Friday, April 17, 2020

Spring 2020

I haven’t posted here in a while. I’ve mostly been on Instagram where I can interact with other gardeners more easily. So if you and your garden are there, please connect with me! @shawnannshomeandgarden 
I enjoy the interaction!

Lettuce is going strong. Spinach is playing catch up.

Sweet potato slips are ready and waiting for the right temperatures. 

Cherries were looking really nice a few days ago (this pic),but we have had freezing temps and hope that we will still get some. They don’t look as well. 

Bluebird couple has been around for a few months now and they have eggs and are on full guard now! 

We have hatched more than 15 black swallowtails! 

Took some cuttings from
The old yard (I asked permission)
Hoping they will propagate! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Harvest Monday 9/17/2018

I have been sick this week so I have only picked a couple of days. But still have good stuff coming in!
Check out Happy Acres for this weeks Harvest Monday.

The tomato plants are still producing pretty good. I have been debating pulling them because my storage is full and because the storms snapped all the strings and the plants are laying on the ground making them a tangled mess and hard to get to some of the tomatoes.

 I made a Buffalo Chicken soup this week using a lot of vegetables from the garden, including potatoes, celery, carrots, garlic, and herbs.
 It was pretty yummy.
 So, I cut and dried all these Hydrangea flowers and now I am trying to figure out how I can use them in some fall decorations for my mantle.
 Last week I found two of these caterpillars on my blueberry plants. I decided to put them in the butterfly house to see what they become. They are pretty good at camouflaging themselves!
 And it was a tiny little beauty. I think it is a Blackberry Looper moth. And it sure is pretty and only as big as my finger nail.
Also found this cool walking stick bug on my patio.
 A beautiful Sunrise on Friday morning! No Filter! Amazing isn't it! The sunset that evening looked almost the same!
 So, I have been seeing a lot of Question Mark butterflies in my garden this week. They look VERY similar to the Comma.  Here are the differences in both butterflies I found in my garden this week. The Comma is smaller than the Question Mark. (see details at It looks very similar on the top of the wings but pretty different underneath. The patterns are different as well as the marking of a question mark or a comma. The tails on the Question Mark are also a little longer,  and the Hook on the upper wing is a little more pronounced. These are both amazingly beautiful butterflies and I am thrilled to have them in my garden. I will do more to attract them earlier next year. Right now they love the sap coming out of the dying sunflowers. So I'll  need to find some plants to produce more sap as they usually only go to flowers if their preferred food sources of sap, poo, and rotting fruit are unavailable.
 A couple weeks ago my sweet Cassie Passed away. She had a tumor and it came on rather suddenly.  We had her for 16 years. She was an awesome cat. But she was getting older and weaker. I was sad to see her go and in a little denial that it would happen.
 Before we knew she was sick, we had already had arrangements to add another baby to our home. He arrived this week.  We named him Jet. While we are sad that one of our babies is gone, we have lots of love to give to this new baby kitty. Cassie will be missed.
 Our house is absolutely busy these days between the garden, new kitties, old kitties and cross country. But I am absolutely so proud of all three of my kids that I can't help but share! What they do is amazing. No other sport is more disciplined and requires so much endurance. It amazes me.
All three of their teams won trophies this past weekend. My third graders team got second, and both (boys and girls) middle shcoolers teams got 1st! None of mine medaled this weekend in the tough competition but two of them scored. (only 5-7 of the top runners score, the lower the better)
2nd place trophy


Hope you are having a great garden week!
Visit me on Instagram @shawnannshomeandgarden

Monday, September 10, 2018

Harvest Monday 9/10/2018

Cross Country season has started in our house with three school age runners, middle and elementary. It has been very busy and I keep forgetting to post for Harvest Monday (<please visit Happy Acres and participate)! There are a lot of things coming out of the garden, mostly tomatoes! I roast them and make sauce and usually freeze them, so my freezer is full!

 I have also been chasing a lot of butterflies around the garden and posting submitting them to Butterflies and Moths of North America. I have had several accepted and several are still pending! It is a great project if you have a butterfly garden, consider submitting your own butterfly sightings!
Here is one of mine >> BAMONA
Red Spotted Purple

Red Spotted Purple
 This is one of my favorite sightings in the garden this year. It is a first for me! This is the Question Mark Butterfly, which I have also submitted to BAMONA. I love this butterfly. It i so pretty!

 This little mark under it's wings is suppose to look like a question mark...
These butterflies were all fighting over the sap in the sunflower stalks as well as the wasps in above photo. These other butterflies are Hackberry Emperor.

This weekend was our home XC race. It is always the funnest but this year was even more exciting with the remnants of a tropical storm coming through. The course was a big muddy mess. Cars getting stuck, kids losing shoes, kids sliding down muddy hills. Crazy! This was my families mess! Ha!

 And both of my Middle Schoolers got medals. 11th and 24th! And both the boys and girls placed 1st for teams! Yay!!! The girls beat out last years State champions for the last 3 races, they never could beat them last year! And so far it is looking like the boys may have a 4th strait year of all wins, although it is's hoping!

And in addition to the rain causing a big XC mess, it also made a mess of my garden. All my tomatoes that were tied up to 10 foot metal stakes have fallen and the strings have snapped. They are laying down around the raised beds all the way to the ground! I'll have some garden clean up this week for sure!

Hope you are having a happy harvesting close to summer!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Harvest Monday 8/13/18

It's Harvest Monday at Our Happy Acres. I completely missed last weeks. But for this week I still am getting plenty of goodies out of the garden.
The first Lungo Bianco Zucchini was harvested along with a lot of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and marconi peppers.
The orange/yellow tomatoes are Valencia. The smaller ones are surprise ones. And the larger one is probably Brandywine.  Also some Chinese Red and green noodle beans.

Blanched and froze two bags of a bean mix, bush, pole and noodle.

This is how I roast tomatoes to be made into sauce for the freezer for soups and stuff during the winter. I use a lot of sauce. I got 12 Cups out of this batch.

Raspberries! The fall raspberries have begun. Not too many at all. But the plants are all starting to look healthier. They need some help and amendments I think. Also the first zucchini from my second planting. The first planting didn't produce much and died from powdery milder.

Snack peppers here and a second handful of raspberries, cucumbers, black beauty zucchini, tomatoes and basil and beans.

My first ever Celery. I cut down two bunches. There is still more but they weren't the size of these. Some bell peppers, noodle beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Carrot mix, cucumbers and Noodle beans.

I had homemade carnitas for lunch. My husband made the carnitas, I put it on rice and topped with pickled  onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and homemade chipotle sauce. All homemade. And yummy!!!

 I ran accross several creatures during the week. This isn't all of them but the best photos!
Red Velvet Ant (not really and ant but a wasp) They have a terrible sting from what I have read and can also be known as Cow Killers.

Red Spotted Purple. I usually end up thinking this is a swallowtail until I get a closer look.

One of two horn worms in my garden covered in parasitic wasps. I throw the other ones to the birds and keep them happy while I leave these alone!

In my picking of celery I found this guy. He is still as small as the tip of my fingernail. We will put him in the butterfly house and raise and release him.
Hope you are having a fabulous gardening week! Don't forget to join me on Instagram @shawnannshomeandgarden