Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Day Off

I gave myself a day off today!  No outside work....well, I did turn on the sprinkler for a  small bed with new plants in it and I took Sugar for a 6:30 am walk.  This was a pretty short walk but better than no walk at all!

I took one picture as I headed back to the compound.  This is from the far northeast boundary of the 20 acre hay field,
view fromfar in east 20 photo P1200213_zpsf0fc9b03.jpg

By the way, they finished with the hay.  We have 374 bales which should be enough!  It is a nice feeling to have it done and dry.

I told DH I didn't want  to milk and he said "well, don't".  That was all the permission I needed.  I just want to stay inside.

I made bread.  To some this might be work but to me it is not!  I look forward to needing to bake again.
This time I went back to one of the first recipes I used from Hodgson Mills bread book.  It uses oat bran hot cereal.  I did reduce the amount of whole wheat flour and used bread flour instead, hoping to please the helpmeet who likes a very soft bread.

It rose so quickly that, of course, one side split  again.....I didn't photograph that side..............

Nell, over on her blog was discussing self seeders....I couldn't garden without them! I am not fussy about what goes where.

Here is a rampant self seeder here:

Nicotiana sylvestris, supposed to be fragrant in the evening.....maybe I should try to stay up until dark and check that out....or not.

and rose campion with white and blue salvia farinacea ( all from a variety calledVictoria and  maybe Blue bedder).  I now have a blended white  and blue and a pure white,

This is a bad shot in full sun, sorry,

Nell also gave me a good idea for a combo here.  I finally, afer years of pining for, planted a pot of  Laura Bush petunias.  They are about ready to be planted out.  They will go wonderfully with the rose campion.

A better picture showing the blended salvia with the rose campion,

These are just more of what is now blooming,

Annabelle hydrangea that has become three separate bushes from underground runners but isn't as full as previous years.  I love her anyway!,

More daylilies,  I love the blooms but the foliage on mine is always unsightly.  I don't know why.

This is on the garden side of the fence,always the best for the clematis,
Harlow Carr with a lily,

and my favorite, Huldine,
please note I have now cut the weeds beneath her and  mulched it with straw!
and the two scrambling up into the dead apple tree.,

This awaits me Monday.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hay Time on the Farm

The crew showed up two days ago and we were jumping for joy!  This has been a hard year to catch a dry time between rains. They cut half of the 80 one day and came back yesterday to cut the rest.  Because of the 90° days and the breeze they were able to bale the east 20 yesterday and made a start on the other 20 late in the day.  They still have the 40 acres left that was just cut yesterday. 

They might be able to finish today.

This is the 20 acres east of the house.  I had to walk it yesterday just to see how it looked.

This is along the  road heading back toward the compound.

East 20 looking north west photo east20lookingnorthcuthay_zps81b07499.jpg

and this is closer in,

E 20 looking West 2013 photo hayfieldeastofhousecut_zps6a3426b6.jpg

I couldn't resist taking this shot.  It is along the fence east of the house and the boundary fence of the hay field, 
 photo wildflowersineastfencerowbyredbarn_zps62a12d01.jpg

Daylilies are starting to bloom.

This is a red buried at the south end of the cellar needs a better spot,

Red daylily in south end of Cellar Bed photo RedDaylilyinsouthendofcellarbedneedstobemoved_zpsfc145afa.jpg

and  this is Mauna Loa in the hummingbird bed,

 photo daylilyMaunaLoaonnorthsideofhbbed_zps5cb1341a.jpg

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 12, 2013, Wednesday

We trimmed a couple of trees and Max loaded the trailer with limbs. He also cleaned all the debris and old dog house out of Sugar's pen.

I mulched the tomatoes.

We had a very unsatisfactory frozen Microwave Healthy Choice lunch! No more of that for us.

In the afternoon, I made bagels. When they were in the oven for a while, I checked and noticed the oven was just warm.......they were not cooking. I tried the counter top oven but it was too late. The are now soaking in water for the chickens.

