30 May 2011


This morning the baby took a long nap (doesn't she look like a gardener's child, in that cute green outfit?)
so I was able to sneak out and look at the garden. The other thing in abundance right now, besides Strawberries, is Lettuce. My Lettuce spot is very full! I've never had such healthy, lush Simpsons before.
I managed to weed the Swiss Chard while I was outside.
Here they are viewed from the other side.
The plants are finally starting to put on some growth, though not as fast as I'd like. I think the soil is poor, here- they need more compost feeds. And slugs are eating holes in the leaves.

more and more

I am amazed at the output of my Strawberry plants this year. Up until a few days ago we were just getting a modest bowlful each morning,
quickly reduced to this.

My daughter hadn't picked them in a day or two and this morning I went out and was astonished at how much filled the basket!
The plants have entirely filled their area, and now the leaves are on longer stems.
I don't know if they're leggy because of a condition- not enough water? or do the plants naturally do that to let light in where it can reach the fruit? Anyways, they're scrumptious. I'm eager to try my hand at making jam next year.

26 May 2011

red breakfast

Every day my daughter picks a handful of fat, red Strawberries from the garden.
I cut them up and eat for breakfast with cottage cheese and sometimes a few banana slices. Delicious! I'm really pleased with how the plants performed this time- last year we only had a few measley strawberries but this year they are much bigger and tastier. I'd like to think part of it is due to the compost I feed them!

25 May 2011

rhubarb eaten

Finally picked and ate the first (and only for the year) of my Rhubarb!
I'm still a bit dismayed that the stalks are all green; in fact when I was chopping it up to cook my husband said "that looks like a celery pie, not a rhubarb pie." But it tasted scrumptious when it was done! I'm even more eager for next year when I'll get more than one pie's worth and perhaps enough for some jam or crisp or chutney too...

Of course the whole pie got eaten before I could think to take a photo of that and show you.


Those past two weeks of posts had been pre-scheduled. Because, as you probably already know (if you read my other blogs) I went into the hospital on the 9th to deliver my baby girl. Here she is!
Such a little girl to take up all my time. So it's been quite three weeks since I've walked around my yard outside, much less done any gardening. I took a brief survey of the neglect a few days ago. Most things are growing vigorously, especially the weeds! I've lost a Broccoli plant and a few Green Beans to bugs; the Tomatoes are all sporting flowers, the Strawberry patch is full of fruit, the Beets in nice lush rows of red stems. Swiss Chard seems to be lagging behind the rest. And I missed the blossoming of my Peony plant- all the heavy blooms are flat on their faces now as I forgot to stake it again. A few of my pink Cosmos mix bloomed -although on very small plants- under the window. They are a most beautiful purple; I'll get pictures soon. When I've managed to clear up the weeds; it's embarrassing to show photos of my weedy garden! But at least it's mostly still alive!

16 May 2011

little butterfly

A few days back Isa caught this small butterfly in the lawn. I try to encourage her just to catch the white cabbage moths, and leave the others alone! O well. She put it in a jar with holes poked in the lid, and some plucked flowers she'd seen it feeding on, and it survived for several days (great for observation).
The colors have quite faded now that it's dead- it's actually more green than yellow.
I have no idea what kind it is. Does anyone recognize it?

15 May 2011


The young Avocado leaves that were just emerging a while ago? Are now all big and beautiful.
Although the plants still have a tendency to grow in a lopsided fashion, no matter where I pinch the tops off, it seems. This one is looking the nicest right now.

14 May 2011


What is this plant in my yard?
It comes up every year between two stones near the compost pile. The bright yellow flowers look like buttercups, and the leaves look similar to parsley.

And now I'm so glad I've begun to read a few other garden blogs. This one makes me pretty sure I've got a wood poppy. I'm going to dig it up and move to a spot where it won't get hit by the lawn mower all the time.

13 May 2011

apple leaf again

Just because I think it's so pretty, here's another photo of my kid's Apple tree!
And here is Isabel herself standing next to it. She's quite proud that at a year old the tree is almost as tall as she is.
I need to find a big tub or planter to put it in so it can grow up into a nice little shade tree for our patio. It's been tending to flop over so I've tied it with a bit of ribbon to a makeshift stake (the main stem from one of last year's sunflowers. Those plants are tough! I can hardly cut them down when they're done).

12 May 2011


I think my willow tree is dead. All the other willow trees in the neighborhood have long since put on their pretty leaves, and mine has nothing. I don't have any idea what happened to it. I hope it doesn't have some sickness that will spread? or that there's some contaminant in the ground back there? O dear.

