Category Archives: Greenwood

Tomato Plants From Suckers – Take 1

These two tomatoes were ready to be harvested this morning. We have one harvested a couple of days ago, so we’ll feast on sliced tomatoes tonight!

Yesterday I tried to plant suckers in order to grow new tomato plants.

“Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above.) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.”

I carefully gathered several suckers, went to my greenhouse where I had pots of Mel’s Mix ready, moistened the bottom of each sucker in water and then stuck it in rooting hormone  (shaking off the excess) and put the suckers in the pots. I then watered the pots. It was really hot in the greenhouse so I left the thermostat-controlled exhaust fan on.

 

This is what the thermometer in the greenhouse showed this morning, although it didn’t feel that bad. The exhaust fan is set to start and run when the temperature inside the greenhouse is 90 degrees F. or higher. It was off. The outside temperature is 77 right now.

 

As you can see, Trial 1 was a failure.  I chose and cut the suckers carefully. The fact that I planted in the heat of the day, rather than in the morning or right before dark may have been a factor. I read the directions on the rooting hormone and followed them carefully, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The fact that the thermometer is reading so high vs the exhaust fan being off may be a factor. I may bring the thermometer in and see if it’s working correctly. *

*It’s now about 45 minutes later. I brought the thermometer inside and my husband shook it. It has red dye now in the bottom of the package. Apparently, the temperature in the greenhouse blew its top off. We’ll hunt for a different style today while we’re out.

On a happier note – I harvested the first of the experiment to try to grow celery from the bottoms cut off stalks bought at the store.

 

 

I cut off the bottom of the stalks of celery I bought at the store and put each in a glass of water. These need to grow a bit more before they’re ready to be taken out to the garden and planted. (If you look carefully, you can see that in the glass that’s second from the left, I’ve put the end of a head of lettuce in a glass, just for giggles.)

 

The celery plants are bushy, rather than looking like what you get at the store. I cut the largest stalks, leaving the smaller ones to hopefully grow.

 

There is a LOT of greenery on each stalk. I washed everything, then cut off the stalks into usable pieces, washed them again, and then took the bowl of cut celery to my husband in the living room where we each tried one. Oddly enough, they taste like celery! :0)

I’m like a kid at Christmas. After several tries and several failures, I’m actually growing edible celery! Woo HOOOO!

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, DIET!, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

And How Does Our Garden Grow?

Huffington Post

 

This is one of the celery plants in my garden that I started from the end of a stalk I bought at the store. I’m going to cut some of the stalks today and see if they taste good.

 

This is one of two spaghetti squash vines I have growing right now. I grew this from a seed I saved from a squash I bought at the store. It’s a bit larger than a softball now.

 

We have lots of green tomatoes, and this one ripening one. It should be ready to bring in in a couple of days.

 

 

Here are two celery plants that have been growing in water in my kitchen. These are ready to be planted in the garden.

 

Can tomatoes be ‘cute?’ If so, I think THESE are. These are grape tomatoes and this is today’s harvest. It may be awhile before I have enough for a salad….

And finally, this is the first thing I’ll do in my new greenhouse – try to grow tomato plants from suckers.

A ‘sucker’ is a sprout from the juncture of two branches. If you look carefully at this picture, you can find the juncture of the tall vertical branch on the right side of the picture and the horizontal branch going out to the left at the bottom of the picture. The ‘sucker’ is the smaller branch with leaves growing right out of the juncture.

 

In the next few days I’ll get some glasses in the greenhouse so I can put the suckers in the water and see if they’ll sprout. Fingers crossed!

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Too Darned Hot!

Dumb Photos

It’s supposed to get to 95 degrees today and the humidity is 64%. According to my heat index calculator, that’s 117 degrees F. Too darned hot!

I want to work in my new greenhouse, trying to get it organized reasonably, and I also need to cut down what we call, “Weed Trees” that line up across the back of our yard and cut off our view.  We’re going to Lunch Bunch very soon, but after that I’ll work in short spurts, coming in to enjoy the air conditioning, drink lots of water, etc.

