Category Archives: Gardening

Finished the Yard

Yesterday was the first pretty day I’ve had in over a week without the wind trying to blow me off the mountain!!!  Hubby was turkey hunting and our daughter was working on the yard at her new house so I decided to tackle the rest of our yard and it was bad!

Before the cleanup my yard and flower/rose beds are covered with leaves which protect them from the freezing cold.

Maple tree leaves help protect my roses and perennials all winter long but they’re a bugger to take care of in the spring!

I started raking around 1:00, I think, and finished about two hours later.  I hauled my big wheelbarrow away with six packed-down loads.  Now the entire yard has been cleaned up and I’m ready for some gorgeous flowers to brighten my life!!

This is where I began. It doesn’t look like much now but once the perennials between the roses come out it will look great. The big rocks that I use for edging came from the site where our daughter has built her new home. They make great edging and I don’t disturb the flowers when I’m mowing.

Next was the corner rose garden. I started using the old red gate last year to try to contain the old-fashioned rose. I wired an old birdhouse that Uncle Holl had made to it to dress it up and this year I have a pair of bluebirds nesting in it.

bluebird nesting in the rose garden! Love it!

Then I cleaned out the Siberian iris along the south fence prepared the wheelbarrow for something bright red and purple.

After that I replaced my lawn wind flower that Heather got me for Christmas. I love that thing!!! I have to take it down when the wind gets up because it twirls itself apart!  The front of the rose garden is full of sweet-william.  I’ve loved that flower since my grandmother grew it when we all lived in Paint Bank as a child.  Last year is the first year I was able to get it started.  It has stayed green all winter and the frost we had the last two days hasn’t hurt it at all.  It’s beautiful when it blooms and blooms all summer.

Johnny jump-ups are all over the yard now.

My daffodils have been beautiful this year!

I’m so glad the cold doesn’t hurt them.

Isn’t this color so very bright?

 

 

Surveying Cellar Food Stores_Preparing the Garden Site

The Cellar

The Cellar

I just took some empty jars to the cellar and took an accounting of what is left from summer 2016 canning.

Full shelves from canning season 2016!

They were completely full in October but now supplies are dwindling!

We have a huge pile of potatoes leftover and will probably sell them in the coming months.  I’ll can about 15-20 quarts but the rest will go in the garden for seed and we’ll eat some more until they start sprouting.  They’re bakers and peeling size and have been so good throughout the winter.

Hubby has plowed the garden and we’re hoping we’ll get some spring rain on it before we disk it up for planting.

We use the Kubota tractor for plowing.

Our garden site has very rich soil and always produces more than we can eat and preserve.

It also seems to get bigger each year!!!  This year we’ll plan the usual crops of green beans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, melons, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and in the fall some turnips and field greens.

Hope your planting season is grand and praying we have an abundant season this year.  In the coming weeks I’ll be cleaning off the various asparagus patches we have and watching the rhubarb show its sprouts already.  I had six grape vines started new last year and they all survived but one.  I bought this red grape to replace it.

It’s a red seedless grape and I love them. Hope they get as large as the one’s we buy in the grocery but know it will be a couple of years before that happens.

We also went to Food Lion yesterday and bought three dwarf apple trees for the orchard at the mansion.

Dwarf red delicious – once this starts bearing fruit we’ll take cuttings from it and graft to some new root-stock or some wild apple trees we find every year on the farm that we’ll transplant to the orchard.

Dwarf yellow delicious-dwarf trees don’t last as long as standard trees but they give you fruit quicker.

This is a dwarf McIntosh which is hubby’s favorite. We have one tree in our large orchard but it’s really old and we lose an old standard about every year.

This is the mansion orchard where the dwarf trees will be planted. The pond is close by and a mountain spring runs through it to make for easy watering.

Last years grape arbor is where the new red grape will be planted and is right beside our garden.

 

 

 

End of Summer Roses

My flowers are gone and this is the last of my beautiful roses.

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The Garden is Empty (almost)

We’ve cleaned out the garden and everything has been stored, frozen or canned. Hubby did till up a few spots and planted some turnips as a winter crop. He loves them boiled and with almost every meal. I like them raw!!

