Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Planting, planting, planting

I know, I know, I meant to blog on Monday. It's been a crazy week, and today is the first day I have felt good. I have got a lot done today, it helped that Emily took a very, very, very, long nap.


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

Happy Birthday Nick!!!

Today is Nick's 17th birthday. He goes directly from school to a track meet, to which I am going to as soon as Jeff gets home. At the moment it is pouring down rain, lightening, thunder, the whole works. Once in a while they cancel these things in weather like this.
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?

This picture is not a good one, you really can't see the hundreds of little white blooms covering the place.


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

New cabinet and new chickens

I wanted to share a picture of my new china cabinet! I know, I know, the color is a little weird, but it's actually starting to grow on me, and I usually hate turquoise. It's not a great shot, I didn't get the very top molding or the bottom (there are two drawers), but I didn't feel like moving the table to get a better shot. Sorry. I still have an elephant standing on my chest today. Anyone out there who has had a cold will understand that analogy. I love being able to see all my dishes when I go through this room.
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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Prom and Pink Tulips

Thursday night three of the younger ones had a school program. Friday afternoon my Dad and step-Mom came from Arkansas to bring me a china cabinet (I love it!!!). After that I drove a half hour to Nick's track meet, and got home after midnight. Saturday I had to help Jeff put the net over the chicken run and in the afternoon I tilled the new strawberry bed again. Saturday night was prom here, and my oldest in a Junior, and he took his girlfriend. Here is a picture of them before they left. After church Sunday I went out to transplant some stuff, and planted green beans, and I ended up working until dark. And now, drum roll please, I'm sick. No kidding. I coughed so much Sunday afternoon I lost my voice by the time I went inside It's supposed to rain most of the week, I guess I've been trying to get as much as I can done, and I clearly over did it. So many people are planting their tomatoes around here, and I'm trying hard to fight the urge. I would just hate to have to cover 90 tomato plants.
Now on to happier things. That picture just screams 'spring', doesn't it? The tulips are absolutely beautiful, and both of my bleeding hearts are blooming. My tall phlox is getting ready to bloom, and soon the roses will start budding out.
I have been trying to plant all the perennials from the greenhouse, mainly just to clear up some room. It will be nice to get everything planted, I need to concentrate on weeding before all the weeds go to seed. Speaking of weeds, my Star of Bethlehem's are starting to bloom, maybe tomorrow they will be ready for a picture.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Beginning the Herb Garden

I know, I know, I didn't really need another project to start, but I couldn't help it. Really, I tried to fight off the deep, embedded desire. I have always wanted an herb garden, but have never had the room. This house has plenty of room, so I mapped out and tilled up a spot yesterday. It's 25 feet by 25 feet, with 2 1/2 foot pathways dissecting it. In the center I also cut the corners, so there is a larger space for some architecterial element (have no idea what it's going to be, though). I'm going to plant lavender all the way around it, to help distinguish it from the flower bed it butts up against.
Notice the pot in the center? Some time last weekend my 8 year old son dug up some wild onion from somewhere, and yesterday when I wasn't watching, planted them all in that one corner of the new herb bed. I really don't want them, let alone want them in my herb garden. But I told him he did a great job (he REALLY had). I thought maybe I could till him a little spot all for himself somewhere, and convince him he needed those onions in HIS garden. What do you think, think it will work?
I have been telling my dear, sweet husband for a while how much I would LOVE those two ugly evergreens taken down. Last night he took them both down, YEAH!!!!!!!!! I had just enough time before it got dark to till the spot in front of it up for the new strawberry bed. It will also do the raspberries behind a lot of good, they will get a lot more sunlight.
There are three HUGE evergreens out back right in the middle of the orchard, and one of them is turning yellow, what a shame (hehehe). I can't imagine how many more fruit trees I will be able to plant in the area these three evergreens take up.
I have three blueberries, all ready to plant where the evergreen was. I have read that blueberries like the acidity of the needles, so I'm thinking they will love being planted right where that one was. Now all I have to do is order the strawberries. No, that's not all I'm ordering, but that's for another day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tulips and Star of Bethlehems


