Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Garden Is Taking On That Bushy Look

And that's not a bad thing since it means the plants are actually growing and producing.

The peach colored Asiatic Lilies are starting to bloom.  This is the one with twelve flower buds.  They may not be edible, but they do feed the soul.

I replanted this bed one week ago with radishes, lettuces, spinach, Scarlet Frill and arugula.  Most everything sprouted within two days.

Usually the red cabbage heads up before the green ones in my garden.  Not so this year.  The green ones are ready to harvest while the reds are just starting to form heads.  We've eaten one of the green heads.  The outer leaves had some holes but after peeling those off, I found a lovely, solid, insect-free head.

I'm so happy with the Scarlet Runner Beans on the hoop trellis.  The vines are blossoming prolifically and are close to meeting over the top.

Both the green and yellow bush beans are finally shaping up.  I've never seen such large leaves on the plants.  Some are 8" long and measure 6" across.  And, worry thee not that all the strength of the plants has gone into the leaves.  There are blossoms on them, too.

The shell peas are full of blossoms and finally growing up their trellises.  Yay!

Not to be outdone, the potatoes are starting to show their flowers.

This sweet rose bush is upwards of twenty years old and until last year spent about fifteen years in the woods near the L.P. gas tank.  (Long story.)  We resurrected it last fall and planted it in one of the berm boxes up against the house.  We were pleased as punch it actually survived the winter and now is producing lovely little roses.  The blooms almost seem to glow.  The picture is straight out of the camera with no added coloration.
Additional parts of the garden are not shown in this post.  More to come later.  (I don't want to jinx it, but . . . I have dill that is growing!  Shhhh.  Barring something unforeseen should happen to it, I may actually have fresh dill to use in making my dill pickles this year!) 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

A Fine Pie Day

I just finished making two pies.  A Cherry Pie and a Strawberry Creme Pie.
This past week I made a Chocolate Velvet Pie, and it was gone before I got even one single piece.  "That's okay," I whined said.  "I've had a craving for Cherry Pie anyway."

So first thing this morning I made myself my cherry pie.
Then Papa Pea and I decided we'd better croggle on out to the new strawberry patch to see if there were enough berries to warrant picking.  (Our strawberry season is just about done.  Kaputz.  All over.) 
Lo and behold, we came in with two bowlfuls which contained a combined weight of 4-1/2 pounds of luscious berries well worth the picking.
My dear husband didn't miss the opportunity to make a not-so-subtle suggestion that there would be enough for one more fresh Strawberry Creme Pie, plus plenty to eat in a bowl with cream milk for breakfast a couple of mornings.  (I've lost track of how many of this particular pie I've made already this season.)

Of course, I whipped up one per his polite request.  (Having a baked pie shell in the freezer made it a snap.)
This pie-baker lady is no dummy.  I know good and well anyone who sees the pies will opt for the Strawberry Creme, and I may just get the whole cherry pie to myself.  (She says with a Cheshire cat grin.) 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Better Than Beating Your Clothes On A Rock In The Stream

I am bursting with thankfulness each and every day I do our laundry.

There were many years when, through ice and snow or hot humid heat, I filled baskets with our dirty laundry, grabbed my jug of soap, made sure I had enough quarters and lugged it all to (((shudder))) the laundromat.

I really felt I'd moved up in the world when we purchased a James Washer.  What luxury to be able to do the laundry at home.  And most of the time, had the bonus of ending up getting the kitchen floor washed at the same time.

Imagine my elation when we bought and remodeled our current abode and managed to fit these stackable units into our tiny bathroom.
The washer conked out for good after a mere twenty years.  (Guess I can't complain about that.)  And the handle on the dryer is threatening to fall off now some five years later, but after a few minor repairs during that time (thanks, Papa Pea), it still does a bang-up job of drying clothes and can even deal with my heavy (oof, really heavy when wet) hand-made rag rugs when necessary.

No need to feel sorry for me as when the washer gave up, we purchased a lovely, big washer that we made room for in a corner of the garage workshop.

Plus, I've always had the ability to string clothes lines right outside the door on our deck.  On laundry mornings, my feet never need touch dewy grass or new fallen snow (well, I do have to shovel that) for me to hang the wash out in the breeze and sunshine.
Shake your head and laugh if you must, but I don't think I will ever fail to appreciate the utter convenience of my home automatic washer and dryer.  And my clothes lines, too. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

What's Growing Good . . . and What's Not

Doesn't look as though our blueberry bushes will give us a great crop this year, but we'll be appreciative of what we do get.  The bushes did get a severe (and much needed) pruning this spring so that may account for the smaller crop.

