23 November 2010

last tithonias

Did more yard cleanup yesterday; the Tithonias although still blooming are starting to look horrid with their dying grey and brown foliage. So I cut them all down but saved the best blooms to put in my favorite blue vase.
 Some of the flowers were still quite nice
 Others had their petals curling under so rather moon-ish faces
 And quite a few turning pale in white streaks, which is its own kind of pretty.
The Cosmos are still going strong, they don't seem to mind the cold. I notice more now their variant shades of yellow to orange.
 The only Tithonia left standing is one of the small ones, barely knee high but still flowering.
 I collected a few more prickly seed heads to see if I can save more seed for next year.

18 November 2010

bean seed

I didn't think I'd actually get any good green bean seed saved this year, but just to check opened these shriveled-looking dried up pods from the shed
and to my surprise they actually had nice dried beans inside.
 Some of them quite small and probably won't grow vigorous plants, but none have the funny colors of the earlier ones I tried.

17 November 2010

two more!

Little Nastrutium blooms. One so bold a red-orange
 and the other golden brown. 

12 November 2010


There is one Nasturtium blooming in the pot! My favorite flower, and only one bloom so far in the whole year. Daughter likes to pick these, nip off the under part of the flower and suck out the sweetness. She calls them "honey flowers." I won't let her touch this one though, its pale colors precious to me.

11 November 2010

sad thyme

I just noticed that my biggest, nicest Thyme plant in the mudroom window isn't so nice anymore. A lot of it had dried out.
So I trimmed out all the dead stuff to see how bad it was. Pretty sad how little green was left.
I'm wondering if I should snip off some of the top growth and try to start a new plant. The smaller plants in the front room windowsill are all doing fine; none of them have dried up like this. Perhaps it's too cold at night in the unheated mudroom? (the Basil I brought inside died already). Not sure.

Here it is back in its spot next to the avocados.

10 November 2010

green goods

I have been neglecting the garden again, but it still plugs along. Today in spite of their terrible appearance, my older Broccoli plants yielded up this harvest
 Even though most of the heads are still small, I got more than I expected. I ought to go out and pick bugs, though. In cleaning and trimming the broccoli I picked off these familiar (but one still un-identified) pests
and after a good washing in my largest bowl and two thorough rinsings, drowned five more green caterpillars (from the cabbage moth I'm certain). I'm guessing that's also why my plants look sad and make small heads, because they're too plauged by bugs!
 The younger Broccolis that I started this fall are growing strong,
and only a few getting bothering by slugs or something
but I'm still not sure if they'll produce before snowfall. I know we're going to have a more mild winter this year. Crossing my fingers. Maybe I'll build a coldframe over them.

05 November 2010

new accomodations

I have a bat house!
My sister so kindly sent it for my birthday (a few weeks ago). I've been trying to decide where to hang it in the yard so it's most enticing to whatever homeless bats wander through.
It has a little landing pad on the bottom and wire grid thing inside for them to hold onto. I'm so excited! I do hope I can get some bats to live in it and get some relief from garden pests.

03 November 2010


I didn't know that Celery would regrow after I cut the plant off, but that's just what these are doing. New little foliage coming up out of the stumps. Funny, some have one main plantlet sprouting from the center
and others have a ring of tiny plants around the edge.

02 November 2010

flower seed

I wasn't really planning on trying to save flower seed, but since a lot of my Tithonia and Cosmos made seed heads while they were left to themselves, I gathered them up anyway. They both make prickly shapes. The Cosmos were easy to collect; I just brush or pick the dark seeds off.
Tithonia were a bit trickier. Their prickles can hurt!
I found the easiest way to get the seeds out (which I couldn't even really see) was just to knock the prickly heads on the tabletop, and the seeds fell out. They have such curious shapes.


Found this preying mantis while I was deadheading the Tithonia and Cosmos. For once I actually got some good pictures of him!

01 November 2010

fall garden

I've got a lot of catching up to do on garden posts. A few weeks ago we were gone traveling for ten days, and my plants got kind of neglected. Most of the houseplants were watered, but for some reason my beautiful Oregano looked bone-dry when I got home. Just the tips of the stems were still green, every time I bump the plant while watering it now dead leaves fall off further down the stems. But it seems to be recovering nicely now and I've even pinched a little bit for cooking.
Outside although the garden got no attention, everything seems to be doing fine. The Strawberries are as green as ever.
 All the young plants I put in the ground right before we left are thriving (although I still don't know if I planted them early enough to get a good harvest). From front to back here you can see the Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, Peas, Broccoli (only if you click and blow up the picture) and far back in the shade, the ever-lush Swiss Chard.
 On the other side of the yard my Peas are growing around tomato cages, and already they're climbing up!

pumpkin day

We finally carved the one and only garden pumpkin of the year. My daughter drew the face and I cut it out. (I had to scoop most of the insides too, she's kinda squeamish about gooey hands).
 After the carving part was done, she was eager to help with roasting the seeds. She helped wash off the seeds
 stir them in the pot (this new recipe I tried has you boil them for ten minutes before roasting)
 and then toss with flavors. We did some with just salt, other half with garlic powder. They tasted so good! The best roasted pumpkin seeds I've ever had. From my own home-grown pumpkin yipee.