Category Archives: Greenwood

“Spring Came Suddenly…”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow via The Bloomsbury Review via Cathy Ruggiero

I love the photo here, and the quote gives me the most wonderful mental picture. :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Quotes, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Break Time Goodies

I took my camera on my way out to see my husband in the shop.

Right now I’m really pleased at the display of twice-blooming deep purple iris we have around the yard. Here are some pictures –

 

 

 

 

 

Here you get a feeling for how they’re blooming much of the way down one side of the driveway. (You can also see the flying pig we made :0)  )

 

Here are a few I cut to bring in today.

 

The orchid my friend, Nora, gave me several years ago is going nuts. I don’t think it has ever bloomed this much. :0)

 

My spinach sprouts on the window sill croaked. :0(    I’ll try again.  Meanwhile, here are the latest celery plant and several spaghetti squash plants ready to transplant into the garden. (The glass on the left is a try at being able to grow romaine lettuce from some bought at the store.

And last, but most important, the reason I went outside in the first place (other than to stretch my legs), is my husband at his reloading station in the shop. I offered him lunch, and he took me up on it.

 

Now that my break is over, I’m back to my ‘important stuff’ list…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Lewis yard art, Mother Nature

A Gazillion Greens

Casa La Strega

This isn’t my photo, but it gives you a glimpse of why I love spring.

We were driving home yesterday from errands. My husband stopped to ask some men what they were working on beside the road. (They were running water to a man’s shop at the top of a hill. ) My husband went on talking about the road work, but all of my senses  were captivated by the rolling hills and valleys at this time of the year.

My spirits lifted as I was unable to count how many different shades of green I was seeing! It was like trying to count hummingbirds. :0)  I stopped at a gazillion…

I felt totally filled by how beautiful the land is between the city of Greenwood and our home about 4 miles outside the square. This time of the year is a feast for the eyes and heart. Soon all will seem to be the same green, with the exception of the evergreens, but now it’s a smorgasbord of greens.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Playing in the Garden

Delightful Children’s Books

 

I’m very happy that our garden is alive at all right now. Our weather has roller-coastered between hard freezes and a high of 90 today. We also had a timer malfunction on the garden irrigation system, so the plants were really badly overwatered at one point before we figured out the problem and replaced the timer.

 

Now I THINK we’re finished with the hard freezes. Our temperatures are still roller-coaster-y, though. 90 today. 60 tomorrow. 80 the following day….

 

I need to take some sharp scissors to clean up the plants. Some have bad leaves. I did get out a few arrogant weeds today, though. :0)

 

Here you see red lettuce leaves and spinach.

 

As you can see in this, and the next, pictures, some of the celery is doing well. Some has croaked.

 

 

This is the south side of the garden. I’m growing Georgia Sweet Onions in the back, red lettuce and spinach in the middle, and broccoli, cauliflower, and celery in the box closest to you.

 

Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and red lettuce in the planters in the north row.

 

Spinach sprouts on the window sill.

 

One celery plant and two spaghetti squash sprouts here.

Hopefully, things will settle down now and my plants can grow in peace.

3 Comments

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

Hello, Spring!

source unknown

I just LOVE this! Along with the sentiment, the whole idea of spelling it out with things from nature – with the delicate colors – is  perfect.

I’m not sure what today will bring, but we certainly have the weather for it here in Greenwood, Arkansas. In fact, today’s high will be a huge change, at 88 degrees F.  We might even have to turn on the air conditioner for a bit this afternoon!

My husband and I enjoyed the first cookout of the season last night, grilling steaks. It’s been a long time since we enjoyed one, so it’s hard to describe how DELICIOUS it was. AND, since we don’t eat potatoes as a rule anymore, the baked potatoes tasted especially good, as well.

There was a wonderful breeze as we cooked on the deck. The sun was going down. We had both doggies out with us, having one on the long deck leash and the other running free, then changing them. Both cats visited from time to time, then found something to pounce on in the taller grass along the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our back yard.  My husband enjoyed some iced tea. I had a cup of coffee.