11 May 2011

mock strawberry

Started another growing experiment. When I planted the orange Cosmos in the garden, found two pieces of mock strawberry that I dug up and potted. It grows in quite a few places against the edge of my lawn.
I thought of doing this because saw once in a book that it can make a nice hanging indoor plant:
Although I've never seen or heard of anyone growing it this way, except in that book (which admittedly is kinda old).

Don't know how well this will work. So many of my other growing experiments have failed! The goldmoss I thought I could turn into a houseplant. The clover roots I thought looked like trees! The oranges, mango and plum seeds that never grew. But I just can't seem to help myself. I keep trying new stuff just to see what I can get to grow.

10 May 2011

crepe myrtle

Distressing that the biggest part of the Crepe Myrtle I dug up and moved last year so far is showing no signs of growth. Just bare sticks.
Whereas the smaller part that got moved is flourishing. Here's a few shots of that (kinda hard to see against the greenery background).

O well. I still have the third one sent me by the Arbor Foundation. Although it has quite a different growth pattern; the branches seem to be growing very horizontally whereas I'm used to seeing this plant with a more vertical aspect. I wonder if I can give it a different shape by some kind of pruning later?

09 May 2011


There is a wasp building a nest in the upper corner of my shed doorframe.
I don't mind wasps in the yard, in fact I think it's one of them that attacked the dreadful tomato hornworm! But I'm not sure I like the idea of a wasp nest in this doorway. Eventually it would get knocked loose surely, by the door opening and closing? I feel bad to disturb the wasp, though. If you click to enlarge the picture, you can just see its antennae peeking out from above the nest. I showed it to my daughter and she was enthralled.

08 May 2011

sad rhubarb

One of the smaller Rhubarb plants is doing very poorly. You can see it in the foreground here.
I don't think it's mainly from insect attack. This is the one that last year I thought had a rotted crown. It certainly didn't grow back as vigorously as the other two main plants. And since I chopped off its flower stalk it seems to be suffering.

I'm sad about it, but since the other two plants are growing so hugely well, don't mind so much if this one dies I guess. There probably isn't room for all of them in the bed if the larger two keep getting bigger next year!

07 May 2011


This sedum from the front flowerbed, which I think is goldmoss. Turns out it's not happy. I thinned out all the dead plant material and ended up with so little left I put all the new shoots into one pot.
Compared to what's growing outside,
 it's incredibly lanky and almost looks like a string-of-pearls plant. I still think it's kinda cute so keep it around, hanging next to my smaller spider plant. But I can't help thinking how sad it must be.

06 May 2011


Started to turn over my compost pile today. Had so much cut grass from the sudden spring growth I had an entire second pile started just with clippings and a few bags of last fall's leaves mixed in. (The orange buckets are from my indoor system- all came out of the mudroom to get emptied today).
Fed all the Green Beans- I think they're big enough now the pill bugs that inevitably multiply in my compost won't bother their leaves.
 Also put some around the baby trees- crab apple, Crepe Myrtles and Garlics. And fed the Broccoli plants. I love how vivid the green colors look against the black mulch now.
Tomorrow if I have enough energy I'll finish turning the pile and feed the bigger Tomato plants and the Hostas...

little herbs

All my little herb pots are now outside on the patio, sitting on a cinder-block.
There's Basil, Oregano, Parsley and Cilantro. And of course, the Thyme still in a pot from last year.
Mostly as a supplement to what's growing in the garden soil, but also conveniently near the door if I don't want to step outside after dark or in the rain to pick herbs!

I'm surprised at how quickly they took off once I set them out in the sun. The little Oreganos seem to have doubled in size! (This photo taken just five days after the previous one above).
and here's the Basil:

05 May 2011


Three of my Sunflower seedlings are up!
and it looks like a fourth one here, elbowing out of the soil.
I was wondering when they were going to spread their first leaves...


Clematis is blooming!
The plant overall looks quite sad, though. It's scrawny and not very many leaves. The first year after we moved in here I didn't even know I had a clematis. It's growing in a back part of the yard that doesn't get much attention. Maybe it will do better after I move it... this fall hopefully.

04 May 2011


Several of the swapped plants I got have begun to revive. The Mints are looking nice. Chocolate Mint:
and the other kind:
and the Lemon Balm is beginning to lift its leaves again:
So I have good hopes for them!


The Broccoli is getting bigger!

03 May 2011

spring food

Out of the garden today, onto our plates. Enough lush Romaine Lettuce to make a big salad, and some not-so-great Carrots.
 The best ones were in the first three bunches.... these are a lot smaller, even look anemic. The foliage is nice and thick, though. And getting taller. I have a suspicion (as the plants are in their second year) that they're going to flower instead of make fat roots.