Archive for May, 2012

Hopes in Midst of Rain and Changes…

English: Hopes Reservoir The water, seen from ...

English: Hopes Reservoir The water, seen from the dam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today has hopes of feeling like a good day.  A slow gentle rain has been falling for the last several hours.  Of course, don’t have to go water the garden today, but couldn’t resist going out there to see how things are progressing.  It’s looking nice and almost all the seeds I planted are sprouting.  Only saw one bit of deer mischief….they ate my four broccoli plants.  It’s time to get busy with my anti-deer plans.

Guess it will be one of those housework catch up days with a bit of reading and writing thrown in the mix.  Still reading a book I picked up the other day at the used bookstore, a book of Sylvia Plath‘s Journals.  Maybe I can think of something delicious to bake up.  Baking is always good to do on rainy days when you can’t really do much outdoors.  Not complaining though, we so need the rain and I wanted it for my garden.

Well in other news, my household has recently grown.  My daughter and her significant other have moved in so they can work on getting other jobs and saving up a little.  The other additions to the household include their two dogs, one of which is still a frisky little puppy.  They are almost completely done with the moving part.  Just finishing up a few odds and ends over the next couple of days.  So far, so good.

Still trying to not worry so much even though it seems like things want to start falling apart in spurts and too many changes happen at once.  If you are in need of an uplifting song, here’s Drinking From My Saucer by Michael Combs.  It’s a wonderful reminder to be grateful, which a friend shared with me.

 

 

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The Plants Are Finally in The Ground!!!

The big garden was officially planted this weekend!  The babies I raised from seeds went into the ground finally.  I did pick up a few sweet bell pepper and jalapeno pepper plants at the feed store on Saturday as my bell pepper seedlings never made it.  They were a great price at $1.55 for 4 plants, which is less than 40 cents each.  I also planted seeds and can’t wait for them to come up.

The garden kind of looks straggly right now, but I have hopes it will blossom with growth in the coming months.  It’s an experimental garden in a way.  I’m playing with companion planting this year.  There are also going to be some flowers if all goes well.  The far end on the left has coneflower seeds planted and there are a couple of rows of sunflowers planted vertical to the garden on the far end.

There are still a few rows left if I think of anything else to plant in it.  I know I’d like to plant some more squash as I only had enough seed for a half a row and we like to freeze squash.  Right now I’ve been watering the garden daily in hopes of keeping the ground soft enough and the seeds moist enough to sprout.   The garden is blessed with mostly Carolina clay.

Garden

Garden

This morning I went out for my daily watering and checking things out.  I love looking for any sign of new plant growth.  So far only spotted a couple of seeds sprouting.  Most of the plants look like they’ll make it and there’s only been one tomato plant fatality so far.  The next big challenge will be attempting to deter the deer.  I love deer as long as they eat everything else and leave the garden be.

Over the next couple of days I hope to put stakes, I already have, around the garden.  I’ll use these to put twine around and dangle pie plates from to try to scare away the deer.  Maybe I’ll try to tie on some bright strips of plastic too, so they’ll blow in the wind.  I’ve also heard you can tie bits of soap around the garden to deter deer.  We’ll see how it goes.

How’s your garden growing?  Any favorite deer deterring tips? . . .

Tiny Treasures

Rabbit rabbit Alongside road to the mill.

Rabbit rabbit Alongside road to the mill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyday seems to have a bit of adventure in it somewhere.  Sometimes it’s in tiny bits of treasure found in the yard.  In the early mornings I love to go outdoors while it’s cool and there is still dew on the grass.

This morning there was a big brown rabbit sitting on the left of the driveway.  Even after I went outdoors he didn’t get startled and run away.  He just hopped a little bit further.  I like to think the animals are not scared in our yard and know it’s safe.  Deer linger longer as well.

I was so excited to find small “pea pods” in the little garden!  Everyday I have been looking and seen flowers on the plants, but no pea pods.  Excuse my overzealous excitement, but this is the first time ever I’ve grown peas and they made it long enough to get pods.  This time they are in the protection of the garden fence and safe from deer nibbling.

There are now pretty yellow flowers on the cucumber plants finally as well.  The cherokee purple tomato plant has about 4 small green tomatoes on it.  The largest is about the size of a plum.  Lettuce and the other herbs are growing bigger.  I know I keep saying it, but hopefully fresh salad soon.  Will only be a lettuce and tomato salad, but at least it will be fresh from the garden.

Yesterday morning it was still a little damp, but I decided to work on the little shade sitting area in the yard.  I raked the fallen leaves and those spiky gumballs from the trees up leaving bare ground, which is much nicer to walk on.  After clearing the area, I rearranged the benches, one on each side of the square raised planting bed.  There were treasures in the planting bed I unearthed beneath the leaves, an apple-crested maidenhair fern and some variegated hostas.  Both growing nicely!  Now I won’t have to plant everything from scratch in the bed.

The shade bed had not been tended to in about 2 years, so I was amazed anything was still thriving in it.  I gave up on it for a bit as the goats and chickens were eating anything I’d plant in it.  The last time my hosta was hanging from one of the goat’s mouths I thought it was a goner.  Another small project in the shade area is to take down the old string of lights I had strung between trees on both sides and replace it with new ones for soft night time lighting.  I’ll share a picture once I get it a little more spruced up.

Vegetables Almost Here…

It rained last night.  It’s rained a lot lately.  I think instead of April showers, it’s May showers.  It’s good though, the rain is helping everything grow lushly and has refilled the neighbor’s pond as well as other water supplies. 