We were tired, but nicely so. We had changed our truck tires from the snow tires to the regular ones. This is getting to be a harder and harder job for us, but we’re still managing. My husband has decided that this is a matter of pride now, so we’ll probably be trying to do this ourselves for several years from now.

We discussed how wonderful it was that we discovered that Chuck Berry, 90, one of our teenage favorites, was married to the same woman for 68 years. We can hope for some time together yet. :0)

I hope your 1st day of spring is a happy one!

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Favorite Things, Greenwood

Wisteria Bloom

We’re having a really nice display this year. My husband has been trying to get the wisteria to go all the way across over the woodpile, and then climb the tree on the other side. I was standing close to the wisteria yesterday so I could breathe deeply and enjoy its glorious smell, when I realized I was seeing some wisteria in the tree on the far side of the main part of the plant! I brought my husband over so that he could see that his efforts are bearing fruit. He was really happy. He doesn’t grin ear to ear often, but he did this time. :0)

4 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Busy Saturday!

I didn’t even get time to write anything on the blog yesterday we were so busy!

The first thing we did was put the shutter back up that blew down during the storm before last. Yesterday was the first day we’ve had where it wasn’t too windy to be up balancing a 2 foot long shutter on a 2-story ladder. I HATE it when my husband has to do this. I am height challenged in two ways: personally in being too short for a lot of things I want to do; and secondly, I’m afraid to go up a ladder, be on the roof, etc.  I CAN get up there, but I freeze after I do, making me useless.

The holes for the shutters in the brick are wallowed out. I suggested we put the screws in the shutter, hold them on with mollies, then use liquid nails in the holes. We could then screw the screws in as far as they would go and hopefully the liquid nails will harden and hold them in. Amazingly, my husband thought my idea was a good one! We got it finished. No one broke any appendages. We didn’t yell at each other. All is good.

The next big thing we tackled was getting the irrigation system going. We THOUGHT the one to the garden was working, but discovered that the timer for the system died suddenly, and our veggies were being watered continuously. ARRRRRRGH! We got the water shut off, went to Yeager’s and got another time. We programmed it, installed it, and tested it. All is good there, too.

Then we started with the irrigation system that handles watering all the flowers in the planters around the house. We spent at least a couple of hours finding and repairing breaks in the front yard. We had trouble reprogramming the brains of it, which live in the well house, but we THINK we finally got it right. We tested the system in the front, found and fixed more problems, and called it a day.

Another good thing about working in the yard yesterday was that I logged over 7400 steps! That’s amazing for me!!! WOO HOOOO!

We will probably tackle the irrigation system for the back yard today. We’re thinking about changing the tires on the truck this afternoon, from the snow tires to our regular ones. We’ll see how we fare after other have-to’s have been accomplished….

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Blooms

I love spring, with all the plants coming to life again. As I walk around our yard, the combinations of color really lift my spirits.

This color combination of the forsythia and the wisteria really caught my eye this morning. The daffodils are almost gone now, but so much is happening, it’s hard to be sad about that.

 

Here is one group of our twice-blooming deep purple iris. We’re trying to get these planted all the way down at least one side of the driveway. Since our driveway is about 650 feet, it’ll take us awhile.

 

My husband saw these at the store the other day and picked them up. I planted them in a brick planter right outside the garage so he’ll see them each time we come and go. They are happy looking flowers, aren’t they?

 

There’s a pretty sharp contrast between things that are greening up and the leftovers from the winter.

 

 

 

I’m trying to gather the energy to gather up some of the hundreds of small weed trees our wonderful helper, Shane, cut down for us last fall. I’m thinking I’ll try to gather stuff a little bit each day and see if I can make things look a bit neater…

Happy Spring!

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ashevillage

 

Here is one row of our garden. You can see three ‘boxes’ from front to back tied together by the irrigation system, which is on a timer we can control. Most of the garden is in now.