End of harvest 2016

End of harvest 2016

We harvested several small pumpkins and four large ones.  The small will adorn the entrance to our house and the large ones I canned.  dscn8721

I washed them good on the outside, split them in half, scooped out the pulp and seed and then sliced them to make peeling easier.

 

Split in half to clean.

Split in half to clean.

Sliced w/rind makes for easier peeling.

Sliced w/rind makes for easier peeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diced to cook

Diced to cook

I diced them up in 1-2 inch pieces and put them in an old canner.  I put one quart of water over them to cook on the stove on medium low heat.

 

 

 

 

They need to cook slowly to keep from sticking/scorching.  I don’t add any seasoning until they’re to be used for pies, cookies, or pumpkin bread.

 

dscn8723  Once they’re tender enough to stick with a fork, I drain off the water and run the pumpkin through my sieve.  It’s very important to get as much water out of the pumpkin as possible before mashing.  I usually let the pumpkin set in the sieve for about 15-20 minutes so the water on the pieces will drip out.  Dump this water out before pressing.

I love this sieve and it works great for all vegies and fruits.

I love this sieve and it works great for all vegies and fruits.

It's beautiful and ready to go in the jars.  I use pint and quart jars because of the different recipes.

It’s beautiful and ready to go in the jars. I use pint and quart jars because of the different recipes.  

Quickly add the pumpkin to the jars, clean the tops of the jars and add the lids & rings, and tighten.

Quickly add the pumpkin to the jars, clean the tops of the jars and add the lids & rings, and tighten.  I process them in the hot water bath for 20 minutes.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the four pumpkins, I canned six pints and three quarts.  I can’t wait to start baking with them.  My pumpkin recipes will be added to my Recipes From My House To Yours page tomorrow.

I hope you can enjoy your garden harvest as much as we are.  With Hurricane Matthew charging up the coast and a cold front moving in from the northwest I’ve used some of our harvest today to make a big pot of homemade soup!!!  It’s suppertime!

Canning Season Coming to an End

It seems all I’ve accomplished this summer is canning. That’s not a bad thing but when you work so hard all summer and it all fits in one room it’s kind of underwhelming!!

Stocked and ready for winter.

Stocked and ready for winter.

We still need to harvest and freeze some more corn, dig the potatoes and sweet potatoes, harvest the pumpkins and late cabbage.

I started our own sweet potatoes plants this year.  I started our own sweet potatoes plants this year

The plants started really easy and I got 14 plants from two plants.  One end of the garden is full of sweet potato vine.  I've got my fingers crossed that there's lots of sweet potatoes.

The plants started really easy and I got 14 plants from two plants. One end of the garden is full of sweet potato vine. I’ve got my fingers crossed that there are lots of sweet potatoes.

We filled up the food shelves and had to make room on the canning jar shelves for the sauerkraut and barbecue sauce.  The pumpkin and some cabbage will also go on those shelves.  I may even can the sweet potatoes because I don't know how long they will last in the cellar.

We filled up the food shelves and had to make room on the canning jar shelves for the sauerkraut and barbecue sauce. The pumpkin and some cabbage will also go on those shelves. I may even can the sweet potatoes because I don’t know how long they will last in the cellar.

We canned 14 quarts of whole tomatoes yesterday.

We canned 14 quarts of whole tomatoes yesterday.

We froze 16 pints of corn this morning and it’s so sweet.  During the summer I’ve kept busy filling these jars:

28 pints of sweet pickles

28 pints of sweet pickles

18 pints of pickled squash

18 pints of pickled squash

Pickle relish, I think 23 pints.

Pickle relish, I think 23 pints.

21 quarts of squash to use in casseroles and soup

21 quarts of squash to use in casseroles and soup

24 pints of spaghetti sauce and it's so good!

24 pints of spaghetti sauce and it’s so good!

24 pints of barbecue sauce

24 pints of barbecue sauce

Two quarts and 24 pints of sauerkraut

Two quarts and 24 pints of sauerkraut

100 plus quarts of green beans this year

100 plus quarts of green beans this year

18 pints of squash pickles

18 pints of squash pickles

Pickles, pickles and more pickles!  I canned 36 pints of pickle relish.

Pickles, pickles and more pickles! I canned 36 pints of pickle relish.

