Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2nd post-a few garden pics

I couldn’t help myself. I had to add a second post today since I was able to get outside and take some pictures during our break in the rain.

My big ole pot of strawberry plants is looking quite healthy. I think I would like to come up with a different plan for these so I can grow more. I am excited to get a few strawberries this year.


Oh how beautiful these new Dahlia’s are in my garden. I just love the colors.  They seem to be in a group, so I am thinking about separating them to have a few more around. IMG_1123 IMG_1125

This bed is doing quite well with all the rain. I may be able to start picking some spinach and lettuce leaves quite soon. This is my first successful planting of Spinach, lettuce, peas and onions.  I may add some more lettuce and chard in the center where it looks a bit bare. Animals have been digging there!IMG_1126

Cabbage, broccoli, Cauliflower are looking quite healthy! Yay! I did not have a successful harvest of any of these last year. This year, I am keeping them covered the entire time!IMG_1127

One of my Fire Star Dianthus. I really like it. Disappointed to find out that they only bloom in the spring and maybe, if  I trim them right, in the fall as well. Oh well, I’ll just have to plant my splurges over the summer in there with them to get more color! IMG_1128My “ in the moment splurges” last year died sadly. Pink Lace Monarda, Lime Rock Ruby Coreopsis, and another one. I didn’t have space for them and I was very pregnant and therefore, they never got planted. I intend to find the Monarda and the Coreopsis again this year. I really liked them. So I will be on the lookout.

Hope everyone is enjoying the new gardening season!

Healthy plants to unhealthy, overnight

I really hate to go to bed with healthy plants and wake up to this…


Not really sure what the problem is. I don’t really think they needed to be repotted because they didn’t have much for root systems yet.  I have several guesses. 1)they aren’t getting enough light. 2) some are not getting enough water and some are getting too much. 3) there is some stupid gnat flying around and I wonder (after reading Momma_s’s blog) if it is causing fungus problems.

I really don’t know for sure, so I went ahead and repotted all the healthy plants or ones that looked like they might have a chance, and threw out the pitiful ones! Like I said, as I dug some out of the cell packs, they were wet on top, but not on the bottom. Others were growing mold on top.


I also hung my 4 foot shop light along the side of my indoor greenhouse, and took the cover off one of the ones inside just to get more light out of it.


I watered them all really well, and now, I just gotta hope they make it! It is funny how healthy some of them look and how pitiful some of them look. It is very frustrating!

I really have wanted to get outside and in the garden this week, but it has been raining for days. Rain. It can be such a blessing for gardeners some days, and such a hindrance others. You need it for your garden to grow, yet you can’t work in it, and you can’t work in the mud, and then if it rains too hard, all your hard hard work gets washed away or pelted. Some plants you might get blossom end rot, or it helps fungus to grow out of control. So, yes, I am ready for a few nice days to get out in the garden and finish planting flowers, mulching, and plant a few more things in the vegetable garden. I also would like to get my seedlings out for some hardening off. I have got them out a couple of times, but the storms would not have been nice to my tender little seedlings.

I also have found that my sweet baby boy likes the grass!


In this picture, he fell right to sleep. Another day, I was out working in my flower beds and I had him in the stroller but he did not like that at all. So, I put a towel down and layed him down. He went right for the grass. Rolling over to it, feeling it, pulling it. I think he likes it! Sweet!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Red, Red, Red...I Love Red!

We worked on the flower beds in the dark...when else do you garden with two 4 yr olds and a baby! Although I did leave the kids with DH long enough to go flower shopping. And I picked all kinds of red! I just love red! I got 3 red Dahlia's, look at them aren't they pretty they are kind of bi-colored! I got 2 Girard's Rose Azalea's (correction, not red, but a dark pink, we'll see how they go!), 2 Fire Star Dianthus, Pomegranite Yarrow, 2 green and white Hosta's, and 2 Snow White Salvia's. I will probably get a little white in there somewhere.
I think I will put the Dianthus here, but I think it needs a couple more. I hope the red will go with the yellow Moon Beam Coreopsis. And I put the Azalea right there on the corner.
The other Azalea will go on this corner. I planted the Dahlia's along the front there in front of the Lily's which are also RED! I had to move the Blue Fescue in the cups there a bit forward to make room for the Azalea.
I think I am gonna have to move that light Pink Azalea somewhere else and get another darker Azalea! It just doesn't fit. Now, where to put the pink one! Maybe by the Weigela!
We got several of them planted tonight, in the dark of course! And then it is suppose to rain all day tomorrow! Boo! Well, probably good for the newly planted flowers, but bad that I can't get more done! I have been mulching all day too, when the baby allowed me to.
The hosta's I think I will plant in the front. And the White Salvia on the side. I wanted to get some red and white impatiens for the front as well, but do you believe they didn't have any! Crazy! Only pink! Uhg! I like pink things too, just not impatiens. Tomorrow is a plant sale at the local catholic school. Maybe if I have time I will check it out. 
I really wanted to get more Perennials this year to cut back on all the flower buying and planting. Just to make it a little easier. I think I scored pretty good! I can't wait to see how everything turns out over time.