If you look behind the round bed, the new bed is just full of purple tulips. I just took this a little bit ago, and the morning light just doesn't do it justice. If your wondering about all the green stuff that looks like weeds, the clumps are Shasta Daisy's, and the tall skinny green stuff is some of the estimated ten thousand Star of Bethlehem's that are taking over everything. I plan to make a post when they bloom, you won't even believe how many I have. I pull them like weeds, but I can't even make a dent in the number. Right now my flower beds look out of control, for the sheer number of this one plant. No, I didn't plant it. But I did plant some obedient plants at my last house. And wow, was I ever surprised! I didn't bring even one with me. When I find a huge pot or something to bury first, my Mom has some I can get. Probably a LOT I can get.
These tulips are prettier in person, I guess I should have waited until afternoon to take pictures. I have two patches of phlox here, and a light pink one blooming just beyond the picture.
On Sunday, I looked online at the forecast for the week, and decided my week. Mon and Tue were nice, so I weeded, and today I am planting, since there are chances of rain tonight and tomorrow. Friday I am expecting company, so it is a clean-as-much-as-I-can day. I have so much to plant, I'm not sure where to start. Flowers or vegetable garden? And then later, I plan to have Jeff take down a tree, a very old ugly evergreen that we had planned on taking down soon anyway (apple trees and evergreens don't make the best of neighbors). I want to start tilling a spot beside it for the new strawberries, so the spot will be ready when I order them next week. I didn't want to start preparing and then have everyone have to walk through the tilled area to dispose of the branches. I already have enough vacuuming to do, thank you very much.
Well, it's a beautiful day, I had better get started if I want to get everything done.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Meet Eric Kimmel

Abigail, the one on the left, won a young author award at school. For the last few years, every student in first grade through sixth gets to write a book. Then the teachers select the two best from every grade, and they get to go this conference, parents invited. There are hundreds of students at this thing, so each winner can only have two guests. Jeff elected to stay home with the kids so that I could go, and we took Tiffany. (Who won runner up, and someone didn't show, so she should have gotten to go anyway.) This was the celebrity in attendance, Eric Kimmel, who writes children's books. So that is what I did most of the day on Saturday.
Well, I guess I DID get home in time to clean out the chicken coop, lucky me. But it was very cold, so I didn't miss out on doing outside work.
I have sosososo many extra tomatoes and peppers, I am even selling some this year. How cool is that? Money to buy more plants!! I want more strawberries, the patch I have is all June bearing, and I want to get another patch started, of everbearing strawberries. No, that's not the only thing on my list, it's quite long, and if someone would just send me two hundred dollars, I could get all the fruit trees and plants bought. Then I could start working on the list of other plants I would like to have. I told myself that I couldn't get any of the roses and flowers on my list until I got all the fruit bearing bought and planted.
I'll go wait by the mailbox.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Flooding

I took theses pictures yesterday morning when I was coming home from taking the kids to school. I have talked to several city officials and they claim that since our property is so low, that there is nothing they can do. I beg to differ, and I will prove it once MY family gets done with all the work. Sad, isn't it?
Part of the problem is on the other side of the blook, the ditch is diverting all the water there down to here. We are in the process of fixing that, and digging the entire ditch out by hand, moving all the dirt in wheelbarrows. The guy that owns the place across the street from this picture is digging out his ditch, something the city said didn't need done, and he discovered the culvert under the road is plugged. REALLY????? Go figure. I'll keep you posted on our process.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Track and Flood

I spent the last part of yesterday at Nick's track meet. This picture was taken right before we left, sometime around seven-thirty. Look at the guy to the left of Nick, does that tell you what the temperature was like? Anyway, our school doesn't usually go to track meets in this town, it is quite a bit bigger than where we live. But he did very well, he placed first in the mile. Yeah Nick!!!! Isn't he handsome?
It started to rain this afternoon, and it wasn't quite dry from the last rain, anyway, this is what the very back part of our yard looked like at 6:30 pm.


And this one I took a half hour later, from the back door. I went out at eight to take some more pictures, but the pictures are pretty dark. By then the water was up into the garden by fifteen-twenty feet, but it was going over the road, so it probably won't get any worse.

