Saturday, August 23, 2008
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
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.
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
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
Monday, July 7, 2008
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
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
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.
Look what my deary beloved found at a garage sale last weekend! One tractor runs, the other has a motor, its just in pieces. The yellow thing in front on the left is a mower deck and on the right we have a tow behind tiller. We actually have been looking at the tow behind tillers at the local farm store, but they have their own motor and are quite expensive. This one tills by means of a belt hooked to where the belt would go if using the mower deck. Wow, I'm not very mechanically minded, I hope that makes sense.
In other news, I have vine borers already. I've had to rescue the giant pumpkin plant already, and the other vines are very close behind.
Jeff was SO happy, I managed to get a cooker full of green beans, potatoes, and onions cooked tonight. Everything was from the garden except the little bit of bacon grease I added. Boy, was it ever good! I also canned 7 quarts of green beans, and as late as it is, I'm here on the computer waiting for the pressure to go down so I can take them out. Hope your garden is growing up a storm!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Hey! I managed to get a good photo of the hollyhocks. I took it on one of those few days here lately that it hasn't been raining, and that definitely isn't today. Oh well, it's a good excuse not to be outside weeding! I could complain about parts of my garden drowning out, but I have to look at the bright side- we haven't had to turn our air conditioner on this year yet. And I don't think my tomatoes have ever looked better this early in the season. And one variety already has tomatoes, and if we could get just a bit of sun, would ripen within a week. I walked through the garden yesterday, and a big pot of new potatoes, green beans, and bacon is very close. The potatoes show signs of dying down, and the green beans (even as weedy as they are) are sporting lots of beans. I planted two different times, and the first planting of beans is as weedy as they come, but the second planting has hardly none. I guess if I had waited a week on the first batch, I could have tilled under most of these weeds that sprouted and be further ahead. Live and learn I guess.
These poppy's are new to me this year, and I almost can't wait to see what other colors bloom. They are so pretty!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
And here are the tomatoes. They look really good, I already have a lot of little green tomatoes on the vine. I plan to can a ton of them so I don't have to buy tomatoes for the next year. I have the jars, I just need the tomatoes, and the time to get it all done. Jeff and I were talking of setting up a place for me to can on the covered back porch, so I don't heat the house up. All we need is an electric hot plate thing to set the pressure cooker on and we're in business.
The green beans are looking good, too. I should have some green beans to pick in a week. My onions are almost a total loss, they sat in a wet spot all spring, and haven't grown much at all. I might be able to add them to a stew whole, that will be about it. And I pulled one carrot yesterday just to see how they were looking, and so far it looks like we'll have carrots to harvest, too. The head lettuce got mushy, but the good new is the chickens were happy to get them!
Hope you gardens are doing good, too!!
Monday, June 9, 2008
These look cheery, though. Last week was a rough one- I took the kids to Fredonia all last week to Bible School at a Mennonite Church. I had to have them ready and leave by 5:30 every evening. Then Saturday I took Nick to the airport so he could fly to Indiana to spend the summer with his Dad. Boy, I'm going to miss him. Then Sunday evening was the Bible School program, and we drove home in a huge rain/lightning/thunder storm. Today I'm babysitting two extras. It's still raining, and I have five buckets in our leaky room (will get fixed just as soon as it stops raining for more than two days in a row) and the dog doesn't like to "go" outside when it's raining, and Emily is in training panties today. Needless to say, I've seen my fair share of puddles today!!! Hahahahah. We really do have to have a sense of humor in life, don't we?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Hey, I've missed you!!!
I took this picture at my Mom's house. No, I have no idea where I got my love of gardening from, either. In this bed she has bachelor's buttons, larkspur, perennial snapdragon, bluebells, hollyhocks, and daisy's. And this is just one of many! It was so beautiful, I just wish my camera was a better one, this picture doesn't do it justice.
I have been canning jam- I made 12 pints and 6 half-pints of cherry, and 3 pints and 3 half pints of strawberry. Jeff and I decided that strawberry jelly is cheap, and frozen strawberries are not. So we made mostly frozen strawberries with sugar. I have even made five bags of cherries with sugar- each with four cups of cherries and ready for a pie. The garden is looking good, we even have a few green tomatoes! The farmer that owns the other half of our block did plow up a spot and we tilled it and planted his corn seed. We planted something like 15 or 16 sixty foot rows. Even after sharing we should have plenty for the freezer.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Queen Elizabeth in the foreground, and I really think the one behind it is Pink Don Juan. You know the story behind that already. The Queen has really large blooms, I don't remember them being so large last year! On one of the posts to this middle structure I have an America climber planted, but it isn't looking very happy. Okay, so it looks awful. I'm going to move it somewhere else, when I figure out where, and plant a very light pink blooming climber in it's place. It's sad, I can't just throw it out, I just can't!! And this is the Rainbow's End I showed you a couple of posts back. I wanted you to see the change in color. It was bright yellow, and now most of the blooms are mainly a dark pink or red color. It will look spectacular in bloom once it climbs the arbor, won't it?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Here is the miniature climber - Jeanne La Joie.
