Tag Archive | gardening

Overgrown Rhubarb

Three years ago I bought some rhubarb tubers for my garden.

New rhubarb started in 2015,

We had some extra old tractor tires that I decided to use for the rhubarb bed.  I didn’t put them directly in the ground because we have such a problem with wire grass.  Wire grass regenerates itself by spread roots underground and it’s really hard to get completely out of any garden bed and flower bed.  I laid black cloth under the tire and then filled it with garden soil and manure from my chickens and rabbits and mixed it up really good.

I expected it to grow but not as much as it did.  The tire bed is 12 inches deep and  44 inches around.  Three years later the bed is too crowded and my rhubarb it way too thick.  I dug out two of the four plants in the bed and and divided the tubers into six pieces each and started a new bed near our quince tree in the corner of the garden.

One small patch beside the tire bed. I cleaned out all the grass, worked up the soil with a spade and fork and added a little dirt from the garden edges.

The tubers are 12 inches apart  in  up and down the bed and across the bed.  I fenced it off to keep the chickens from digging it up since we haven’t fenced off the garden yet.

Wonderfully rich soil and some rain showers should give the new beds a great start. I don’t expect to get anything from them this year but next spring should prove very fruitful if the weather cooperates this year.

The tubers in the tire bed have twice the room to grow and now maybe they won’t bloom as quickly.

Now there are only two bunches of rhubarb in the tire. I will probably have to pull one bunch out again next year. We’ll see how it goes!

The rhubarb stalks were getting about 8 inches long and then blooming, not good!!  I always pull off the blooms to send the energy to the stalks.

I froze a lot of rhubarb last year.  My favorite recipe is to clean and cut the stalks into one inch cubes (about four cups)  and pour just enough water over the cubes in a saucepan and slow cook until the rhubarb cooks up.  I take it off the heat and add two cups of sugar and box of our favorite jello.  We especially like strawberry or raspberry jello but I’ve also used cherry or blackberry, yum!!  Let it cool completely in the pan and serve.  This usually makes enough for four pints of fruited rhubarb and I pour it in plastic tubs and freeze three of them.  It freezes well and it’s fantastic to eat like applesauce or on toast like jams/jellies.  DELIGHTFUL!

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!!!

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.

Book Contests-Reading it Forward & Goodreads

Being an avid reader, I have lots of books and belong to one book club with some friends at Virginia Tech.  We are currently reading “The Color Purple”  and “The Language of Flowers” and hopefully we’ll meet again very soon.  I finished the latter night before last and started the first one last night.  I love books and my collection is constantly growing with paperbacks, hardcover, audio and now my Kindle.

I also belong to two internet sites where I look for new books and review books that I read.  One link is GoodReads which I have listed on my blog and anyone can see the books I’ve read, become friends on the site, compare reviews and much more.  The other link is “Read It Forward” which has a weekly giveaway and all I have to do is enter which only takes about two minutes.

Craft room bookcase is full of how-to, gardening, decor, sustainability books and so much more.

Craft room bookcase is full of how-to, gardening, decor, sustainability books and so much more.

The book shelf on the bottom is full of idea books I've put together for the last 15 years.  I really need to go through them and clean out.

The book shelf on the bottom is full of idea books I’ve put together for the last 15 years. I really need to go through them and clean out.

Upstairs foyer book shelves.

Upstairs foyer book shelves.

Guest bedroom book and audio shelves.

Guest bedroom book and audio shelves.

Second shelving unit in my craft room.

Second shelving unit in my craft room.

Bookcase in the guest room with Nora Roberts, Karen White, and more.

Bookcase in the guest room with Nora Roberts, Karen White, and more.

 

I get lots of free books from entering contests on the sites I mentioned.  I usually receive at least once a week notices from these two sites about free book contest I can enter.  So far over the last year I’ve won ten books and I can’t remember how many from the year before.  These are new books and all have been hardcover books.  Here’s a few I’ve won this year:

TheWedding_NicholasSparks

What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes.

What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes.

Books by Pamela Clare. I can't wait to get started on them!

Books by Pamela Clare. I can’t wait to get started on them!

GrayMountain_John Grisham

John Grisham is always a hit!

ButterflyPalace_ColleenCoble

A new author for me but one I will definitely look for in the future.

These books would have probably cost me around $200 – $250 if I had bought them new at a bookstore.  That’s a lot of money at my house!!