This will be at least a 2-shampoo and shower day…

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

“Love is the Flower…”

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon

 

This nice bunch of lilies is almost finished for the year. It looks like a lily bouquet to me, and I love the rich color.

 

Last year, once the summer was in full swing, I sprinkled a bunch of zinnia seeds in the planters. Not many of them came up, so I was really surprised to see volunteers all around the planters and across the front yard!

 

I don’t know what this plant is, but it’s perennial and it seems to really like it in this planter.

 

Phlox and periwinkles.

 

Two colors of impatiens, plus phlox about to bloom and iris.

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

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Tomato Plants

Huffington Post

One of my husband’s and my favorite things in the world is home grown, red, ripe, sliced tomatoes with a meal. No matter what else we try to grow, tomatoes are the main thing.

We built a raised bed, square foot garden for our other veggies (though I AM trying some grape tomatoes in two of the squares this year), but we moved our tomato plants to the east side of the house. We have a brick planter in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch at the end of the house, plus an eight foot brick planter on the east end of the house.

 

This is the 8 foot planter. We have six plants here. We planted two plants every two weeks.

 

This is “The Nook”. There are only two plants here, planted two weeks apart. As you can see, we have really large plants that are difficult to keep supported.

 

Here is a closeup  of some of our green tomatoes.

 

And here are more.

 

And HERE is the first ripening tomato! Whooopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Encouragement, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Onion Harvest

The last storm made all of the tops of my onions break and bend over. They looked awful, so I went ahead and harvested them. THEN – not having a clue what to do to them to get them like the ones we buy in the store, I went to my “Square Foot Gardening Book” by Mel Bartholomew to find out.

He said to find an old window screen or chicken wire fencing to put the onions on that allowed a bunch of air circulation so they could fully dry in the sun.

I didn’t have either of those things handy, but the side of our trailer had a nice grating stuff on it, so I put the onions on there. Happily, it’s not supposed to rain here until Tuesday, giving them several days to dry. Then I can store them either in net bags or a large bucket of peat moss until they’re all used up!

He also pointed out that I COULD have simply cut off the broken tops, allowing them to stay where they were in the garden to keep growing. That’s good to know for next time.

 

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How Does My Garden Grow?

simply u photography

I just spent an hour and a half in my raised bed square foot vegetable garden. The fact that I can work in it without having to bend over a lot, and can plant, weed, harvest, and pull – a ll at about chest level  – is really, really nice. That said, I’m still old and I still get really hot working in the sun. :0)

We had a really odd combination of a cooler than usual spring with lots and lots and LOTS of rain and not much sun followed by blazing sun and 90 degree temperatures. This has resulted in my lettuce bolting, my spinach doing the same (both shooting up to about 4 feet in height and going to seed on the top.) The only thing to do with the lettuce at this point is save the little bit that I can and pull the rest of the plants. At the beginning, my plants were looking really good. Even with the best growing medium and supplements, square foot gardening, etc., some years your plants simply don’t do as well as you would hope.

The last storm also made the tops of my onions bend over and start to yellow. I looked at things today and decided to go ahead and harvest them. I pulled them all out, cut off the tops, and left them in a few piles on the planter while I came in to rest.  I’ll read up on how to dry them for storage.  I have 4 of the six planters cleaned up, pulled up, or pruned. I’ll try to finish in another session out there today.

It looks as if I’ll actually get at least a small spaghetti squash or two! I have a long vine with blossoms and two actual squash bulbs. I spread it out, allowing it to go where it will and do whatever it wants. I’ll take a pic later.

My celery plants are still growing, but they don’t look a thing like a bunch of celery you would buy in the store. I have no clue what I’m doing, but the plants look great! :0)

Our tomato plants on the opposite end of the house are looking good and we have lots of small green tomatoes now. We’re keeping all appendages crossed that we have a good year for red, ripe, sliced tomatoes at any meal we like…

I’m hoping we’ll get the greenhouse finished soon and ready for me to start seed for my fall plants. It’ll be such fun to try to grow plants to transplant out into the garden at the proper time. Again, I have a LOT of reading to do as to when to start the seeds in order to have them ready for the fall.

