’t as strong. I work a bit, come in and rest and gulp water, then go out again, over and over. I love watching my plants thrive!

I’ll try to get some pictures to share with you later.

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Garden Harvest – May, 2018

broccoli

I harvested this yesterday when it was super hot. I didn’t harvest any romaine because I just got too hot out there. I’ll do that later today.

 

head lettuce

 

Spinach

I also wanted to show you our tomato plants in the two planters we converted to square foot gardening on the east side of the house.

 

The first tomato blossom of the season!

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Clematis

My husband has been trying to get clematis to grow happily at our place for several years now. The past couple of years it has given us a nice display.

 

We used 4 half-barrels and arranged for something for it to climb on. When you look at the flowers from the house, there isn’t a lot to see.

 

 

But when you look at the flowers from the BACK, this is what you see. We’ll take it.

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Ready for Another Harvest!

Our raised bed square foot garden is doing well so far this year. We have six 4’x4′ boxes on metal ‘tables’ at about my chest level. I can just walk up to them, planting, weeding, or harvesting without having to get up and down from my knees or bend over double – a thing I can’t tell you how very MUCH I appreciate!

 

We are growing iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, sweet onions, radishes, spinach and broccoli. We have two converted planters on the east side of the house with tomato plants.

 

I’m going to go out and harvest some things today, but I wanted to show you how nice the plants look before I do.

 

 

 

I have some celery started in the kitchen that I’m hoping I can transplant to these empty squares soon.

 

 

On the lower right, you can see the start of radishes in the square.

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New Rio Samba Rose Bushes

I pruned the three bushes we got for the first time recently. Essentially, I had to prune ALL of the blooms, so I was a bit worried.

I had to wait for a couple of weeks, but they’re in bloom again now and seem to be happy in their new digs.

 

 

 

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Garden Update – May 7, 2018

This afternoon we went out to check on the garden – weeding, harvesting, and taking pictures. I got hot and tired, so I didn’t do any harvesting today, but will tomorrow. We got the weeds taken care of, and everything seems to be very happy.

 

I was surprised to see how the broccoli has grown! Last week I had to look really carefully to see any sign at all of the broccoli head. I’ll harvest some of this tomorrow. I learned last year that the broccoli goes from this to really spread out like a bouquet and not good to eat fast. I’m hoping that I can encourage shoots off the main plant to produce more.

 

I lost one lettuce plant, and I have no clue what happened, since all the rest looked like this. We have romaine and iceberg head lettuce.

 

The onion plants are tall and strong looking. The spinach is still looking happy, although it prefers the cooler temperatures.

 

 

I planted several squares of radishes last week, and you can see them here.

I decided to spread my plants out a lot more this year. I think that the square foot garden guy, Mel Bartholomew, gets a lot more involved with his garden than we do. My plants grew into each other last year and where the plants met, they seemed to smother. Everything seems happier this year, so far, with my idea of more air circulation around each plant.

I didn’t get pictures today of the two tomato planters on the other side of the house, but I’ll try to get some soon. They seem to be happy right now.

We turned on the irrigation system for the planters in the front yard and found where we had a blow-out. My husband said it looked like a ‘critter’ had been chewing on the pvc pipe that runs across the front of the yard, down over the edge between the ‘civilized’ and ‘woody’ parts. He had ordered a special repair tape a couple of years ago. This seemed a perfect time to try it. He wrapped the pvc pipe where the chew marks were and we’ll test it tomorrow, after it has time to adhere to itself fully.

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Walk Around the Yard

We hurried to mow the grass and blow the debris off the sidewalks and driveway pad, just in case the rains would come swooping in. Tonight we’re supposed to have a chance of rain, but the day has been gorgeous. I took a break and took some pics to share with you. My husband loves clematis, and we’ve been trying to get the vines to grow up over the deck. Failing that, and finally admitting defeat, we planted some in plastic barrel halves on the east side of our property between the house and the greenhouse.

 

 

For a very short time each year my camellias bloom. Usually they are immediately beaten down by a rain storm, showering petals everywhere and giving up for another year. Right now they’re blooming, so fingers are crossed they last for more than a day or so.

 

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New Iris

Last fall I cleaned out the planter where the ‘new’ iris were, the ones from Nanna’s Iris Garden in Charleston, AR.  I transplanted iris all over the yard, and still have some that need to be planted. This is one of our new ones and I think it’s really nice. I cut the top bloom and brought it into the house for us to enjoy, leaving the rest to bloom outside.

I love this time of year, each time I take a trip around the yard, I find something that fills my heart.

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Nana’s Iris Plus “Volunteer Rose”

We bought three different colors of iris from Nana’s Iris Garden in Charleston AR about three years ago.  We have several like this blooming now. I think they’re wonderful.

 

And when I was pruning our new Rio Samba rose bushes, I found this ‘volunteer’ right beside the front planter! If it’s a remnant of one of the bushes we had to cut down, we’ll try to nurture it and see what happens.

You probably already know this, but a lady at Sharum’s Nursery in Fort Smith showed me how to prune rose bushes to encourage more blooms. Ever since I learned this, I have SO much better luck with roses! –

PRUNING ROSES

  • Take the spent bloom in one hand, and pull the branch out so that you can see the groupings of leaves. Find the first group of five leaves and prune at a downward angle right ABOVE the five-leaf cluster.