 

This is the second row of the garden with another three boxes.

I just went over and hugged my husband again, thanking him (1) for the idea of our building a raised garden (when he saw how very hot, tired, and achy I got getting up and down, planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden on the ground), (2) for all the time and energy he spent building and installing the boxes, cutting and welding the support tables that hold up the wooden boxes, designing the irrigation system, (3) for encouraging me to spend what I needed to get – and keep – things going in the garden.

 

I visit the garden at least once a day – covering or uncovering the plants in protecting them from freezes, pulling the weeds that install themselves even up in the air, pulling off dead leaves on the plants, taking pics, and – the best part – when I can actually start harvesting what we’ve grown!

 

I’ve planted Georgia Sweet Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, celery, and spaghetti squash. Probably next month, when the stores have a good selection, I’ll get three tomato plants. In another three weeks, I’ll get three more, making a total of six. We have two brick planters on the east side of the house converted to square foot gardens, filled with Mel’s Mix, ready to receive the plants.

 

We’re off to a good start!

Do you like to grow veggies? I would love to hear from you, comparing notes on how you do it.  I would love to hear about tips you have on getting a healthy crop, suggestions you have so that I can do a better job. I’m a real novice and appreciate all the help I can get. :0)

4 Comments

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

Woodpeckers

We have a woodpecker family in our back yard. We see them running up the power pole in the back, stopping to survey their domain when they get to the top.  We’ve had a larger one and a smaller one around the deck in the past. Today when I was passing the window, I saw two large ones. I’m assuming it was the mother and the father, but I’m not sure. One stood on the top of the feeder and the other was on the end. You can see one of the woodpeckers here. I went to get my camera, but I only had one woodpecker when I came back.

 

 

I think these are beautiful.

 

Here you can see his nice long beak a bit better.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Sharing Spring – Take 2

I feel sorry that so many people I know – and even more I don’t know – are having snow and even blizzards this week. My heart goes out to them, even though they might be more used to what I call ‘bad weather,’ and not consider the current weather a huge deal, as I would.  I hope that the blizzard doesn’t cause too much havoc.

Here in Greenwood, Arkansas, I’m like a kid at Christmas, anticipating real spring. We’re having a good taste of it, and for that I’m truly grateful.  I just checked on the garden and it’s still doing well, thank goodness. With these overnight freezes, it’s one day at a time around here.

On the inside, I can’t lay down my well-earned moniker, “Serial Seed Killer,” yet, though here is the latest batch of spinach sprouted from seed. These are in pots made of peat, filled with Mel’s Mix, so if they live, I’ll plant them, pots and all, intact, in the garden. Maybe I can add, “Persistent Planter” to my moniker? My husband describes my efforts as, “Even a dead hog finds an acorn now and then.” :0/

 

Also on my window sill is the orchid my good friend, Nora, gave me a couple or three years ago now. I’ve thought it was dead a couple of times, but kept watering it and keeping it in the sun. Lately it bloomed!

 

 

Meanwhile, things are beginning to green up around here.

 

 

 

Everywhere I look, I see something sprouting. I LOVE this time of year!

Hopefully, once this ‘last gasp’ of winter is over, we can ALL think happy thoughts of renewal.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Encouragement, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

The Little Garden that Could…

Conscious Life News

Last night, since we still had a really heavy mist going on, I opted to pretend I was in Florida spraying my plants with water before a freeze. I went out this morning to see if I had to start my garden over because all had frozen or what. Happily enough, my little garden looks like it’s going to be okay. Now we have clear skies and sunshine, meaning our temperatures are much more likely to plummet this evening and the next day, too. I’ll cover things up right before dark tonight and tomorrow night.

My sister-in-law in Charlotte had snow last night and this morning, so I’m trying to send some spring in her direction, plus others in the path of the reminder-it’s-still-winter storm.

 

One of our azalea bushes is budding out and starting to bloom.

 

I cut back our forsythia bush severely last fall, tired of it trying to encroach and cover up everything else in the flower beds. I wasn’t sure it would bloom at all.

