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

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Catching up with the gardens…

It seems like I have been gardening for months with nothing to show for it.  Well, actually, I have been gardening for months.   I planted spinach, lettuce, sugar peas, arugula back in March, covering them several times as the temps dipped.  In fact, this Spring has been pretty sucky, staying cold until a couple of weeks ago!  We enjoyed a couple of nice salads, and replanted that area with green beans.  The peas are still coming on–sweet Oregon Sugar Pods II–

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We were teased with warmer temps for a spell in April, and I divided daisies and pruned, started planting containers, and buying edibles.  I ended up having to re-pot the better boys and finally put them out on May 2.  We still had some lower temps!, but now that Spring has seriously sprung, they are fine.  I always have a problem with bell peppers, so I bought up a dozen of them and I’ve babied them along until planting them just last Saturday.  We put up the poles and the beans are planted, and if you can see, there are 3 squash mounds under them.  I’m trying the bush zucchini this year (as well as my old faithful yellow straight-neck) and I have no idea what to expect.

That, and several rows of bush beans over in the corner, is it for the in-ground garden, but I potted up a whopping 16 basil plants, oregano, sage, lemon balm, a cherry red husky, and cilantro.

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There are some edibles out on the front porch, too (mint, nasturtium, rosemary, lemon verbena), but it’s mostly flowers–petunias, gerbera daisies, vinca…  We bought the water fountain at a rummage sale last year, and I’m loving the sound of the water flowing.  Some creeping jenny and a water hyacinth are in there, too.  I used an old cd-rack as a trellis for the lemon verbena–it likes to grow wonky and it fits the curves…

 

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…and coleus for the shadiest part.DSC_0008

Check out my nasturtium…

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The front flower garden got straightened up, and I added some hollyhocks and a black-eyed susan vine to the mix…

The East side of the house is a bird-haven, and they love it.  I did add a climbing yellow rose bush behind the birdbath…

Last year I had a huge pineapple sage shrub on the corner and it crowded its neighbors, so I removed it and planted another butterfly bush.  We pulled down an ivy trellis and put up a picket gate.  Until the b-bush grows, I’ve got some coreopsis in there…

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The geraniums for the washtubs were some of the first I planted this year, and they are going strong.  The daylilies are starting to come in bloom, too…

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I think I’ve taken you all around the house, now.  You can see what I’ve been up to…well, don’t forget there have been 5 vacation/trips interspersed amongst the planting time!!!

6 tomato plants–3 better boys, 1 cherry husky, 1 sweet cherry 100, 1 roma

2 yellow straight-neck squash

1 zucchini bush squash

12 bell peppers–4 cal wonders, 4 red, 4 big bertha

pole beans, bush beans

tarragon

16 basil

1 sage

1 oregano

1 lemon balm

1 chocolate mint, 1 peppermint

1 lemon verbena

16 petunias

8 vinca

12 geranium

3 coleus

1 nasturtium

2 gerbera daisies

1 black-eyed susan vine

2 hollyhocks

3 coreopsis

2 butterfly bushes

1 rosemary

1 climbing yellow rose

  The deer ate the plants in my urn, so I’m replacing them with red grass.

I have 12 marigolds for I-don’t-know-where—-yet.

Planting is my favorite…

We’ll be home now until mid-July when I fly out to bring the NYC girls home.  Looks like we’ll be eating well this summer!

 

Mostly deadheading, with a smattering of tomatoes

I say that perennials are no work, but I lie.  There’s always the dividing and deadheading.  Remember when we divided the daisies and coneflowers last fall?  That has resulted in a fabulous show of flowers that lasted right up until last week.  I spent a peaceful time cleaning them up…

As we were planning this year’s garden, we took into account that our grandkids would be staying with us for 5 weeks, and that we’d be out of town for a week at the hottest, usually driest, time of the season.  We prioritized a pool for the visitors and cut back our edible garden space.  I put herbs in pots and they’ve done well, ready with ample basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, mint, and lemon verbena.  I just can’t get thyme to do well, but all the rest are ready to be harvested.  Pesto time, but first I have some plans for basil, mozzarella, tomato sandwiches…

 

There are Plenty of Tomatoes coming on….good thing I stocked up on bacon..!

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Different year, different garden

We have pulled out several of our garden beds to make room for a 14×14 pool for the grandkids.  I’ve left perimeter beds for vegetables, but I moved my herbs to the front porch and the blueberry bushes to another garden area.  I failed to get a good before picture, as usual, so I looked back at pictures taken a year ago…

        This picture was taken 4/4/14

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4/1/15

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4/5/14

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4/18/14

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Today, it doesn’t look much different, except you can see the circle Casey has drawn to show where the pool will go:

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What a different Spring we had in 2014—I had vegetable plants put in before 4/25 and never had to cover them.  In contrast, the last 2 nights our lows have been down in the 30’s, so this year it will probably be Mother’s Day before the ground warms up sufficiently.

Don’t worry about the herbs, though.  They’ve been safe from the cold out on the front porch.  This is the first Spring with the screened porch, and it is lovely.

There’s plenty of spring cleaning to do, but I’d rather be outside, so it’s hard to be patient while the wiley weather warms, as it eventually will.   In the meantime, that’s arugula in that pot up there, ready to spice up a beet salad.

2014 in the Sonnystone Gardens

Just a picture post…  I thought that would be easier, but I find I’m unable to edit what pictures I add to such a large gallery…  I’ve tried 3 times to no avail.  So there’s another lesson:  sometimes you don’t get a do-over.

But sometimes, you do…  I’ve got plans for 2015…

end of the edibles…

My edible garden is nearly empty…

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It’s due to turn cold this week-end, so I’ve harvested the last of the bell peppers and green beans.

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I still have a couple of planters-full of my beloved basil…

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Other than some Sugar Snap Peas climbing up the trellises, that’s a wrap for the 2014 veggie-growing season.

I love Autumn;  it’s very nearly my favorite season, but I hate to pick favorites.  We’ve had a spell of too-hot days, and  I’m ready for the cool and seeing what Jack Frost can do with the foliage;  already my blueberry bushes are foreshadowing the coming palette, picking up the gold and orange of the hardy marigolds:

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Since this is my first fall with the screen-porch, I’m verry excited to get the pumpkins, mums, pansies, and scarecrows arranged this week-end.   Till then…

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Movin’ right along

Good morning!

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During these yowly-cat, dog days of summer, I’ve sweated off a few lbs. moving around my herbs.  I decided to go ahead and bring them to the front porch, mostly so I could enjoy the fragrance and admire their flowers.  As an added boost, the light out there is wonderful for pictures, especially in the evenings.  I was most anxious to get the pineapple sage moved, as it had grown much larger than expected and was bullying my blueberry bush; I figured it was only good sense to also pot up the common sage, as well.  Here’s a before-and-after, sort of.

I love pineapple sage, but it doesn’t keep its fruity flavor/aroma after it’s dried.  My plan is to use it fresh for now and later for potpourri, though it’s going to be tough finding the necessary fixatives without hobby lobby…thank-you, Lord, for the internets.  And doesn’t it look great out on the front porch?

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My tomatoes have nearly All given in to the fusilarium now, so they’ll probably be pulled up Labor Day, which makes me feel a little defeated.  But hey, let’s dwell on the positive, right?

And don’t forget the flowers..they’re always a comfort…

Have a great day, dear friends!