Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Productive Week

It's a beautiful Saturday morning.  We have just enjoyed a l.75 inch rain which was badly needed and it came after I mulched 7 bales of straw.  Perfect timing.  I like rain on the mulch to press it down around the plants.  I had watered before mulching so things should be in good shape waterwise for some time.

This is the row of strawberries.  There are lots of runners but the mulch is hiding them,

At the same  time I did the strawberries, I weeded the "potato row" next to them.  There are maybe 4 plants in that row!  I planted very late....hope to not do that again.  I also planted some cuttings from store potatoes that I dug up intact.  They must have been treated with something to keep them from  sprouting.  I did get one mess from graveling a plant.  I think it must have been Yukon Gold from the color.

Sweet potato row mulched

This is the end of the sweet potato, corn patch,  I mulched most of it.  I see I have missed a hill of squash and a tomato under the hoop.

The dill patch

Found several of these

Due to these butterflies,

I should have pruned this heavily but did not,  it is Shoal Creek vitex agnus castus or chaste tree.  This is what the swallowtail butterfly was on.

and last but not least,

tools of the trade,

Have a wonderful weekend.  Hope things are going well in your world.

P.S.  Yet to do,

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Walkabout Saturday Morning June 18, 2016

I have had a productive day so far.  First of  all it  is just a little cooler and I went  about around 6:45 AM. so was able to get a lot done  without getting very hot.

I finished mulching the bed outside the kitchen window called the humming bird bed.  I used to have lots of tall red salvias that drew them.  Note to me:  check into  more seeds of red salvia.  I don't have a single  red salvia left.
It took 5 bags to get a good cover.  Then I watered it deeply.  It is amazing that weeds can still come through 6 inches of mulch!.  I didn't get a good stand of zinnias or cosmos from my  seeds but hope they will fill in.

 I thought the north side of the bed facing the camera was all in oranges and reds.............I forgot the phlox.

Nicotiana sylvestris is in full bloom here and several more are scattered about.

I will remember this as the year of dill!  It is everywhere and look what I found on one of the smaller plants,

I noticed this wasp working the  dill head.  Do they gather pollen?

I also mulched the rest of the Kerria Bed,

I stuck a tomato plant in here.

This our latest purchase for the farm and garden,

A new  and vastly improved Havaheart trap.  We set it with cantaloupe last night  hoping for the groundhog.  We did get a huge possum.  Will try nightly and see what we end up with.  the groundhog has dug another huge fresh hole under the propane tank!

I haven't been doing much cooking lately because of the heat and working outside.  I am heading to the kitchen now to make the 40-minute buns.  I am thinking hamburgers for lunch.  DH could eat them three times  a day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Morning Walkabout June 14 2016

June 13, 2016

Up at 12.30 am; slept in chair another 2 hours.

This is the morning to take the truck into Springfield at 8 AM to get the two small dings fixed (trailer came loose, broken something or other). The small dings came to almost $2,000 half of which will be our to pay.

Traffic was unbelievable at that time with all the going-to-work people but was very light coming home at 9:00 AM. We made a quick stop at Murfins to get the items Max didn't get when he took his Mother on her errands. After breakfast, we both took a short nap.

By then it was way too hot to work outside.

Another small shower yesterday evening.

Tuesday June 14, 2016

I took a Zyrtec (generic) and so got a good night's sleep. The grass is way too wet for the trimmer, so I took advantage of the inside time and by 6 AM had a rack of baby back ribs going in the oven. I opened a window and shut up he kitchen to contain the heat. I am almost ready to turn the oven off.
The only good time to bake in this weather is in the wee hours of the morning when I am up anyway.
I just opened the ribs and spread barbecue sauce over them and left the foil off so they could crisp up.
I am using Sweet Baby Ray's on advice of my Sis. I think I am going to love it!

Morning Walk About

This is another seedling peach tree, maybe a Red Haven. Sadly the heavy load of fruit beyond my reach combined with the rain cause a large limb to break.  Peach trees are notoriously susceptible  to breaking.

If  I can defeat the groundhog, I should still get enough peaches.

and then there is the Japanese beetle that is now munching on the blackberry leaves beneath the peaches...he is waiting until they are a bit riper......

I still have Seckel pears.....

I forgot to take a picture of the blackberries.  They are just getting a red cast....should be ripe around  the 4th of July this year.

I see something tried to dig under the garden gate........

and the last of the lilies on the last of the Harlow Carr clematis,

Sunday, June 12, 2016


I am starting this about 10 AM on Saturday after giving up outside work after just one hour.  It was 89° when I came in.

I did get the rest of the sweet potatoes mulched, and the cucumber row and the one hill of straight neck yellow  squash that came up.  No sign of the zuchini and a few other things.

I also planted an heirloom tomato in the kerria bed.  The other seven I will scatter here and there and hope I don't loose them.

It is funny how a gardener's eyes are attuned to things around them.  Any thing out of the ordinary or unusual stands out immediately.  When I stepped out the back  door  this morning I saw this in the tray of unplanted tomatoes.  They are sitting in about 1/2 inch of water.

