Saturday, June 23, 2007

Time and tide

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Not a whole lot of news, really. I've been playing with the various settings on my camera to get the best pictures possible. No real rain, so I had to water with the hose, I was really hoping for some too. Bummer. Next week we're going to have highs in the mid 90's. I'm hoping to get some peas, but with weather like that, I'll have to get a fan on them or something. HA!
So in the battle royale of the squash and the musk melons, the melons are starting to spread, and even took ahold of the squash. I had to unwrap it. Though the squash was the first to produce female blossom. Pictures:
1. The squash and the muskmelons going head to head. To give this picture a little prespective, the squash (Left) is not up to my upper thigh. I'm trying to train the melons more away from the squash. I do have a 'fence' on the other side of the squash, or else I'd never be able to get to the peas or the zucchini.
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2. The female squash! I've got two males as well. I'm going to go at them with a painbrush tomorrow, to ensure pollination.

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We've gotten one strawberry as well. Though as we were taking this picture we notice that we've another blossom, and about half a dozen buds. So I'll have a little sweet as I'm wandering through the garden. (Though Jim has dibs on most of the strawberries, these were his idea. These and the hot peppers.) Funny, he gets to pick them, I get to grow them.

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And at long last! My ditch lily has bloomed! (Still in the container though, it will go nowhere near my other lillies.) Pretty as hell, too bad I'll be transplanting it over by the road. I guess if I had a flower to pick, it would be the lily. I adore them. My oriental lily is going to open within the next few days, I await with my nose and camera. Picture of the ditch lily:

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And last but not least, my star jasmine, up close. I looked around at Lowe's. No other kinds, I'm going to check out God's Green Earth. Otherwise I'll have to go mail order I fear. I think I have Jim convinced since I didn't kill this 50.00 plant, I could get another. Let's hope so. If nothing else I'll say the jasmine has stole my heart with her sweet fragrance.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


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Testing a theory:



I should know better than to try to take pictures when the sun is so high in the sky. But I did manage to get a few good ones, I'll be back out there right before sunset to get even better ones though.

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These are the flowers in my window box, there were some with purple, but they seem to have faded to more yellow for some reason.
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A clump of the flowers along my path.
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The flowers by the door in the pot under the hanging baskets.

I'm playing with the macro feature on my camera. Not a setting for high light I've noticed.

The vegetable garden

Years ago, when I was a mere child, my grandmother had a garden. It was about 1/4th of an acre, and while she tended to it a lot, and we enjoyed the fruits of her labors, I was a kid, and didn't pay much attention to the specifics. How I wish I had! She is no longer with us, and I don't have any one to turn to when it comes to questions, woes, and celebrations. I am thankful for the internet, in the right forums, you can cram as much information as you wish into your head.
Now that I've started this vegetable garden, I know what to do differently next year. I didn't get the area I had been hoping for, and settled. Next year I will not. I planted things too close together, and a ton of other stuff. I go out to my vegetable garden several times a day, and even carry a journal to make notes.
So when I started this year, this is what my plot looked like:

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The garden rows are from north to south, starting from west to east they are:
Row one- Corn Staggered, so it will pollinate better.
Row Two- Cayenne peppers, Habanaro peppers, and a foot or so of corn. (Hey, we really like corn!)
Row Three- Celebrity Tomatoes, Early Girl Tomatoes.
Row Four- Peas, Zucchini, and Cucumbers.
Row Five- Squash (yellow) Squash (Don't remember) And more Squash (Butternut)
Row Six- Musk Melons (Eight plants! I swear I thought we picked up canteloupe as well...) and watermelon.
Off to the side two lonely strawberry plants.
There was a tree branch impeding light to the northernmost part of the garden, but after much prodding, I got Jim to bravely climb up a very large and scary ladder (he is deathly afraid of heights.) and take off branches and limbs. The garden thanks him, and the watermelon are fairing much better now, though still small compared to everything else. Out of four, I have three left. I'm not sure what happened to the littlest one, but it gave up the ghost around Sunday I think.
Here is a picture from early last week:
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The other side:

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You can see the ladder of Tree Destruction in these. It's still there, bungee corded way the hell up there. I'm not climbing it to take it off either.

