Monday, July 21, 2014

In The Garden . . .

Papa Pea loves the little chipmunks.  I would love the little chipmunks if they weren't so darn prolific.  And didn't eat so many expensive sunflower seeds.  And other things.

I harvested strawberries this morning and found several beautiful berries snapped off the plants, lying in the wood shavings between the rows with telltale teeth markings on each berry where one of those cute little chipmunks had helped himself to an early morning snack.

I went into the house and posed a question to my dear husband.  "Okay," I said, 'which do you like more?  The cute little chipmunks or your fresh strawberries?"


A few minutes later, these two traps appeared in the strawberry patch.  'Nuf said.


I planted three rows of shell peas, peas planted on either side of the 16' long cattle panels used for trellises.  Two of them are pictured above.  (Do you see the half eaten strawberry in between the rows?  Gr-r-r-r!)  With our up until now cool, moist weather, you would think the peas would have grown like crazy giving me peas galore earlier than usual.  They didn't, and are just now finally flowering.


There may be hope for a bunch of fresh frozen peas stashed in the freezer yet.


I have one whole bed (yes, I do) devoted to purple poppies.  They are from seeds Sue (of Sue's Garden Journal) was kind enough to send me a couple years ago after I admired a picture of the poppies in her garden.


I am just crazy about them (I think it's the color) and captured a picture of the very first one to bloom this year.  It greeted me in all its splendor when I took my morning garden tour today.  Thanks, Sue!

We're getting some real summer weather today.  Way up in the 80s.  (Which probably sounds downright cool to some of you, but it's hot to us!)  My wash on the outside lines dried lickety-split, but doing anything that causes any kind of exertion out there brings the sweat pouring forth.  (The humidity definitely contributes to the situation.)

We didn't want anything but watermelon for lunch, and it was enjoyed in our cool kitchen.  Thankfully, our house does stay lover-ly if we close up the doors and windows early on during weather like this.

Papa Pea just came in for a drink of water and said he was now going out into the bee yard to get organized for the replacement bees we hope will be arriving sometime this week.  He also said he might indulge in a root beer float (a weakness of his) when he was finished.  I told him there's probably no better weather for it, and to go for it.

15 comments:

  1. Those poppies are beautiful - I don't think I have ever seen purple! I have some orange ones that were from my husband's grandmother. Would you like to trade some seed later in the year? Charlene in Kentucky

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    1. Charlene in Kentucky - Be glad to! If you wish, go over to my "Contact" box and send me an email with your mailing address and come fall, I'll mail you some seeds.

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  2. We have some pink poppies that have ruffled edges. I'm not sure what you'd call them but only a few came back this year. We let them reseed themselves and hope for the best. There may be a few small ones still flowering but not any of the big ones like the first few years we had them.

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    1. Sparkless - We have an orange one that grows in the ditches alongside the roads in certain places in our area. I've always liked them.

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  3. I could look at your neat and tidy garden all day! Love how organized you are. So, are we "relocating" the chipmunk to better digs down the road or should he be enjoying his last few days on earth?
    Tee hee!!!

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    1. Sue - YOURS is the garden that is amazing to gaze upon! Like a page out of a magazine.

      We've only enticed one chipmunk into our traps. He has gone to a better place.

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  4. We had some critter eat the tops of some of our corn plants when they were about 15 inches. Haven't seen the culprit yet but I'm thinking deer.

    Our usual garden bandits here are woodchucks for green bean and pea plants, raccoon for corn when it ears out, and deer for anything they can get away with. Abby the cat leaves the occasional chipmunk on the patio, but that's about all we see of them since we had here.

    I find it comforting to see other folk's garden beds who are clearly farther along than us look much like ours do. I used to work hard to keep either open soil (a losing battle to the weeds and also muddy) or pristine looking wood chips (ok, but hard to keep pristine) between the beds just like the ones in the "better homes" kind of magazines. In the last couple of years there simply hasn't been time for 'pretty' and I'd look down there and feel like a bad gardener even though the crops were doing great. As I look around the web at homestead rather than hobby or show gardens I feel better. It seems the norm is grassy stuff around the beds just like mine and what really matters is what's going on in the beds.

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    1. Mark - There would be no way we could grow any kind of crops here in the north woods without fencing to keep the critters out. And I'm just not very charitable when it comes to sharing our food!

      We keep going round and round as to what we could put between our raised beds that would be easier to maintain than the grass we have. It's a pain to mow and weed whip, but we haven't come up with any other solution. :o(

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  5. Oh, those poppies are gorgeous! I don't blame you for putting in a whole bed of them! Well, you know how I feel about chipmunks...I would recommend the Chipmunkinator (and how!) What you do with them after entrapment is entirely up to your sensitivities... :) Just think, when our peas are just a fond memory, you'll be enjoying bowlfuls!

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    1. Susan - In all the years I've raised strawberries here, the chipmunks have never been a problem until now. And I don't really think we have a bigger population of them than usual. 'Tis a mystery but I sure don't want to encourage them to waste our precious berries as they do. Sorry, Chippies!

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  6. Nancy po - And I'm so glad it IS green! After all the rain we've had, for a while there I was dreading everything being yellow! The poppies are popping like crazy now . . . so pretty.

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  7. The chipmunks discovered the strawberry bed this year so unless I get serious I am sure that is the last of the strawberries for me :(

    BEAUTIFUL poppies. I wonder if they would grow in MI? I have had no luck with lupines so far.

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    1. Jen - I'm sure the purple poppies would grow for you in your locale. Just let me know if you'd like me to send you some seeds this fall.

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  8. Your garden is looking amazing!

    http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog

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