29 June 2012

a beginning?

Planted the Rose seed in a few trays yesterday. It was hard to discern the little seeds from the bits of damp vermiculite. I'm not sure how many seeds I had originally but I sowed nineteen in the trays and that seems like a good bet.

26 June 2012

new flower

New Daylily opened its petals today. Gorgeous!
Not nearly as spectacular, but just as pleasing are the pink Cosmos under the window, which are starting to branch out.

25 June 2012


Pulled some more Turnips this morning. I think they look pretty nice.

23 June 2012

kids in the garden

I love to see the girls playing in the garden. They like this spot with tall green beans on one side, lush chard and broccoli on the other.


I haven't mentioned the Okra in a long time because it hasn't been doing well. It kind of got planted in a corner as an afterthought and either it doesn't like the soggy ground there (near the rain barrel) or there's some pest nearby that really likes it. The leaves are nearly all eaten away. I decided yesterday to try and save it by moving it to the empty patch on other side of the yard, that held garlic earlier in the year. Covered the plants with cloches for the first few nights here, to keep bugs off while they're still vulnerable. I don't know if they'll recover or not...

22 June 2012

dressed up

My older daughter used parts of plants to dress her barbies the other day. Just scissors and a bit of scotch tape and she made some pretty outfits! This first one with an orange Daylily flower:
The other two with Plantain leaves:
I thought it was rather creative!

green eatings

First picking of Green Beans! Not much, but I can see there's a lot more to come. And the kids ate it all up, which is great.
Even though my Pea plants look terrible- bad case of downy mildew- the peas are still edible, so we're still picking them. I've re-tied the plants up on their twigs and am making sure they get watered every single day (insufficient water can make the plants susceptible to mildews because they can't absorb the nutrients they need to fend it off). The growing ends are lush green again.
Just to be safe though I'm probably not going to save seed off these plants. These had already dried in some pods but I've decided it's better not to.

20 June 2012

jade plants

My experiment has borne itself out. Jades do not do well in sub-irrigated planters, at least not for me. The pair of plants I had in the SIP never looked happy and now are collapsing.
I took them out today and repotted in a sandy mix. The two other plants I had earlier in regular draining pots with sandy mix are doing fantastic.
And my row of little babies on the mudroom windowsill just grow quietly without any fuss. They have salt exuded on the leaves (at least that's what I think it is) because a few times I forgot to give them rainwater and gave them tapwater....
and this one now-dying leaf on the right looks like it's produced another four or five plantlets again! I really need to stop growing these things.


I have found another terrible pest in the garden. This one might be as bad as the cucumber beetles were. Japanese beetles. On my green beans. I squashed one but saw two more that escaped me. They apparently eat everything and the larvae live in your lawn and the only way to get rid of except spraying pesticide is hand-picking. Groan.
I have not yet discovered if they spread disease.... They are kinda pretty, though.

19 June 2012

dried stevia

Checking my drying herbs hung in paper bags every few days. The first to be dry enough to store in jar was Stevia.
After stripping all the leaves off the stems it was a simple matter to crush them into powder between my fingers (I don't have a mortar and pestle yet).
Not sure what I'll do with this- after reading up on it, seems a complicated matter to replace sugar with stevia in baking. But it will be easy to put a pinch in my dandelion coffee!

18 June 2012

green green

Cut handfuls of Green Onions for the first time a few days ago. I was pretty impressed how beautiful they are, how strong the onion scent. Chopped them up into enchiladas and it was pretty good. Diced some more into eggs with a bit of cheese yesterday and that was even better!

17 June 2012

peony green

I never got a photo of the Peony plant when it flowered this year. The flowering time is so short- it seems like just a few days and then the heavy blooms are gone. The plant looked different this year- it didn't grow nearly as big, and the flowers looked darker to me- I swear last year they were a deep pink and this year they looked darker purple to me.
The good news is that I might finally get some peony seed to plant. The pods are looking nice and fat, which I've never seen before. Might wonder why I want to grow more peonies since I'm not really crazy about their short-lived flowers that flop all over the place. But I do like the foliage. And probably one year I'll remember to put supports out to hold up those flowers!