We froze 24 bags of broccoli and we we’re STILL waiting on the Brussel sprouts.    We’ve never raised them before but the plants are about two feet tall, still healthy and a beautiful green.  We see lots of little heads at the bottom of the stalk but not enough to harvest yet.  They seem to be waiting on something.

I froze 25 half-pints of rhubarb and a few pints of applesauce and don’t need a lot because we have some left in the freezer from last year.  I diced six gallon bags of green peppers.

We’ve fought potato beetles all summer and they seem immune to everything we’ve sprayed on them.  The potato bin is empty now but looks like we’ll have a good harvest again.  We were afraid with all the rain we’ve had this summer that they might rot.

Empty potato bin waiting to be filled.  Last year we almost had it complete full and it'll hold 20 bushel.

Empty potato bin waiting to be filled. Last year we almost had it complete full and it’ll hold 20 bushel.

I hope everyone’s harvest has been as wonderful as ours.  The garden is still full of tomatoes and corn but I think we’ve put away all we need this year.

The hens have sure enjoyed all the scraps!

Chickens waiting for more garden scraps!

Chickens waiting for more garden scraps!

HAPPY GARDENING!!

 

 

News Update. . .Lost in Time

Please forgive my silence. Between the garden, animals and the issues unforeseen, I’ve just been inundated with work and only open the computer a couple times a week.

The garden is full!!! With so much rain this summer, our pantry is running over.

The garden is full!!! With so much rain this summer, our pantry is running over.

Our granddaughter graduated from high school in June and starts college in a couple weeks.  Where has the time gone!!!

Victoria and proud Uncle Shawn

Victoria and proud Uncle Shawn

Parents, Victoria, and maternal grandparents.

Parents, Victoria, and maternal grandparents.

On top of that we have a brand new grandson born three months early and he’s in New Jersey (450+ miles from Virginia). He’s in a neonatal unit at Children’s Hospital in New Jersey. His mother had some major health issues which caused toxemia and the baby had to be delivered early on July 8th. He weighed 2 pounds and 2 ounces and 14 inches long. He’s a little fighter and gained some weight and now weighs 3 pounds and 15 inches long. Declan Bryant is his name. He’s having some serious issues this week and the little guy is exhausted. Shawn, our son, is in New Jersey this weekend to see him for the second time and he’s keeping us updated.

Shawn's first visit with his son.

Shawn’s first visit with his son.

I’ve been canning and freezing green beans, broccoli, cabbage, pickles, squash, apples, rhubarb and Eddie told me last night that I’ll have more beans in the coming week and corn after that. We’ve pulled the onions and waiting on the brussel sprouts. We have a crock of kraut fermenting now and hope it’ll be ready before anything else comes in.

Pickles, pickles and more pickles!

Pickles, pickles and more pickles!

Squash pickles

Squash pickles

Canned fresh squash

Canned fresh squash

Green beans and we're not done yet!!! I think we'll sell the ones coming in now.

Green beans and we’re not done yet!!! I think we’ll sell the ones coming in now.

I’ve taken on two part-time jobs working on websites for two sisters and working away from the house on one of them 2-3 days a week. The other one I do from home. It’s a little extra spending money. Our big yardsale/estate sale was for one day and we cleaned out one house on the farm and made around $2500.00. I’m in the process of filling it up again from the other buildings and we may have one more sale next spring just to get rid of it all.

This is enough news for now but will catch up again later. I haven’t touched my blog in some time but haven’t given up on it.

One more bit of news, neighborhood dogs that aren’t watched after cleaned out our duck population in one night back in June, I think, and another one got in my chickens this week. I’m down to 21 hens and two roosters at this point.

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This is just a quick catch up and I’ll hopefully be back soon! Love you my friends and want to ask you all to keep our grandson and son in your prayers.

Gardening while I wait

While I wait for the freshly swept, mopped and waxed floor in the living room to dry I’ll take time to write about our 2016 garden.  We thought we were very late getting it started but in fact this is the second year in a row that spring has come early to our farm and this neck of the woods.  We had three, maybe four, heavy frosts/freezes in May but did get the old and new garden spot plowed, worked and tilled (three or four times).

New garden plot plowed last fall.

New garden plot plowed in March.

Second plowing and tilling.

Second plowing and tilling.

We started planting the last week of May and it’s all worked out really well.  We’ve had lots of rain but with a couple of days of dry weather and the wind we could get in to till and pull weeds.