An update on the birds nest. I think that the momma has abandoned the nest by the back door. We just go in and out so much, it was probably too much for her. I'll have to watch and see. The one in the front seems ok so far, even as close as it is to the garage door.

Oh, and Happy Earth Day

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Preparing flower beds and progress of vegs

I am very happy that these beds are looking so much better this year to start with than in the years since we have been here. This bed has been absolutely covered in wild violets and they are no easy task to get rid of! This year, only a couple! I have been working in the garden today, clearing any weeds and debris to prepare for the mulch and flowers next week.
The only original in this bed is the small round arborvitae. I have planted 2 Arborvitae's, lilies, and 2 Moonbeam Coreopsis.
The lilies have multiplied and are looking very full and pretty. I have sprayed them with Bordeaux Copper spray to prevent Lily Botrytis. They were completely destroyed last season and I hope to keep them looking beautiful this year if I can keep up with them!
A few more have popped up around the corner in between the Daffodils that are now fading away.
There was a good size Alberta Spruce here that I decided to cut down. The spider mites had gotten to it, it was in the way of my vision of the veggie garden and the kids play area, and it just seemed to attract a lot of bugs. So, I have planted some more lilies and some Blue Fescue here, and after the mulch goes down next week, you won't even see the stump...the brick won't be there either! Can't wait to get started!!!! I get to pick out flowers next weekend!
On the corner of my house is this Viburnum. It has seen better times I am sure. When we first moved in it was so overgrown and hanging over the walkway to the gate. I began to trim it and found that some of the stems were hollowed out full of ants, so it got a major pruning. I haven't had flowers on it the past two years. Maybe next! I hope so because the flowers are SO fragrant and pretty!
in the middle of the flat rocks is a salvia plant I am trying to protect.

The veg beds are doing quite well. Everything looks healthy despite the animal that keeps trying to dig holes in them!
Hopefully the tents will help to keep them out until I come up with a better solution!
I am trying to come up with a better plan for covering my beds, especially the cauli, broccoli, cabbage bed. I want to keep it covered all the time, but I want quick easy access too! Thinking of making something with zippers and stapling it to a square "lid" frame. Whatever I do, it needs to be something easy to get into and easy to take down and store! And  look nice too! We'll see what the season brings us!
All the vegetables inside are doing quite well. Nothing too huge yet, though some may be stunted and ready to get outside with more room to spread their roots. I have lost a few things, maybe due to letting them "sun" too long or something, I don't know. They seemed so healthy and growing well and then dead! Oh well, try again! All the peppers, tomatoes, basil and such are doing REALLY well. I might not have enough room to plant them all. I'll be hiding them in nooks and crannies of the flower gardens! Ha! I won't waste one though, even if I have to give them to someone else who has room!
Well, hopefully next week I will have new photos of completed flower beds! We'll see how much work the baby lets me do!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making Changes

In addition to gardening and nature, I like to cook, I have a new baby and twin preschoolers, I enjoy doing some creative things now and then, and we are also doing a little DIY remodeling here and there. So, I think I am going to change my blog around a little bit and hope my current readers don't mind.
I'd would like to include more recipes, especially ones using my garden harvest. My baby has milk and soy allergies, so I would like to include milk/soy free recipes and baby food recipes as well, some using my garden vegetables of course. I would also like to share any resources I find that make living milk and soy free easier. 
Sometimes, I get brave and take on a sewing project, and of course I just love to show off my creative side!
Anything that I feel like sharing that has to do with my home or garden I intend to share and I hope you enjoy reading about our learning adventures and learn something new or helpful! And feel free to share with me.
So, I just don't want you to be surprised when you see everything all moved around and strange new non-gardening things on my blog over the next few days and weeks.
Thanks so much for reading!