This spring I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do next time. If I live long enough, one of these times I’ll know what I’m doing!

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Too Darned Hot

It’s not officially summer yet, but our temperature right now is 93 degrees F. – much too hot to do a lot of work outside as we had planned.

We’ve decided to rest up this afternoon, and then dash outside when the sun starts to go down. I’ll use the riding lawn mower and my husband will get what I can’t with the self-propelled mower and we’ll get the lawn reasonably under control again.

We have a big light on the corner of the shop that we can turn on later so that I can at least do SOMETHING in my garden. I need to pull out the lettuce plants that have bolted, see what’s what otherwise, and plant one celery plant.

We also want to put up the last of the framework on the greenhouse so we’ll be ready to install the film over the greenhouse, hopefully starting early tomorrow.

We just went out onto the porch to play with Amber, and it’s lethally hot out there. Amber doesn’t seem to mind it, and she is in the shade with plenty of water. I’ll also take her for a walk in a bit and see if she wants to get into her kiddie pool. (I may join her!)

I hope the weather is nice where you are, and that you’re having a wonderful day.

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And the Building of the Greenhouse Officially Begins!

It might not look like much to you, but this is beautiful, as far as we’re concerned.

Our good dirt and driveway guy, Eric, came over with his tractor today and smoothed our really bumpy driveway and then proceeded to clear land for the greenhouse my husband and I are going to build.  It’s to the east of our house, on the extra 2 acre strip we bought to add to our land several years ago. It’s the only halfway level spot we have on our almost 8 acres of land…

The cleared space we need is supposed to be 15 feet x 15 feet in order for us to build a 12 foot x 14 foot greenhouse. The first step is to drill and then pound in the corner spikes. My husband cut 2 foot pieces of pipe, then we got big, heavy angle iron to weld onto the spikes, making corner posts to which we’ll attach the treated wood to make the perimeter of the greenhouse.

This is no small step. We had to use explosives in order to be able to dig our basement, put in our septic system, and prepare for the swimming pool we never built 30 years ago. We have a cement drill that we’ll use to drill holes down as far as possible. Then we’ll use a sledge-hammer to pound the spikes with angle iron into the ground.

I’ll take pics as we do this.

I’m really excited to have the plot ready to attack!

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“The Earth Laughs in Flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know the name of this group of burgundy lilies, but we’re really happy to see it each year. All the buds open and it’s like a huge bouquet.

 

Here it is from a different angle.

 

We’ve had so much rain this spring that a cactus in the wild part of our place is blooming!

 

We have a pot of these impatiens on either side of our front door.

 

This is one of a trio of brick planters that divide the driveway from our front lawn.

 

This lone sunflower is blooming between the house and the shop. The bloom is opening more each day.

 

We love these yellow lilies!

 

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Extremes are Pounding My Garden

My poor square foot garden is reacting to the cool weather, then hot, then too much rain, then the cycle all over again that we’ve been having over the past several weeks.

 

This is my square foot garden, minus the tomato plants we have on the opposite end of the house. We have six 4’x4′ planters at about chest level inside a fence and reinforced around the bottom by chicken wire. As you can see, my lettuce is starting to bolt.

For those of you who are beginners, as I am, ‘bolting’ lettuce is bad. It means the plants shoot way up high and start to go to seed. Usually this happens when the weather gets too hot.

 

When this happens, the leaves start to get bitter-tasting. I’m going to harvest as much as possible during the coming days, but a lot of work has gone to waste. :0(  This is the red leaf lettuce.

 

And here is the Romaine.

 

My Georgia sweet onions seem to be doing well.

 

My celery plants look healthy, but nothing like what you would buy at the store. I have no clue what to expect here, but I’m having fun trying.

 

More celery.

 

I’m trying to get the spaghetti squash plant I grew from seed to spread out as much as it likes. It’s blooming, but again, I have no clue whether I’ll actually get a spaghetti squash or just a lot of leaves and blooms.

I still have some spinach, but it doesn’t like the hot weather, either.

My tomato plants on the other side of the house are still looking pretty good. I’m hopeful we’ll start getting ripening tomatoes soon.

