Monday, May 21, 2012

My Gardening Background and other tidbits

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It was a flannel shirt morning!  I did get out by 730 AM and planted 20 tomato plants in the orchard garden.

I had a moment of real fear when DH met me at the back door and said cows had got into the newly fenced orchard. Wouldn't you know we had only one weak spot where we had lapped panels but hadn't put a post in the middle of the long span......evidently the bull shoved against it and where there is an opening, animals will calf and one large bull.  They weren't there long enough to do too much, just a couple of limbs here and there but nothing real serious.

We have now fixed the weak spot!

I planted a mix of Granny Cantrell, Mortgage Lifter and Mule Team, all heirlooms.  I have lots of  volunteers in the backyard garden that I will let grow too.  I planted the 4  sorry little eggplants in the backyard garden.

Next week I will plant sweet potatoes that I grew...not very many,  but enough.

I plan to check over my seed supply and find something to fill in every bare spot in the garden....probably mostly annual flowers.

We came in at 9 AM for a coffee and rest break.  I may stay in.  I want to do a round steak smothered in cream of mushroom soup lunch, snap peas, mashed potatoes and  salad.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A cool, high 50's morning.

The round steak was good and so were the snap peas.  I didn't snap them; I stir fried them in oo and butter.  They weren't as sweet as I like.  I won't do these two varieties again.

When I do round steak I use the leftovers in gravy with biscuits the next morning.  I just leave the round steak skillet unwashed,  make gravy and dice the steak and add.  Delicious and one of our favorites breakfasts.

 I have plans to do some weeding and trimming this morning.  Still no call from the mower man......

Mama Pea asked me how I learned to garden and  I have often wondered  about my love of both vegetable gardening and ornamental gardening.  I know I got the vegetable gardening bug from my Dad.  We used to have a running competition for who would get the first tomato, the longest Missouri Wonder bean pod.  He also would keep me on my toes about getting things out of pots and into the ground, scolded me if I had a weedy garden, get the idea.  He did not do flowers at all.

Mom only put out a few annuals; she wasn't really into gardening.  She was the kitchen person who canned and froze everything and then cooked the most delicious country meals with all that good produce.

My maternal grandmother had some permanent things but I wouldn't really call her a gardener.  She had a bed of iris and a bed of a pink flowers on the west side of the house.  I can remember how thrilled I was a few years ago to see them on the internet and know that was Grandma's pink flower.  It was the oenothera speciosa that I now have in my front ditch and here and there all over the shoots seeds a long way.

It is funny that my Sis who had the greenhouse does not remember those flowers at all!  Strange how we all remember different things from our past and also how we perceive those remembrances differently.

Back to the subject of me and gardening.  I started seriously doing flowers  way back  before we moved to the country in 1976.  I began by joining the Organic Gardening book club and started a collection of gardening books.  I have the original Rodale Organic Gardening Encyclopedia and Ruth Stout's No Work Gardening book.  She wrote for Rodale and was published by them.  I have a lot of gardening books.
I once saw a piece in a gardening magazine that suggested we should all learn the botanical names of our plants since that was the universal  and correct name.  That way when we were talking about them, no one could be confused.  I did that over the years.  Sometimes now I forget and have to look them up but I still like knowing the correct name.  It makes me crazy to look at one of my plants and not know what it is.

I became a collector of plants....not necessarily a good thing!  I wanted one of everything...I have stopped that over the years and just stick to what is tried and true for me.  I also am desperately trying to cut down on all the work required but I just can't bear to mow down good plants.  Slowly I am filling in some blanks with ornamental shrubs that do not require spraying or pruning....note I said slowly.

I still love seeing all the blooming things in all their glory but I also have learned to appreciate my very shady west yard that is just trees and grass with the occasional flare of bloom.

I don't do books or magazines anymore now that we have the internet.  What a boon for gardeners.  I learn something new each year about plants and gardening.  I love the internet.

Miscellaneous Pictures

The backyard garden.

Endless Summer Hydrangea

After several years of  very scant blooms, she is finally strutting her stuff!

The only negative is the new growth comes up above the current blooms so I don't think the plant is as showy as it could be.

Here is the bush from the front,


  1. Ah yes, learning the botanical names of plants is so admirable. But how few of us do it! So interesting to hear a little about your gardening background. My maternal grandpa grew both flowers and vegetables but he was the only one in our large family that had a garden. He died when I was 20, just as I was getting into gardening. How often I've wished I had had the interest and sense to work alongside him for a couple of years at least. I could have learned so much.

    1. I didn't mention my paternal grandmother who was really the flower gardener but what I remember about her was the "don't touch Grandma's flowers" or don't pick Grandma's flowers". I knew I didn't want to be that kind of gardener so when our first granddaughter was just a toddler I let her wander through and pick anything she wanted!

  2. I'm impressed that you learned the proper botanical names for your plants. But I do disagree with the experts. If you're with master gardeners, they do speak and appreciate that same language - but if you're hanging out with everyday people or blogging friends, even some disparity in common names doesn't seem to get in the way. You have some beautiful gardening spaces.

    1. Charade, I agree with you that you shouldn't be snobbish about it! I try to use both when describing some plants that have several common names so there will be no confusion. I am certainly no gardening snob....just close look at my gardens will tell anyone that.

      It is just a fun thing to do and as I am getting older, a pretty good exercise for my brain. Sometimes I forget even the common name for some things.

  3. You certainly do have a green thumb, Glenda! Your gardens are just beautiful. I love the internet, too, and use it for such things as finding out which perennials are deer resistant. It's wonderful and I can gladly spend way too much time on it! Enjoy these cooler days, it's supposed to warm up again (get hot) about Wednesday. At least in my area.

    1. I have been taking advantage of these few cooler days by chopping weeds and pulling wild carrot. Poke is everywhere.

  4. The backyard veg garden sure is looking lush and tidy. I can see there's been a lot of work there. Hope the mower gets fixed soon. Did your farm helper mow your lawns? If so, did you like how he did? For the last 2 years I've been pulling out the poke back by the golf course. This year I've not seen any coming up at all. I guess I got it - now there's room for more Sweet Joe Pye and foxgloves. Very cool here Tuesday, but back to 80s - even going into the 90s by Sunday. *pant* Still no rain. Not like last year when it was plentiful.

    1. I called about the mower on day 6 and the mechanic was very abrupt and told me it had just been 6 days! Annoyed the h*** out of me. Our helper has been out of town but DH told me he told him to call when he got back and if we hadn't got the mower fixed yet to come mow. I am ready to let him.

      No rain here either and some things are turning brown.

  5. I love the pink Evening Primrose too, it is widespread along Texas highways just like Bluebonnets in the spring. We'd all do better to pay attention to what the roadways have growing, anything that survives those conditions should be perfect for low maintenance! It's wonderful to know the botanical names of plants since they are called so many things in different parts of the country. My MIL calls vinca "Pinks" and impatiens "Sultanas!" It was what her Mom called them I guess. We came up to Joplin yesterday for the anniversary of the tornado. It was a very nice ceremony. The area has done a tremendous job of cleaning up and rebuilding, but it remains scarred from that horrible tornado. You can't do a thing when it takes trees that took 100 years to grow. The hospital still stands, a stark reminder of the fury of that storm.

    1. The trees still look like a bomb site in the winter here too with broken jagged branches against the sky.

      We finally had the remainder of the hay barn cleaned up; it was sad looking out the broken timbers remaining and the twisted sheet metal.

      The common names of plants seem to vary by location...I still think it is good to no exactly what you are talking about.