I also have friends that bring me books by the bag full after they have read them.  When I was working at Virginia Tech I listened to audiobooks to and from work and now I listen to them when I travel to and from Covington to visit my brother.  I also read a lot while I’m in my deerstand waiting on that big buck and Eddie says it may be the reason I haven’t killed the “big one”!!  😉

Anyway, reading it great entertainment and it keeps the old brain busy!  I have plenty of books to keep me busy and lots of books with pretty pictures and ideas.

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

Absence makes the heart grow . . .

fonder and I hope a fresh catch up on my blog.  This summer has flown by and this gal has been topsy-turvy all summer. I hope to remedy that soon and settle into a calmer routine.

To start with the blog has been quiet due to family and work.  In earlier posts I noted that little brother was having some health issues and thank the good Lord above and lots of prayers from family and friends those issues aren’t as bad as expected.  A biopsy was completed on his prostrate after antibiotics were used and the issues remained.  The doctor expected cancer but the results were benign, praise Jesus!!!  The doctors are now treating him for high blood pressure but have released him to compete in Special Olympics and he’s very excited about that.  He will be competing in bowling, swimming and possibly softball and basketball.  Dean is also very happy because he is working three days a week at the James River Enterprise recycling center and loves taking that paycheck to the bank twice a month.  I was told last week that he has the best production of any of his colleagues there that have been working for 13 years.  He still attends “Life Skills” school twice a week.  This summer has been really full for him socially too.  He’s taken trips to Mill Mountain Zoo, The Science Museum in Roanoke, flea markets and festivals, Mill Mountain Playhouse and this weekend is supposed to have gone to the West Virginia State Fair.  He seems quite happy and rarely calls me now but I still call him every week and visit him every other weekend when he’s home.

The other thing that has kept me away from my blog during the week is a change in employment.  On July 25th, I started a new job at Virginia Tech in the Aerospace and Engineering Department and it’s so very exciting.  This job just fell in my lap with a call from my daughters mother-in-law and within two weeks I had the job.  More pay, different working hours and change in scenery have been a great thing for me!!  I miss the colleagues at the Coal & Energy Center but still run into them on campus and talk with them through email.  They were a wonderful group of people!!!

Of course, the garden and homework will always keep me busy and here’s some highlights of what’s going on at home:

Making pickles and I love the smells pickling spice send in the air.

Making pickles and I love the smells pickling spice send in the air.

Abundance of squash and what in the world do I do with it all???    Give it to anyone that will take it, of course!!

Abundance of squash and what in the world do I do with it all??? Give it to anyone that will take it, of course!!

Beautiful applesauce, cooked off, and in the freezer!

Beautiful applesauce, cooked off, and in the freezer!

Canning, canning and more canning!

Canning, canning and more canning!

Kitchen table is staying covered with produce from the garden.

Kitchen table is staying covered with produce from the garden.

Sterlizing jars of all sizes and filling up the cellar.

sterilizing jars of all sizes and filling up the cellar.

Gorgeous English cucumbers for canning pickles, eating raw, for salads and of course, for friends and family!!

Gorgeous English cucumbers for canning pickles, eating raw, for salads and of course, for friends and family!!

Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

Green peppers and the plants are full of them.

Banana peppers by the baskets full!

Banana peppers by the baskets full!

Gorgeous Kennebec potatoes bigger than my hand.

Gorgeous Kennebec potatoes bigger than my hand.

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!

Mr. Stripey and German Pink tomatoes are being picked daily to keep the chickens from getting them.

Mr. Stripey and German Pink tomatoes are being picked daily to keep the chickens from getting them.

Golden nectar from the honeybees again.  We got 13 quarts with comb and 1 quart of strained.  We lost a lot of bees last winter but the ones that made are working so hard!  We may get one more super before we end the season!

Golden nectar from the honeybees again. We got 13 quarts with comb and 1 quart of strained. We lost a lot of bees last winter but the ones that made are working so hard! We may get one more super before we end the season!

More baby chicks!  Last two hatches produced four each.

More baby chicks! Last two hatches produced four each.

And of course, a little bit of crafting.  More details on this in a new post.

And of course, a little bit of crafting. More details on this in a new post.

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.