Last year hubby said we would cut back and only plant about half of what we normally plant and I smiled!! 😉  He says this every year!!  Not only do we have most of the old garden plot full, we also have the new plot which is attached to the old full.  I’m going to be very busy come the middle of July!!

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I've already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I’ve already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they're not looking so good this year but we'll keep working on them.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they’re not looking so good this year but we’ll keep working on them.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I'll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks.  I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow.  They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they'll need all the support they can get.  I may even stake them as time goes on.  I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that's why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I’ll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks. I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow. They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they’ll need all the support they can get. I may even stake them as time goes on. I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that’s why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans.  They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young.  I love green beans!!!

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans. They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young. I love green beans!!!

This space is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

We planted another later batch of cabbage and then we have this large space which is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes.  We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday.  They'll be later but he can't stand empty spaces between plants.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes. We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday. They’ll be later but he can’t stand empty spaces between plants.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes!   There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma's and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we're trying.  My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I'll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes! There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma’s and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we’re trying. My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I’ll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes.  We have a dozen plants and they're spreading out.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes. We have a dozen plants and they’re spreading out.

The sweet potatoe sets were started in my kitchen window.  I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water.  It soon sprouted and now they're in the ground.

The sweet potato sets were started in my kitchen window. I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water. It soon sprouted and now they’re in the ground.

I"m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

I”m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

We’re currently bringing in black raspberries and freezing them.  Soon there will be transparent apples to make applesauce and apple butter with.

Don’t you just love growing your own food????

 

 

 

Beauty of Summer



I remember my roses being beautiful last summer but they’ve outdone themselves again this year.IMG_0006IMG_0007IMG_0008

Peach rosebuds yet to unfold.

Peach rosebuds yet to unfold.

White rose at it's peak.

White rose at its peak.

The botttom was blooming last week and the top was full of buds.

The bottom was blooming last week and the top was full of buds.

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Old Timey Rose and no matter how much I cut it back it bushes out and full of blooms.

Old Timey Rose and no matter how much I cut it back it bushes out and full of blooms.

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The roses are beautiful but when you add a little nature . . .

We have wild rabbits everywhere and sure hope they don't get in the garden.

We have wild rabbits everywhere and sure hope they don’t get in the garden.

then you add a view like this . . .

View from the front porch.

View from the front porch.

And a view of the mountain

And a view of the mountain

beauty is everywhere!!!

Hydrangeas, Bleeding Hearts, & More

Proof of spring and early summer!

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Lavender & purple Iris

Lavender & purple Iris

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

Columbine

Columbine

Peonies

Peonies

 

Peony buds

Peony buds

More peonies

More peonies

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Can you tell I absolutely love peonies and have them all over the yard!?

Rose of Sharon started from seed from our old homeplace on Johns' Creek.

Rose of Sharon started from seed from our old homeplace on Johns’ Creek.

Lilac bush from my daughter to be planted. I'm making sure I choose just the right spot.

Lilac bush from my daughter to be planted. I’m making sure I choose just the right spot.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

Purple iris

Purple iris

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Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Beige & peach Iris

Beige & peach Iris

Peach Iris

Peach Iris

Two year old rose

Two year old rose

Old fashioned rose

Old fashioned rose

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

And of course, where would we be without our wonderful honeybees pollinating everything.

And of course, where would we be without our wonderful honeybees pollinating everything.

This is what is blooming at our house right now, the last day of May!!!

Outdoor Day

I’m whipped in a good way and made a major accomplishment with the aid of my wonderful husband today.

This is the area outside the yard on the right side of the house that I've planned a perenial flower bed.

This is the area outside the yard on the right side of the house that I’ve planned a perennial flower bed.

Hubby leveled it out for me and tore out a huge maple stump that had been rotting for years.

Hubby leveled it out for me and tore out a huge maple stump that had been rotting for years.

It needed to be tilled up and worked down.

It needed to be tilled up and worked down.

A friend of ours gave us some old railroad ties to use around the bed.

A friend of ours gave us some old railroad ties to use around the bed.

They will be used to contain the flower bed and to use as a guard to keep the chickens out while the bed is being established.

They will be used to contain the flower bed and to use as a guard to keep the chickens out while the bed is being established.

