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

Busy … and New Neighbors!

Finished up the new raised beds for the vegetables…

moved all the flowers out of the front bed…dozens of daisies and coneflower…some to the north bed…

and some to the south bed that is still under construction.  I still have a wagon of coneflowers and a small wheelbarrow of mums to find a home for, so I’m feeling a little full of perennials.

The blank space in the front of the house  is still under consideration, but I’m opting for a hedge of some sort.  It’s a 40-foot long area and the flowerbed always seemed too small for the space.  Maybe some knockout roses to grow 4ft x 4ft and bloom all summer?

Two Norwegian bachelor gnomes have moved in down in the woods…they’re really sprucing the place up!  The one on the right is Larry Garcia and the older, smaller one is his brother, Darrell.  Darrel doesn’t say much, but Larry is always ready to lean on his shovel and jaw…

I’d like to get some seeds in the ground this week-end and it looks like the weather will be perfect for it!

Happy Easter!

Peace

Spring springs anew!

I am so excited to see the blossoms and blooms of Spring!  We are making some new rest stops down along the paths in Solla Sollew.   I just marvel at the splashes of daffodil and mayflowers throughout the woods…

We’re putting in all new raised beds for vegetables.  A couple of years ago, when the NYC girls came for an extended stay, I gave up all but the perimeter of the fenced-in area  to accommodate a pool.  The pool was only meant to last a couple of summers, so it’s gone.  We’ll be bringing in all new soil, so I am fully, yes, Fully Confident that it’s going to be a great year in the garden.  Here’s what it looks like now…

I got swept up in the spirit this morning when I ran by Ronnie’s to see what they’ve got…  I ended up buying 3 better boys, 2 romas, 1 cherry husky, 1 sweet cherry 100, a 4-pack each of red pepper, california wonder peppers, and big berthas.  Oh, and I got a 4-pack of broccoli, too.  Almost forgot, I couldn’t walk past the cilantro without putting a couple in my tray.   I repotted the 4-packs and they’ll be ready to go in the ground in May or so.

 

Look what we spotted outside the music room window yesterday…

Pileated Woodpecker

There is so much work to do, the kind of work I love!  You can bet I’ll keep you informed.

And here’s what’s left of those seedlings I started…

Girl’s gotta try everything…even if I fail..

Peace