The haskap berries should be picked any day now.  We've been taste-testing them, and they've definitely gotten sweeter (okay, less sour) than when we first tried them a week or so ago.  Good thing they make a wonderful jam.

The pretty green crinkly stuff on the right is Wasabina Mustard Greens and the reddish row on the left is Scarlet Frill.  They're both salad "greens" and really add zing to our salads plus a whole bunch of minerals and vitamins.

And then there are my two pathetic rows (under the strings) of dill which have both been planted (replanted) a couple of times.  Oh, if I could just get enough fresh dill for making my dill pickles.  Is that too much to ask?

My little patch of Swiss chard is looking good.

Beets came up very spotty.  You probably can't tell that because of the leaves covering the bare spots now.  I planted more in another bed but they're currently only about 2" tall.

The storage onions are looking hale and hardy.

What the heck happened to my carrots?  They took so long to sprout that I almost replanted them.  Probably should have by the looks of what's growing.  Last year I had such a good crop that I'm just now using the very last of them.  This year I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing carrots for most of the year. 

I like to grow colored gourds to use for decorating in the fall.  Our weather has been so cool that these guys haven't done much yet.  (The Blue Salvia in the lower left hand corner of the picture have yet to bloom.)

Same with the pie pumpkins.  They'll have to put on a growth spurt soon or they won't have a chance of maturing.

I think the lack of warm weather has hindered the growth of my bush beans.  These are the green ones and don't have much of a "bushy" look thus far.  The yellow ones are a bit farther along.

This is my first lily to bloom.  I should really say "our" first lily because my daughter loves lilies.  I've never been crazy about them, but she's trying to convert me.

I do have to admit that I'm eager to see what this particular lily will look like when it blooms.  It has twelve buds on it! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

A Beauty and A Bother


The delphiniums in our south facing berm boxes are putting on a gorgeous display right now.

They don't look too bad inside in a vase either.

A few days ago while walking through our garden, our daughter was the first to notice an unwanted visitor.  It's a small green worm that is dining on the green leaves of both vegetables and flowers.  We're fairly sure it's the green cabbage looper.  Papa Pea has dusted with diatomaceous earth which hasn't seemed to have done diddly-sqwat to discourage the creepy crawlies so is now working on finding a more effective natural, organic, non-toxic liquid solution to save the plants from the onslaught of these unwanted pests.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

The Garden Is Growing and Producing

After the little over 2" of rain we (finally) got last week, the garden has burst forth.  It's curious (and a little frustrating) that no matter how much watering one does (during a drought) with sprinkler or hand-held hose, it's just not the same as the rain Mother Nature gives us.  The rain that falls from above has so many more nutrients in it than our well does.  We could still use more moisture but are very, very thankful for the much needed rain we recently got.

Our strawberries are producing and we are harvesting now every other day or so.  The above is the first harvest of a combined weight of 16-3/4 pounds of luscious berries.  The closest bowl is from the new strawberry patch and the other two are from the old patch.  What a bounty.  As we speak, I have my second double batch of strawberry jam burbling on the stove.  That will give us a total of 18 pints so far.

The cabbages are growing nicely.  Heads are just beginning to form.  This bed holds four red and four green.  I stuck a spinach plant I needed to thin on either end of the bed but they're quickly being pushed out.

Our pepper plants are doing well and starting to form blossoms.  I kept them covered with hot caps for quite a while but are out in the air and on their own now.
You may not be able to clearly see it with all the greenery in this picture but the Scarlet Runner beans are doing a great job of climbing up the hoop trellis with no help from me.  In the past I've had to coax them to grab onto the trellis by tying them up!  Why did they decide to do it themselves this year??

Bush beans have been slow, really slow but are now starting to look good.  These are the yellow wax ones which always seem to grow faster for me than the green ones.

I have a row of pansies on either end of the garlic bed.  These were plants that were volunteers from last year that popped up in various places in the garden.  I moved them to this location and I'm happy I took the trouble to save them.

We grew way too many potatoes last year (what a problem to have, eh?), and I attribute it to the great seed potatoes we got from Wood Prairie Family Farm.  I've cut back on the footage I planted this year so we'll see if we still get such a big yield.  I've hilled them up once and will do so again once more.
We got thirteen eggs yesterday.  At first I thought a couple of the roosters must have started laying, but Papa Pea reminded me that the pullets we hatched out last year have just started to lay.  How blessed we are to have such a plethora of homegrown delicious eggs!