And here is a fairly decent shot of Abraham Darby.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I found this wonderful little place on-line for roses. They sell own root roses, old fashioned and new. Right now they are having a buy three, get one free sale!!! They are really great looking rose bushes, a few were even in bloom! I couldn't believe how much bigger they were than the ones I had ordered from ******** a year and a half ago. If nothing else, you HAVE to stop by and check out their virtual tour! www.countrysideroses.com I'll give you a list of the new roses another time, I'd like to make a list of all of the roses I have one of these days and make a whole post about it.
Here's the once blooming, smells like heaven, came with the house roses. Aren't they pretty? I realize I need to do something about their growing situation. They are growing inches from the house, and don't have a trellis. I have just recently come up with a solution for them, I just have to get the materials and do it.
I saved this for last for a reason. My oldest son gave this for me for Mother's Day. He had told me some time back that he wouldn't have the money to get me anything, and I was okay with that. And here he ended up getting me one of those things I have ALWAYS wanted, but have never bought myself. I love the way it sounds when the wind gently rolls through it. Every time I stepped outside to put clothes on the clothesline on Monday (and all week, for that matter) I heard it and had to smile from ear to ear. I love it, THANK YOU NICK!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Here is 'Zepherine Droughin' - yes, I do know the names of my roses, at least. This is it's second year, like most of the own root roses blooming this year. The smell of these is wonderful, but doesn't match the old ones growing along the side of the house. (Came with the house, will have to get a picture tomorrow.)
The Sweet Williams are beginning their show, and I do love these long-blooming plants! They aren't even all the way open yet, but they are already a sight!
This rose is Blue Moon. No, really, it is. That's what my Mom ordered, anyway. She ordered two, one for each of us, and I think hers is pink, too. But it's okay, this one sure is trying to earn it's keep, right now it's really out blooming everything else! The Crown Princess Margarette is close behind, though. Maybe if the sun stays out tomorrow long enough that one will be in full bloom.
I started on a happy note, but will have to end on a sad one. This morning I went to the funeral of a 7 year old boy who died in a four-wheeler accident. I wasn't doing too bad, then I saw the Mothers heart-wrenching face. The little boy was her and her husbands oldest of four, and he passed away on Saturday. I had to fight this huge urge to stop off at the school on the way home simply to give my Timmy a hug, they were so close in age. Please remember this family in your prayers.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Here's the pictures of Nicky's yard. I asked how many varieties she has, and she said- over 500, and you know what, I didn't doubt her for a minute. She has Iris's in every square foot of soil available all around her house. To one side there is the side yard, (here in the pictures),but also by the back door, behind the garage, all along the other side of the garage and house, the front yard, even a bit in the neighbor's yard. I kid you not, everything but under the short tree in front is covered.
Here's proof- my Mom went with me!! Too bad she had her back to me.
Here's a picture from almost to the back looking toward the front. My camera's battery went dead after this and I couldn't take anymore pictures. But I'm sure you get the idea. It''s so pretty right now, it's hard to decide which ones to write down on my list of wants for Nicky. I started a list, but I didn't give it to her yet, I need to scale it down just a bit. She only charges $1- 3 for each one, mostly closer to the $2 and under, and I try to keep what I spend to around $20 a year.
Thursday night Jeff said we would wait and find a small tiller at an auction this summer, but ended up surprising me with one on Friday after work. It was so easy to use, and I got so much of the garden tilled through in no time. The old one we had Jeff got at an auction very cheap, and it didn't work much. I am completely thrilled to have this one. My weeding chores in the garden are not completely abolished, but that tiller sure makes it all a lot easier!! Thank you, Jeff!!!!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I rained and rained here the last two days. After feeding and watering the chickens and putting the clothes on the clothesline, I made a quick walk through the garden. The wonders of nature do in trance me so. Everything I have planted thus far has at least a couple of little green leaves pushing through the soil. I know gardening isn't like rocket science, but sometimes it makes me want to yell- 'look, look, I planted THAT'. Of course it takes the wind out of my sails when I happen to notice the hundreds of other little green things coming up, that will have to be hoed out as soon as its dry. Weeds. Tons and tons of them. Jeff hoed the garden some last week, and he has now decided that with the rebate check we really should replace the small tiller I used to go in between the rows until it quit working last year. YEAH!! That SO works for me.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I didn't get close enough to this patch, but it's been raining and I didn't want to get off the brick pathway. The old fashioned phlox in front is beautiful right now. I will spare you the torture of looking of pictures of my rose buds that are getting ready to bloom, but it's looking to be a show-stopping sight. Sometime this week I'll take you on a field trip. There is a lady here in town that has hundreds of Iris's. No, I'm not kidding. I stopped by last weekend, but the majority were still budding and not yet blooming. Right now is the time to walk around and decide which ones you would like, and write them down, and she will dig the extras and sell them in a month. Yes, I already have a list started......