I scheduled a service call...can't come until Monday. We can limp along but it is bread making time so we will have to revert to 'store bought'.
Got a new Kindle Paperwhite today; Max wants my old one....he gets a used Kindle for Father's
Day....poor thing.

After charging it fully I managed to get it working.....I am still getting used to the 'touch' thing but have ordered some books from the library and Amazon and all went well. There is a bit of a learning curve with it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Up at 3:45AM.
It is cooler this morning.

Went out early and finished mulching the rest of the tomato row and hoed out the west onion rows.
Tilled the middle where the hills of squash are and will be ready to mulch it all once I water it well.
I should take pictures; it is the first and probably last time my garden will be this tidy!

Forgot to mention that I tested the oven this morning and, voila!, it seems to be working. I even made hamburger buns and Max's two loaves of white bread this afternoon and it went very well.
The service people called to reschedule me for tomorrow and I told her my story of the oven.....I have canceled the service call and will still keep my fingers crossed and be nervous for some time.

The stove is only 3 years old but I have terrible luck with appliances..........I do have the small counter top oven that we could get by with for a few days.

By 2 PM, bread is done and so am I!

June 14-15

For those who want to know:  My only secret to  bread making is:  King Arthur Flour and SAF yeast!

I watered the garden even though they predicted rain (it came but has just been ¼ inch so far). I vowed to take a picture of the garden while it was almost weed free; so I did.
This is taken from the west end looking east (the other was the reverse).
This little white tags are hills of squash.  If the borers don't get them, I will be overrun for the first time in a few years.  I do have a hill of Butternut for keeping over winter for pies.
This is the east end where I have replanted corn amid  the spotty patch.  


I hope now to cover all with straw mulch.  We are still getting a light shower.  Some places in the area are flooded but not us.

Yesterday morning I finished planting some rudbeckia and vinca so all flats are now empty.  I know it is getting late but I intend to sow some  more annual seeds and hope  for late bloom.

The poppies have been outstanding this year and the seed pods are huge on some.  I got a full tablespoon of seeds from one pod yesterday.

I noticed that the bees are enjoying them too.  There were 4 in this one bloom,

From poppies 2013

Lilies are now blooming:

This clump is the only trumpets I have left.  

Happy Father's Day!  Hope you all have a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything --- Pie!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mulched strawberries while waiting for DH to check cattle.

With his help set two cattle panels for the tomatoes....have 3 leftover that I will stake somehow. I don't want to wastes a 15 foot panel for them.
tomato fence photo tomatofence2_zpsfe0556c5.jpgand the back side of the fence,
tomato fence 2013 photo P1200034_zpse5fb80c9.jpg

I hoed out most of east side of garden and harvested very nice broccoli. This was the first year ever in my gardening life that I had zero little green worms from the cabbage butterfly. In fact, I have only seen one of them and it was in the front yard!

I thinned the onions some and will probably have to chop and freeze them.

I chopped some low-hanging branches from the trees on the west side of the house and then,

we actually sat down in the shade and enjoyed our morning coffee break outside.

It is now too hot to do anything so I am in for the day.

I am making Spanish rice and new broccoli for lunch.....may go out and pick enough strawberries for dessert (or not)

June 11, 2012

This was my morning to milk. Willow is down quite a bit but she is getting along in her lactation so that is part of fit.

After milking, I tilled the garden, both sides. I also replanted the very spotty corn patch. I used a different variety, Bodacious. I always select varieties that don't have to be isolated so I am hoping this will work.

I tied up a few tomatoes that were large enough. I also picked the strawberries again. I won't get many more pickings from them and they will be smaller berries. I got another gallon container full.  I also did my last harvest of the two different rhubarb plants.  I know I am pushing the size on the red one but it is my Sis's  fault!  She has been talking all week about making a strawberry rhubarb pie.............I finally gave in and harvest the makings:

I wasn't far from this since I keep Nathan's Never Fail pie crust in the freezer and it  thaws very quickly.

and the finished pie,

She makes hers using tapioca and strawberry jello and cooks filling on stove top first.  I used  my Joy of Cooking cookbook method which is just fruit tossed  with sugar and cornstarch and baked from scratch.
I should have used more  sugar!  But I love it.....DH, not so much.  He isn't a fan of rhubarb.

