Autumn Garden Journal #1

Since Casey retired we’ve expanded our bird-feeding operation quite a bit.  We’d had our feeders on the east side and really couldn’t watch the birds from there.  When we moved one of them around to the south, I was inspired to bring  all the feeders out where we could sit in the dining room–which has full windows to the east– and watch the birds empty them from our rockers.

At nearly the same time as this vision occurred I bought Sharon Sorenson’s book, “Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard” and it seemed to be a sign that I should plant around the feeders with natives.  You’d be surprised what’s Not native and I already owned a few…  My Jane Magnolias are not native, meaning the birds don’t actually get nutrients from them, but they love to use the branches to perch and use it in all seasons to take their turns at the feeders.  Daisies are another non-native that I am over-run with, but I moved them to the Rose and the North Garden.

Sticking with her recommendations about new buys, I bought a maple-leaf viburnum and planted near the back.  Unfortunately, it had a sudden attack by viburnum beetles in August.  We caught it pretty early and put it in a large pot and babied it, so I think it will be all right.

I also picked up some black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) and purple coneflower (echinacea), two of my long-standing favorites, though I killed quite a few Susans when I didn’t divide them for a decade or so.  Because I had no place to plant them permanently at the time, we crammed them together around the bird-feeders.

And so the time came to make my vision manifest.  I drew it up on graph paper and got Casey’s approval.  Then I brought out the bricks and used them to mark out my ideas.

I dug up the poor susans and coneflowers  and called in my Muscle.

It all came together like this…

It’s a work-in-progress, to be continued, but my Original Goal has been accomplished…

The view from the dining room should entertain us year-round…

Just in time, we have some rain!! It will take a lot to make up for the drought we’ve experienced, but it’s a start…

 

Keep on Growing…

 

 

Weekly Garden Journal #17

I’m not in NYC after all…  My daughter stayed with us the Whole Time her daughters were here and they all flew home yesterday.  The entire Visit was Magical…

We dropped them off at the Louisville airport early yesterday morning and were home by noon.  It was hot, but we got out and cleaned up the Edible Garden.  I pulled up all the Romas, a couple of Big Berthas and one zucchini plant. The last crop of green beans is puny and rusted, but I’m not ready to give up on them.  The pole beans were excruciatingly removed from the trellis. Everything that’s left has fruit (veg) on it that’s not quite ready to harvest.  In the center of the naked trellis is a healthy pineapple sage bush which should be blooming in a couple of weeks…

I brought in three pots of basil, ready for drying.  I’ve got a large pot of three left that I’ll use for making pesto next week.

It’s time to wind it down now and the plan is to have the Edible Garden emptied and the pool down by Labor day.  We’ll be leaving for a couple of weeks September 8, trailer trippin’ to New Mexico and Colorado.

After our return from that Adventure, we have Plans for Fall planting in the Bird Garden.  Until then, I’m not sure I’ve much to blog about gardening…

I’ll be over at Sonnystone Acres , though, and you’re always welcome to come sit on the front porch with me…

Keep on Growing…

 

Weekly Garden Journal #16

Here’s what’s growing this week…

The  NYC Grandies are here, providing much-appreciated help with harvesting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that promptly disappear once they are sliced and diced.  Note to self: grow potatoes next year — Emma loves baked potatoes at every meal and Everybody likes new potatoes with their fresh green beans.  More cucumbers would be a good idea and I’d sure like to find room for watermelon , too. The girls are going to help me harvest a couple of pots of basil and make Pesto while they’re here — an invaluable skill, don’t you agree?

I’ll be accompanying them back to NYC next week and soon after my return we’ll most likely be pulling out the romas and pole beans, winding down the 2019 growing season …  Till my return…

Keep on growing…

 

Weekly Garden Journal #15

Whew! 15 weeks!  Let’s take a tour of the Gardens at Sonnystone Today…

Remember the “conservatory” that we built at the end of last season?  I pictured filling it with plants and using it like a greenhouse, but that was a pipe dream.  It is, however, an excellent porch extension that keeps the pathway from the kitchen to the laundry room dry and warmer and that’s the Real reason it was built.

The west door leads to the pool area; the east door leads to the Edible Garden…

Around on the east garden, the butterfly bushes that I thought were going to die are not all that pretty, but the butterflies don’t mind.  My new maple-leaf viburnum is strong; it will have to be moved this fall for an archaeological project that I haven’t told you about, yet.  The birds have feasted on the grapes…

On the south side, the plants I planted around the birdfeeders are too close together…Why do I Always do that?…and they’ll probably not flower well.  This fall they will be moved into a new garden and spaced properly, I swear!

The volunteer hyssop is such a bee and butterfly magnet!  The petunias in the light-pole planter don’t seem to mind sharing the spotlight.

Roses and Daisies are the vanguard of the Front Porch…

The lavender in the poolside garden is going strong, but the hydrangeas encroached over the one I had kept in a pot.  It looked weak this spring, but it is ready for the ground now…or probably later…

And we’re back to the conservatory…

The NYC kids will be here 3 days!  I will be in full Grandma JoJo mode for the next couple of weeks, harvesting a super crop of love, peace, and joy with the Grandies…

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #14

This is the Real Work of Gardening–eating the harvest!  Since I don’t have any family to share all these lovely veggies with, Casey and I have to Eat it All

I admit, I’m a leetle bit tired of green beans.  I had hoped they would last until the NYC kids get here (10 more days), but they didn’t.  We have plenty of cucumbers and peppers and tomatoes and herbs of every variety and I feel guilty if any of it goes bad…

The Jr. girls are here and Samantha wants to know when I’m going to be done with my “words”… A picture is worth a thousand of those…so here are several Ks…

 

 

 

Keep on Growing…

 

 

Weekly Garden Journal #13

This week the Edible Garden changed Big Time…

At this time of the season, I usually take stock of what’s working and what’s not.  Fortunately, most Everything has been producing prolifically, except for the zucchini.  I thought this year was going to be the year that broke my streak of zucchini/squash failures…I have fretted over them like babies, but I couldn’t keep away that dang fungus.  I finally pulled out the southernmost plant to buy more time for the other three.  There is still time for them to fruit…

The biggest changes are the empty bean beds…the kitchen has been invaded by green beans…

The Kentucky Wonder Pole beans are a long, flat, tasty bean and we’ve harvested a gallon or so.  Though I planned that those should be picked about now, I didn’t plan on having to bring in the second crop of bush beans this soon (we just harvested the first crop last week).  We’ve already planted the first bed with more Blue Lake (bush) and they are popping right up. I’m going to let that second bed rest for a bit while I think about what sort of cool weather crops might go there.

It’s also tough keeping up with the Roma tomatoes, so I’ve started fixing my trusty tomato salads, beginning with the easiest:  chopped roma tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, black olives, feta cheese with a red wine vinaigrette that I whip up with red wine, canola oil, fresh oregano, and garlic.  Mmmm…

The weather is Exactly the type of weather that makes me want to go to the mountains in July every year…  The garden, though, is at its neediest, so here we are.

Around on the Bird Garden Porch, I had to move the cardinal vine/black-eyed Susan vine to a shady spot for some intensive care.  The container I used was just too small and it dried out so easily where it was placed. With all the real estate opening up in the Edible Garden, I might try to plop it in the ground in a couple of weeks. The nasturtium was nearly destroyed by rain and sun, so it also was placed in intensive care.  Just to keep everybody company, I also moved all of my herbs there and I like seeing them right outside my conservatory door…

We’ve paid no attention to the banana trees, yet every week they happily unfurl new branches–if only the edibles were so easy…

Keep on Growing…