Each year I feel like a complete beginner again. Every year I’ve had a square foot garden, the results have been completely different. Each time I feel I’ve learned something, Mother Nature laughs at me.

I love the process of planning, planting, and hoping, though. The greenhouse we’re building will hopefully help me do some laughing myself! (The progress of the greenhouse is slow because the first step is clearing some land. Our weather has not been cooperating, so we keep having to move it to another week. This forecast shows you what we’re dealing with.

 

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Harvest May 24, 2017

I’m still mainly doing cleanup from our recent storms, but I got a nice batch of spinach today.

 

Our weather has turned really warm and humid (except for today) and the lettuce is starting to bolt. I’m hoping I can harvest a lot more before the plants are done until I plant more for the fall garden.  This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Romaine lettuce.

My husband wants me to plant iceberg lettuce. We don’t get the plants in this area for some reason. When we get our greenhouse finished, I’ll plan on trying to start some iceberg lettuce seeds for the fall garden.

Meanwhile, we have some delicious, fresh-from-the-garden goodies for a big salad tonight.

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

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

2nd Annual Greenwood AR ArtFest on the Walking Trail

Greenwood ArtFest

 

After running some errands yesterday, my husband and I took a few minutes to see the 2nd Annual Greenwood ArtFest. It was on the walking trail, part of which goes behind two bank, the court-house, some restaurants, and more on the south side of the square.

The city has created a walking trail that now goes almost all the way around the main part of the city. Not only are there nice sidewalks, there are benches every so often so you can stop and rest. There are trees, birds, squirrels, and flowers, too, so it’s a nice feast for the eyes as well as a great place to get good exercise.

There were lots of artists. Each had a tent and displayed their artwork. The only thing that could have been better was that the wind might not have been quite so energetic.

I saw several artist friends.  I got to hug necks and visit a bit. My husband and I enjoyed the variety of artwork being displayed. Some teenagers were working on string art, and had some for sale. There were several artists displaying original paintings. There were artists who made jewelry. Some were showing prints of their work. One artist specialized in leather and wood. One lady did 3-D carvings in horizontal cuts of  tree wood, with the ring of the tree being the ‘frame.’ One of my friends was showing some of her hand-painted gourds, some decorated bottles, her original Fort Smith AR Civil War paintings, and more.

I was delighted to see so many talented folks in one place.

I’m going to see if I can make some small  ‘people and critters’  out of screws, nuts, bolts, and small scraps – with the idea that I might participate next year. I’m excited to dive in and see what I can come up with! :0)

 

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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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Sunshine!

HD Walpapers Rocks

The sun has come out to play today! Wheeeeeee! We had almost forgotten what the sun looked like here in Arkansas. Some of our counties have received over 1 FOOT of rain in the last couple of weeks.  Thankfully, though we are susceptible to hail, high wind, and tornadoes, floods are not a problem on top of our ridge line.

Now that our errands are finished for the day, I’m looking forward to getting out to our garden. The raised bed garden with Mel’s Mix is designed to drain well, but with so MUCH water, cool temperatures, and almost no sunshine, I’ll probably be spending several days working out there to get the plants happy again.

I’ll take pics when I see what’s what.

In the meantime, I wish YOU a nice, sunshiny day, too!

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The First Hummingbird is Spotted Today!

All About Birds

This isn’t THE hummingbird we saw this morning, but it is the kind we see most often around here – A ‘Rufous,’ I believe it’s called.

We were eating breakfast when the sweet hummer came in for a quick drink. He was gone so fast my husband didn’t get a chance to see him.  It was only 56 degrees F. at the time, so he wasn’t even thinking of playing in our new hummingbird bird bath, but I hope he at least looked at it and will consider it the next time he comes.

My friend, Carla, assured me that hummingbirds weren’t due here until the 14th, so obviously this little guy didn’t get the memo. I’m glad we had fresh nectar for him so he could tank up.

Have you seen hummingbirds yet? Do you think they actually will enjoy a birdbath, or was someone just playing with us when we saw a picture of a gazillion of them playing in the water on Facebook?