In the Garden
Or I guess I should say in the bushes...
Yes, this is  yet ANOTHER Robin's nest! Right next to the garage door and in plain sight. Hopefully the kids do not find it, because I am sure they will destroy it! I guess I have somehow created a nice habitat for Robins....ha ha! We are gonna have a lot of Robin babies around here. Maybe they like all the worms I am trying to attract to my yard. Although I would rather attract birds that eat the bugs, not the worms!
I am hoping for a birdbath in my garden this year. We'll see how the budget goes.
As for other gardening projects, next week we are gonna get started on mulching and planting the flower beds. I can't wait! Makes such a difference in the appearance of our yard! And I love RED! We would like to have the yard and all the beds looking nice and manicured before the twins birthday party on the 2nd! 
Enjoy your reading and gardening!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Robin's Nest and Lilacs

As my daughter says, "They smell yummy, mommy!" Yes they do, so I  had to cut some of the Lilac blooms and bring them in. They are so pretty and smell so yummy! These are our first blooms on this lilac bush and I am happy to have them!
As we were eating lunch on the patio, a Robin kept coming up and flying off and sitting in the tree staring at us. At first I thought it just wanted some of our food and I told Daisy to hurry up and eat cause the birds wanted her food. But it kept flying away from the door every time I went in or out and I saw the nest!
It is RIGHT by the door! The birds practically fly thru your hair!
So, now the question is, do I move it or leave it. I am fine with leaving it as long as the birds do  not get aggressive with my kids playing out there. But if they are gonna get mean, I need to move it away from play areas. So, I hope some of my gardening friends will have some helpful advice!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunning and Welcoming back perennials

Took my seedlings outside today to be transplanted and get some sun since it is so beautiful today. Most of them are doing well, I think I lost some watermelon and some sugar pumpkin,  but I have at least one of each, and probably enough time to start more.
I am definitely in need of more supplies before I can do more seedlings or transplanting, but I would like to start some more summer squash, watermelon, sugar pumpkin, and some flowers. I did have a garden plan, that I never had the chance to post, but it's just as well I didn't because I think the plans have changed. Isn't that the way it goes though!

This is the first bed I have planted seeds in. On the left is Lincoln and Alaskan Peas. Hope I can figure out which is which when they are ready to be picked! In the center top 2 is spinach, next down is Chard if I remember correctly, the last 4 middle ones are Lettuce. On the right are yellow onions and bunching onions.
Here is where Jacob and I planted Broccoli, cabbage and Cauliflower. Before you get too excited about how nice they are growing, these are not our original seedling, they didn't make it. So I got some at the nursery. Stonehead Cabbage, Snowball Cauliflower, and premium crop broccoli. Need to get the insect net over them SOON!

Welcome Back Perennials!
This is the oregano that I bought last season, it appears to be doing quite well, while the catnip I bought at the same time does not appear to be returning. Oh well, I don't think I liked attracting the local cats!
This is my favorite of my 4 Achillea plants, this is Laura Red that my dh bought me last year! And I LOVE the red colors and cannot wait for it to bloom! I think it may need a bigger ring to hold them up though!
The Lilies are looking good so far and I better get to spraying them before the Botrytis has a chance to destroy them once again this year! By mid summer last year they were brown stalks.
Right now the only thing attacking them is some critter munching on the leaves.
Moonbeam Coreopsis I bought last year. It appears to have thickened up quite a bit.
This is the first time since we have moved into this house that my Lilac has had flower buds! Can't wait for it to bloom. I am not sure what the people were thinking when the previous owners here have done a lot of what they have done, but they planted this Lilac in practically complete shade! Hello! No flowers. But, the neighbor did cut down her tree so maybe it will get a bit more sun and we won't have to move it. Time will tell, we have a lot of trees around it too.
Gonna be pretty!
When we first moved in, we had 3 Dogwood trees in the front yard. 2 of them are gone, they were destroyed by Dogwood Borers and ants had hollowed thru the center of one of them. This is my last one, and it isn't the healthiest looking but we are working on it. We may or may not be able to save it, but for now, the blooms are beautiful! I love Dogwoods! But they are hard to keep healthy around here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gardening: Peaceful or stressful?

Most of my gardening friends and family will tell you that gardening is like therapy. They find comfort,peace of mind and sanity when working in the garden. 
I have to admit though, the joy I find in gardening is not in the work that goes into it. It's hard work sometimes, especially when I am daily fighting cucumber beetles, squash bugs, SVB's, Powdery mildew, and on and on. To me, those things spell stress! What I do find great pleasure in is the accomplishment I feel when I get to pick the first harvest! When the first flowers begin to bud out! I love to see new life sprouting up out of the dirt.
 I am a perfectionist and a control freak and that probably doesn't go very well with gardening since nature is so unpredictable to say the least! I can't always control how many plants germinate, I can't always keep all those stinkin bugs away or the powdery mildew from taking over my yard! I can say though, besides wanting to control and perfect everything, I am a problem solver! I will try and try again until I can find a solution that works for me.
So, that is why I LOVE spring! It is a time to start all over again! A chance to prevent the problems of the previous year. A chance to try something new.  It's kind of like forgiveness...you have a clean new slate to start again and hopefully do it better!
Happy Spring! And Happy Easter!