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Garden Journal 10/29/2020

Date: October 29, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #32 — previously published on

The rains have loosened the leaves’ grip on the tree branches, forcing their Fall. There’s more precip on the way, too, but when that’s moved out and the sun has moved in, we’re scheduled for our first hard frost.

We have already prepared a cart with plants to over-winter and they’ll be put in the shed soon.

Everything else will be on its own — some will die, others will just hibernate until spring.

Check out how big the banana tree got this year! Sadly, it’s too close to our fence, so we’ll try to move it next year. These trees put out babies constantly and spread like crazy. I’m not sure they will survive the transplant and not sure where to move them, so that will be something to mull this winter.

I brought in the Thyme and Basil the other day. I’ve never been good at growing herbs indoors, but this thyme is too pretty to harvest. The long stalks of the basil are going to be cut and used for pesto, but I’ll try to keep the smaller, younger plant growing.

Since there’s not much to report about gardening these days, I’m going to switch up my Thursday blog post to Rave On, MadWoman. You may have met the MadWoman before and she’s anxious to spout off — I mean, share her perspective. She can get a little annoying sometimes, to say nothing of her short attention span, so occasionally I’ll substitute a little bit I call Photo Synthesis.

It will all be right here at The News from Sonnystone Acres, your one-stop source of drivel…

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 10/22/2020

Date: October 22, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #31 — previously published on

We’ve continued to pull in veggies: the broccoli never recovered from the onslaught of whatever-those-worms-were, though they made a brave stand; The limas, too, just lollygagged along until there’s no more time left. The last two stands of green beans are going okay, so we’re putting off picking the as long as we can.

We usually travel in September and October, so bring it all in right after Labor Day. In this strange year, we’ve stretched the season out and it’s been a Work of Wonder and Joy…

I made a video… With so many pictures of All of the gardens, I had to focus on just the two: The Edible and the Peace/Bird Garden… The music is one of my all-time faves from the Ozark Mt. Daredevils…Enjoy!

Growing Every Season: The Movie

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 10/15/2020

Date: October 15, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #30 — previously published on

I’ve been to an appointment with the eye doctor this morning. By the time I came out of the office the temperatures had dropped and there is a cold rain. Here at the Acres, we’ve got the fire burning and it’s cozy as a bug.

Busy all last week when it was sunshiney and warm, we finished putting the rock into the garden annex, giving it a more “finished” look. We still need soil, but that may wait until Spring.


I potted up the cilantro… I had thrown some seeds into the washtub planter about a month ago and there are eight nice plants. Basil, oregano, and thyme are all out on the porch now, too.


The mums are Finally opening…

We’re planning a day-trip up North to see some Fall colours.  Covid cases are surging througout our state and I still see too many people not-wearing masks, so we’ll be taking a picnic lunch.  I’m pretty impressed at how the safety precautions we have to take actually encourage a person to be more creative.  There’s always a Bright Side, if you look… 

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 10/8/2020

Date: October 8, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #29 — previously published on

Back on June 18, I wrote this in my Garden Journal:

This is milkweed, Asclepias spp., the Only plant that monarch butterfly larvae can eat.  It’s new this year, bought at the Zoo plant sale, and it might take a while to do its magnet thing.


The Monarch butterflies had no problem finding it. For the last couple of weeks I have spotted monarchs munching on the zinnias and recently observed a couple of them feeding at the hummingbird feeder! When I checked the milkweek — Lo and Behold! monarch caterpillars have taken residence. So. Cool.

Slowly, but surely, the Edible Garden is being harvested.

The Birds are still wearing out the feeders, the migrants flocking in for baths, drinks, and grub. I’m watching the buds of the mums, which seem to be taking Forever to bloom…

Gardening involves quite a bit of waiting, but gives you plenty to do in the meantime. We’ve got the firewood brought up to the front porch and the outdoor furniture put in the cellar. The Fall Decorations are out. We’re eating well…

But I’m getting impatient, ready for the Proof of Autumn — mums in bloom..

Almost There…

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 10/1/2020

Date: October 1, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #28 — previously published on

I have spent hours watching the birds flock to the Bird/Peace garden.  Especially since they started migrating south, the feeders have been packed with a variety of species just passing by, joining our resident cardinals, sparrows, wrens, titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers.  The hummingbird feeder is being drained at record-pace.

I don’t think much about taking pictures when I’m bird-watching, but today I wanted to snap some shots for blogging and grabbed my Nikon with the long lens for the purpose.  Lo and Behold! there were pictures on the camera from Spring when the rose-breasted grosbeaks migrated through.

rose-breasted grosbeak
rose-breasted grosbeak

Photos below were taken this morning…

resident cardinal couple
resident cardinal couple

We finished the melon-and-pumpkin-bed Addition… I have to brag that this cost us $0, built with leftovers from past gardens…  It’s still a work-in-progress, of course, but I am very happy with it.

Last week...
This week...

It’s definitely fall here with high temps in the mid-sixties and plenty of sunshine.  Out in the Edible Garden, there’s a mess of green beans, about a dozen green tomatoes, and nearly as many bell peppers to bring in so I can take down the plants.  The broccoli and the late-sown beans are okay to stay for a while longer.


Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 9/24/2020

 September 24, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #27 — previously published on

On the Equinox, we said a sad Farewell to Summer, 2020…one for the Memory Books now…and spoke a hopeful Welcome to Autumn…Batter Up!  As we move through the Seasons, we always stop to take stock of what we’ve accomplished, where we learned, what ideas we have to improve…

We’re going to expand the Edible Garden to make room to grow watermelons and pumpkins and sprawl-y vine-y such fruits.  With a little bit of tree-pruning, we’ll have an new 24 x 8 plenty-o’sun area for growing.  The bed will be 16 x 4 and we’ll rock the rest for containers and so carts can still get through.  It will, of course have to be fenced so the critters don’t trash it, but we happen to have Just Enough fencing to re-use and the same gate will be moved to the south end.  That sounds a bit confusing, but here’s the first of the “Vision” and I’ll keep you informed as it comes together.

We brought in two of the four remaining tomatoes, netting about a dozen small nearly-ripe fruits.  Otherwise, the Edible Garden hasn’t changed much in the past week.


It was perfect weather yesterday to divide the Rudbeckia in the Peace/Bird Garden.  We moved out all of the remaining daisies and shuffled the coneflowers around, too.  Remember how my original plan was to have all natives in this garden?  Well, as soon as the mums bloom and fade, we’ll remove them, leaving all Natives with space for more next spring…almost like I planned it that way, but we know better…


Fall is in the air, all right, with Super weather for just Being Outside…I’m really digging it…

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 9/17/2020

Date: September 17, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #26 — previously published on

We’re in a bit of a holding pattern here at the gardens, just waiting for the plants to Finish Up.  There are almost a dozen peppers still maturing and it’s about time!  The tomatoes look spent, but there are a good ten fruits left to ripen.  The green beans have flowered, should be ready to pick in a week or so.  I think we Saved the broccoli – no more worms — but they need to do a little catch-up growing.  We cut down the cucumbers who had served us so well this summer.

I finally trimmed the rudbeckia in the Peace/Bird Garden, where the fall mums are almost ready to pop their buds.  The urn that was in the middle was moved to the porch…


Have you met Larry Garcia?  I bought him at a rummage sale for $3.  To me, he looks like a mashup of Larry Caplan, our old County Ag agent who taught my Master Gardening class, and Jerry Garcia, you know, Grateful Dead Guy?  He gets moved around on a regular basis, not an easy task since he is stone(d).  Heavy, man..

I’m ready for fall weather and decorations, just waiting for the official First Day to drag out my Autumn stuff.  I can feel the change in the air already, though, as the sun dips and the air nips…

Keep on Growing…

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Garden Journal 9/10/2020

Date: September 10, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #25 — previously published on

While out walking this morning, I tripped and fell, skinning both knees and my right hand…  I was being so careful, too, because the sidewalk in that area has numerous areas where tree roots have pushed it up.  >sigh<  Yes, yes, I applied ice and am now sitting here with my feet propped up.  So I’m not feeling very wordy today, but I’ve got some nice pictures for you…

The Edible Garden is just lovely…


Cabbage worms attacked the broccoli, so we dusted them with Seven; looks like confectioners sugar on the lacy leaves…

The morning glories finally bloomed!

Out in the Bird/Peace garden,, the coneflower and rudbeckia still attract the goldfinches, so I’m not cutting them back until the birds have had their fill.


Keep on Growing

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Garden Journal 9/3/2020

Date: September 3, 2020 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Journal Entry #24 — previously published on

The Edible garden is winding down and I’m ready to remove the zucchinis, the cucumbers, and a couple of the peppers.  It has sure been a rainy growing season and my allergies have been severe.

The broccoli and green beans will soon have the run of the garden and they’re rising to the occasion.


Garlic Chive and marigolds are competing with the sunflowers for prettiest blooms…


Out in the Peace/Bird Garden, the daisies that I want to move look lousy and I’m ready to move them as soon as possible.  The birds have spent a fair amount of time gnawing on the coneflowers and rudbeckia, so they’re getting pretty scraggly.  Soon enough, though, the mums will be blooming…I hope.

I’ve got a full two days of work that needs to be done in all of the gardens, but it just keeps Raining… The weatherman says it’s going to dry up and cool down and I hope he’s right.  Of course, when I get that done, there will undoubtedly be another couple of days of work and on and on until Jack Frost arrives and this season moves over to make way for the next…

Keep on Growing…

Posted in Gardening Journal 2020

Garden Journal 8-27-2020

Wow, this is the 23rd garden journal entry this year.  Last year we wrapped things up early as we were preparing for a trip to New Mexico, so there were only #17.  We’ll carry on at least through September this year and some of these beans won’t be mature until the middle of October… I’m sort of kind of looking at taking a trip in later October maybe, but we’ll see…

The Edible Garden all looks good…beans have sprung up, broccoli is holding its own, and the garlic chive is having its 15 minutes of fame.

The Sunflowers Are Smiling…

Still chopping and dipping, saute-ing and grilling..

Out in the Peace/Bird Garden, I pulled up all the dasies except for the corners; pulled up the lonely liatris and lost phlox, then shuffled around the rudbeckia and echinacea to form some symmetry of sorts.  The result shows more space and returns somewhat to my original vision to use all native plants.  The corner daisies will be replaced with blueberry bushes as soon as I can.

Our bird population seems to have picked up in the last week or so; possibly overnight visitors already?  I had seen very few goldfinches this year, but there have been several feasting on the seedheads of the spent flowers — a very welcome sight, though I have no pictures, so you’ll have to take my word for now.  Maybe next week?


Keep on Growing…