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

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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Verdant

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2 of our 3 bluebird houses have nests, but I haven’t seen any bluebirds, and I hope the spatsies aren’t squatting there.

The pool area is ready for the pool.  When that big blue behemoth goes up, it will block the view of that garden.  Casey does love his pool, though, and I know the grandkids will be putting it to good use.  Here’s a close-to-the-last look:

My edible garden has 2 sweet cherry 100’s, 1 big beefsteak, 3 better boy tomatoes;  3 california wonder and 4 big bertha bell peppers; 2 tee-pees and 1 trellis of pole beans;  a short row of bush beans;  too many zucchini and yellow straight-neck squash;  2 or 3 sunflowers in the back.  The oregon sugar snaps, the baby kale, and mesclun are about to finish up.

For the last couple of years I have had zip squash and I have no idea why.  This year, I’ve gone overboard, figuring if I lose half I still have more than enough. Plus, I’ve been doing it “right” and giving them plenty of room, so we’ll see how it goes doing it “wrong”.  I always had tooo many zucchinis at our other house when placing them close, and if that’s my result,  I’m prepared to deal with it.   We’ll see.

We had removed an infestation of overgrown throw-aways from the east side of the house and it had become an eyesore.  I decided we should make it about the birds and bees, planting butterfly bushes, lavender, pineapple sages, and hanging birdfeeders from the existing trellis.   I’ve got some morning glory seeds in the ground that I envision climbing merrily up the back.

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The window on the left is where my desk-chair sits and I spend an inordinate amount of hours staring out at the birds, so now I’ll have the addition of butterflies.  The final touch was to add one of my hummingbird feeders;  it’s a little low right now, but I’ve seen a couple of hummers nip in.

view from my window

view from my window

I especially enjoy this planting part of gardening, when I wake up all my muscles and tune up all my senses.  There’s a lot of healing in just touching the earth, placing the tender plants in their spots, adding a lot of hope and water—and maybe some miracle gro, if you’re so inclined.

Keep growin’..!