Thursday, July 19, 2007

PITA beds....

I'm sure everyone has them.
Deadbeat beds.
I dug this bed early last year, and planted a whole can of 'fragrant' flowers. I got a ton of weeds, and about six flowers.
I sighed.
I amended, and replanted this year with peonies. (from seeds.)
I got more weeds.
I sighed again.
So a friend was moving a few weeks ago, and I was offered a bunch of mums. I took them, cleaned out the bed again, and planted.
This is what it looks like today:
I've got clumps of mums, with plenty of space. I just have to figure out what else to plant there. I'd like color from spring to fall if at all possible.
Oh, and that yellow flower in the front? It's from the 'fragrant' collection. I haven't had the heart to dig it up.
I do really like it, but now it has no place there. Though it seems like nothing may have a place there.
This bed is by the road, next to my driveway, so it would be the first thing someone pulling into my drive would see. For the past two years, it's been more an eyesore than anything else.
And just like 90% of my yard, it's full sun. And I don't like annuals. Self sowing redeems themselves, but I don't see the point of buying something that would only last one year.
Don't get me started on the bouganvaliea or whatever we bought with NO instructions that did wonderfully through the year, and couldn't figure out why it never came back this spring. 40.00 on one plant, to last one season. Not happy.
Which reminds me, I need to replant my orchid, I lost the stem on it a year ago, and it's got great leaves, just no new growth. Time to replant.

At long last, honeysuckle gets an arbor

So Jim likes to drag me off to auctions, (then mercilessly teases me about purchases he made for me.) and this past Sunday was no exception. Now in the description for this auction, there was no mention of a garden arbor, nope, they called it two trellis' and a bridge. No matter, we got it for way less than new, and about the same cost as it would have cost Jim to build it. And since I've been waiting over a year for Jim to make mine, it was an easy way out for him, and instant gratification for me.
The arbor:
Now I bought the honeysuckle two years ago, and this spring I was treated to it's wonderful smell. It's positioned at the end of my 'garden trail' as the end game. I left the little trellis' that it came with on them, and it's a good thing too, because otherwise I think it would have collapsed on itself, and spread outward more than it already has. I'll have to trim it though, and be very careful when putting in the arbor, not wanting to destroy the roots. Though I've heard that you damn near cannot kill off honeysuckle, it took me two years to get it to bloom, I still want to be careful.
So here is my pitiful honeysuckle:
If you look, you can see it escaping along the pathway, I'll have to train it up the arbor.
A lot of that is honeysuckle, and some of it is weeds. I've had a great time this year pulling weeds from my new garden. No, really.
Eh, now that it's rained, I'll have to get out there this weekend and pull more. I know next year I will not be doing the wood mulch. I thought for sure it was what I wanted, and now I've seen some nice organic mulch, and I believe thats the way I'll swing next year. Jim also wants to rake up the gravel and lay down fabric. Which means me. We'll see. I don't like pulling all the weeds, but I'd be doing the same in a few years anyhow, right?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Proof of life

So, yes, I do realize that I've had proof for some time now, obviously. But to further compound the point:
Corn, tassles and silks, this is my most mature, and with any luck, in a few weeks, we'll be enjoying sweet corn from my very own garden!

The tomatoes are getting bigger by the day. Both the fruits and the plants. The early girls are now taller than me, and the celebrities aren't far behind. Next year I'm hoping to get my hands on some heritage seeds, so that we might enjoy a bigger variety. And revisit my youth when that was all my grandmother grew.

And the cayenne's, who've been hanging around for over a month are finally getting red! I'm so excited about these!

And the habenero's are such small plants, but when you lift them, surprise!! LOADED!

A squash that will be cut tomorrow morning, I have about four others who will be following suit in the next three to four days as well. I did cut a zucchini as well, and so far out of two plants, thats been the only one. I'm surprised about this, as I thought they would be driving me nuts by now. Though Jim told me a few have been popping up on the breakroom table, and last night another brought in zucchini muffins. So he's getting his fix of nothing else.

And one of about six cucumbers. I'm awaiting patiently so that I'll get to make my fabulous cucumber salad.

And with any luck, I'll be able to make some pickles as well. I know the tomatoes are going to drive me nuts, last count four days ago, there were over 60. And several have fruited since then. But I'm dirty and happy!

At long last!

I've melons! (Yes, well, those too.) Side by side even, makes them so much easier to keep an eye on. I might have more, poking through all the vines sometimes while keeping a wary eye for the bees can be well, interesting.

Musk melon. Looking nice and pretty for my camera.