I zoomed in for a good look:

This is the entrance to the garden from patio (work) area.

and stepping though the gate:

This is another true red ss poppy and notice down at its base to the left, I found a tiny eggplant! I think I tossed one that looked puny.  I now have mulched around it.  Of course I will  have to detour to get into the garden.........

like a baby bird in its nest,

The sweet potato row half  mulched (now finished)

This is looking south:

Those tiny green things in the soil are morning glories.  There must be millions of the seeds in the soil.    I hoe each one as I can.

This end has the sweet potatoes, small patch of sweet corn, turnips beyond the corn and three tomato plants tied to the fence.
You can also see a huge patch of ss garlic that I have left....may be a big mistake but too late now.

To the right is the little hoophouse. This side is cucumbers; inside is lettuce and beyond that is the compost heap.

I will do the west side later when I have the weeds better under control, if that ever happens.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Ugly

I said I would show all the facets of life on the farm.  Today I will show some uglies.

First the personal stuff for my own references.  I slept very well last nigh, a full 8 hours!  I am now starting the generic version of Zyrtec.  My allergies to pollen have me coughing a lot so I gave in.  Maybe that caused the sleep.  Who knows.
I will be taking it daily until this blasted hay is done.

Max took his mother shopping yesterday and did the major portion of mine.  I will do a little at  our local store for  items I thought would be more difficult for him to select.  He is a very great help to me!

Now for some uglies:

This is my work area right outside  the back porch door.  Here is where I leave everything I use for gardening, gloves, tools, plants, empty pots, watering cans, etc. 

More things are hidden behind the Korean Boxwood.

Aphids have found the nicotiana sylvestris (tobacco  plant)

I think the ground  hog found the broccoli plants.  I have never had large piece torn off before. (we put leaves in the trap and he ignored those, preferring the fresh ones!)

This was taken from the road looking north.  I don't like how the trimmed cheat grass looks but refuse to try to rake it though the vining vinca (that I hope takes over  the entire ditch!).

That is a rugosa rose, Therese Bugnet. It is  very fragrant and very disease resistant.  It  does spread via roots which is why I planted it in the ditch area.  I need to order more.  Surely something will beat out the cheat grass.

Now the good part:  It was cut to the ground a few years ago so doesn't have as much bloom but what it does it wonderful,

Note: some more ugly behind.  That is the uncut cellar!

I love the crinkly, crushed tissue paper look,

OK, now I have depressed myself.  Enough! 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Walk About Morning of July 9 2016

I knew it was supposed to be very hot today so I went out early and snapped some photos.

The lily opened in the east end of the humming bird bed.  I have this same lily in several places.  I have no memory of planting them around........

and this is the tree stump bed (removed the large elm tree)which should be  called the agastache bed since that is all that is growing here.  I have several green leaved ones I have left....I may regret that since I do like the golden leaved ones more.

The green is a bit ahead of the gold in blooming,

This is the humming bird bed taken from the east side looking west,

Soon to have phlox, daylilies, zinnias, cosmos and much later anemone robustissima.

Can you see the sprinkler in front of the kitchen?  This is the kitchen window bed (duhhhhh).  Currently just beginning is the less than spectacular Endless Summer hydrangea.

I managed to hoe weeds from the HB bed and the kerria bed just to the north before it got too hot.  Now 91°.  Next step will be carefully spreading the cypress mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

More From the Farm

Things on the farm are about the same. Still waiting on the hay crew; we may sever connections with them very shortly since our old crew said they would be happy to do ours again. When someone doesn't show and doesn't call as promised I am done!!!

We are hot and dry here. In fact, I have been rotating watering things regularly. I am still behind on trimming and mulching but I try to do a little each day most days. I miss some days completely for one reason or another.

I have cucumbers up at last. So far none of the summer squashes has made an appearance.

I hoed out the strawberry row this morning and will water it again and then mulch with straw. The plants are finally putting out runners.

Also mowed the west yard. I did the east side a day or so ago. Max is keeping the orchard under control. I need to spray again; maybe tomorrow.


This was bread day. I made my favorite recipe of French Bread.

Garden and yard

Harvested my three broccoli plants before the groundhog could finish them off:

I used the third head for a raw broccoli, onion and bacon salad. We loved it even our granddaughter and her friend who were visiting. It call for raisins but the girls requested I leave them out! They each had two helpings. I think this recipe made the church dinner circuit back in the 80's and was called trees and raisins salad.

In bloom: roses, rose campion, begonias, still a few poppies, garden heliotrope (my one plant), clematis, two kinds of salvias, a daylily or two, some self-seeded cosmos, lavender, malva sylvestris,
green agastache (it is ahead of the gold one)....I think that is it.

Finally a dark lavender one very like Lauren's Grape that I planted several years ago.

The camera finally captured the true red:
and garden heliotrope/valeriana officinalis.

I think this is the plant Ilene was talking about finding in her garden. I may be guilty of sending the plant but more probably some seeds.

Max has been  taking some farm photos for me.  Several I liked so much I have done an album called the 'Tree Series'.

This is one.  I couldn't puzzle out that bright blue spot until I zoomed and cropped.  It was a small pool of water catching  the sky.


I think I will end here. My enthusiasm seems to be waning for gardening and blogging. Maybe it will pass.