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Square Foot Garden Progress – April

 

Yesterday I showed you the first harvest from our spring veggie garden. I’m delighted that everything seems to be happy so far.

The raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ wooden boxes about my chest level filled with Mel’s Mix (a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and three or more kinds of compost.) The boxes are divided into ‘squares’ by stretched string. I have opted to space things out a lot more this year because I lost a lot of produce by having the plants growing into each other. I decided to opt for a lot more air and space for each plant and see what happens.

We also have tomato plants in two converted brick planters on the other side of the house. We’ll plant another group of tomato plants soon so that we can space out our harvest and extend it as much as possible.

In the picture above you can see broccoli plants, spinach, iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and onions. I’ll add some radish seeds soon (as soon as I get the squares weeded) and also celery (when the ones I started in the house are large enough.)

Each box has a sprinkler in the center that are connected by pieces of hose. These are all tied to a main hose that connects to a rural type outside faucet. We put a timer on it so that the garden is irrigated each morning.

I’m going to wash spinach, romaine, and iceberg lettuce for our salad today harvested yesterday from the garden. I hope that one day we can eat our own broccoli!

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1st Harvest – 2018

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We’re having scattered showers today. I decided to go out to the garden and bring in some produce for the salad we’ll enjoy tomorrow. Of course, the rain started when I was just starting to snip…

PurifyouPremiumReusableMesh

Since Nutrisystem suggests that you NOT wash produce until just before you eat it, and also suggested that produce will last longer in these mesh bags, I took three of the bags out to the garden with me and harvested the produce right into the bags: one for spinach, one for iceberg lettuce, and one for romaine lettuce.

 

1st Harvest – Spinach

 

1st Harvest – Iceberg Lettuce

 

1st Harvest – Romaine Lettuce

Even though my efforts at growing a garden don’t save us money, the produce we get is so fresh, and it’s so much fun to go out and snip the ingredients for salad from your own garden!

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Companionable Amber

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Amber – April 2018 – 13 months

I grabbed my camera to take a picture of the entertainment center and the winterized deck for the previous post. Amber, of course, wanted to come with me.

We ended up walking all over yard, taking pics of flowers, veggies, etc. Amber would watch me, then run off and do doggly things for a while, and then come back on her on, or when I called. We did this over and over, walking out to the greenhouse, then all the way across our land to the square foot garden, then back around the house.

Amber is a really sweet, wonderful dog. I particularly enjoy her when it’s just the family here. She responds eagerly – probably in anticipation of a ‘cookie’ when we go back inside – but is truly fun, affectionate, curious and playful. (It’s when others come here, or we go out in public that she tends to go ‘maniac,’ requiring all our tools, skills, and dubious intelligence to handle things. We have agreed that we need to invite more people here, and put the no-pull collar and leash on her when she is allowed to get out of the car on our outings, giving her more occasions to meet people, LISTEN to us, and hopefully, do what we say.

As to what we saw on our walk this morning –

The deep purple iris is fading, but the yellow iris is all over the yard in clusters. My husband is less than impressed with the yellow ones, but the display is very impressive to ME.  (Each pic displayed here is a different clump of iris, plus there is more going down the driveway!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purple Iris

Deep purple iris are our favorites (although I like a lot of other colors). I’ve been working on trying to spread the purple iris all around the yard, since my husband loves them above all others.  Right now we’re feeling rich in purple iris!

 

This is toward the top of our driveway, on the right as you drive up. We have an antique computer tower perched on one of our brick planters. My husband put it there as a conversation piece years ago, but the birds now build nests in it each year. You can see some parts of the ’emu’ planters just past the brick planter. We’ll place my husband’s favorite periwinkles in those as soon as the weather warms up.

 

This is one of the clumps of purple iris that are finally happy along the side of the driveway. They make us smile as we go down the driveway. My husband remarks about them each time he sees them, thanking me for transplanting some there.

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Square Foot Garden After Storm

We had bad storms with a strong cold front Friday afternoon and evening – including tornadoes, damaging winds, rain, hail, and flying hair balls. I was worried that my fledgling square foot garden plants would get battered.  Yesterday and today we’ve had cold temperatures for April in Arkansas – barely 40 and gusty north winds.

As you can see, the garden is doing fine. WHEW!  Thank  goodness these are all cool weather plants!  I may lose some of my tomato plants, but the rest of the garden is good.

 

 

Broccoli

 

Iceberg Head Lettuce

 

Romaine Lettuce

 

Spinach

It’s almost time to start snipping!  I can gather the outer, larger leaves of the lettuces and the spinach soon. As soon as it warms up a bit, I’ll get some radishes started.

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, getting the lard off, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Roses “A-bloom!”

We planted three new Rio Samba rosebushes recently. THEN, we of course had 2 freezes….. I’m happy to show you that the roses came through the freeze well and are ‘a-blooming!” (If that’s a word)

 

We love the Rio Samba because it’s like having several rosebushes in one. The bloom starts out bright yellow with a faint coral edge on the petals. As the bloom opens, more and more coral shows up.  As the bloom matures, the coral fades, but covers most of the bloom. At any one time you’ll see buds, bright yellow new blooms, and various shades of older blooms.