 

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 delicacy

We had a slow start with our asparagus beds this year but now it’s coming in with leaps and bounds!  I started a new bed last spring from seed and it’s starting to grow but will be at least two more years before we get any food from it.  Most of our beds are wild and started by the birds.  We’re sharing it with friends and family and eating it about every meal.  I’m sure we’ll tire of it soon.

As long as we pick, it keeps coming in.

As long as we pick, it keeps coming in.

Bags and bags of fresh asparagus

Bags and bags of fresh asparagus

I don’t freeze or can asparagus because I’ve not found a way to preserve that it doesn’t come out spongy or slimy.  Can’t stand that!!  We just enjoy it as long as it produces and as long as we’re not tired of eating so much of it.  I’m going to experiment with making an asparagus creamed soup and will let you know how that goes.  That may be one way of preserving it for winter consumption.

Think Spring Pictorial

This has been the coldest winter I can remember for a long time and I’m just so ready for it to be over, yet, I know we still have two more cold months to go for our neck of the woods.

My hubby asked me tonight to take some pictures of the ice and snow hanging off the roof of our house. I decided to share them along with some pictures I hope will bring beautiful spring thoughts to our minds and ward off some of the cold while we wait for that precious time of year called SPRING.

A lot of it melted today but there's still a lot of wait on that new addition.

A lot of it melted today but there’s still a lot of weight on that new addition.

This doesn't do it justice but it looks COLD!

This doesn’t do it justice but it looks COLD!

It's hanging over the edge of the roof about four feet.

It’s hanging over the edge of the roof about four feet.

This is about 22 inches in the deepest part.

This is about 22 inches in the deepest part.

There's some serious icicles hanging from it too!

There’s some serious icicles hanging from it too!

Icicles look like some kind of prehistoric weapon of the ice age!

Icicles look like some kind of prehistoric weapon of the ice age!

Can you tell the depth of the snow on both sides of the walk off the porch?

Can you tell the depth of the snow on both sides of the walk off the porch?

Okay, enough snow and cold, think spring!  Think spring!  Think spring!

Apple blossoms speak spring!

Apple blossoms speak spring!

Beauty of the blue skies and green grass!

Beauty of the blue skies and green grass!

Spring rains!

Spring rains!

Sap running from the sugar maples.

Spring = Sap running from the sugar maples.

Gathering sugar sap

Spring = Gathering sugar sap

Opening the sugar house and cooking the syrup.

Spring = Opening the sugar house and cooking the syrup.

Puppy checking out the purple crocus-that is springtime!

Spring = Puppy checking out the purple crocus-that is springtime!

Spring is definitely merkel hunting time.

Spring is definitely merkel hunting time.

Tilling the garden the first time!

Spring = Tilling the garden the first time!

Warming up the potting shed.

Spring means warming up the potting shed.

Irises popping out of the ground.

Spring = Irises popping out of the ground.

Peach tree budding!

Spring = Peach tree budding!

Of course, it couldn’t be spring without Papa and granddaughter hitting the spring gobbler trail!

Shes a true hunter 04142012Let’s really put on our concentration hats and get the season rolling!!

The yard is starting to shape up

After a horrific flower season two years ago my yard is starting to get some shape and color back.  My wonderful hubby bought me some new roses and periennials  a few weeks back and I’ve been busy.

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Let me know what you think!  There’s a lot more to do but I think it’s a fantastic start!

Greenhouse fun

This year is going to be a little different in the garden.  We still have so much left in the freezer and cellar so we’ve decided to cut back.  I didn’t start up the greenhouse this year and instead have just planted a few of the things that we’ll eat as it comes in.  I’ve planted some tomato, cucumber, cabbage, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon for the garden and have several of my herbs in cups.

Southeast window for seed growth

 

Two varieties of cabbage and squash

 

seed cups

GermanJohnsonPink and Roma 2013

Four varieties of tomato

I haven’t started my periennial flowers yet but think I have plenty of time for that.  I also like to put some directly in the ground.  It will be late May before we can safely put anything in the garden.   My rhubarb is up and doing better than it did last year but it’s new and will take a couple years to get established.  I started it these huge tractor tires  and I need to work some manure into the dirt soon.

rhubarb spring 2013 (1)

I also started some garlic in a tire last year and I haven’t pulled any of it yet.  The stems are greening up and hopefully they’ll  do as well as the rhubarb is.  I was very afraid the moles and voles would eat up both but it doesn’t look like it so far.

rhubarb spring 2013 (2)

 

I read on someone’s blog and on Pinterest that if you buy celery in the store and cut the root end off and place it in a cup of dirt that it would grow!!  Believe me it works and I can’t wait until this gets big enough to eat.