This morning hubby tilled up the entire area for me and afterwards I worked for three hours raking, leveling, pushing, prodding and now we have a really nice bed to show off some of my favorite flowers.

The black paper is two sheets wide and held down with metal  stakes that Eddie made from 8" aluminum nail spikes.

The black paper is two sheets wide and held down with metal stakes that Eddie made from 8″ aluminum nail spikes.

It's about 25 ft long and 4 ft wide.

It’s about 25 ft long and 4 ft wide.

I packed the dirt on the outside perimeter to keep the chickens from scratching it up and to level the ground so I can mow close to it.

I packed the dirt on the outside perimeter to keep the chickens from scratching it up and to level the ground so I can mow close to it.

The ties have been placed around the area after I covered it with black garden paper.

The ties have been placed around the area after I covered it with black garden paper.

It turned out a lot bigger than I had originally planned but it will be beautiful when all the plants are up and blooming.

This is a view from inside the yard looking out.

This is a view from inside the yard looking out.

This is a view from the driveway.

This is a view from the driveway.

I’ll be filling it full of tall flowers of hollyhocks, hibiscus, and coneflower and others as I find what I want but they’ll all be perennials  and I’m planning to put a snowball bush as the end closest to the driveway but on the outside of the bed.  There’s a young peach tree full of pink buds today at the other end of the bed.  I will be planting all of the seeds in a couple of weeks after we warm up just a little bit more.  I have a friend in Colorado that has just had another snowfall and I want to wait for that system to pass us by.

This is a view of the house from our gazebo.

This is a view of the house from our gazebo.

I think it’s going to be beautiful and will show off the side of the house as well.  I can’t put a lot of perennials in the yard because there’s too much shade but this bed will get sun all day and will be somewhat protected from the north and west winds.

And there was light. . .

Our home and yard is surrounded by huge, beautiful maple trees.  We use them for shade while relaxing in the yard, cooling the house in the summertime and making maple syrup in the spring.  They’re beautiful in the summer and fall BUT they shade most all of my flowerbeds and I do love my flowers.   Towards the end of summer I asked hubby if he thought trimming the lower limbs on the big maple in the front yard would damage the tree or change the cooling factor in regards to the house.  He studied on it and we decided that during a real cold snap we would take off the bottom three largest limbs.

The huge maple in the middle of the photo shades all of the west end of our house and the yard.

The huge maple in the middle of the photo shades all of the west end of our house and the yard.

I've tried to plant a lot of flowers on this side of the yard that love shade but they still don't get enough sun once the tree leafs out. There are also bare spots in the yard front to back due to lack of sun and the tree gets all of the moisture.

I’ve tried to plant a lot of flowers on this side of the yard that love shade but they still don’t get enough sun once the tree leafs out. There are also bare spots in the yard front to back due to lack of sun and the tree gets all of the moisture.

I will not give up the tree because we spent our afternoons when it’s hot and evenings there all summer long.

The three bottom branches were removed.

The three bottom branches were removed.

We did do the trimming this year and from the front porch it’s like a whole new world has lit up by just removing the bottom three large branches.  I can only imagine how it will look during the summer.  I have bulbs and tubers all along that fence that have a few blooms and I’m hoping this will improve their beauty and blooms.

2nd view of removing the three limbs.

1st view of removing the three limbs.

1st view of trimming 2016

2ndt view of trimming 2016

3rd view of trim 2016

3rd view of trim 2016

It’s nothing major and won’t hurt the structure of the tree and hopefully the grass and flowerbeds on this side of the yard will benefit from the trim.

 

 

Mother’s Day with my Daughter

My beautiful daughter knows me so well and knows that in May I’m thinking about my flower gardens and what to hang on the porches, in the gazebo, in my antique wheelbarrow and anywhere else that I can find a hole to put some spring color!!  The last couple years it’s red and purple and blue and white.  Here’s what she came up with and presented to me for Mother’s Day 2015:

Mini petunias

Mini petunias

Flowerbed on wheels

Flowerbed on wheels

Hanging basket from my daughter

Hanging basket from my daughter

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These added to all of my perennials and roses make for an awesome yard!!

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One of the fullest hanging baskets she’s ever found for me.

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Back side of previous basket!