 

 

I’m delighted that so far, the new bushes seem to be very happy, blooming their little hearts out.

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Good Morning!

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I just took the doggies out, walking straight out to the garden to see if our plants made it through the night. It was due to get close to freezing this morning, and I debated whether to try to cover things up. I finally decided I had too many things to cover and would just hope for the best.

It wouldn’t have been the end of the world if the plants had frozen, but they were doing really well and I would have been very disappointed if Mother Nature had zapped everything.

Everything is good!

I hope that the weather is good where you are this morning. I wonder what the day will bring?

 

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I’ve Definitely Quit Dancing!

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Okay. We were in the middle of a drought and it even caused bad problems with our water supply, making the turnovers in the lakes cause our water to have a bad odor and taste.  Wildfire danger was high. Warm, windy days were worrisome.  I started doing mental and physical rain dances, trying to get our area over the problem.

Mother Nature listened. I’m not sure if she saw and heard ME, or if a whole lot of people were also doing rain dances, but she delivered. Big Time. We’ve had rain, rain showers, heavy rain, storms, sleet, and more rain. I’ve definitely STOPPED even thinking about rain dances, but now I’m thinking Mother Nature is saying, “You wanted rain. Okay. Here it is!”

Today we’re due for MORE storms, particularly between 11:00 and 3 this afternoon with possible severe weather.  We did a group of errands this morning, paring our list down to one appt this afternoon, in an effort to be ONLY blown away, rather than blown away and DROWNED trying to get our stuff done.

The doggies came and demanded that I take them out a couple of minutes ago, insisting they would blow up if I didn’t take them out NOW. I complied, then came back for my camera, to record some of the beauty I found while walking around the yard. The storm today might wreak havoc with our yard, so I wanted to try to catch Mother Nature at her BEST – first.

Every day the wisteria gets more lush and more purple.

It SMELLS wonderful, too!

We have purple iris blooming in planters, in clusters around the yard, even off the edge of the civilized part of our yard, plus down our driveway.

 

We have buds on the three new Rio Samba rose bushes, and now some of the buds are starting to open up!

 

A knock out rose bush is starting to have blooms.

 

This is the north side of our square foot garden.

And the south side.

The winds really picked up while I took pics and walked the dogs. We’ll probably be right in the heart of the thunderstorms this afternoon, since we have to be out at 1:30. It’s a good thing we don’t melt in the rain. We’re thankful for our warm, dry home. Our doggies have already snuggled down for a nap, and even the two cats came in with us.

Have a wonderful day. Stay warm and dry!

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

It’s “Wissing!”

When our wisteria starts to bloom each year, my husband says, “The wisteria is wissing!”

Each day it get a bit more lush, a bit more purple. We just love it.

 

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Roses: New Growth and Buds

This is the Joseph’s Coat climbing rose bush that my friend Kay bought for me for my birthday. It’s putting on new growth, so hopefully it’ll be happy in its new home.

We planted three new Rio Samba rose bushes recently. All are showing nice buds, and SOME are about to open! Here’s bush # 1

 

Bush # 2

 

Bush # 3.

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Between Deluges

The Nourished Soul

I almost didn’t recognize the huge orb in the sky this morning. It’s been at least a week since we’ve seen it, and it was truly a glorious sight. On one of the many ‘walk-the-doggies’ trips I’ve taken today, I took some pictures of my veggie garden.

 

We built our raised bed veggie boxes with drain holes, but we’ve been getting SO much rain relentlessly, I was afraid I would find the boxes washed out and the veggies on the ground. Happily, everything seems to be doing well.

 

Here is iceberg lettuce and some onions.

 

This is the north side of the garden. You can see broccoli, spinach, onions, iceburg lettuce, and romaine lettuce.

 

Here’s a better pic of some spinach and some romaine lettuce, plus some onions.

 

This is the south side of the garden.

And here is the first group of tomato plants. I plan to plant more in a couple of weeks to extend our harvesting season.

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Filed under Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Between Rain Storms

“Raindrops on roses….”

 

 

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Before the Rains Came

Before the rains started last week, things were sprouting all over the yard. This is the lovely black elephant ear plant that Kay got me for my birthday, plus some iris and some phlox.

 

Amber hasn’t discovered the other hyacinths in the yard yet, so she has ONLY eaten one…. Also some iris and a rose bush.

This hydrangea is sprouting in one of the two brick planters we have to demolish soon.

 

The rose bush on the left is the Joseph’s Coat climbing rose bush that Kay gave me for my birthday. We’re hoping it will climb up the wisteria truck next to it. The plant on the right is a camellia that will soon have blooms.

 

Some of our twice-blooming iris!

 

A close-up of one of the branches of our redbud trees.

 

Surrounded by redbud branches….

 

This is one of the 6 or 8 redbuds we have in the yard.

As we stay in the house, or run through the rain, it’s nice to have so many reminders that wonderful weather is on its way.

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Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature