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

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Roses, tomatoes, and edibles

The roses were a disaster.

First I underwatered, then I overwatered, then the bugs ate lots of leaves, so we sprayed insecticide soap. Casey had piled the mulch on too thick around the roots so fungus set it, so we pulled the mulch away and sprayed with Neem oil.

 At that point,  there were 3 of the 9 that were looking good.  The middle 2 were gone, so I pulled them and continued to baby the rest.

 Finally, I gave in and removed all but the 3 good ones, cleaned up the mulch and soil, planted 6 more (25% off, thank goodness) and we’re back in business.

I’m still a little afraid of them, though…

 

The Edible Garden has provided us with a meal of green beans, 1 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, shallots, basil, a bell pepper, and a couple handfuls of sweet cherry tomatoes.

 

 A Case of Mistaken Identity

Back Story:  I originally planted 3 better boy tomatoes and 2 romas.

The romas looked strong, but 2 of the better boys looked really spindly, so I planted 3 more.

Did you guess?  The spindly “better boys” were really romas…

It’s all looking quite grand…

 

Everything is ready for a visit from my grandies…

the banana tree unfurls…

We’ll be having Camp Sonnystone beginning the 10th.  That’s a lot of fun. We’re going to trip in the trailer for a couple of days.  We’ll go to the zoo, the museum, the library, Ellis Park, New Harmony…

Join us in July at  The News from Sonnystone Acres and don’t miss out on any festivities!

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

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

Snappy Shots

The West Front Flower Patch…

The Edible Garden…

No rain has helped us to keep the gardens hydrated through these hot, muggy days, so that’s been my major accomplishment for the week.   Our local Shriner Fest started Wednesday and I’ve been distracted by the Air Show and my Favorite–Ultimate Air Dogs.  After I do some lavender-trimming and day lily dead-heading, I’m heading back down to the Riverfront for More!!!

Enjoy your day and drink water, drink water, drink water..!

Excerpts from the Garden Journal

I keep–or try to keep–a written journal of each gardening year, especially for marking my planting and harvest times.  I also try to keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and just how much work it took to get it to work!!!   I usually start out strong, chronicling my seed-starting and planting precisely, then trail off once I’ve gotten to the just maintenance part.  Last night I caught up with my journal after a 2-week hiatus.

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6/15/16—

I did it again—neglected my garden journal.

Everything has grown like crazy–temps summer-like and humid.

Front porch:  wicker planter and houseplants out 6/13.  Fountain is cool.

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Hydrangeas —  cut back to clear window 6/12  and now rain has front blooms on the ground.  Need to cut them all back.  Blooms cut from back are drying on front porch.  Laid soaker hose.

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North Garden —  added daisies, pruned and trimmed, put riprap around edge, added soaker hose.

Butterfly/Bird garden (east) —  Lovely!  Added a flat dish hummingbird feeder and hung all 3 from trellis.  Read an article that said this may discourage bully-hummers, but..?  Planted honeysuckle at N end of trellis—hoping to train it to cover top.  Added soaker hose.

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Daylilies —  Huge (will need to be divided this year).  Not sure I appreciate them enough for the work of constant deadheading the slimy blooms.

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Pineapple Sage –okay.  Holly — good.  Soaker hose to all .

West (front) garden.  Saw a mom goldfinch land on a coneflower, shadowed by her young’un.  She tried another and decided finally on a large, more open bloom down the way.  Baby followed and she showed him how to munch the seeds from the flower, then flew up to a branch to watch proudly as he/she fed like a pro.    Black-eyed Susan vine growing like a weed and the Moonflower Vine is Alive!!!

Edibles— I do believe I’ll have ripe tomatoes by the 4th of July!  Almost lost the bush zucchini, but I covered a broken spot with dirt and it looks like it’s surviving.  fingers crossed.  3 of the ca wonder peppers look crappy, others okay.

It has rained the last 2 days and today’s high is predicted to be 97 degrees!!!   Sounds extremely sticky, so I’m glad the pool is up now.   Olivia and I are headed over to Henderson for lunch and to check out the Handy Blues Fest.

Stay cool, wherever you are!

Garden Photo Log

Just a taste of what’s happening in the gardens here at Sonnystone…

It’s all good…  play in the dirt