Friday, May 2, 2008
Can you see it, can you, can you???? Okay, I guess I'll probably have to tell you what it is. Wednesday we got a box, and I simply put it inside on the table thinking it was for Jeff. He didn't touch it when he got home, and I figured out it was MINE. Oops. It was my strawberry plants, rhubarb roots, and blackberry plants. I quickly planted 50, and finished the other 150 yesterday. I planted them in this new bed, I made a circle with rocks, (yes, I need to get some bigger ones, and more at that) and planted them inside the circle, and when it was filled, I planted them outside around the circle. This will make much more sense when they start greening up. I also got two different varieties of watermelon and two different varieties of cantaloupe planted in the garden. Oh, and yes, those are bachelor buttons growing at the bottom of the picture. I planted them around my surprise lilies, and now I just need to figure out what I'm going to plant here after the buttons die down. Maybe cleome? Or zinnias? I have some new striped marigolds this year. HHHhhhhhmmmm, something to decide.
I have had several questions about my milk jugs lately, so I thought I would explain what they are for- for everybody. I put a small hole in each one almost to the bottom, and 'planted' it halfway in the ground. I planted a tomato beside each one, right beside the hole. This summer I can send the kids down each row with a hose to water them, and I know they will water each one enough, and the plant will get all the water. My Mom did this last year, and I thought I would try it this year. Plus, I figured I could put some Miracle grow in each jug before they water once in a while.
I am SO tired today, I'm afraid I might not get much done this morning, except the grocery shopping. It rained quite a bit last night, so the only thing I could do today is pull weeds in the flower beds, something I might do later this afternoon. I have a hundred little trees in the flower beds right now, something my Mom loves to raz me about. I really do have to get them dig out before she comes again.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I worked in the garden this morning. I planted all my pepper plants, and then planted a bunch of seeds. I'm not done, but here's what I planted today:
Peppers- Hot- (56), Jalapeno, Anaheim, and Tam Jalapeno
Peppers- Sweet- (92), Giant Keystone, Orange, Gold Marconi, Red Marconi, Paprika, and Pimento
Pumpkin- Giant Atlantic- One plant that I had started from seed.
Pumpkin- Amish Pie and Jack-O-Lantern
Okra- Clemson Spineless
Squash- Yellow, and Zucchini
Cucumbers- Boston Pickling, Homemade pickles, and a few Ashley (they were free seeds)
The bad part is that when I got done with all the peppers I realized I had not planted any California Wonder, so I knew I had missed some in the greenhouse. I should be able to find a spot to squeeze them in. I am trying something new this year in the garden. I have had a hard time in the past with forgetting which variety I planted where. This year I am going to try saving seed, so I had to come up with a way to keep track of what everything is. I read in a magazine about using old mini-blinds as markers, and I must say, I really like this one. I cut the blinds into root-long pieces, and wrote the name on with a permanent marker. I may have to touch up this summer, but it has helped so much today in remembering what I planted in what row!
And last, but not least, here is a picture of my bleeding hearts. The flower beds are filling up nicely, my goal is to have them all full by fall.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
These pictures were taken yesterday, yes, I actually thought AHEAD!!!
Here are some of the tulips with wild hyacinths blooming behind them.
Did I mention I have a few Star of Bethlehem?
A couple of weeks ago I was checking ebay, looking up plants just for fun. I found a lady from Texas that was selling rose cuttings. I've had some success with starting roses from cuttings, so I bid on five and won! Two are hardy to my zone, but the three that aren't will be either put in very large pots and moved into the greenhouse for the winter, or will get planted in the ground close to the house and get extra winter protection. But I thought it would be fun to try. I might end up with a few roses to get rid of, if all goes well. We'll just have to see. Here's the list of what I got: Duchess de Brabant, Ducher, Perle des Jardins, Cecile Brunner, and Old Blush. I would love to make a small business of rooting and selling my own root roses, it would be sososo much fun!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A guy Jeff works with had some three year old chickens, all mixed breeds, that he wanted to get rid of. Because of his kids, he couldn't butcher them. So he asked us if we wanted them, (of course we did) so Jeff brought them home last night. Here is a picture of our newest 15 members to the family. Yes, there is one rooster in the pack, and my, is he a pretty one!!
With the most of the family's help, I got the tomatoes planted. Well, most of them, anyway. Jeff buried the jugs, Tyler filled the dirt in around them, Timmy smoothed out the rows, Tiffany planted the tomato plants, Abby wrote the names of the tomatoes on the jugs with permanent marker, and everyone watered. What did I do? I helped anyone who got behind. I had started this earlier in the day, but boy, did it ever go faster with help. There are 82 planted, and I have to get 10 more jugs to plant the rest. I want to save seeds this year, and in past years I have had problems with knowing which plant is what variety. So I thought writing the names on the jugs they are planted beside would work.