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One plant is one month old and the other is about two weeks old.  I use a lot of celery when I cook and a lot of onions.

I have a very special friend that heard my plea for a purple and green shamrock and she came through for me.  Here’s the plant she gave me along with some that I found at Food Lion around St. Patricks Day.

Purple shamrock

Purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Gardening time is just around the corner and I still have to clean up the yard and clear out the flower beds.  There I go again wishing my life away!!  Happy gardening everyone.

Green thumb extended to winter

I love things that grow and gardening.  Winter is a slow time for gardening but you couldn’t tell by looking at my back porch which is enclosed.  I wonderful husband built me some shelving a few years back to accomodate my Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus assortment.  The upper shelving holds about twenty beauties and the lower shelves hold our veterinary supplies for the cattle and other gardening supplies.  I want to show you the beauties on the upper shelving that started blooming Halloween week and are still blooming today.  Enjoy!!

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

White bloom

White bloom

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Hunting Season 2011 007 Hunting Season 2011 006 Hunting Season 2011 005 Cactus bloom 2011 Cactus bloom 2011.4

 

A lot of them look alike but each one has a subtle difference.  I’m looking for a orange and my daughter bought me three yellow cactus for Thanksgiving.  They need little care and are only watered about once a month.  Watering anymore than that will cause them to rot right before your eyes.  The porch is very cool now but it hasn’t stopped these beauties from strutting their stuff.  I used to have to carry all of them upstairs in the wintertime but right before the shelving was done, hubby pulled up the flooring, replaced plumbing, flooring, insulation, put in new windows and insulated the walls and put up paneling.  It stays cool in the summer because of the maple trees surrounding the house and in the winter the sun (when it shines) keeps the plants happy and the room warm.

If you want a beautiful plant with little care, this is the way to go!!

Potatoes

Well, it truly is the end of summer!  How do I know?  Hubby dug the potatoes this morning.  All we have left are a few tomatoes still ripening and one pepper plant hanging on.  Our potato crop wasn’t near as productive as last years 14 bushel as we only got about 7-8 bushel this year.  It should still be plenty to get through the winter and we have 24 quarts that we canned from last years crop (hate to see anything go to waste).  Sassy helped as usual but she was also trying to catch the little rodents that have been eating the tomatoes and beans and had started on the potatoes.  She is some kind of dog!!  Hubby dug the potatoes alone while was cooking down tomatoes and preparing to can some barbecue sauce which I’ll post later.  For now here’s a few picks of the morning work.

Digging potatoes September 15 2012

Plow used to dig the potatoes

Eddie plowing potatoes, Sassy plowing for varmints

7-8 bushel 09/15/2012

Potatoes are out of the ground before the rain moves in!

They’re safely tucked away in the cellar to provide us some nourishing food for the winter!  The cellar shelves are full and one of the freezers is full.  Now we wait for deer season and fill up the other freezer.  We are so blessed!

Time to think of fall chores

Autumn Leaves

Do you keep a list of chores for each season?  I do and mainly to have a “go-to” when I want a quick chore in the evenings before dark.  Sounds anal I know but lots of times after I get home from work I want something quick to do so I don’t just crash on the couch immediately after supper.  All of the things on the list are important to complete before winter and probably only to me.  Here’s my list:

  • Gather flower seeds.
  • Clean all of the fans before storing for winter.
  • Store pillows/covers on porch furniture.
  • Spray porches and around house several times for spiders and other bugs.
  • Clean & take patio furniture to barn.  Cover.
  • Put new bedding in dog boxes.
  • Cover Chicken house windows.
  • Paint chicken house roof.
  • Clean out chicken roost.
  • Put new bedding in chicken nest.
  • Hang chicken water tank from ceiling near food bin.
  • Store new apple and chestnut trees  in mansion cellar.
  • Clean up green house.
  • Hang plastic for spring planting in green house.
  • Put up shelving in green house.
  • Order seeds for spring planting.
  • Clean off strawberry, garlic and asparagus garden & mulch.
  • Clean off flower beds and mulch.
  • Clean up gazebo and stain before cold weather.
  • Clean up smokehouse.
  • Gather kindling for fire starters.
  • Clean off potting table and store all pots.
  • Clean up bird feeders and fill for winter.
  • Stock up on bird seed for winter.
  • Transplant white orchid iris, oriental iris and peonies.
  • Prune and tie up raspberries.
  • Move all coneflowers to same spot or two spots in yard.
  • Spread coneflower seeds under kitchen and bathroom windows.
  • Move hibiscus to outside of fence.
  • Transplant small hibiscus to front fence on both sides of front gate.
  • Rebuild west flower garden, making smaller and fill with shade plants.
  • Take down soft swing under maple tree.
  • Plant hibiscus at pond.
  • Clean off and mulch new asparagus patch.
  • Divide rhubarb and move some to another tire planter.
  • Buy zinc and fertilizer for pecan trees & spread.  Mulch
  • Fertilize and mulch English Walnut trees.

