Weekly Garden Journal #9

Lots of rain, almost too much, has been a daily occurrence, so we’ve spent some time propping plants back up.  We caught some Rust on the pole beans and zucchini early enough to remove and spray, but lost one Roma tomato.  I’m so grateful for whoever invented Neem oil; it takes care of most of our problems — if we catch them early enough.

With Casey at home, I have a fellow stalker-of-pests, but he keeps an eye on the real crritters, too.  He has an ongoing War Against the Moles, who he calls “the mole”, like it’s just one…but he’s focused.  Several years back we sprayed the lawn with castor oil and for a couple of seasons, they stayed away.  Last year they were back, and this year are reallly back.  He’s been planting his traps all along their runs and between rains he’s sprayed the castor oil around.  He was in the edible garden and saw the movement of “the mole” at the edge.  “The Mole” has never ventured into the Edible Garden and Casey’s alarm went off…he did some sort of ju-jitsu with shovels (and stuff I made him stop telling me) and I am so happy for him!  Man against Mole is a gamble and lately the odds are short on “The Mole”. so Hurrah for Casey the Mole-err-catcher for saving the Edibles.

Here’s the garden he saved…The Edible Garden

Around the House…

The Bird/Porch garden got better when we bought the cool red glider at a rummage sale, but I couldn’t stop myself from adding more begonias.  This year I have No plants on the Front Swing Porch–I neglect them out there and the West sun doesn’t let me get away with it–so I’ve made up for it with More containers in the part-shade Porch.

Today is Midsummer’s Eve and I suggest you be alert for Puck or something like him.  It’s been a water-filled Spring and we’ve had only one pool day, so I’m hoping to see more sun in the next Season, but as long as the Plants are happy, I’m happy.

Keep on Growing…

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Weekly Garden Journal #8

The weather continues to be just right for our garden, though our local farmers have had so much rain that only 50% of their crops have been able to be planted.

The Edible Garden

My biggest project this week has been the Bird Garden which has morphed into the Porch Garden.  I went crazy with begonias and pulled around some other containers to fill it with blooms.

The feeders stay busy as the adult birds bring the young-uns out and teach them to feed themselves.  If we sit still for a while on the porch chairs, we can blend right in with the avians.

The echinacea and susans around the feeder poles are doing well, but it’s too early for their blooms.

I’ve got the girls today and we’re headed out for a picnic…  Until next week…

Keep on growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #7

Wow, can you believe it’s been 7 weeks since I started planting?  I am thrilled with how it’s all growing, but honestly, it’s the mix of rain and sunshine that has made this year so pretty.   Experience teaches that you work harder in the years that are less productive, so I have to give credit, again, to Mother Nature…  I’m just her assistant…

The Edible Garden

Cucumbers

Butterfly bushes, Viburnum, grapes

The daylillies are breaking into bloom

I’ve had two of my grandies staying with me this week, so I’m grateful for the night-time showers.  I’ve noticed that having the kids around all the time is as exhausting and exhilarating as gardening, but with a lot more giggling.

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #5

We spend lots of time out in the garden, tending and caring for our plants, pretending that we are “growing” them.  In reality, the garden is nurturing us…growing us…

The Edible garden..

 

My roses have been worth the effort…

 

The lavender loves being out of the pots….nasturtiums are tops on my list of edible flowers…

 

I started a black-eyed susan vine commingled with a cardinal vine…so far, so good…

 

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #2

I love the sleep that rewards a day of working in the garden. I wake up feeling like I’ve been healed and nourished, praying “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world”.

That is, unless it’s another rainy, gloomy, cool-ish day like today.  That’s Spring for ya, a moody little witch that can get you high in the 70s and kill that buzz with a low 40…

We had some good work-days this week.  All of the veggies are in.  I’ve kept one bed free for a second sowing of green beans.  The original bed is sloow popping up, thanks to those 40s and some pounding rain, but I think they’ll be okay.  I’ve changed around some of the container contents, and may change them again. I ended up with too many bell peppers and roma tomatoes and had no choice but to plant as many as I could find space for.  I still have 4 peppers and 1 roma left, if anybody’s interested…

 

The Big Excitement, though, is Phase I of our Bird Garden.  We spend quite a bit of time watching the birds, especially in the winter and we realized we wanted our feeders to be closer, and where we could more easily see.  Inspired by Sharon Sorenson’s book, Planting Native to Attract Birds to Your Yard , I started envisioning planting a playground for our birds to frolic as we while away the winter watching..

You’ve probably noticed that I change my mind a Lot, but this is a start.  First thing we bought was a Sweet Bay Magnolia.  This tree is allegedly a bird-magnet, providing a little something for every season.  I already have a 10-year-old Jane magnolia, but that is not native.  The birds love it, though, and it is a great backdrop for photos in the winter.  The sweet bay grows larger than Jane, and we put it strategically away from the house, positioned to eventually touch the Jane’s branches.

I broke my rules and bought another non-native Jane because I wanted a smaller tree to define the south boundary of the garden.  The hummingbird feeders are hanging to either side of the south door and already are hosting hummers.

In my head is this grand design using picket fencing, but in order to get things going for next winter’s bird-watching, we simply moved the bird feeders currently in use and planted native rudbeckia and echinacea around the poles.  We still need to widen the flower area, but that is some tenacious weed growing there.   Sharon didn’t have to tell me how much the birds love the black-eyed Susans and purple coneflower! I can hardly wait to watch the goldfinches feast on them.

In the next phase, we’re adding a Viburnum and some sweet virginia sweetspire around the south side for them to feast on, though that’s out of our sight..   I hope by winter we’ll have a ground-level bubbler added, but for now we’ve got an old birdbath thrown down for water…  Still needs Imagination when I look at it, but I like it…

Last year, looking for a red perennial vine, I found a half-dead Rebecca clematis at Lowes, brought it home and nursed it back to health, but not bloom.  Check it out this year!

While the heavens water the gardens here at Sonnystone, I’ll be turning my attention to the weather in Louisville tomorrow for the Oaks and Saturday for the Kentucky Derby…

 Peace

A Time to Plant

In the past, I’ve carefully enumerated the plants as I placed them in their new digs.  While I could do a quick calculation of this year’s work so far, I don’t really need to impress myself like I used to.  Besides, do you count seeds?  When I dig up daisies and replant them someplace else, does that count as two?  All I can say is we did a helluva lot of planting on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week…

We finished up just in time for soaking rains.  Good thing, too, because we need to continue working on the porches..

There’s still more fun in store.

Peace

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!

Peace