Thursday, February 28, 2008

Memories and Sweet Peas

Not long ago I was talking to my sister, and I was telling her that I was planning on growing sweet peas on my new trellis. I was sharing the reason why, which is when I was in forth grade we lived in an old farmhouse in the country that had a very long fence in back that was entirely covered in sweet peas. I remember how beautiful I thought they were. I have wanted sweet peas since then, and now, at 36, I am going to fulfill the dream. My sister is a year and a half older than me, and she cannot recall any such fence. We both laughed, and agreed that I was destined to become a gardener. Now with that, I have to share this photo:

A very tiny someone got into my plant area. There is a baby gate there, but somehow it failed on this occasion. The worst part is, it's not the first, or the second, or even the third time. It happens to be the forth. She loves playing in my dirt. And uprooting little seedlings. My middle daughter loves to help me in the garden, and I think we just might have another gardener in the mist.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One heat lamp away from freezing

I know it's kinda dark, but here is my two younger boys helping Daddy construct the walls to the chicken coop in the garage over the weekend. Sat. morning we loaded all the scrap metal around the yard onto the truck and he took it to the junk yard to sell, and took that money and bought wood for the coop. Killed two birds with one stone, since we really needed to clean up the yard anyway.
Yesterday I moved a LOT of plants (all the ones that had been transplanted into the larger cups) into the greenhouse. With the heat lamp on Sunday night it only got down to 44 degrees, but last night it was bit colder, and it dipped down to 34, but everything still looks fine. As soon as the temp gets to 55 today, I'll unplug the lamp.
And this is how it looks after I moved the other plants out. It still looks like a lot, but now I can actually walk about the room, but I DO need to transplant some seedlings today, so maybe not for long.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ten little chickens

It was an honest, innocent trip to the farm store. I promise. Jeff and I ran to the next town, and I mentioned I needed to go to the farm store to get a heat lamp bulb for the heat lamp to put in the greenhouse. Then I saw these little things. Well, to be honest, I saw the bunnies first, but I wasn't as interested in them. But CHICKENS, well, thats a different story. I had them once, a few years ago at a different house, and really wanted to have them here. So I talked Jeff into letting me have ten. Two each of five different kinds. My plan is to keep them inside as long as they will fit in this old birdcage, them make a spot for them in the greenhouse under a table, with a board as a fence. Then when it is warm enough I will build a small pen for them in the yard, and I will just make a 'tent' of sorts for them to get out of the sun, and some crude nesting boxes. Maybe by summer I will have my own eggs to go with some free fertilizer! (Yes, of course, there is a little gardening in this post, too)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nick and the Frig.

Yes, thats my oldest, and yes, thats the refrigerator. I thought it was a good picture, and I thought it was appropriate since he's the reason I can't post a new picture, and have to use this one that I took last week. You see, I reliquished the batteries from my camera for his MP3. At least it wasn't cash!!!!!
Every year, I'm bummed when my tomato and pepper plants aren't as big as the ones from the stores. I know I shouldn't be, as I know mine aren't over-fertilized junkies. But still, in an attempt to bridge the gap in sizes a bit I started them a little early, on the 10th, and today I had to transplant them into little cups. Wow, that was fast. I am officially out of trays, and I have so many that I hate to buy any more. I have a few cat litter boxes, a bunch of foil pans, some thin plastic ones made for holding peat pots (I don't use them much anymore), one old cake pan, and some of those plastic trays you get from the garden centers. I have quite a collection, I can't believe I need more. I'm going to have to the store and get some of those short boxes cases of pop and canned goods come in. If I line them with foil, they should be water-proof, don't you think?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

I took this picture last week, but it's better than any I got yesterday on her birthday.
Here's the party, Nick was teasing Emily with the laser dot from his aerosoft gun. Did she ever have fun chasing that little red dot. And her and older sis Tiffany playing together. Tiffany put two of Emily's new hair clips in her hair.
I took this one on Saturday, can you see them, can you, can you????? There are daffadils coming up all over the place! Yeah, spring!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oh man, I need more room!

