Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You will never know what you might find.

Yesterday I was looking through Freecycle for what I might find and found some pallets that I can use at the vegetable plot for the compost bin.  Upon inquiring, there was only one left but one is better than none right?

When I arrived for pickup, I first noticed an extraordinary garden. Well! The woman who was giving away the pallet is Ms. Shawna Lee Coronado. Gardener, Green advocate, public speaker, author.

We chatted for about an hour and she has a great deal to offer. Check out her blog at:

Back at home, I thought at this time of year  much is happening, and the work of early spring is evident in the garden today.

Due to recent surgery have not been able to keep up with the weeds as I would like, but my dear wife has be assisting big time. Thanks!

About four years ago, my wife decided to sprinkle one of those wild flower box mixes in the  dirt patch between the neighbors driveway and ours. It is supposed to cover 2000 sq ft. She covered maybe 200! It was a color riot for years. Now the yellow cone flower is in its 4th year of naturalizing. What is super cool is the bloom color patterns are changing and now we have some spectacular blossoms.  Enjoy the show!
My favorite of the lot.

As I had  the camera out anyway, I kept poking around to see what I could see.

The trumpet Lily is taller than I am.
This red is quite intense.
And  despite her good intentions,  the resident weeder tore out the bee balm save this one plant. It's showing its gratitude.


Keep Digging!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tomato Bondage

A quick scoot to the veggie patch to finish the job we started yesterday.

We picked up some foam encased wire to tie up the tomatoes.  It won't bite into the stems. While they don't look great now, in a couple of days they should have adapted photropically to their new positions.
We also did a bit of weeding.

The bush beans are very happy and there are some tiny beans... I expect in about a week or so we will have more than we can handle.

Not sure what happened to the one zucchini plant will have to keep an eye on it. The cucumbers and acorns squash on the right seem happy.

Some carrots to be thinned.... So far we've not had to use the rain barrel water, but they are full and ready when needed!
Before we went over to the plot, this guy was hanging around so I took his picture.

That's it for now, no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days. If we have good sun I think we will also have some very good growth.

Keep digging!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Of Radishes and Tomato supports

A quick pop over to the vegetable plot gives us a few things.

First the 5+ inches of rain this month have the garden growing madly!

Second, need to be much more active in thinning some crops, notably the radish as we pulled the last of the crop, but a great deal more never matured. The "french style" radish seemed to do better so we'll put in seeds for them again and try for a second crop.
Same basic story with the beets, except they never matured. I can only hypothesize they are too crowded or the soil too rocky or both. There are some still in the ground so maybe there is still a chance. As I said when I began the vegetable garden it is a learning experience. Better to make mistakes now than when I am depending on the garden for a large portion of my produce.

The reason for the visit was to stake the tomatoes. The little round cages are too expensive and we have too many plants for that to be practical. So I figured we could use 4x8 sheets of concrete wire. The way we planted, the plants are offset I hoped we could run one down the middle and the plants could be staked to it.

For the most part it worked just fine.
Not a very good picture. but maybe you get the idea.

The bush beans are in full bloom and the peas are beginning to fruit out. I don't think the peas will do so much other than to provide a snack while in the garden but the bush beans should give a big harvest. Maybe even enough to freeze or can.
As a parting shot, the pumpkins and squash in the back.
As mobility and time permit, this week should see more maintenance of the veggie plot, it was getting out of hand.

Keep Digging!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lush is the word

With all the rain, the yard is quite lush. We had several severe storms that caused limb damage to trees that I did not realize because I had not left the house. Today on a brief errand, before the pain got the best of me, I saw piles of branches and limbs dropped by the storms.

The other side of it of course is the  garden has had a great deal of moisture. The coreopsis is cheerful, bobbing atop lacy foliage.
An unexpected bloom in the roses, This is not one of the roses that burst 6 weeks ago rather a creeper that has entwined itself in the shrubs.  A lovely splash of color.
The trumpet lilies are huge, some are taller than I am! Those fences are 4' tall for perspective. Seems like something out of Alice and Wonderland.
These are a soft subtle color.
Look at these giants!
A nice splash of color in the flower box. Love the coleus.
One of the sedums is blooming. Once it is done I will tear it out along with the iris and redo the beds.
Finally, the chiminea, it just looked so rustic next the giant grass and in front of the hops.

So that is all I have for today. I must say I am pleased with the continuous bloom in the garden. It makes it fun to stop out and look around.

