Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ah yam tard!

We went 90-to-nothin' today!

I wonder what that means. Does anybody know?

We cleaned the vegetable garden today. We worked in the front garden today, and we worked in the water garden today. I am tired, and my hands hurt. I have opened that Aspercream I bought, because someone said I should have it in my gardening bag. We will see if it does help.

We pulled the 'old' broccoli today. Well, I didn't- I just went outside to see what Bobby was tilling, and he was tilling where the 'old' broccoli used to be. He pulled the mustard, too, which was going to seed and had pretty little yellow flowers.

I finally got a few potatoes planted. It is late, I know, but they were cut, and I couldn't cook them at this point, so I went ahead and planted them. We put in a bunch of Texas 1015 onions and a bunch of Texas Sweet white onions in too.

We weeded the tire beds - a whole row of tires that Bobby cut for me about 4 or 5 years ago. He cut them and turned them inside out, to make cute little planters. I have grown tomatoes in them since the beginning, but I am thinking I will put something else in them this year. Cosmos, maybe.....

I cut the roses back in the vegetable garden too. I know, I am late....

I had several tires that were not in use as yet, and we set them up and filled them with soil. Soil, cow manure (sterilized, in the bag, .93 each bag, from WM), and we added peat moss to some. I transplanted 'Buttercrunch' lettuce into two of them, planted white radishes in one, red radishes in another. I planted mesclun mix in one, and lettuce blend in another. In the greenhouse, I have squash seeds in 6 packs, as well as zucchini. I planted these in a bit of planting zeal, but mostly because I wanted to plant something. They will be ready to plant outside in a week or two. The beds are ready when they are. I just have to find a place to grow my cucumbers.

I have pretty little 'Bells of Ireland' growing in the vegetable garden. I planted them there one year, and they come up every year now. I love that.

The herb bed is so pretty right now. I have rosemary there, and fennel. Dill, cilantro which is gone to seed, and has sweet little white flowers, and sage are growing in harmony with oregano, mint, and 'Laura Bush' petunias. Sweet peas are going up the wire on the arbor there, and they are blooming too. It is just so pretty!

Tomorrow, we are going to re-locate Bobby's pepper beds. He says no, but I want them moved. It will be much better, and he can grow more peppers. He has to understand that he can't just keep planting those peppers just everywhere! I am going to start pulling them out of my fairy garden; and the front garden, the cacti garden, ornamental grasses and rose gardens. I like the peppers, but not EVERYWHERE!

We have an ikky job to do tomorrow. We are going to move a couple of star jasmine, and I have to cut them back to move them. I hate cutting them back! All that milky sap, it gets all over me, even though I am careful and wear gloves. Plus, I don't want that stuff in my pond. Bobby got me some new koi for my birthday, and I don't think they would do very well with that sap in the pond. The jasmine is growing on the shade house, and I am not thrilled with the effect. They are kind of unkempt looking. I am going to plant a 'Peggy Martin' rose there, instead. It is pretty, blooms almost all year, and has no thorns! The jasmine won't go to waste. I have someone to take it.

The list of things to do is never-ending. I have 3 pygmy date palms to put in the back yard, and a fish tail palm to plant too. I have 5 hibiscus ready to plant back there, but all this entails preparation. I have to move what is there before I can put these things in. These are pygmy date palms. Aren't they pretty?

I have Iceland poppies almost ready to bloom! I have foliage on the 'Laura Bush' rose, and new foliage on most of the roses I cut back last week. I have two 'Hua' hibiscus to plant in the front garden, and many verbena, penta, lysmachia, creeping Jenny, and scented geraniums to plant. I have two mandevilla, RED ones! to plant, but one of them got hurt somehow. It split kind of down the middle. I taped it, but I need to get out the grafting tape to really fix it right. I will do that first thing in the morning. I think it will be o.k.

Bobby is already asleep. He worked hard today, too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today, We Worked!

This was the assigned task today. I had decided I wanted a little short fence across the bed by the driveway. It had a huge moraea iris in that front corner that was about five feet across. It took Bobby and I about an hour to dig it out, but we managed. Bobby measured the length, and set the post locations, then we went to town to pick up the cedar boards and some nails. We started on this about 10:30am, and we finished it about 1:00pm. We got it done in about two and a half hours. I thought we did good!

I trimmed, cut back, stuck cuttings, dug plants out of the way, replanted things I dug up. I divided and planted, and I am going to have such drifts of stuff! Tomorrow I am planting a row of society garlic (purple/lavender blooms) and coreopsis(brilliant yellow blooms)- alternating from one to the other. I can just see it, in my mind's eye. I would do a row of one, then a row of the other, but I think they would not fit together the way I want if I did that.

If you read the last post, you saw the picture of the plumbago x firebush that I wanted in my yard. Well, that is what I planted in the spot at the end of the bed, where the iris was growing. I have put gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' in this bed, and cleradendron 'Butterfly Blue'. 'True Gold' lantana and Brazilian buttons were already here. Other plants that I added today are shasta daisies, and I planted Euryops (yellow bush daisy) and yellow bulbine behind the fence too. That is where I want to put the society garlic and coreopsis, at the end of the bulbine, but before you get to the yellow bush daisy.
This is Euryops.

If you look past the fence, you can see where we are working on a watering system, and where I have bags of pine needles to mulch. You can't see it right now, but that whole area is just full of plants. By May, it should be very pretty!

In my mind, I know it will be.