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Mini petunias that just keep blooming!

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The hummingbirds and honeybees love these!

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They’re all over the yard! She has such good taste and knows my taste as well!

DSCN6881Thank you baby girl!!

 

Summer flowers-My Garden Flourishes

Let’s walk through my 2015 June garden:

Hostas

Hostas

Hollyhocks from a girlfriend in Colorado-Thanks Linda!!!

Hollyhocks from a girlfriend in Colorado-Thanks Linda!!!

Begonias

Begonias

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Prayer Plant going crazy!!

Prayer Plant going crazy!!

More hollyhocks

More hollyhocks

Mini petunias

Mini petunias

Clematis

Clematis

Old fashioned white roses

Old fashioned white roses

Iris

Iris

White columbine

White columbine

Columbine

Columbine

Pink & White columbine

Pink & White columbine

Iris

Iris

Peonies

Peonies

Lupine

Lupine

Oriental iris

Oriental iris

Peach iris

Peach iris

Flowerbed on wheels

Flowerbed on wheels

Purple iris

Purple iris

Hanging basket from my daughter

Hanging basket from my daughter

Jackmania clemantis

Jackmania clematis

Hosta bloom

Hosta bloom

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

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We’ll walk again soon!!  It’s glorious and I didn’t plant anything new this year except for the petunias, sweet potato vine, and more that  my daughter bought for me on Mother’s Day and the flat of begonias Eddie bought for me.

Country Girls Rose Garden 2015

Few words and lots of photos of this years rose garden that I am so proud of. I thought I had lost most of the new roses I planted in 2014 due to the horribly cold weather we had but low and behold here’s what I’m singing praises for.

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The rain and wind has battered them today so this evening after the storm passed through I trimmed off all the dead blooms, cut a vase for the kitchen table and now I’ll wait for them to all rebloom (I hope)!! IMG_0008

Gardening in the shade

View of the house from the front yard

View of the house from the front yard

 

As you can see from the picture our house is surrounded by the beautiful maple trees which provide lots of shade in the summertime and maple syrup in the spring.  We love the trees but it has been a real challenge finding plants that grow well in the yard and grass that survives the shade and our cold winter.  The left side of the house gets the morning sun and grows well and most of my roses are on that side and in the front.  The left side however is the challenge.  Hubby built this hanging table for me last year for Mother’s Day and I keep it covered with lots of my indoor plants in the summertime and bird feeders in the winter.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

I have found a few flowering perennials that like the shade but none better than hostas, begonias, impatiens and bleeding hearts.

Impatiens love the shade.

Impatiens love the shade.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts

This corner of my yard gets hardly any sun due to the shade trees and this winter my planning will be filling it with shade lovers.

West corner of the front yard.  Not very pretty.

West corner of the front yard. Not very pretty.

Daylilies and tiger lilies do well but the blooms don’t last long enough.  I’m currently looking through all of my seed/plant catalogs in search of the all summer shade garden to dress it up with the dinner bell as my focal point.  I think astilbes, bleeding hearts, hostas, lamium, lilyturf, and monkshood will compliment each other and layering them from the dinner bell post to the front by height will look nice.  Primrose, Lenten rose, coral bells, bergenia and false spirea are some good prospects, as well.  I need to amend the soil with some good compost and garden soil and maybe a little chicken manure they should all get a good start.

The plants in front of the stones are herbs and they just did not get enough sun.  If any survive, they’ll go in a raised bed near the grape arbor beside the garden and be covered with chicken wire to keep the lovely ladies out of it.

I’m thinking spring!!! How about you???

2014 Summer of Roses

Looking back at my 2014 roses makes me look forward to spring!

 

 

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Cutting down on the houseplant stock

Back in late summer I decided that I had to get rid of some of my houseplants.  I had about 50 different colors of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti, herbs, orchids, violets and ivy’s.  I picked out one of each color for myself and re-potted the rest as I divided them for two friends that love plants as much as I do.    Here’s a few:

Violets

Violets

Orchids

Orchids

Burro tail

Burro tail

Lemon & mango trees

Lemon & mango trees

More orchids

More orchids

Goosefoot fern

Goosefoot fern

Jade plant

Jade plant

Jade and shamrocks, purple and green

Jade and shamrocks, purple and green

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

Swinging table covered with cacti, begonia, and more.

