Thursday, May 5, 2011

That dreadful plant- Butterfly vine.....

Ancient one has complained about the honeysuckle vine that plagues her garden. I countered with my very worst problem, the Butterfly Vine.

My MIL innocently gave me a start of this vine. It lives on my fence and offers marvelous privacy; nothing can see through it, nothing can go through it. Birds blissfully build their nests in it, knowing they are safe from cats, as it is not sturdy enough for the cats to climb on.

It does not freeze, stays green all year long. When it blooms, it is a lovely yellow blanket, and it blooms for a long time. I have never seen a seedling, so I suspect the seeds are sterile, roots very easily, anywhere it touches the ground.

I have found vines as long as 40' long, and would not doubt they grow much longer. This is a tough vine.

The seed pods are a real novelty. They are a lime green butterfly, and it is very exciting to see all those butterflies on the fence.

The lime green butterflies dry to a golden brown butterfly and will stay in that form for years. They do not break down and fall apart. They can be painted with acrylic craft paint, glued to a stick and used as a decoration for a pot plant, or worn in your hair as an adornment. If you look at the first photo, you can see a really good dry seed pod.
This is one of those plants- you like it, you hate it.

Honeysuckle does at least have a lovely fragrance. Butterfly vine does not smell good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We are harvesting! Nom, nom, nom!

This is that squash I was talking about. I have cooked it, and already given our first mess of squash away. I am activily seeking persons willing to take some squash. I am harvesting a half dozen squashes a day. The funny looking thing in the middle of the bed is 'Flamingo Fred', one of the birds Bobby makes.

You get out and work a little, you have to set awhile. Bobby made this bench for me from an old iron bed. It is comfortable when the cushion on it, I am protecting the cushion at this time, as we have a 4 legged thief in the neighborhood.

The cucumbers are full of small fruit, I am picking enough every day for salads and to satisfy my cucumber desires. I love cucumbers, and it is one crop that I seldom have enough to give freely. I will share the cucumbers, although grudgingly sometimes.

The broccoli is done, Bobby has pulled it by now and replaced it with 3 pepper plants and a bumch of butterbeans. I can taste them already!

One of the birds is in the broccoli plants here. That is Buttercrunch lettuce in front of the broccoli, and tomatoes to the left of him.

This is 'He Who Waters'. It seems that he always has a watering hose in his hands.

Our tomato plants are huge, and they are loaded with tomatoes! I am painting golf balls, tennis balls and ping pong balls bright red, so we can hang them in the tomato plants. We need to get this done this week. The birds peck on a golf ball a couple of times, and they will pretty much leave the ripe tomatoes alone.

Tomorrow, or the next day, the zinnias will bloom. What a picture that will be!

Monday, April 11, 2011


We have cucumbers on the vines! They are about 2" long now, we should have some in a salad this weekend, unless I eat them all before they make it into the house.

We will have tomatoes by the end of April. We have lots of nice tomatoes on the vines, and a ton of blooms. I grow only indeterminate vines, as I will have more than enough to eat, preserve, and share from them. I don't look forward to having all my produce come in at once, so I have to do something with 3 bushels of fruit at once. Lazy me.....

Some of the tomatoes from the generic sales are Brandywines and some are Large Red Cherry, (one of my favorites!), so I am very pleased with that deal. No cardboard tomatoes so far.

I am going to be in trouble with the squash. I planted lots of seeds, with the idea that I could share some plants with friends, but I had no takers, and now the plants are too large to transplant, so I am going to be sneaking around in the dark, putting squash on people's porches. I will probably get dog-bit...

I will be giving zuchinni away too, but I should not have any problem with eggplant. I only have one eggplant plant. That will be plenty for us.

My Dad planted a whole pack of eggplant seeds one year. He was going crazy with all that eggplant, LOL. He said people were avoiding him...he finally put it on the side of the road with a sign that read "FREE! PLEASE HELP YOURSELF!"