The first Asiatic hybrid lily opened.....I think  (stress think) this is a Brunello I rescued from the driveway border.

and more poppies,

I was happy to see  honey bees working the poppies this morning.  I think I just don't pay close enough attention  to see them all the time.

I checked out the garden too,  this is the strawberry row finally mulched,

and last,
Yes,Virginia, that is more cats(kittens) and these two aren't all,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The week of June 3 through June 9

Monday, June 3, 2013

Awake at 1:45; 2:45; up at 3:30AM
Very cool morning, 45°

Foggy and wet outside work.

Errands: Lowes for rebar for flower bed fence; Walmart for food; Dillons for salads and KA flour
Lunch: Ham, baked sweet potato, wilted lettuce

Made 5 small jars of strawberry jam, old fashioned method.

Library for Crooked Letter; Crooked Letter.....have already read it! Max will give it a try and I may re-read it.

Turned into a nice day with sun.

Tues, June 4, 2013

Things started out well.....I cut almost to the ground my two heirloom roses.....santitizing the pruners between each cut. Then I sprinkled about a half cup or iron rite fertilizer around the base and mulched with a thick layer of wet newspapers and then a layer of wet straw. I also did my Belinda and Pink Don Juan.....same treatment. Maybe they will come back; all are supposed to be own root roses from Chamblees.

I managed to dig up two clumps of iris, Stepping out and one a gift just called 'a good white' that were buried under the variegated forsythia that has spread beyond belief in the south end of the cellar bed. I planted two small pieces in the old Ash Tree bed. I need a new name now that the Ash tree is gone.

I have a bag left for my neighbor.....if she comes to get them!

DH worked all morning with one of the hay crew on the tractor he brush hogs with. It wouldn't start. Simple solution. It has two batteries one was weak and was sapping the other so much it would start.
New battery later; all is well. He needs to start brush hogging the fields we don't use for hay.

Hay man (owner's son) said it will take 4 days for our hay.....they are waiting for a break between showers.

Speaking began lightly raining after lunch. I just went out and put things away for the day.

Lunch was yellow rice with stir fried chicken breast mixed with a hot and spicy barbecue sauce. I think I made it too spicy for DH....but he ate it all. I chopped one of our green onions and sprinkled it over the top. They are so mild and sweet......Candy onions are the best for my garden.

Have I mentioned I had an epiphany the other day while working outside. I think all my dead things: hostas, three rose of sharon and several roses are due do to my little mishap last year with Roundup.....if you recall, I used the wrong sprayer........I now have that sprayer with an orange piece of baler twine tied around the lid....I will not do that again......but if I do, I am retiring from gardening. It will be time!

I have discovered 4 under the bushes next to the back porch and like a fool I am feeding the momma cat extra food. Like we need more cats...................

June 5, 2013

Another cool, rainy day; little in gauge.
Land line is out of order still.

Called dermatologist about a couple of spots on my face.

June 6, 2013

Very foggy this morning. Had to rush. Doctor appointment is at 8:15....means we have to leave at 7:30
Took 2 hours out of our day....maybe 20 minutes in dr's office. All benign things only one removed because of location. Used liquid nitrogen.

Just quit misting a while ago. It is now 11:39 am. We may skip lunch since we had a very late breakfast. I do have a couple of minute steaks ready.

Fixed minute steaks with cream of mushroom soup, half a baked potato and wilted lettuce for a very late dinner/supper.

June 7, 2013

Milked. Sprayed 2 gallon of herbicide here and there. Weeds and garden way too wet to do anything until it all dries some.

After letting things dry some, I picked gallon ice cream container of strawberries.

Lunch was fettuccine Alfredo with stir fried chicken breast. Baked hot milk sponge cake and made strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Finally AT&T technician came; phone has been out of order since Sunday. He had an electronic device that showed a short in wires 900 feet west of the house! Amazing technology. He fixed it and all is well again. I am now the only person on the wire....other neighbor has only her cell phone.