Now, if I can get Bobby to dig out the other iris tomorrow, and maybe he will dig that rootbeer plant out too, before it has a chance to spread any more. Look where the black bag is, that is the pine needles. Behind it is a large green plant...

That is the iris. This one is not as big as the one we dug out, so maybe he won't mind too much...

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Glorious Day!

I have this Pride of Barbados on my mind today. Can you imagine this in your garden? I certainly can 'see' it in mine!

Today is a beautiful day! Is it just that at my age, all days are beautiful? Anyway, today, the sun is blessing us, and I have plans for gardening- planting, weeding, mulching, and planning. I am ambidextrous too, I can do all these things at once! Or, is that called multi-tasking?

I have Brazilian buttons blooming. In the greenhouse, I have a gardenia blooming. The Chicken rose is blooming. That pale yellow lantana is blooming. Periwinkles left from last summer are happy they survived and are showing off with rose colored blooms. S. coccinea has begun the new year with scarlet punctuation marks here and there, and the 'Black & Blue' salvia is blooming too. Moraea iris are blooming, some creamy yellow with maroon eyes, some white with blue and yellow centers. Plumbago is calling for my attention, waving blue hands in the winds.

I have seen esperanza that are covered with bright yellow blossoms, although they are not in my garden. Just breathtaking, so beautiful, especially this time of year.

In my vegetable garden, the little transplanted 'Butter Crunch' lettuce is making little rosettes that start the lettuce head that will be my salad. I love to watch plants develop. like they are showing me they know what to do now.

Alas, some things are blooming in the vegetable garden too. Mustard is maturing and waving their little yellow flowers on tall stalks now. Some of my salad greens, the mesclun mix, are going to seed too. One in particular, smells so wonderful, and I don't know it's name!

Sweet peas are a wall of pastel colors now. I saved seeds of pastels in years past because I wanted those, and when I planted them, they bloomed all colors, dark and light. Last year, I just saved all the seeds, and planted them in October. I have not seen one dark bloom on all those sweet peas! Not my planning.....

'Laura Bush' petunias are starting to bloom too. Little Laura reseeded beautifully last year, and I have a LOT of LB petunias. I am going to move some of them later today, so that I can get them started in other parts of my gardens. It would seem to me that they would be a wonderful ground cover. They bloom a long time. I wonder why I didn't think of that before?

I have some plant combos that I want to try. I am going to plant blue plumbago with firebush. I saw this picture, and I am thrilled with the idea of having this in my yard. I think it is just gorgeous!
I have talked about my trailing lantanas, both purple and white, planted as one plant. They will grow to look like one bush, and it is stunning. Plus, they have the charming habit of blooming when nothing much is blooming, in cold weather!

I want to plant more Pride of Barbados, the orange/yellow/red variety. There is a yellow variety as well, but it is kind of dull and mousy looking. The orange Pride of Barbados can be seen a long way off!

Happy Gardening, today, everybody!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I thought this was interesting...

I was talking to a friend in a flurry of email messages the other evening, and of course, the state of our economy and our country came up. She is a city girl, and lives in an apartment, but she has a little rooftop vegetable garden. We don't have a lot of acreage here, but we do have enough to have a nice little vegetable garden.

I have been thinking that perhaps I should be growing heirloom varieties, so that I could save those seeds with assurance that we could eat what we produced with them. Some of those hybrids produce produce that isn't very tasty. Anyway, I remember my Mother and Dad talking about the Great Depression, and how they were actually hungry. At least, if you garden, you should be able to stave off starvation.

In my research about heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers, I was surprised to find that many of the seeds we buy on the seed racks are heirloom varieties. According to the heirloom seed companies, a variety is an heirloom if it was developed before 1940 and is open pollinated. It will reproduce itself.

This is a few of the varieties I have found so far.

Beans- Kentucky Wonder pole, Asparagus beans (yard long beans), Scarlet Runner Beans.
Tomatoes- Beefsteak, Roma, Rutgers, Brandywine
Lettuce- Black Seeded Simpson, Parris Island Cos (Romaine)
Okra-Clemson Spineless, Emerald
Squash- Early Prolific Straight neck
Zucchini-Black Beauty, Gray
Swiss chard- Bright Lights (who knew?!!)

I was surprised by these, but relieved too. Glad to know they are easily found, and of course, there are dozens of others. These are just a few that I have found.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

WOW! Today was a beautiful day!

My darling husband has a new project. He has aquired not just one, but three motorcycles to work on! Hurray! More stuff for our yard! But, on the other hand, if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.

I am working in my gardens and beginning to see progress! I planted lilies today, and Gayfeather corms. I planted tall RED snapdragons, and dianthus. I moved some daylilies, and I have several that need dividing, and some that need to be planted. I will get to them. I planted seeds of rose campion, coneflower, standing cypress, nicotiania, agastache, cleome, and verbena bonariensis. Tomorrow I am planting Blackberry lily and castor beans 'Carmencita', AND nicotiana 'Lime Green'.

AND I planted crowns of asparagus, given to me by my friend Linda. She explained how to plant them, and I followed her instructions to the letter. I have 6 crowns, which, for someone who has never eaten asparagus in her life, is plenty. I will see how they grow and survive in our summers, and maybe plant more next year.

SWEET PEAS ARE BLOOMING! Not a wonderful picture, but they are wonderful to smell when I am working in the garden.

You can see my peas on the fence behind the sweet peas. That is where I go to graze on new peas. Nothing better!