If your wondering, I have been trying to get the city's attention in this matter for two years, to no avail. These pictures are for the city administrator, and if that doesn't work, the city council, the mayor, maybe even our senator. I'm tired of being ignored. Do you blame me?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My heart collection

It's cold and rainy today, so I thought I would share what I'm doing inside today. No, I'm not showing you my laundry or me cleaning the bathrooms. Something better, I hope.

Here's the before. I collect hearts. I have a very large grape vine wreath (about 2 1/2 feet across) that I have displayed above Jeff and I's bed. My collection of hearts has quite outgrown this large wreath, and I was afraid I didn't know what to do with anymore I might find.
And here's the after. Last fall when we cleaned out the back of the property, I created this wreath out of a small portion of the wild grape vines we cut out. I had planned on hanging it out on the backporch, but today I decided to put it in the bedroom. Here is the new one, about 4 1/2 feet across. Now I can get many, many more heart things. I added the pillow today, my grandma made it for me fourteen years ago. Some of the hearts are Christmas decorations, some are wall decorations, a few are Valentines decorations.

It's supposed to rain the next three days. I know, I know, April showers bring May flowers. And I definetly want lots of May flowers. But I want to play in the garden SO bad.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Yellow and orange tulips

My patch of purple tulips is in full bloom, and this one just started blooming this morning. There are more to come, and if I remember right, theres a lot of red in this patch. You can see two different patches of phlox in full bloom, and a patch of pink phlox is just starting to bloom over a ways. And just to the right of the tulips is the remains of last falls mums, well, the white ones anyway. I actually spent a lot of time this last week weeding, you know, those horrible purple flowering things. I trimmed a lot of the remains of last years perennials, but obviously haven't made it through the entire bed. I am working through the flower beds, and one day I started weeding the circle of fruit bushes and strawberries in the center of the yard. I weeded, then got a load of mulch and covered what I had gotten weeded. My goal was to finish this weekend, but it just didn't happen. On Saturday my Mom invited me to go with her to Bartlesville with her. It's under an hour and a half, but just barely. It's a larger town, large enough to have a mall. But we didn't even go close to the mall. And the bonus was a town on the way to B-ville was having a city wide garage sale! We went to a bunch of garage sales, then headed on. We went to Hobby Lobby, Atwoods, Lowes, and Kmart. My Mom wanted a bistro set, and I wanted a pecan tree. I did manage to get my pecan tree, but at Lowes they had Azaleas for $1.98, and I had to get three. One white, one pink, and one red. Yes, I did too HAVE to get one. I also found two small pink mums, I have mums, but I wanted to get a couple for the new flower bed. I like having something blooming all the time, which is the reason I interplanted most of my flower beds with spring bulbs.
I love starting roses from cuttings, and I am presently considering selling rooted cuttings to fund buying more roses. Maybe not just roses. Hehehe.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My favorite daffodil

Here's the progress on the chicken coop. Jeff and the kids worked on putting the posts into the ground yesterday. He bought the red paint at an auction last weekend for $1. I need to come up with a cute name for it, maybe Chicken Palace? Ooooo, that sounds like a fast food place. I'll have to think on it, let me know if you come up with anything good. I think it all looks great so far.
Drum roll, please!!!!! Here is my favorite daffodil this year. This picture really doesn't do it justice. It is so bright and cheerful, I think it stands out so nicely off the white and yellow ones behind it. I have two different varieties of pink ones that I planted in late fall that are blooming, but they're not REALLY pink, are they? They are if you compare them to the yellow ones, I guess.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My first tulips of the season!

I have two tulips bloomings, both dark pink, and a ton more just about to open. I think I am more excited about each development in the garden this year than I ever have been. This year, I am convinced, will be the one where I fulfill my life long desire of a beautiful cottage garden, full of all the gorgeous flowers I have seen in my books. As each new leaf comes into view, and each new flower emerges, I swell with joy. Over the past ten years I have tried to advance my skills enough to get here, moving several times has interupted my progress. Which explains why I seem to have hurried to get everything done here at this house. I have been doing this for so long, and have never gotten quite this far. It is so exciting to finally see in person the idea that has been stuck in my head for so very long.

But don't get me wrong, it will probably never really be DONE... hehehe.