DH did some brush hogging; I did nothing outside except the strawberries.

June 8, 2013

Today is supposed to be sunny and hot. (decided to mow part of the yard before the rains come again)

Corn did not germinate well; I think our cold snap was the issue. I will till it up and replant with Bodacious.

To Do:

Go to Murfins and buy zucchini and crookneck squash seeds. Mine didn't come up but Ambrosia and butternut squash did. (did get this done)

Throw out all old seeds. (haven't done this yet but will)

Move day lily under white butterfly bush to more sunlight. (not done yet)

Finish mulching garden fence bed and moving some iris here. Transfer some perennials here too.
(did some of the mulching but waiting on DH to bring down the straw).

Mow, weed (a daily thing). Mowed west yard.


roses (what I didn't kill)
oenothera speciosa
stray iris
siberian white is almost finished
heliopsis in garden east end fence.
Spirea pink
Oakleaf Hydrangea (first year to bloom nicely)
Mock Orange (slightly fragrant this year)
Clematis, (6 at last count)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Light to heavy rain falling garden work this afternoon.

I did buy the squash seeds and two packets had bugs....managed to find enough sound seeds (I hope) to replant. I planted hills of crook neck and straight neck yellow squash, Cozelle and just plain green zuichini. Still need to replant all the sweet corn.

Currently eating the most beautiful green onions; they are already making small bulbs. It seems the reds are making bulbs more than the Candy.

Morning Pictures

I thought I could capture the rain, but wasn't successful.

This is the fairly young Jackmanii Superba that I accidentally 'trimmed' two years in a row. It is drooping under the rain but I am loving how it is going to cover that corner of the porch.


and the oakleaf hydrangea's first year of good bloom,

 This is looking across the drive to the Cellar and Grace Smoke tree beds

and the young green onions.  I see we ate the prettiest ones.  I had white beans and ham and wilted lettuce with the onions for lunch yesterday; plan to add potatoes and onions to the beans for bean soup today.
I made a banana cake yesterday using some of DH's overripe bananas so that will be dessert.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another Day in my life.......

It was a very cool, cloudy day here yesterday.  I worked outside and got lots of different things done.  First I sprayed herbicide along the concrete building  that edges the west side of the orchard.  It has sort of bays with concrete walls that aren't 'mowable' with the riding mower and I hate that much string trimming.  While out there I also thinned some more on the two peach trees and the Shiro plum. 

I always miss a branch or more and have to catch them when the weight of the fruit makes it drop down to get my attention,
unthinned peaches photo peachesmissedthinning_zps9a4b54dc.jpg

I still have the one Liberty apple......I feel like I should bag it so nothing gets it before I do!  No fruit on the apricot or prune plum. 

I had enough spray to hit most of the fence row around the orchard.  When we get lots of rain, the weeds grow just like the garden plants.....big culprit back here is dock and wild carrot and something that looks like a vining geranium that is so tough you can't cut it with the trimmer.

I don't like using herbicides but sometimes have to.

I am in the process of killing all the brome from the cellar.  I am tired of trying to keep it out of the yard and flower beds.  It self-seeds everywhere.  The cellar will look pretty ugly for a while but so be it.  The other killing job is eliminating the euonymous from the brick chimney and the vinca major from around the foundation on the west side.  I don't know if what I used is strong enough to kill it.  I should know in about a week.  I wonder if crimson clover would work as a ground cover on the cellar??

I came in and fixed leftover beef and noodles with a side of mixed veggies for lunch.  Later in the afternoon I picked about 2 quarts or more of strawberries and we had a dish for supper.  I may make jam with the rest today.


I don't really like to grow clematis this way but I have a couple of viticellas that I let ramble.  This one is climbing over an alba rose.  I love the albas even though they just bloom once in the spring but their fragrance is wonderful.

Alba rosewith viticella clematis photo albarosewithclematisviticella_zps7b716d1b.jpg

The poppies are still opening,

lavender poppies photo poppiessomniferumspinkshades_zpsf6ec958b.jpg

poppy photo poppiesorangeyred_zpsf0db17b0.jpg