More cacti

More cacti

DSCN5382 DSCN5380 DSCN5378The list goes on and on and something had to give plus the fact that my daughter and husband gave me several hanging basket throughout the spring and summer that I wanted to save.  They included these beauties:

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Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Fushcia

Fuchsia

I had one problem!  I re-potted most of the cacti in topsoil instead of potting mix and left them out in our summer rains.  I’m not sure how the one’s the girls did but mine started dying because I could not get the water out of the pots.  During my winter break from the college I re-potted as many of what I kept in good potting soil and they’re starting to show life again and are blooming.  I learned my lesson, don’t use topsoil and do use potting soil or garden soil if you are trying to save your plants.  I have a great start for 2015!!

My cactus was moved the week before Christmas after all of their bloom dropped off and this is what they look like now!

Blooming beauties in January!

Blooming beauties in January!

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow??

Can’t believe I can remember that nursery rhyme!!  I wanted to share with you the spectacular bloom my flowers and garden have provided this year.  Hope you enjoy the photo shoot.

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Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

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Banana peppers by the baskets full!

Banana peppers by the baskets full!

These came from two hills and I cooked some with fresh green beans and we baked some for supper last night.  SOOOO good!

These came from two hills and I cooked some with fresh green beans and we baked some for supper last night. SOOOO good!

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Peonies

Peonies

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Lupine

Lupine

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Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

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DSCN5215I had something blooming all summer and now the hibiscus, cardinal flower, hyacinth bean and trumpet vine are starting to open but it’s too wet to get new pictures.  I’ve had a very good year.  We’ve canned almost 100 quarts of green beans and hubby finally pulled up the last of the beans yesterday and fed them to the cows.  He planted turnips in their place and the corn should be ready in a few days.  In the spring the new rhubarb set got a great start.  The asparagus just wouldn’t quit bearing and the strawberries got a great start too.  We got raspberries and blueberries before the birds got all of them.  God has been good to us this year!!  Fall is upon us and soon winter will make us very glad and grateful for all of the bounty He helped us produce and these pictures will get me through the winter months waiting for spring to come again.  Our migrating hummingbirds have returned and I’m patiently waiting for the hummingbird moth to return.  Our fall calves have started arriving and the spring calves are growing fast!!  Life is good on the farm!

 

New roses are growing

I truly love roses and am trying so hard to make them grow and survive our mountain farm.  In the spring I found a wonderful buy at Breck’s for five roses for $19.99 and they were bare root roses.  When they arrived they were already showing lots of new growth but I was afraid to plant them because we were still getting freezing temps day and night several days in a row.  Finally in early May, hubby helped me dig the holes and we put them in the ground with two tablespoons of epsom salts and lots of water. DSCN5366

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I watered them every day May through mid-June and we started getting some rain.  Now I water them thoroughly once or twice a week depending on the rain. They are doing quite well and all but one has bloomed and it’s still sprouting new growth.  I’m watching it carefully and giving it lots of love!  Here’s proof of the blooming:

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Now, I started this post in June and here it is the 8th of August and (more about that later)  here’s what my beautiful roses have done all summer:

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I’m dealing with some japanese beetles and some black spot which seems to be worse with all the rain we’re getting but I’m thrilled I’ve kept them alive, they’re blooming and so beautiful.  I just have to keep them through the winter.  New post coming with the rest of the flowers flourishing this summer!!  

My yard is blooming

No words, just the beauty of my photos, says enough I think!

Peonies and rose

Peonies and rose

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

Dinner bell garden

Dinner bell garden

Peonies

Peonies

New Rose

New Rose

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Old Fashioned Rose full of bloom

Old Fashioned Rose full of bloom

Another new rose

Another new rose

Trumpet vine

Trumpet vine

Hyacinth bean

Hyacinth bean

Cardinal vine

Cardinal vine

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Bigger blooms every year

Bigger blooms every year

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Lupine

Lupine

Goosefoot fern

Goosefoot fern

Jade plant

Jade plant

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Shamrocks

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Mother’s day hanging table

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Peonies and Iris

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Hostas & geraniums

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Locust post birdhouse

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Iris

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Peonies and Iris

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White rose  (old)

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Red Rose (old)

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Siberian Iris

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I have two of these in the yard and I can cut them back to a foot tall and by June they’re back full of green, pink and white.  It’s so pretty and covers the ground at the yard entrance with rose petals all summer.