It doesn’t seem like much but it usually takes me a couple months to get it all done but I do get it done.  I select a chore by length of time to get it done and priority of getting it done.  Do you use lists like this?

End of Summer clues

You know that summer is coming to an end when the kids start back to school but the real clues are when the garden is being cleaned off for the fall crops, the woodshed is full and the cellar shelves are stocked. I was riding home yesterday and saw a hint of gold and orange in the tops of maple trees on our road. Last night we saw a herd of deer near the house and three of the larger bucks had lost the velvet from their horns. The apples are starting to drop and the wildlife is scarfing it up almost before it hits the ground. The hummingbird population has dropped from 30 to 10 or 12. The chickens molt has come to an end and the new feathers are shining. The cats and dogs on the farm have almost quit shedding. The katydids are screaming way before dark and the evening porch sitting is so much cooler. Best of all, the screech owls are calling!! Fall is near!!

Garden Harvest

I went to the garden yesterday morning and harvested this pan full of beautiful veggies.  I’m afraid we are going to have to start watering the garden this week from our pond.  The sun is bearing down and all of the garden is wilted by the end of the day.  We got a really late start planting this year because of the rain keeping the garden too wet to plow and then to plant.  Then the deer started eating the green beans again this year but we’re trying different things to deter them.  I save all of the thin bars of soap from the shower and hubby shaved them and scattered them through the beans.  That has stopped them for a few days but I read on another post that black trash bags tie to the fence was a good deterrent so I bout a cheap box and have the garden surrounded with them.  When the wind blows the bags blow up and out and I’m assuming that’s what scares them.  We will have a wonderful dinner from what I’ve already gathered along with some venison biscuits to top off the meal.  The following is the favorite at our house to prepare the squash:

Wash and slice one or two yellow squash or zucchini.  I slice them about a 1/4″ inch thick.  I dip them in a mixture of one egg, 1/2 c. milk,  salt & pepper, to taste. Then I dip them in seasoned flour until coated really well.  I then place them in a iron skillet that has one stick of butter that is melted and sizzling but not brown.  It takes about two minutes on one side, turn them over and fry the other side until golden brown.  Take out of skillet and place on paper towel and eat up.  They’re really crispy on the outside and sweet and firm on the inside.  Hubby even loves them cold!!

Enjoy your garden and share with family and friends!!

Update on flower gardens disaster

One of my first posts was about the disaster I had last year with my flower beds and the nasty “Weed & Feed” junk that I killed EVERYTHING with. Well, God has blessed me with a few more brains this year and I decided to post some of the flower results this year has given and their not even half to capacity yet. No more talk, just photos:

Enough for today! I’ll do a follow up post when the yard is in full bloom. The hostas and daylilies survived the torture I put them through last year and the old roses made a come back but the new one’s I’m afraid are gone forever!

It’s Getting Out of Hand!!

I worked in my greenhouse last night for about two hours and my dilemma is way too many plants. At this point my green thumb has gone into overkill and I probably have over 1000 spouts/plants and no more room. I talked to hubby about the situation and we are going to put up some shelves on another side porch that gets the morning sun, is covered and is away from the north and northwest winds. I’m at the point where the little enclosed porch is so perfect for growing that the plants no longer need the covered shelving. I know this because I’ve found tiny toadstools growing in the plant trays with the plants and I’ve found little patches of mold. Last night I uncovered everything of the plastic and once the shelving is in place on the side porch this weekend I can move the larger tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers to the outdoors and help them acclimate to the cooler temps without too much shock. Freeing up their space will allow me to transplant the smaller flowering plants to larger pots and watch them grow. Hopefully by that time, two weeks max, I should be able to bring them to the flower beds.
The shock of losing everything last year will soon be a memory and by the end of June I should have flowering masses.
My biggest worry at this point is the weather. This morning we awoke to heavy frost and at 6:00 a.m. it was 34*! I’ll have to really pay attention to the weather around 7:00 each evening to prevent losing everything I’ve worked so hard on. Updates later.

