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 #12

We are Reaping what we’ve Sown…Green beans have been on the menu frequently for the last couple of weeks.  Sliced tomatoes are always available. There’s a steady supply of cucumbers and bell peppers for dipping.

This morning we pulled the last of the beans from the first planting in late April.  It was a slow start, thanks some 40degree temperatures, but it has Loved the rain, and we’ve bean eating from it for the last two weeks.  We pulled up the plants and will amend and prepare the soil for one more planting.

 

  The second planting is nearly ready for picking now.

Today’s Harvest

Photo Gallery

Keep on Growing…

Weekly Garden Journal #11

Happy 4th of July, whatever it means to you!

We’ve picked lotsa green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and I’m starting to sound like I’m bragging.  Sorry, but it’s not all green and red in the Edible Garden…I’ve lost all my baby zucchinis ( and there were a lot) damn the rain.  I was brutal yesterday when I cut back any leaves that look powdery, then saturated them (again) with Neem oil, and I’m still hopeful that we’ll get a decent crop later… if it will just stop raining every day.  I was thinking of going out there with my hair dryer after the afternoon pour…

Here’s 4 for the 4th!

And here’s 2 more because 6 is divisible by 3 and number 3 is magic!!!

Keep on Growing…

 

Weekly Garden Journal #10

The rain stopped and we saw Sunshine yesterday!  The gardens don’t look a whole lot different, but we’re spending considerable time removing beetles and caterpillars.  The persistent rains made spraying a futile effort, but we’re still hitting them with Neem and Sevin as often as we can.  There’s very little weeding to be done thanks to thick mulch, and certainly there’s less watering this year.

We harvested several servings of green beans last week and they were delicious with some new potatoes from the Farmers Market.  Soon we’ll have more peppers and tomatoes, too, but the rain has messed up our zucchinis and we’ve had to toss some thanks to the rot.

I fix Classic cucumbers and onions in sweet vinegar every summer, but this is the first time I’ve grown cucumbers—who knew they were so easy?  Easily thrilled, I love keeping the bowl full with my very own crop.  The burpless cukes are prolific, but too obscene to photograph…

The Edible Garden

Blooms

Today is overcast, but at least bright, and I’ve got Jrs. girls for the day after spending last night with us. I hope you see the Sun Shine today!

Keep on Growing…

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 #3

In the Edible garden, the green beans are worrisome with large gaps in the rows.  I pushed in some new seeds, hoping for the best..  All of the original tomatoes look terrific and we staked and caged them.  Casey’s out picking up a load of mulch from Hillside Gardens and that will pretty the place up nicely.

The Bird Garden is a Real Garden now and we’re keeping a close eye on our birds, spying several rose-breasted grosbeaks…and a dang brown-headed cowbird–boo… and the Cardinals are loving it, even using the bird-bath!    Plenty of hummingbirds have dropped by–they don’t care if we’re out there working or not.

The peonies have burst into bloom!  The rose bushes are covered in buds, but just a few have opened…  Honeysuckle is hosting a party for the bees…

I still have some containers to fill, and hope to get the Viburnum planted sometime this coming week.  I’m kind of sad that it’s winding down…but there is another bed of green beans to plant, and All That Watering!

I harvested my arugula and made a delicious arugula, beets, and goat cheese salad.  I would have taken pictures, but it was not as attractive a dish as it was tasty.  I harvested the cilantro, as well, and have a week’s worth of cilantro-lime recipes lined up…

Keep on Growing…