Roses, tomatoes, and edibles

The roses were a disaster.

First I underwatered, then I overwatered, then the bugs ate lots of leaves, so we sprayed insecticide soap. Casey had piled the mulch on too thick around the roots so fungus set it, so we pulled the mulch away and sprayed with Neem oil.

 At that point,  there were 3 of the 9 that were looking good.  The middle 2 were gone, so I pulled them and continued to baby the rest.

 Finally, I gave in and removed all but the 3 good ones, cleaned up the mulch and soil, planted 6 more (25% off, thank goodness) and we’re back in business.

I’m still a little afraid of them, though…

 

The Edible Garden has provided us with a meal of green beans, 1 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, shallots, basil, a bell pepper, and a couple handfuls of sweet cherry tomatoes.

 

 A Case of Mistaken Identity

Back Story:  I originally planted 3 better boy tomatoes and 2 romas.

The romas looked strong, but 2 of the better boys looked really spindly, so I planted 3 more.

Did you guess?  The spindly “better boys” were really romas…

It’s all looking quite grand…

 

Everything is ready for a visit from my grandies…

the banana tree unfurls…

We’ll be having Camp Sonnystone beginning the 10th.  That’s a lot of fun. We’re going to trip in the trailer for a couple of days.  We’ll go to the zoo, the museum, the library, Ellis Park, New Harmony…

Join us in July at  The News from Sonnystone Acres and don’t miss out on any festivities!

Peace

 

Consider the daylilies…

Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful;

For Beauty is God’s handwriting–

A Wayside Sacrament.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and I am grateful for the abundant sunshine and cooling breezes, for blooming flowers and fruiting crops;  and for You, dear Readers.

On this day of the longest sunshine

I send you love and light and warm wishes.

Peace

6-or-so-weeks-old…

I had bought some better-boys that looked so much sturdier than the others, but when I got them home, they looked (and grew) nothing like the usual bb’s I’ve planted.  They continued to just bush out, sort of like a husky cherry, so I ran out and bought 3 more better boys just before we went to NYC.   I just popped the weird ones over to some pots and they’re okay.  The new, normal-looking, plants are small, but they’ll catch up by August or so…  In the meantime, I evidently mislabeled a roma as a better boy when I was separating starts, so there is no telling what we’ll end up with!

Michael kept the veggies in good shape while we were gone and added the roses to the water-list.  Still, the roses want attention:  the leaves were pretty well chewed when we returned.  We’ve saturated them with insecticide soap and they look some better, but…  I thought knockout roses were supposed to be easy-peasy.  Is it just me?

As we sneak up on summer, the humidity around here is sticky, and the bugs are god-awful.  I have a patch of chiggers living where the sun don’t shine, and the itching is insufferable.  We spray our lawn with something that keeps down the insects, but by the time we get it done this year I’m going to be raw…  No amount of deet works against chiggers, so I’m just spraying off the upper torso.  So far, skeeters are minimal.

It will be worth it when I’m feasting on zucchini and tomatoes and green beans and bell peppers…

Peace

Still growing…

3 weeks + 3 days post planting…

My zucchini/squash are fruiting like crazy!

I’m still a little leery about a few of my tomatoes, but this husky cherry and 2 romas are strong!

I already have 3 bell peppers ready to harvest— that’s 2 more than I had all year last year!

I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of green beans soon.  I have planted a second crop to keep us supplied…

My Cousin Jimmy gave me these banana trees.  I think the grandkids will love them, though I have no idea (yet) where I’m going to plant them..

I finished up this morning, planting some containers, a Black-eyed Susan vine, Lavender, and the green beans.  I trimmed the basil and now have a lovely lot of fresh pesto to smear on my toast.

I hate to tell you, but my roses look like crap.  I failed to have Michael water them while we were gone and they’ve been suffering ever since.  I have fed and watered them, talked sweetly, and I have hope.  A gardener has to have a Lot of Hope.

Now it’s time to sit on the porch swing and relax…

Peace

The Edible Garden is In!

It’s all in…mulched and ready to grow…

I’m trying square-foot-type gardening, partly because I don’t have much faith in some of the peppers I started—not much root to them–and went out and bought some bigger ones, meaning I ended up with 12 bell peppers of assorted types, and 4 sweet banana peppers.  Same with the tomatoes:  I planted 3 better boys before the monsoons hit and they looked pretty bedraggled when it was all over, so I bought 3 bigger ones.  There are also 1 sweet cherry 100, 2 romas, and one husky.  There’s a lot of basil, some sage, rosemary, parsley, and oregano, as well as the broccoli and onions I planted in March.  I put down some carrot and beet seeds around the blueberry bushes…and don’t forget the bush beans and pole beans.   If it all grows, I’ll have plenty to eat and give away!

We’ve mulched around the entire house and it looks great…

I planted some wave petunias in an old stump (ala Pinterest), and surrounded geraniums with marigolds in the old wash tubs…

This lovely Sweet William is peeping out from under the daylilies..

When the rain finally returned, we brought out the houseplants and porch furniture…

 

Now, it’s just maintenance…and a fair bit of luck…

Peace

Shuffling the Shrubs…

I returned from visiting with the NYC kids on Saturday–had a great visit, thanks–and was pleased with how well Casey had taken care of everyone.  Still, the roses were begging to be put outside.  Sunday we planted them, and they look terrific!

 

12 years ago we had put in holly on the south side of the porch, 3 girls and a boy, and watched as they grew into a large hedge, rather surprised at their size.  Last year we began to see black soot-like stuff all over the leaves that was rubbing off on the siding of the house.  Research showed that it was a root fungus, and the shrubs had to be removed.  Dang if it wasn’t because I had planted them too close together.  Remember how I killed a lot of black-eyed Susans by not dividing them?  Same Lesson.  Will I ever learn???

It was suggested that the roses be planted 3 feet apart for a hedge, but we chose 51 inches to line them up with our screen openings.  I’m betting they’ll still come together, only have room to breathe…  I have learned, I have learned!

Now we have this big mass of dead dirt greeting you as you enter our porch, dipping below the ancient foundation, sprouting  vintage gas pipes and the electric meter.  Not welcoming.  I don’t want to put an expensive shrub or expensive array of flowers or really commit myself to any sort of layout right now, so we used what we had:  a louvered folding door that we picked up for a couple of bucks at a rummage sale, the welcome,friends sign that was already hiding the meter, and a honeysuckle that was awaiting a home…

Casey took the opportunity to widen the steps and level out some areas of the walk.   He’s adding some cheap topsoil for now and I’m going to plant some sunflowers and zinnias.  That should take care of things for a while.

 

All the rest of our “leftovers” were planted in the Bird Garden…mums of various colours, purple coneflower, coreopsis that was already there, and still more daisies!

It’s all ready for mulch as soon as the rain passes…

I’m chomping at the bit to plant my edibles and herbs, but it looks like it might swoop down to the 40’s next week, so I’m trying to distract myself with some front-porch-rearranging.   I think I’ll just have houseplants out there this year, but it’s hard to not pick up some annuals…maybe just one wave petunia?  or 2 vinca?  We’ll see!

Peace