And one very small watermelon, and today, it's nearly twice that size. Amazing!

The vines are everywhere, you have to really watch where you step, and I've had to warn visitors that if they stand in one place for too long, they'll likely walk away with new growth.

Here's a nice side shot of the vines. They're also wandering about the underside of the squash, and a few are peeking about the tomatoes as well. Ah, well, as long as they're happy and healthy, and they don't take off with one of the children or the neighbors' animals, we'll be allright.

Mystery plants! No more!

I've been skulking about in the garden (surprised?) and for a few years now, this plant has shown up. Well, rather it's either a tree or a shrub. It wasn't there until about four years ago. I'm thinking it's a Rose of Sharon, but I'm not sure. It's growing under a few trees, and I've clipped back the other trees so that this might grow better, because it is nice and pretty. So if anyone reading this has any idea, please let me know. Thanks to Beaucarnea, this has been identified, yes, it's a Rose of Sharon! Thanks!

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And this little fella was spotted at the back of my veggie garden yesterday. Now mind you, this was in an area where no one grew anything but weeds. So this seriously sprouted out of nowhere, and it's just the one, and I have NO idea what this is.

He's just a little guy, but the color is pretty, and the yellow looks like little flower buds themselves. The picture quality of this one isn't that great, but again, if anyone has ANY idea! Again, thanks to Beaucarnea, this has been ID'd as a dayflower. I'm not sure why it showed up, but it did, and I'll dig it and pot it, or else I might have them all over the garden. Thanks again!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Start to now: Compare!

Okay, Wanted side by side pictures of what it looked like when I started, a few weeks ago, and now: This was taken about the very last week-weekend of May, when I started the garden project. Many starts, and a lot of seeds in the ground.
This picture was taken about (I'd know for sure, but that info is on the other computer, and I can't just hook it up at the moment.) The second week of June.

This picture was at the end of June, to illustrate the combat with the melons and the squash.
This picture was taken July 10, 2007. What a difference! And yes, I have learned my lesson, and my plants will not be so crowded next year.
Here you can see the melons are not only taking the squash down, but reaching for the shed as well. I'm sure in a few weeks I'll have to be much more careful going around that side of the garden. As the vines are twining themselves around anything that stands still, and some slow moving children....

As far as the battle goes, we're still pretty tied in my book. The squash is nice and full, and have provided me with several fruits. Had I not put the fence up, I would not be able to walk down the path next to them and pick anything.
The melons on the other hand, are far more outreaching, and have joined forces with the watermelons, who are now reaching out as well, though their numbers are smaller, they should not be dismissed. They have not however provided me with even a simple start of a fruit that I can see. They have flowered like crazy for the last three weeks or so, and while it's not a buzzing bee patch, I have seen the bees out there, so I'm calling it even for now.
I might have to include the cucumber if things keep going like they are, if it keeps it up, it will be poking out through three sides of the garden, and be by far the most dominant plant I have.

Evidence of pollination:

Can you tell I'm picture happy in the gardens?
I'm sad that a few starts have been lost due to non-pollination. I was so excited about a few, then to find a few days later they deflated, not having been pollinated. I've thumped the tomatoes plenty of times, and went out with a paint brush to pollinate other things, I'm just not sure how I'm rating on that.

Well, until next time, happy gardening!

Good Morning Glory!

Note: I did start this entry in the morning hours, but delays, delays, delays!

While I haven't been posting regularly, I have been out in the gardens more often. With the hot dry weather last week, and now looking like this next week will be much the same, special attention is important!
I lost my peas, I knew I planted them too late after reading more on them, but I let them grow until they died. I ended up with less than a bowl full. I know next year I'll have to start them indoors early.
But I did manage to have some nice squash last night! Two from my garden! Weighing in at about a pound each, they were superb! Picture of the fruits of my labors:

Jim says that at this point the squash are about 150.00 each, but the cost will go down very soon, because I have about 60+ tomatoes, and three cucumbers, and a zuke getting to get picked any day now as well.

Two pictures of the tomatoes, they seem to be coming along nicely.

The zucchini and a cucumber. The cucumber vine seems to be running rampant over the garden as well. It's on the other side of the zucchini, and poking through the tomatoes as well.

This cucumber seems to have popped up out of nowhere. I swear it wasn't there two days ago, but here it is, in full glory! Kind of like the extra squash we had to eat last night. When the lighting is better, I'll have to take pictures of where the vine is traveling.

Wide shot of the garden from another side. The corn and the tomatoes are nearly as tall as I am.