Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I started my summer classes at school and unfortunately have been reading tons of literature and business. Boring. I can't wait for the fall when I start my Horticulture classes again. I was also planning a 30th birthday party for my husband, which was last Sunday.

So, back to business. The squash, zucchini and cucumber garden has been growing like crazy! I just put some organic fertilizer in it today, so it should take off even more. It's crazy what a LOT of rain and a week of 95 degree temperatures can do for a garden. Everything shot up so fast!
I also planted some beets, carrots, and small ornamental gourds in the garden on the side of the house that I finally got cleared out and turned over. (I know, a little late for that, but whenever I find an empty space with perfectly good garden soil, something's gotta go there!) I've never planted beets or carrots before, and I figured they would do well there because the soil is really light and airy. Unfortunately there's a Rose-of-Sharon in the corner there that LOVES to reseed itself constantly. Whoever doesn't believe that plant isn't invasive, come to my house. It is trying to reseed everywhere. I actually found one growing about 4 feet up along the fence line. Sigh. Pretty bush, but a pain in the butt!

The tomatoes have grown about a foot in the last two weeks, and are starting to flower. I'm debating pinching off the flowers until they get a little bit bigger, but I have never done that before. Does anyone have any advice/experience with this? Does it really make a difference in the strength of the plant?

We also ate our first salad with the Mesclun from the garden. Yum! We tried to recreate a recipe from one of our favorite restaurants, and it turned out pretty well. Homemade sweet potato fries on the bottom (sounds weird, but delicious) mesclun, gorgonzola cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and marinated grilled steak slices all mixed with Vidalia Onion salad dressing. Wicked! I forgot to take a picture of the finished product because I was starving, but I took a pic of the greens.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The neighbors must think I'm crazy...

Every evening for the last three weeks, if my neighbors look outside, they can see me watering this dead tree. I can only imagine what they must be thinking. I'm actually surprised no one has come and chainsawed the thing down in the middle of the night. We live in a rental house, in a gorgeous location right across from the water, and we have landlords that don't care that there's a termite infested rotting dead Maple in our front yard. I feel bad for the view it gives the neighbors. But since the landlords don't care, I have taken it upon myself to turn it into something interesting. A totem pole was briefly considered, until I settled on totally covering it with cool vines. It's my way of giving it a second chance at life. It's like a dress up doll from when you were a kid, but a more horticultural version! So this year, the Cardinal Climber I planted last year graciously reseeded itself, and I also planted a bunch of Cup and Saucer vine seeds as well. The Cardinal Climber had foliage that was a little sparse, but the flowers were pretty. It was like she was wearing a sheer dress! I'm going for a little more modesty this year, so hopefully the crazy growth habit the Cup and Saucer vine is supposed to have will cover her up a little more.

On another note, I found my Brussels Sprouts seedlings. I didn't think I had lost them, but I did! I planted them a few weeks ago in a row near my tomatoes. I lazily staked their location with two branches I found on the ground, one at each end. A few days later, one of the branches was knocked down (probably by my dog, Lucy, who thinks I spend all my time making paths for her to walk on). I looked to either side of the branch that was still sticking in the ground and saw two branches lying there. So the row I planted could have been to the left, or the right. I chose the one on the left side, and stuck it back on the ground. Only today did I discover that I should have stuck in the branch on the right side, because there were my little seedlings, in their original row that I had lost.

My dog Lucy, walking in the garden...gah! She's giving that look, like "What? I thought you dug this all up so I didn't have to get my lil' paws wet on the grass!"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Images of the day...

The first roses to open...

Mesclun mix is starting to take off (a little late planting it, as usual!) And five, count 'em, five birdhouse gourd seedlings! There's actually four growing in the mound that I planted them in as well. I thought those were goners, but now I have 9 out of 15. They're more determined than I thought they were!

The Holly and the Dove-y

I was pruning this totally unruly Holly tree two weeks ago, when I stumbled upon this! I guess the Dove had to choose safety over comfort when choosing her location for her nest, because this Holly is so sharp. I never would have found this had I not decided to chop off a bunch of scraggly branches underneath this tree. There were four little babies in the nest. One morning while I was watering the grass seed on my lawn I saw two of the babies take their first flight. They fluttered around crazily while trying to figure out how their wings worked. Unfortunately, I think one of them didn't figure it out fast enough, because later on that day I found one in three pieces on the lawn. So sad! I buried it in the corner of my garden, and the mama Dove and her remaining babes have since left the nest. Hopefully they'll be back next year, and whatever got at the little baby doesn't come back...You can admire the beauty of nature, but also are shown the reality of it as well.

It's crazy how all four babies fit in that little nest. Check out how the baby dove is grabbing on to her mama, almost like she's giving her a hug!

Googley Eyes

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I was outside this evening weeding along the border of my garden which rests up against the walkway. They were tiny weeds, but seeing as it's still early in the season, I'm up on my game. It's the weeding later in the season that I tend to allow to go for a bit longer. Anyways, as I was pulling up the tiny weeds, I discovered my surprise of the season. Every year something re-seeds itself and starts growing where I didn't plant it. This year, as I was about to pull up a handful of little weeds, I noticed these frilly parsley-like patterned leaves. I rubbed my fingers on the leaves and discovered I have Cilantro! For free! My garden present of the year. I also discovered little tiny Basil plants that had seeded themselves. So I dug up a bunch of them and replanted them in a patch of the garden where I will be sure to consider them my little plant miracles, instead of weeds. Funny enough, they are right underneath the one handed Jesus and Mary statues that my husband purchased at a very steep discount. Last year my surprise was a bunch of cherry tomato seedlings. Two years ago the squirrels gave me a rad pumpkin plant that produced three pumpkins. This year we have Cilantro and Basil.

Another not so fun surprise I received while I was investigating my free bounty was my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th mosquito bites. I guess it's time to stop counting them. Mosquito season has begun. Surprise, surprise...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm growing a garden for the squirrels...

or so they think. I have never, ever, had a problem with the squirrels in the neighborhood. I don't know what it is this year. As soon as my seedlings poke their leaves through the soil, the squirrels just help themselves. And I mean, to everything. I'm lucky enough if they don't eat the whole stem and maybe leave a leaf or two so that the plant can recover. It's so sad. You literally spend hours staring at the soil, waiting for the seeds to emerge. They finally make their triumphant appearance, and the next day when you go to check on how much they've grown...nothing. Or worse, the squirrels leave behind a little bitty stem so you can see where your plant would have been. I already had to buy two more seed packets of Cosmos and Zinnias this year because they've eaten so many. I was standing over my garden this afternoon, seriously considering scattering store bought lettuce all over my garden in hopes that they'd choose to munch on that instead. They'd probably just round up their friends and tell them they hit the jackpot though.