16 June 2012

things doing great!

On the flip side of last post, these are the plants doing wonderfully this year.

Chard and Broccoli. I have never had such lovely Broccoli.
I ate another pair of heads the other day
and already the plant I cut them from is making new side shoots.
My daughter currently thinks broccoli is so awful it makes her feel nauseated, and my husband thinks this broccoli tastes like buckwheat (he doesn't like the buckwheat honey) so I have the broccoli all to myself.
I have caught a few harelquin bugs on the plants, but hopefully before they laid eggs- these three were on the same plant and none found elsewhere so I have suspicions they were meeting up to make more bugs! They are beautiful, though. There's also a spider living under one of the plants, I hope he catches and eats lots of pests.
My big Tomato plants are looking lovely. There are lots of tomatoes forming and I can't wait to eat them! I did plant them a bit too close to each other, though...
The Peppers look fantastic. Working among the plants the most lovely pepper scent overtakes you. I don't like hot peppers, except to put the serranos or jalapenos in beans, but I love the scent they make.
and the Pumpkins are growing quickly! I'm eager to see them fruit as it's pie pumpkins this year, which will be a first for us.
The Brussel Sprout plants seem to be doing well (except that little one in the back left corner- not enough sun?) I'm just waiting to see them make sprouts...

things not doing well

Every year a different set of plants does well or poorly for me. This year, these are the poor performers (and I don't quite know why). The Peas look terrible. They fell off their supports, dried up halfway when I forgot to water, and now have mildew it looks like as well. I think next year I need a real, bought pea fence, twigs just aren't working for me at all. Plus have to remember to water them, they need water every day! On the other hand, I did get good peas from them, just not as much as I wanted.
Beets and Carrots got eaten early by something that munched all my seedlings. They seem to be recovering okay, but are now few in numbers.
Like always, the Rhubarb now looks awful and is struggling to get through the summer. I really do think it's slugs eating the leaves, even though everything you read online says rhubarb has no pests.
Lettuce and Cherry Tomatoes (not pictured) blah. The lettuce was beautiful, but didn't have good flavor like last year. And the cherry tomato plants already have rust on lower leaves, spreading quickly. They are making fruit and I ate the first little tomato yesterday- it was very tasty but I don't know if we'll get very many the plant might succumb to disease first. I'm wondering if there's something in the soil of this plot, as they were planted together? or just bad luck.

15 June 2012


some flowers in the yard

The first Borage is beginning to bloom!
I finally have Echinacea- the plant is a lot taller than I'd expected.
Nasturtiums in pots on the porch- wish I had more.
My Green Beans are flowering- and as you can see, getting pollinated.

That's one thing I haven't seen much of this year- bees. There's a few around the lavender flowers, but never more than two or three. The rest of the plants seem to only attract flies and wasps this year, and the ever-present cabbage white butterflies. Where are the bees...?

I only have one Cantaloupe plant this year- sad, because I really like fresh cantaloupe. I'm hoping I'll still get some fruit even though the plant is solo... It has its first flower this week, too.
Zucchini are flowering, too. I'm searching carefully for cucumber beetles- no signs of them yet, but anxious about them regardless.


The Strawberries are done, so I've thinned them out a bit- yanked out some of the new little plants on runners that grew too close together- and cut them all down several inches. They always look really shabby when I do this, but recover quickly.
Fed very well with compost.

12 June 2012


I have a few Pepper plants fruiting, and others still just have buds.
I'm still planting from a hot pepper mix bought a few years ago, so every time it's a surprise what kind of peppers (beyond bells) I end up with. Last year I had one jalapeno plant and one poblano plant.

This year so far I've got one banana pepper plant
and one with thin, dark green serranos.