I walked out to check on the garden this morning and there are beautiful flowers on the sugar dwarf peas.  The tomatoes are green, but there are tomatoes and they are getting bigger.  These tomatoes are the cherokee purple ones.  The other tomatoe plants do not have any tomatoes on them yet.

Pea Blooms

Pea Blooms

Enjoying this time of year as long as it lasts.  Not too warm yet and still really nice to be able to get outdoors to get projects done.  Have to wait till it dries up a bit, but hope to get the big garden planted this weekend.  Still have baby plants needing desperately to be planted.

Warning : Labels are Essential!!!

Grass

Grass (Photo credit: Daniel R. Blume)

Just when I have a day it looks like the sun is peeking out from behind the dark clouds, havoc rears it’s ugly head.  It started out great, but by now I ought to maybe know my over optimism is getting the better of me.  My husband had picked up the used riding mower we bought and brought it home yesterday evening, so I thought I’d cut some grass early this morning while it was still cool enough. 

Lawn mower fired right up.  One plus as usually me and machinery do not mix so well.  Got to cutting grass, some of which had grown rather tall.  Lawn mower was cutting it well.  Second plus for the day.  So far things seemed to be going fairly well.  Went round and round several times, then the lawn mower cut off.  Well, I thought maybe due to the tall grass choking it up, but a quick look under the gas cap revealed it was out of gas.

Okay, I thought.  No biggie, just go get the gas can, tote it way in the back where the lawn mower ran out, and fill up the gas tank.  My husband had told me we had one container with three gallons of gas in it.  Well, there are several gas cans around our yard.  A couple of red ones and a couple of yellow ones, though I thought we only had one yellow one.  While walking in the back yard from way far back I spotted a yellow gas can, grabbed it(felt heavy enough), and went to fill up the lawn mower.

Gas tank full.  I tried to crank it.  Nothing.  Tried again.  Nothing.  At this point, I thought maybe I had flooded it in my overzealous attempt at cranking it.  I waited a few minutes and tried again.  Nothing.  Well, I pulled out my handy dandy cell phone and called my husband.  I ask him what else could it be, you know in case I was doing something wrong or needed to try something else.  I told him it was just spinning round and round, but not hitting any.

Well, short tragic story short, I had messed up major and he was not bashful telling me such.  The yellow gas can from back was full of water, which his now deceased son had used to flush the tractor last year.  He hadn’t put the water there, but had known it and not labeled it for whatever reason.  Neither of them had labeled it.  Needless to say, I left the house for a brief break after my harsh scolding. 

Yes, maybe I should’ve sought out the other gas can in the front, but I didn’t and I made a mistake.  The whole point is this would have been an avoidable tragedy if someone or anyone had followed the golden rule and LABELED WHAT IS IN THE CONTAINER.  I even label spray bottles with my homemade household cleaners when I make them up.

Okay, sorry so long.  Done with my rant.  Very long day with good intentions.  Don’t usually have allergies either, but guess due to the over tall grass had allergies flair up too.  Not usually a medicine person, more of an herbie, but have had three doses of allergy medicine and allergy eye drops.  All in the name of being able to see and breathe easier.  At least the day’s well that end’s well.  My eyes are no longer swollen and I can breathe.

Any machinery mishaps in your midst of late?…Do you label?… 

 

Garden Sharing

Thought I would share some photos today.  The first one is a photo of the herb garden as I call it, though a few vegetables share their home there.  The main reason I chose to plant a few vegetables in the herb garden is because it is really the only truly deer safe spot in the yard as it is completely fenced in.

Herb Bed Squares

Herb Bed Squares

The first square in the photo has sage, oregano, and rosemary in it(from front to back).  I know the oregano will spread more, so as soon as I get another square cleared out I may move it.  This is the Greek Oregano variety. 

The second square has peppermint, catnip, and lemon verbena(from front to back).  The peppermint and catnip I planted in pots, then have the pots planted partway in the dirt.  This is to try to contain them some as mints can be pretty invasive.  Going with prevention as I don’t want another case like the spearmint I spent three years digging out of the herb bed because it went rampant. 

Lemon verbena is one of the best smelling lemon scented herbs and it retains its scent after drying.  I love just rubbing a leaf between my fingers and smelling it.  I like the smell of lemon balm as well, but found it didn’t smell so good after it was dry.  Plans are to enjoy some lemon verbena tea and try to use it in cooking as well. 

The third square is the mixed lettuce blend mainly, but there are some dutch onions planted in the back.  I planted the lettuces all at the same time, but for some reason the ones on the left are much bigger than the right.  It’s a puzzle to me.  The lettuce is finally getting big enough for hopefully making a first fresh salad of the season soon.

I spared you any more photos of the squares on the ends of the herb garden as not too much has changed yet.  The snow peas have climbed taller, but no pods yet.  The chives are still growing.  The only real changes are I added a few things.  I put a cucumber plant in each square, but having trouble getting them to climb up the fence so far.  Also, added a few flowers in the first square just for color.  I only had two zinnia seedlings which made it so I decided to give them a home there.

Remember the garden I told you about in the last post?  Here’s the promised photo of the tilled up big garden as it was too wet that day.  Still need to rent the tiller and do it once more.  It was so wet when we finished that it’s hardened up.  Guess next time I till it I’ll go ahead and get it planted while the dirt is still broken up some.  Happy gardening!

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