Friends and orchids

Back in early May I showed everyone the beautiful orchid a friend from Greece brought to me.

Orchid from my friend in Greece who also has a beautiful daughter.

Orchid from my friend in Greece who also has a beautiful daughter.

Orchids in my kitchen.

Orchids in my kitchen.

I do love these fragile flowers and a friend of my that lives in Craig and has a winter/summer home in Florida gifted me these because of my beautiful daughter.  My daughter is the orchid of my life but these try to out bloom her.  My friend and daughter’s best friend, Martha just came back to the country and these beauties traveled very well on the ride back so they could reside in my kitchen.  Martha you have made my month and brightened my life more than it already is, if that’s possible.

This is my beautiful orchid, Heather!  She doesn’t sit still long enough to get a picture of her alone but I’ll take what I can get!!

Heather is on the left.  DUH!!!

Heather is on the left. DUH!!!

 

Thank you Heather and my beautiful friends!  I love you all!  🙂

I do hope I can keep these beauties alive.

I do hope I can keep these beauties alive.

Floridian orchids are much more abundant and less expensive.

Floridian orchids are much more abundant and less expensive.

Orchids from Florida.

Orchids from Florida.

 

Memorial Day Weekend flower shopping

In a previous post I mentioned the flower shopping trip that my daughter and I took on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It was so much fun spending the morning with her and grabbing a biscuit on the way from our favorite fast food restaurant (that I don’t go to anymore since my weight loss program started)! We had a very nice morning together and went to four different shops before heading home to the big job I was undertaking. First stop was Home Depot because of the magnificent sale they were having on their hanging baskets. I needed something to put in my gazebo and these fit the bill but will hang on my front porch until I get the wood protection painted on the interior and exterior.

Begonia baskets from Home Depot.

Begonia baskets from Home Depot.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

Pinks, reds and white begonias.

I wanted some vines to grow up the gazebo that have blooms to attract more hummingbirds so I found two trumpet vines and a clematis.  They won’t grow a lot this year but in the coming years they’ll climb and protect the wood and the visitors to the gazebo.

Trumpet vines to put on the west and east sides of the gazebo.

Trumpet vines to put on the west and east sides of the gazebo.

Clematis in the center.  We thought it was a white one but it bloomed this week and their blue/purple.

Clematis in the center. We thought it was a white one but it bloomed this week and their blue/purple.

Clematis

Clematis

We came home with all kinds of plants and had such a pleasant morning together.  I love going anywhere with my girl!

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Pyramids on my porch

I recently purchased these beauties at a Blacksburg Food Lion after falling in love with them at first sight.  My grandmother and my Mom used to have them on their porches every summer.  I’ve never seen baskets shaped like these with really enhance the beauty.

 

Beautiful baskets

Beautiful baskets

Fushia

Fushia

Fushia basket-basket looks like an inverted pyramid.

Fushia basket-basket looks like an inverted pyramid.

Spring planting

Seed Potatoes

Seed Potatoes

Potatoes cut and ready to plant

Potatoes cut and ready to plant

 

We got all the seed and garden had been plowed and ready to work down.  Now the weather channels are calling for a hard frost tomorrow night and chilly temps tonight.  I brought in all of the flowers and herbs I potted last weekend and pulled what I could under the covered front porch.  I went to my little green house this evening and put up heat lamps and on the way back to the house was admiring all of the tiny little fruit on all of the apple and plum trees.  The peach and pear trees are also full and the aspargus was all pulled to keep it from freezing.   I am so ready for warm weather!!

Spring flowers on the farm

 

 

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daffodils

A pop of color all over the yard makes my heart sing and swell!!  I love flowers anytime of the year but these sure help get rid of the winter doldrums.  Spring is in full swing in our area and the cars are covered with pollen and the honeybees are so happy that we’ve already had our first bee swarm!  It left for the mountains before we could capture it.  Of course, the fruit trees in full bloom are helping them, too.

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Easter lilies and wild hyacinth

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Daylilies and huchera

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Poppies

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Daffodils and columbine

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Daylilies

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Goldenseal in the backyard

Allium

Allium