 

Our tulip tree’s delicate pink and white blooms are gradually changing to light green leaves.

 

Here you can see the change more easily.

 

Here is some phlox leafing out.

 

And a hydrangea bush.

 

The daffodils are fading, but the deep purple twice-blooming iris is still going strong. We’re beginning to see some we planted beside the driveway.

 

Here is the iris bed of ‘new’ colors of iris we bought and planted recently. I’m hoping that I can thin these out at the end of the season and start planting them in different places around the yard.

If you’re having another blast of winter, I hope this gives you hope. I still have no clue whether our early spring will be cut short by the last gasp of winter, killing everything, so I’m trying to get pictures while I can.

Spring is officially here March 20th!

2 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Redbuds

The Redbud tree is the state tree of Oklahoma, but we love it here in Arkansas, too.  After a long, drab winter, the sight of redbuds in bloom makes your heart swell.  We are lucky to have several growing on our land. Each year we cut down things around them, trying to give them the best chance of healthy growth we can.  I guess you can buy and plant them, but the only ones I ever see grow wild all over the place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Our Wisteria is ‘wissing!’

I’m not sure how hardy wisteria is, but I’m hoping ours will make it through this cold spell. It started blooming, (my husband says it’s ‘wissing,’) a couple of days ago. While I was taking pics of the garden, I took some pics around the house that have lifted my spirits –

 

 

 

We have kind of an L-shaped area from the intersection of a row of brick planters and one of the firewood holders we made. We planted the wisteria plant in the end of the planter closest to the woodpile. Over the past few years, as it grows, we keep trying to anchor it so that it will cover all the way over to the driveway.

 

This is a more close-up picture of some of the blooms. I’m hoping this is just the beginning of a really pretty sight in our yard.

 

 

I just love the look and smell of wisteria. I’m really happy that it seems to like the place we planted it.  It’s hard to think anything but happy thoughts when you have the opportunity to look at this.

Happy Spring!

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Garden Update 3/10/2017

It’s 6pm., andI just finished covering up all my new planted veggies in preparation for a possible freeze tonight. This is the first of three or four nights our weatherman suddenly decided (after I checked the next 10 days to be sure a freeze wasn’t predicted) that we’re supposed to have in the coming week.

I took some pictures of the almost finished spring garden I wanted to share with you –

 

I have no clue whether these plants will actually make or not, but it’s a fun experiment. I have the celery plants, plus the spaghetti squash plants that I started inside on the window sill.

 

 

This box has romaine lettuce and spinach.

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the north side of the garden. I have broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and spinach.

 

I also have red leaf lettuce. I finally got most of my labels made yesterday.

 

This shows a view of the whole garden looking to the west. There are six table-like raised bed planters, 3 in each row here.

Right now the garden looks like mis-matched wash fell of a laundry line. I spread five king-sized sheets of various colors over the  plants and secured them with clothespins. I hope that this will be enough so help the little plants get through the freezes.

The forecast also is for rain all day tomorrow and tomorrow evening with a freeze again. My plan is to get the sheets off the plants in the morning and dry them in the dryer in preparation for securing them over the plants again tomorrow…

2 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Our Garden is Officially Started!

This is the first time we’ve had all six raised bed square foot garden boxes in our garden! We have SIX 4′ x 4′ x 8″ boxes on legs connected by an irrigation system so that we can water everything on a timer. Each box has a sprinkler in the center. The timer is between the house and the garden, and we can either just turn it on to water manually, or use the timer so that all gets watered for a specific amount of time daily.

 

We have fencing plus chicken wire around the garden to keep critters out. The pink tape is to keep deer from running into the fencing at night. We can put bird netting and shade fabric over the top of the garden, if needed.

 

I found SPINACH plants!  Hooray!!!!!!!

 

 

These are romaine lettuce plants.

 

This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Georgia sweet onions.

 

Cauliflower.

 

Broccoli.