Spring gardening “inside”

I spent two hours in my green house yesterday after supper.  I left the grow lights on and by the time I got out of there I was a sweaty mess and went straight to the shower before Sassy (our baby) could even smell me.  I have planted seeds of the following and all are doing well:

cukes, peppers, cabbage, three tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zinnia, lavender, cleome, celosia, cactus, sunflowers, asparagus (first time), hollyhock, hyacinth bean, pumpkin (3 types), dusty miller, catananche (blue), allysum, baby’s breath, statice, rose of sharon, a mango seed, coleus, marigolds, columbine, shasta daisy, black-eyed susan, squash, poppies and more but I can’t remember what they are now.
I was in the sun for only a half hour on Sunday after lunch and Monday I was a red blotchy itchy mess (sun sensitivity).  I forgot about sun screen and my fore arms and chins were uncovered and that’s where I could literally scratch with a scrub pad for relief.  The only thing that really helps is the ice cold washcloth.  I guess I’ll be gardening in the late evenings for the rest of the summer.
 I didn’t mention any herbs but the lavender because I’m saving them for the buckets on the side of the coal house (Pinterest idea).  I’m hoping to put them up this weekend and plants a few in each bucket and the rest will go along the yard fence.
 I planted some new iris and allium bulbs on the west side of the yard last fall  and the allium is in full bloom now and the outside east side of the yard is in full bloom with the money plant.  I throw the seeds from the money plant where I want them in the fall and don’t even bother to cover them and now the spot is almost full and they’re about the first thing to bloom after the tulips and daffodils. I’m going to put some daisies and cleome behind them because they reseed themselves too.  My columbine is about to bloom and the poppies are doing well this year too but not many of them.  I love the color of the money plant bloom and when they first come up they look very much
like a cucumber plant.  The bloom of the money plant won’t last long but the daisies and cleome will follow in intervals after their blooms fade.  I should have plenty to fill up the flower beds that I ruined last year with that weed and feed stuff!!  Happy gardening!!

Mad? Your darned right!!!

Have you ever been so mad at yourself you could spit nails hard enough to build a fence??  Well, I might exaggerate a little but I was so mad at myself.

Ten years ago we moved onto the farm we live on now after my husband inherited it from his uncle.  The farm has been in the family at least five generations and our children will be the sixth.  It’s beautiful and has 500+ acres of farm and woodland.  We raise beef cattle, chickens, and pretty much all the food we eat.  It’s beautiful and and I wanted the yard around the house to look just as beautiful .  For eight years I added every perennial I could find along with the lilies, lilacs and roses already here.  It was becoming my masterpiece and I couldn’t take enough pictures for my garden album.  I had several colors of columbine, hostas, lupine, shasta daisies, roses, bellflowers, cleome, hibiscus, peonies and much, much more and I’m not exaggerating about how beautiful it was.  Last spring I was having a problem with dandelions and had a few patches where the grass wasn’t surviving over the winter so I went shopping at my favorite big garden shop and checked out what they had.  I won’t name the product I bought but it killed weeds and fed the lawn (wink).  I bought two big bottles of it and all you had to do was sprinkle it on the part that needing weeding and the part that need feeding and I went at it.  It worked wonders on the dandelions and broadleaf weeds.  The grass was beautiful!!  Oh, did I mention, I decided it had to be wonderful flowers since they weren’t WEEDS???  I was devastated because within two days all of my flowers  except the old-fashioned roses and the lilac were dead.  No, I didn’t get a new fence from the nails I was spitting and yes, I’ve started all over with the help of some very special friends that saw the results of my stupidity.  REMEMBER, most flowers are considered broadleaf and that weeding/feeding stuff in a bottle will kill them dead!!  Happy gardening!!

Here a picture of my sad flowers!!  Hopefully I’ll have much prettier flower gardens to show off by mid summer!