My cucumbers are responding to better light as well, and I've moved some of the fencing over to it, hoping it will stay out of the zucchini's and squash's way.
Currently I have about 24 or so cayenne peppers, and more blossoming everyday. A few blossoms on the habanaros, though those are staying small. Blossoms on the Celebrity tomatos. The Early girl is starting to catch up, but stunted at some point. The peas are climbing and have blossoms, the zuke's are getting bigger, and show buds, the cucumber's are starting to take hold of the fence, the squash is taller than my knees, and I spotted a female yesterday, I squealed and ran to get the camera, and wouldn't you know it, batteries dead. So pictures today! The melons are threatening to take over the world (okay, not that yet, but the plants around it are eyeing it like it's the evil overlord of the garden, hopefully I won't have a revolt on my hands.) And competing for the title of Garden Overlord is the musk melons, with twenty male flowers, it's showing dominance, I'm trying to train it away from the rest of the garden, but apparently it likes the squash. Or it wants to stay close for hand to hand combat. The watermelon are still way smaller, but after the rain they seem to have life in them again.
I want to sing the praises of the soaker hose, go out early, let the garden water for an hour, turn water off. Easy peasy!

In the beginning

I'm somewhat of a traditionalist. When I grew up, I wanted to be everything a woman should be, a good wife, mother, housekeeper, and gardener. Well, I've got most of that down, well, most of the time anyhow. Until this last year, work has kept me from being a lot of that, but as fortune would see it, I was able to leave the working world behind. Lucky me!
I've wanted to garden for years, but knew it would be a failing project, because working 60 plus hours a week left little or no time to myself, and I couldn't rely on anybody to water, so I had a few pots of prettiness and left it at that.
No more!
This year my garden has exploded, and I still want more. I learn new things daily, and this blog is to chronicle all of the garden-y goodness.
I'll start with the front yard. And I knew that I should have taken a before picture. No way anyone would have believed me about how terrible it looked. And still... But my husband's mom (Husband-Jim MIL-Ginger.) apparently loves flowers, just never really grew any. And wouldn't you know it, where I wanted to put my new bed used to be a driveway? So about four inches into the soil there are a ton of rocks. But we rented a tiller, and I marked with spray paint where I wanted tilled, and Jim went at it. Took over an hour to get the depth I desired, but all things are working out quite nicely there.
What grow up front?
Violas- Alongside my path, in my window box, and under the hook by my front door.
Hosta- Two different ones here, given to me by my mother. I'm not sure what they are.
Morning Glory- Climbing up my trellis.
Mock Orange- Sweet.
Rose- Unknown origin. Given to us by a friend moving from his house. I have several of this growing in various places.
Honeysuckle- At the end of the garden path, Jim is supposed to make an arbor for this to climb, and if this doesn't happen soon, it's going to take over. Bought in 2006. Bloomed a little this year, heavenly.
Some small grass given to me by my mother- Not doing so well.
Another plant, not sure what it is given to me by my mother. I know this plant gets about six foot tall, wasn't happy about being moved, but not doing too bad at the moment.
Allysum- A few clumps around some purple plants, and in the hanging baskets with the geranuims by the front door.
Lillies- Lots of these. I bought a ton of bulbs this year, and haven't seen them yet. I did buy some one year from Wal-Mart for .75 cents in November, planted in the spring in a container, and it has bloomed hardily ever since. I put them in the ground and separated them this year, these are getting ready to bloom, they have a beautiful scent. Best .75 cents I've spent so far.
Bulbs I've bought this year- Lillies, iris, Danthium(?) and Dahlia. I've got on that has a shoot. I'll have to wait and see. I bought these on clearance as well.
I've also some grass on the side of the house my father brought to me two years ago, it's doing very well. I'm moving this in the fall though, it's in the sideyard and I want to put a raised bed there next year.
Also in the side yard- Lilac and rose. Both have to be moved, and neither I fear will survive.
And my most prized- A star jasmine. I received this for my ninth anniversary from Jim. I had been at Lowe's drooling over this for over a month, but couldn't justify the 50.00. He could, and I happy whiff it every chance I get.
I'll do the veggie garden in the next post, I want to show pictures of the front yard now:

On preview click on the pictures to see the full picture, my first post and I've edited it three times, I'll get the hang of this yet, I swear!
This is a general overview of the front yard from my front door. I call this my 'Zen Den.'

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My mock orange, two years old. I can't wait for it to get bigger:
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Jim's roses:
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And last but not least, my jasmine:

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I'll post more recent pictures very soon. My lillies are getting ready to explode with blooms any day now.