Saturday, August 23, 2008

The garden of weed'in

Wow, and I was actually really trying to get a picture without that stupid ladder in it. Oh well. This is Jeanne Lajoie miniature climbing rose, and it is starting it's fall show, which promises to be a fabulous one. I haven't fastened it to the post yet, thinking I would get the post painted this summer before I did. Shut up, I really have tried!!
This is my orange Butterfly Weed, and it so happens to be surrounded by that purple leafed plant that is an annual, but reseeded so badly this year that I have pulled and pulled and pulled it out. Huuuummmm, I really need to remove the rest before it goes to seed this year, don't I?
I have weeded a lot, and I'm not sure you could tell. It has been a really bad year for weeds here, with all the rain we've gotten and all. I had the kids help try to get the strawberry beds in control, and they are looking pretty good. The vegetable garden is bad where the melons are, but they're done, so I'm just going to mow it down and till it all under. I'm picking tomatoes, okra, and peppers every day, though. I take two bucket with me to pick so I can separate the good from the bad, and the chickens wait for me at the door for the bad to be thrown into the pen. It's rather funny to watch them all run and fight over it all. I also throw the weeds in their pen, which they love. Can I use that as the excuse for my overgrown flower beds? Yeah, I was doing it for the chickens!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally, an update!!

My Love-Lies-Bleeding in bloom.
Can you believe it? I actually had a little time to post. You have no idea how amazing that is to me. I would like to say that I have been busy canning and keeping the garden very weed-free, but that is simply not true. Emily has gone from taking two naps to taking one nap, and the kids keep waking her from that one! Last year she contently played in a play pen on the back porch while I weeded, not so this year. Two seconds and she's half across the yard headed for who knows what. I picked up my 17-year-old at the airport on Saturday after a summer with his Dad, and on Sunday when he looked out the back door for the first time all he could say was "ah Mom!" with a very sad tone. I have failed as a gardener this year. Oh well, we had trips to the park and pool, and hot afternoons slipper sliding on the water slide thing in the yard. We took bike rides and had water fights. And somehow we made it to the end of the summer vacation with no trips to the emergency room. Well, I did with Jeff once, I guess, but that was for a horrible, horrible rash like I have never seen. But the kids are all intact, and I am somewhat sane. School starts on Thursday, I hope to get all the gardens weeded, one at a time, before frost.

This rose is one of those that got planted and apparently was very happy with her placement. This rose grew amazingly fast, and blooms up a storm. Every end of this bush has a couple of blooms on it.

I tilled the garden to start a fall crop, but didn't get anything planted, and now I'm glad I didn't. A million weeds are coming up, and instead of weeding I can wait until it dries out (it rained) and simply till again. It will be too late for more green beans and corn, but maybe some lettuce, cabbage, and a ton a spinach will do.

I grew this. Well these, because there are several around the garden. Have no idea what they are, but they were supposed to be asters. I started them from seed, and after planting them in the bed they grew very, very tall. I wondered all summer, and now I know the truth, these are not what they were supposed to be. I don't particularly like them, so very soon I will have to cut them out.

Nikki, I hate to tell you this, but the vine borers got most of my pumpkins plants. And the ones that they left either aren't blooming or aren't getting pollinated. I will have to do some research on what to do to prevent the borers before next year. If anybody has any ideas, do share.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For the love of Zinnias

