The Conservatory

As you can tell, I haven’t posted a single-solitary-thing on this blog since 7/29/18…  If you follow The News from Sonnystone Acres you already know that we built an addition to connect our kitchen porch with our laundry room/shed (in these old houses you have to learn the art of re-purposing).  It has polycarbonate walls and ceiling, is attached to our porch, and is used as a greenhouse or sun parlor, so it qualifies as a conservatory.  I’m thinking of Clue…and  the candle holder…and Miss Scarlet…


I don’t have much confidence in my ability to actually grow things in my conservatory, even though I’m pretty good with houseplants.  As a result, folks often remark that I have a green thumb and to that I say Ha!  I did once get some fungus growing under a fake nail, but that is as close as I’ve been to even understanding the term.

What I know is that some houseplants are hardier than others and therefore able to withstand being forgotten for a while if they’re in the right spot.  Since Most of my indoor plants are 5-10+ years old, they are now like pets to me.  I know how much sunshine they like, how often they get thirsty, and have repotted them all at least once.  Still, they surprise me with their persistence…


In the same way, I”m hoping to fill the conservatory with plants that Want to Live so they can survive my inexperience.  I’ve got herbs! mints, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.  I’ve got flowers! begonias, lavender, and rudbeckia.

For once I’m looking forward to winter and having my own little piece of sunshine right outside the kitchen door!


Garden Diary 29 July 2018

The month of July is always full of grandies enjoying Camp Sonnystone.  The garden takes a back seat, but we did manage to pote our buckets around and keep everything as watered as we could…well, almost everything.  Despite our best efforts, the lack of rain combined with the heat took its toll.

After the Jose’ fam left, we surveyed the damage and brought in whatever veggies we could, which was plenty.  Most of the yellow squash had bit the dust (literally) earlier, but there were 3 zucchini producing.  The tomatoes were covered with ripening fruit and the bell peppers are (still) carrying on.  I ended up freezing a dozen quart bags of zucch and squash, though, so I’m happy.  Now there’s one more zucchini on the last plant.

I had to take down a tomato that suddenly went yellow on me, and the better boys have slowed down, but I’m hoping they’ll get started again.  I still have dozens of tomatoes, even after making a huge greek tomato salad and slicing every chance I get.

I’ve harvested 4 pots of basil and made an ice cube tray of pesto.  There’s a pound or so of onions, and some chive put up.  Casey’s barrel of potatoes only produced a handful, but the experiment gave us great ideas of next year.

Oh, and that’s a jar of lemon verbena leaves, ready to be transformed into tea, or infused into some nice vodka.

I’m really grateful, as I know many gardeners have had worse seasons and I do have a lot to show for my work.  It’s just that vegetables are a bit of a gamble.  Yet each year I learn something new.

The flowers, though….  daisies, rudbeckia, roses (!), pineapple sage, butterfly bushes… they are blooming, attracting the birds and bugs and making me smile.


Casey has started a Major New Project, and I’m planning an August Extravaganza of sorts…  You’ll want to read about it over at The News from Sonnystone Acres…



July 2 Garden Photos

The rains continued to do our watering, perhaps a little over-zealously, until Friday last and now it’s our turn.  The garden is in Full Summer Swing…

I pulled up the first crop of green beans — about 3 lbs — and got them cleaned and ready to be snapped by Sonnystone Campers next week.  Grandpa should have plenty of new potatoes, too.

We’re over-run with Squash And Zucchini!!!  It is a regular on the menu now, and I’ve frozen a couple of lbs! The Garden Fairies Love Me Again…!

Still waiting for the tomatoes to ripen up, but that should be just in time for my visitors.  We’re leaving the garden under Jr’s care while we drive down to Disney World to pick up the Joses and bring them back for Camp Sonnystone.  They will be here until the 20th or so, and I know you’ll want to check out the Fun we’ll be having over at The News.