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Tornado Warnings Expired

science – HowStuffWorks

We’ve had a very interesting late evening here in Greenwood, Arkansas.  We were watching TV and our weather alert started making all kinds of noise in the office. I discovered we were under a tornado warning – not watch – until 11:58 pm.

I’ve told you before that my husband and I are complete opposites. I tend to get nervous when ‘tornado warning,’ ‘Fort Smith,’ and ‘Greenwood’ are all mentioned at the same time by the weather alert thingie. My husband scoffs and wants to go outside on the deck and watch the storm come in. We’ve learned to compromise over the years. I try not to freak out. He tries not to make fun of me. We take care of our animals and listen to the local TV station and stay alert until the danger – or at least most of it – passes.

The warnings have been cancelled. Whew. We had lots of lightning. We haven’t had any rain yet, but I expect a lot of it over night. The TV guys were talking about two areas of rotation reasonably close to us. One seemed to touch down in a rural area in southeastern Oklahoma, right over the state line from us. It was moving in a northeast direction, and the cone of possible travel seemed to skirt past us to the west. Then they added rotation in the Fort Smith area. I don’t think anything happened in Fort Smith, other than hail. That was happening in Oklahoma, too. In fact, they showed a piece of hail that had a measuring tape beside it – measuring 4 inches long!

We’re still under a flash flood warning through Sunday, with 5 to 8 inches of rain forecast by Sunday. That’s a LOT of rain. We have several rivers and creeks that go through the area, and a lot of those won’t crest until Monday or so.

We’ll just keep all appendages crossed that everyone comes through this weekend all right.

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Rain, Rain…

Izismile.com

 

Friday: Potentially severe storms along the warm front after dark; Hail primary threat; tornadoes possible.

WEATHER ALERT DAY SATURDAYExtensive Flash Flooding 5-8″ of rain likely.

Sunday: Rain ends, cooler. River flooding remains possible.

_________

SO – we may need a boat before this is over. We live on top of a ridge line, so we don’t have to worry about flooding in the house or the shop. We may have a lot of flooding in Greenwood and Fort Smith, though, with Arkansas River flooding, plus flooding from lots of other smaller rivers throughout the state. Spring is usually rainy, but this is a little much.  Our biggest danger up here is tornadoes. I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Arkansas (aka ‘Tornado Alley’) for most of my life and I’ve never actually seen a tornado. I’ll be delighted if this remains true the rest of my life.

The saddest thing is that the worst day for the rain is supposed to be tomorrow, when the 30th annual car show is scheduled on Greenwood’s square. It’s a fun event, with lots of people coming from all around to show the great work they’ve done on their cars, with some of the cars from the 1920s. They provide a fun day for lots of people, and then give a check to the city to use for community projects. I’m hoping that either the forecasters have misread their maps, or that the car show can be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, all has been planted and will appreciate the rain (I hope!) I’m a bit worried that my garden plants will get hailed on again. All appendages crossed that we’ll ONLY get the rain…

 

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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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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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Playing in the Rain

In Lieu of Preschool

 

The 80% chance of rain started in early this morning, with dark clouds, wind, rain, and an almost 20 degree drop in temperatures. It only sprinkled on us as my husband and I got the mail, enjoyed our friends at Lunch Bunch, and did a few errands before coming home and starting a comfort beef stew in the crock pot for tonight.

The rain came again as we were settling in. Perfect timing! The forecasters are saying we could get 3 to 5 inches of rain by noon or so tomorrow. We may need a boat! Usually, when we have a good, wet spring, we have a long period of NO rain for a couple of months of the summer, so I’m enjoying every drop we’re getting now.

My husband has come up with a new project –

He ordered a Blu-Ray DVD reader we received today. He wants it to read his collection of DVDs, storing each movie in a special storage drive.  When each has been stored, we’ll sell the DVD. This will eventually free up a lot of our shelving in our entertainment center. He’s started moving stuff around in the office as I type. This rainy day is a good time to get started on the project. I hope he’s happy with the results. My part in this is to add to his spreadsheet of his movies, listing main actor/actress, plus a short synopsis of the movie.

I hope that you have a fun day planned. Stay dry, my friends.

 

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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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