I would really love to get a better picture of my zinnia bed later, but that just probably won't happen, and I know it! Jeff starting repairing the roof last week, and worked and worked all weekend. His Dad and brother came to help, so my job was to make pitcher after pitcher of iced tea and fill their cups. Abby's birthday was Saturday and I feel really bad that I haven't posted a picture like I did everyone else.
This afternoon Timmy and Cameron (one of the two I babysit on Mon and Tue) decided to pick a ton of mint from the yard and 'sprinkle' it all over the house to make the house smell good. I'm rather hot, so it simply upset me when I saw the mess, but at some point I will giggle when I tell that story!
I have tomatoes to can! I used to have one of those squeezo strainers, and I haven't seen it since the last move. I loved that thing, I keep hoping I will come across it some time when I'm going through boxes in the garage. In case some don't recognize the name, it's a gadget you attach onto the counter and after washing and cutting your tomatoes you put them through it and it separates the skin and seed from the pulp and juice. It makes canning tomatoes a breeze, and if I don't find it this summer I will have to ask for a new one for Christmas.
I was given three boxes of apples on Saturday too. So I will be making applesauce, hopefully tomorrow. We ate squash with our dinner last night, yum, and fried okra sounds good tonight. Aaahhh, the joys of summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fair Birdhouses

Here's the bird houses Jeff made with the boys. Timmy's is a barn, with him being my farmer his design was easy. Tyler's wasn't as easy, but Daddy came up with a KU theme. I'm just now getting almost caught up on the household things after spending so much time on the Fair. But I'm afraid it will take a while for the yard to recover, the weeds are going to take over if I'm not careful. The good news is I canned five quarts of green beans and seven quarts of tomatoes yesterday. The vine borers are still winning the war on the pumpkins, I'm afraid. I haven't surrendered, but I'm not sure I will get any pumpkins this year. Oh well, there's always next year, Lord willing.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A roof-top view, number two

Jeff had to climb onto the roof to measure for the impending roof repair, so I thought I would get a picture or three. It would have been interesting if I had taken a picture in the same spot every two weeks from early spring to fall, but maybe that could be a thought for next year.
I really need to get a better camera sometime, these really don't do it justice. The black-eyed susans are beautiful, and the weather has been so mild the bachelor buttons are still blooming up a storm. The hibiscus are starting to bloom, and them and the purple cone flowers are loving the heat we are finally getting.

Yes, I actually use the clothes line. I can't see why more people don't use them, it's FREE. Anyway, we're getting enough eggs right now to sustain us, and have extra. Actually, four of the chickens will be spending a little time at the 4-H fair in town this week. I will post pictures later this week. I have four in 4-H, and all will be entering flowers (along with other entries), those who haven't seen my yard should really wonder about it, huh?
I have been picking okra, a few squash and zucchini, some green beans, and quite a few tomatoes. I haven't had enough green beans to can again, but I have had enough to fix another big pressure cooker full of beans and potatoes and bacon. I have been picking blackberries, and have enough to make Jeff a blackberry pie, but he decided he'd rather me make a batch of blackberry jam instead.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Massive Bee Balm

I happen to be 5'6 1/2" tall, and I took this standing on the ground, looking straight forward. What do you think? I personally have never seen Bee Balm get quite this tall. It could be the plentiful amount of rain we've had this year, or maybe I should check the seed packet label, you think?
I am having a terrible time with the vine borers this year. I have sat on my knees many times trying to dig the little worms out of my giant pumpkin plant. That poor thing is not looking good at all. And I will definitely have to replant squash this year. I picked my very first ripe tomato today!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!! I am still trying a remember to write everything down in my notebook as I harvest. I have picked two okra and two yellow squash, and of course more green beans. I think I will definitely have to plant a fall crop of beans if I want to have enough canned for the winter. But the potatoes will be done soon, so I should have enough room to start another big patch. I tried to till the bottom of the garden the other day, but it is still way too wet. I would love to have it dry out so I can till and harvest the potatoes, then it can rain again after I get the beans planted. I have heard it is just going to be a wet year, so everything might not happen just as I hope.
Jeff and the kids helped me weed the garden, and I must say, it is looking very good. There are still a few places to finish, but at least now there are more plants than weeds.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Punkin Head

(Last night after supper)

I (punkin head) wanted to play in the dish water some more. Mean Mommy said no, I had already played in it for thirty minutes, and the floor was soaking wet. I got mad and went to find my blankie. When I found it on the dining room floor I sat down with it to pout, and accidentally fell asleep. If you look closely, you can still see my halo.