I realize this will shock you, but I had to rig up another shelf in the sewing/plant room. I know, I know, you simply can't believe it. I scrounged up a board long enough to fit from my sewing desk to the top shelf of the plant stand (with the help of a couple of boxes). I'd like to say I have all kinds of room now, but that would be lying. And the really sad part is I did it mainly because I need to transplant seedlings, and had to have a place to put them. Now I have the pathway through the room clear, I can use that again.
And now were in the greenhouse. Here's a picture of all the roses starts I have. The other day I was walking around outside and just happen to notice that the ice storm we had last Monday broke a couple of branches off two of my roses, so I quickly got out the growing hormone, cut them up, and stuck them in some pots.
Here's all the stuff leftover from last year. A lot of it is still green, and the stuff thats not I'm going to wait to see if it greens up with the warm spring weather before I call it dead.
Jeff suggested we take the kids out tonight, and got to a bigger Wal-Mart a little further away. The only thing I could think of is- I wonder if they have different/more gardening stuff out? If you think thats bad, this morning I had to take the younger five to a 4H thing at the next towns high school. They had a drink/snack table. We all grabbed a cookie on our way out the door, and I took two of the empty gallon orange juice containers to start seeds in.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Griffin's Hibiscus Seed

There is a house here in Cherryvale that has one of the most beautiful hibiscus plants that I have ever seen. Actually, it had the blooms of a hibiscus, but the leaves have 'fingers'. It stands about twelve feet tall, and has the biggest, deepest red blooms all summer. This last fall I went and begged for some seed, which Cheryl gladly gave, but she said nobody had ever had any luck getting them started. GUESS WHAT??????? I have no idea what I did differently, but I got them to start. Right now I have three, but I'm hoping more come up. I have no idea what the name of it is, so I'm hoping its something that come true to seed..... I guess we'll all have to see.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Huge Pumpkins and Asparagus Seed

As of today, I have started 125 different packets of seeds total. I guess at least 10 of those were seed that I had saved from my yard, so technically some were envelopes of seeds. I have 600 little pots, of which are 28 different kinds of perennials and one annual. To add to that count I have 31 other different kinds of perennials that have grown, and two different annuals. These aren't in the original plant count because I don't count the individual plants until they are transplanted to the little 3 ounce cups. I have wintersown 25 different packets, 20 perennials and 5 annuals. I don't have 25 jugs outside, I cheated a little and squeezed two different packets in some. I just 'seperated' the soil into two different sides with plastic spoons, and made sure I marked what was on each side.

I have three different kinds of seeds started for the vegetable garden: asparagus, tomatoes, and peppers. I started six different kinds of tomatoes (all but one are open-pollinated, the grape tomatoes), seven sweet peppers and two hot peppers. I have one more packet of hot peppers to start.

I bought a packet of those gigantic pumpkin seeds, I though it would be fun for the kids to watch a couple of those grow this summer. I remember reading somewhere that the people who get them really big have to start them really early, but I'm not sure exactly HOW early. I also remember something about them needing a lot of water. HHhhmmmmmm. Going to have to work something out for that.

You may be wondering what I'm going to do with all these plants. After I plant what I want I give the rest away. I have lots of family that loves this little infatuation I have with starting plants. I have a theory, I can buy one plant for $7-8, or I can grow 20-30 from a $1-3 packet of seeds. I tried to keep a list of all the money I have invested this year, but I'm afraid I got busy and haven't kept up with the tally. It would be interesting to see what the price per plant would be.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Three Trellis' and Seventy-five Holes