I have moved some of my window sill plants to the back porch in preparation for moving them out to the garden. I have some celery plants and some spaghetti squash plants. My spinach seeds have tiny sprouts on the window sill now. I may have some more spaghetti squash plants.

I’ll probably get more plants tomorrow. I want the local co-op guy to REALLY know how much I appreciate his getting spinach plants this year.

We have some issues with water pressure right now on the irrigation system. After messing with things for quite awhile this afternoon, we think we must have a hose blowout somewhere between the well house and the garden, but we were too tired to tackle the problem today. Tomorrow is another day…

 

6 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

No Hard Freeze!

daffodils4

I’m so happy that we didn’t have the hard freeze forecast for this morning, so all the blooming things are still alive and kicking! Every time we leave the house or come back, the daffodils all over the place this time of the year make me smile.

 

iris

As I walk around the yard, I find more twice-blooming deep purple iris. I just can’t get enough of them.

 

 

tuliptree

Our sweet tulip tree blooms are very fragile. The wind is already blowing the petals down, but they look so pretty for a short time each spring. I love the furry little buds, too.

You CAN’T feel down when you’re surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty. :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Sproing!

Spring has definitely sprung here in Greenwood, Arkansas. Accordingly, since a lot of things are blooming, we’re due for a hard freeze both Saturday and Sunday, probably killing everything. :0(

Our daffodils are abloom all over the yard, more lush than I’ve ever seen them.  Here are a few examples –

 

d2

 

 

d3

 

 

sp16

Our tulip tree is abloom, as well.

sp12

d9

We’ve also had several purple iris blooming. Here’s one that’s gorgeous this morning –

 

d13

Mother Nature sometimes has a nasty sense of humor, particularly in Arkansas. I’m hoping that these sweet plants – plus my Georgia Sweet Onion sets – will survive the hard freezes this weekend. If not, we have at least gotten to enjoy them for a bit.

2 Comments

Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Official Start of Growing Season in Arkansas 2017

onions2

I just finished working in the garden for the moment. I planted the bunch of Sweet Georgia Onions we bought recently. Here you can see crop rotation, as it is in square foot gardening – You don’t plant the same plant side by side. It would actually be better if I didn’t plant them cat-i-corner to each other, too, so they’re less likely to spread disease or bugs. I keep track of where I’ve planted things so that I don’t plant them in the same squares NEXT time.

You can also see the irrigation system. We have a sprinkler mounted in the center of each box, attached to each other and then attached to the main hose. We have them hooked to an outside above the ground faucet on which we have a timer so that the plants are watered each night during the main season. It isn’t hooked up now, due to possible freeze, so I just watered by hand today.

 

onions3

This is another view of the raised bed garden we finished in the fall. There are six 4′ x 4′ wooden boxes (two rows of three boxes each) mounted on metal support ‘tables.’ We use string to divide each wooden box of Mel’s Mix into 16 squares. I planted the sweet onions in 8 of the 16 squares in this box today.  I can’t describe what a pleasure it is to simply walk into the garden, putting the plants and the implements needed on top of a square, then planting things at chest height, not having to bend over double, till the soil, try to get all the weeds out for planting, then get down on hands and knees to plant, and then finally water.

We decided last year I was definitely too old to do all that anymore. We built the boxes and the supports, then stored them beside the shop under tarps until the spring garden was finished. I went ahead and planted the fall garden on the ground as usual and we installed the new raised bed boxes on the side of the garden that wasn’t being used. When the fall garden finished, we installed the last three boxes.

Today we strung the string on the three newest boxes. I need to mix and add more Mel’s Mix (1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 equal parts of however many compost types you can find. – I used cotton burr, barnyard, and mushroom.) Then the whole garden will be ready to plant when the danger of frost has passed.  In the above picture, you can see the trash cans beside the shop where I keep the components of Mels Mix ready to put together.

Meanwhile, fingers are crossed for these sweet onions, even though our average last frost date is April 10th…

2 Comments

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