Happy Digging!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

10 minutes of freedom

So I got out for a little bit. It was nice to get some fresh air - a change from 48 hours of vicodin induced haze in the a/c after the surgery.

So what do we see?

The pumpkin and butternut squash are happy.

The onions are good, left side is dry harvest, right are green harvest.
Meh - a few weeds

Radish, eggplant and lettuce. The radishes will be done soon and ready for next planting.

Closeup of eggplant. Some blossoms show promise.

Overall, the garden is growing well. Not sure about the end success but so far so good!
While there we thinned some radishes and beets. Please step over to the kitchen and let's see what we can do with them.

Out of commission and What's Old is New

So I  had some surgery on Friday, and am still quite sore and won't be able to do much in the garden for a week or so. Hopefully will get over to the veggie patch if I can tolerate the mobility. There are things happening in the flower beds - we'll see about updating that shortly.

A huge thank you to my wife for cutting the grass and weeding late last week. At least I won't be totally buried when I feel well enough to participate.

Also she picked up an old book circa 1970:

The author J.I. Rodale  was a pioneer in organic gardening as well as a successful publisher.

This is very cool and still relevant today.  Working my way through it and it is wonderful. Just wish I had more land!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Night at the Veggie Plot

So it was a quick trip over to the vegetable plot, ostensibly to drop off material in the compost heap.

Wow! a week of rain and a large portion of the garden has exploded. We neglected to bring the camera but will next time.

The beets may not do much but we will be swamped in tomatoes, peppers, and squash.  The bush beans are growing well, and the radishes are coming into harvest. There were enough to grab a quick bunch.

Here they are :

I like them chilled with a touch of salt. Have a great night!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alvin he is not

The last few years I've been waging war against chipmunks. Last year I eliminated more than 10.

Some of you may protest, they are cute. Yes they are, sadly they are also distructive to the garden and to structures around the house.

My war began a few years ago, late in the summer. I got up, and was having my coffee out on the deck. There, a golden jewel glistened in the morning dew. A perfect yellow, low acid tomato. I thought to myself I would have it as part of my supper that same evening. A long day, tired I was really looking forward to that treat. To my consternation and dismay was a chipmunk holding my prize, half eaten. He looked at me, "Whataya looking at?"

Since that day it has been war. It was touch and go for a few years, but last year I seemed to make headway, by the end of the year they were all very small and not very wary.

This summer I had not seen a single chipmunk. Until today. So I wound up the war machine and eliminated two within a few minutes, one adult and one youngster.  So far Garden 2 - chipmunk 0.
Don't worry, it is as humane as I can make it.

Maybe later I'll run over the  veggie patch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things keep popping up

It seems like every day something new is going on. The Clematis is reaching peak bloom.
The burgundy lily has popped, this hue is so intense.
The iris is at peak.
 And this clematis is blooming for the first time. It seens a tad shy.
Here is the other blossom. I had to stand on the bench and hold the camera over my head to get the blossom in the frame.
Speaking of shy, here is a little guy from Limburg Germany. He was heavy to carry around but likes it under the Japanese maple.
The fellow from DominicanRrepublic is not so reserved. He faces east to great the sun everyday.
That's all for tonight. Happy Gardening!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garden in Transition

I suppose it is always in transistion. One of the goals when I started, was to always have something in bloom from thaw through frost. Here we are in early June, the shrub roses are far past peak,  bearded iris are done, tulips and crocii a distant memory.

So what is there to look forward to? I took a walk and here is what I found.

The Clematis is starting to take off. The oldest and largest of the five in the garden.
A side shot of the west sun bed. The little iris, coreopsis, and Knock-out roses are doing their thing.
The Iris make me think of birds in flight.
The Knock-outs are very reliable and the only rose I have that will go all summer long.
While the coreopsis has not bloomed yet, it is about to and is interesting.
Moving on to the back garden the lilies have bloomed with all the rain. Tucked in, they are one of the oldest plants in the garden.
Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up. (Name the movie, and get props on the blog!)
No, closer.
One plant that I continue to enjoy is a bi-annual foxglove, but not sure, it's been 3 years. Not as impressive as the foxglove on the west walkway, it is lovely in its own aspect.
On the way to the west walkway, there is magical door in the ivy at the base of the black locust tree. If you are very patient, something wonderful might happen. But such is life, or?
Out on the west walk the Beardtongue is in bloom. Only the second year, but is seems to like it here.
Like snow drifts in summer.
So there we are for now. I wonder what happens next?
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