Garden Diary 5 June 2018

Thank-you, Alberto, for dropping a whole lotta rain.  From 5/29 to 6/3 the plants jumped from…well, look!

The edible garden is earning its keep, scoring a First with a lovely Better Belle followed closely by 3! Big Berthas.  A dozen tomatoes are on the Better Boys and Celebrity.  The cherry tomatoes are blooming all over the place.  I’m especially proud of the zucchini and yellow squash.  I’ve had so many Fails with them in the recent past.  When we lived over on Harmon Ct. they grew like crazy, and I’ve stubbornly persisted in trying to replicate those years.  It looks like this might be My Year with the Squash.  I don’t want to jinx myself, though, and rile up the squash bugs that are just looking around for a cocky gardener to bring down.

It really was a Whole Lotta Rain, possibly too much for some of my containers, so I’ve moved stuff around in my usual OCD manner.  I’m still not done….Will I ever be?  Do I want to be?

We are taking a break and heading up to camp at Harmonie SP for a couple of days.  I’m ready to cook some foil meals,  hike some easy trails, soak my clothing in Off!, and sit and stare at the campfire…

Peace

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Back in the Garden

So, we just skipped Spring this year, it seems.  Since April 29, when our lows were a chilly 40’s and highs mid-50’s, we have had 2 weeks of blazing highs in the upper 80’s to 90’s, even set some records.  We also got a hail storm, the likes of which I have never witnessed.  It was high anxiety watching as my newly-planted veggies were pelted, but they all made it through with minimal trauma.  Now we’re in a holding pattern of clouds and rain, which is just fine.

Here’s this year’s edible garden, as of today…

 

My roses were devastated by rose slugs.  Can you believe it?  They have bloomed beautifully, but within about 3 days went from having a few holes in the leaves, to being literally foliage-free….not a good look.  We have sprayed, twice, so we are hopeful that they will recover, but…  I sincerely regret buying all these knock-out roses. I guess these blooms  almost…kinda…sorta.. make up for the trouble.

 

Still, this lovely honeysuckle bloom is as easy and pest resistant as it gets…  I should stick with native plants…

I planted lavender in containers this year, throwing in the towel at growing them in the ground.  My original plan was to keep them out in the edible garden, but I’m babying them on sunniest spot on the front porch for now.

Since it was summer-like, we got the pool up and the water was quickly comfortable, especially after working up a sweat schlepping around plants.  We expanded the pool area and changed some stuff around.  I’ll catch you up with that and the front porch (we have had some good rummage sale buys this year) over at Sonnystone Acres .

There’s some good-looking cilantro out back begging me to make Salsa…

Peace

Sprung

The News from Sonnystone Acres

Spring is here!!  I’ve been outside—OUTSIDE!!!  For so long I have sat by the fire, imagining what all I would do as soon as it warmed up…  I was almost overwhelmed, wanting to do everything!!  But I have calmed down…

I planted seeds:  peas, carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and mustard.  My zucchini and yellow squash have been set out.  Cilantro has been planted.  Casey planted the asparagus.

We had to move the 4 leftover rose bushes out of the veggie garden where they had spent the winter.   I moved around some daisies in the north garden to make room,  and it’s rather full now.

 The lawn was a sea of flowers, but the dandelions were all puff-balls, so we managed to mow just before the rains.

My containers are ready, and I’m going to fill them with lavender, rosemary, basil, and whatever I come up with, while it rains…

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and the Garden Grows on…

We’re harvesting tomatoes and peppers daily, and this week-end we’ll have a big pot of green beans (with new potatoes and bacon) from the poles.  It’s time to make pesto with the basil, smudge sticks with the sage, and dry the oregano and thyme.  I like basil, mozzarella, and tomato sandwiches and Casey likes bacon, basil, and tomato sandwiches.  …Mmmm yum…  It’s all Good…

When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.

— Minnie Aumonier

Peace

 

Good heavens, it’s been over a month…

While I was wrangling grand-daughters around Sonnystone Acres, husband was taking care of the watering.  I managed to do some trimming and deadheading, and of course, some harvesting.  We’ve had an abundance of all kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, bell and banana peppers, and onions.  With a crew of eaters, it’s all been enjoyed!

We’ve now pulled up most of the squash plants (finally succumbed to the powdery mildew), the onions, and the arugula is long gone, so we tilled and treated and planted a second crop of green beans, beets, and spinach for the fall.  There’s still a ton of tomatoes and a plethora of peppers on the vine.

We saved most of the roses that we put in pots.  One more had to be removed from the front, so we have plenty to fill in with this fall after we do some serious soil amending.  Just the way it goes, that now I have too many!

While the kids were here, playing out in the pool, we heard the ca-racking and swish of a tree falling nearby.  It is a tall, old,  cherry tree that is on the border of our property and it fell toward the center of our front yard, stopping in a cluster of branches of another tree,  just above the electrical wires that connect our house to the street lines.  Hmm…it will inevitably fall–maybe tomorrow, maybe next year–so do we want to let nature take its course?  Hell, no.  We went through that when “the trees fell” from straight-line winds slamming through and the entire electrical box was pulled from the side of the house.  Power outages do not amuse me.  Actually, it’s a little cheaper to let it happen and then fix it, since the Tree Guys will have to bring in a crane, but we’re not really that broke!  Yet.

I need to do some dead-heading, but the flowers are looking good.  The front roses are okay, too.  For now, I’m just enjoying the gardens from the porch.

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