Hey Sherry! Here is one of our cats. He is the prettiest of the bunch, and also the toughest.
Here are two pictures of the branch trellis' I finished on Saturday. The picture doesn't do it justice. The three are all set at different angles, and set that way to let some light through, but not too much. It gets quite hot here during the summer, and I am trying to make a spot for the lupines, astilbes, and delphiniums that is rather sheltered. The plan is to grow three different kinds of sweet peas then follow with morning glories and moonflower vines. Where I am standing to take the second picture I am facing due South, and there is a large tree just to the right and behind me. My little rock bench will be a very nice place to rest this summer after weeding flower beds, don't you think?
And here is the reason for my sore shoulders today. I ordered my fruit bushes and vines from Pense Nursery last week. This is the second time I have ordered from them, and I must say, he was SO nice, and very helpful. The first time I ordered was a year ago in early fall, and got my order in November. I have ordered fruit bushes from at least four different companies over the years, and I have to say the plants from Pense were the biggest and nicest I have encountered. I couldn't believe how big the blueberry bushes were. I ordered 25 plants each of three different kinds, so here are my seventy-five holes. I also ordered more currants, gooseberries, blueberries, and a few more blackberries. I ordered a lot of strawberries in the first order, and with all the runners I have plenty (for now). If you look to the left in the picture you might catch a glimpse of my elderberry bushes that I also got with the first order. I moved all my grapes, they are directly to the left of where I am standing. It will make more sense, later, I hope, when everything has leaves.
Do you like the split-log bench my hubby made for me? He made four, so we could give one each to our Mother's on Mother's Day, and I get TWO, YEAH!!!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More poinsettias!!

I had to go to a local church's recreation hall today. It's a church I don't attend, and I noticed they still had all these poinsettias sitting in a corner, the same place they had been two weeks earlier. Except today they looked very sad. I asked about them, and I was told that nobody wanted them, that I could take them!!! I have four of the potted ones (I left two behind) and one very large hanging one. The hanging one was completely bone-dry, and most of it's leaves are completely dried up. What will I do with all these, if they all live??
I finished the sweet pea/morning glory trellis. I made the teenagers help, and I couldn't believe how fast it went. I would have taken a picture, but I was lucky to get the picture above before the batteries on the camera went completely dead. I will absolutely have to get more batteries tomorrow, since I have a couple of things to post pictures of.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Tyler and Tiffany!!!!

This is late, their birthday was Sunday, I just forgot to get a picture then, and couldn't seem to get it done til tonight. I can't believe it has been ten years since they were born.

My Greenhouse is Finished

My hubby (Jeff) decided that with a little bit of the tax return we needed to finish the greenhouse, which, of course, got no argument out of me. For my last birthday, in October, my Mom got me the translucent plastic for the roof. The heavy plastic had been torn off by a storm just a month before. Here is the finished product!I need to repaint the door when it gets a little warmer, but the brick sidewalk is finished all the way from the back door to the greenhouse.
In this picture you can see the end of my rose trellis that goes along the garage. I don't have the greenhouse heated, so my plants will have to wait until March (hopefully early March) to get moved out there. Although I do have a couple of heat lamps leftover from when I had chickens, I just haven't had a chance to set them up, and test to see how hot it would get if I left one or both on for the night. I'm running out of room in the sewing room, so I may have to find the time very, very soon. Jeff also put up another shelf on the wall, and made a new bench for in there. I just have to spend an hour or two out there and get it all cleaned up, and I will post a picture of the inside. I do have some plants in there, some from last year that never got planted outside for one reason or another. The only thing I wish was different is I would love it attached directly onto the house, it would be easier to spent time in it here and there, and I do so much LOVE to check on the plants during the day. And on a sunny winter day it gets quite warm in there, and I have to open the door. I have mentioned to Jeff that if he put in a window between the garage and the greenhouse, I could open the window and heat the garage a little.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tom's Midnight Garden

Last week (I think), I made a comment on Mr. McGregor's daughter's blog about liking a certain children's tape for the cartoon garden in it. (Peter Rabbit, of course) She suggested that I watch a recent movie, 'Miss Potter', because it had some really nice garden's in it. I talked my hubby into picking it up at the Blockbuster in the next town, and watched it as soon as he got it home. It was really good, but it made me think of another movie that had really good garden scenes, 'Tom's Midnight Garden'. I taped it years ago, and it is presently loaned out to my Mom, but I wanted to tell you when it was made, so I googled it. I was shocked to find out that it was made into a movie in 1999, but the version I have is one of the three made by the BBC (in 1968, 1974, and 1988.) I also have one version of 'The Secret Garden', and my Mom has yet another version, which both of them have the greatest garden scenes in the end, of course.

The reviews for the newest Tom's movie indicate the garden scenes in it are lacking, but now I must see it for myself! Has anyone else heard of this movie? Or do you have any other suggestions for movies with great garden scenes?