We planted okra last Saturday, along with purple hull peas. I am racking my brain, trying to figure out what to plant after the lettuce and broccoli are done. My mind goes blank when I realize that it is going to be May already, and I really don't have any ideas. Maybe some yard long beans, or maybe I will broadcast a cutting garden and grow flowers.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slow me down, please.....

We now have squash and zuchinni growing in the garden! Everything planted to date is doing very well, I am encouraged. The spinach, Swiss chard, cucumbers, et al have true leaves now, and I am feeding them with a weak 'tea'. They love it!

I planted 5 packs of zinnia seeds in front of the pole beans growing on the trellis, and behind the 1015y onions. There was just enough room there to create an island of bright colors.

The birdhouse gourd seeds that we planted last week are up already and Bobby says you can see them growing! That is a scary thought!

I also planted some Armenian cucumbers. I have not grown them before, and I hope they are as interesting to look at as the pictures in the catalogs, and I am interested in their flavor. I cannot imagine a cucumber that tastes like anything other than the regular cucumbers....

We set out the hyacinth bean plants that Bobby has grown in 4" pots. They will fill the fence line and give us some desirable privacy. They are pretty to grow too. I have a cazillion seeds, and I would be very happy to share, if anyone wants some of them. I certainly cannot use all these seeds, and I hate for them to go to waste. It is a pretty vine, dark green leaves on top, with purple on the underside of the leaf. They bloom in the early fall and put on the most BEAUTIFUL, SHINY, PURPLE seed bean you ever saw. I love the beans as much as the flower! Anyway.....PLMK.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Raining today. It is supposed to rain most of the day, with wind gusts up to 35 mph. We NEED the rain, not the wind, tho.

Long white radishes are up. Buttercrunch, romaine, loose leaf, Red Sails- lettuce is up. Spinach is up. Cucumbers are peeking out. 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard is up and looking very bright, with it's stems of red, orange, pink, yellow, and pale green.

Harvesting cabbage, cauliflowers, and broccoli when it quits raining.

Bobby planted his pepper plants, and something promptly ate one off at the soil level. It is gone, he is outraged! Not funny, but I get so tickled at him. He thinks that just because it is HIS, it is safe from the normal chances we all take when we assign something to the ground. LOL

I have lilies up in the flower beds, and my chaste trees are budding. Lots of things that I thought were dead for sure are putting on leaves. Some things that are in pots survived- I think that surprises me more than anything.

Copper Canyon Daisy is BEAUTIFUL! Not blooming yet, but all leafed out. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow has buds. It is going to be a spectacular Spring!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Name unknown, unknown variety....

We were in our local WalMart last night, looking at their seedlings. Bobby wants to buy peppers now, as they are already plants, and he doesn't have to wait for warm weather for them to germinate.....

Anyway, there was this huge cart full of beautiful tomato plants, marked 'tomato'. No variety, no common name, just 'tomato'. Generic tomatoes, for the non-discriminating gardener. They were very cheap.

I bought 3 and I can't wait to find out what kind of tomatoes they are. I just hope they are not those that remind me of eating cardboard.

And we did find pepper plants. Cowhorn, cayenne, jalapeno, giant jalapeno, serano. Still looking for the 'Ghost' pepper........

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"No, wait!" I said, "don't till there, I think ...."

Too late. He had already tilled up the asparagus bed. The lovely, tender shoots were gone. Of course, he had to weed eat the bed first. THEN he tilled it up!

It looks great, tho. All fluffy soil....

I am going tomorrow afternoon to do some trading with a friend. She has some different varieties of tomato plants, and I am going to trade some of mine for some of hers.

Planted seeds of spinach and mustard today.

It was supposed to rain every day this past week. We have not seen a drop of rain yet.

A good thing, we hauled a whole truckload of weeds to the dump this afternoon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Planting, planting, planting!

I am planting! Vegetables, flowers, shrubs!

Mostly veggies right now, with a few flower seeds, and I have relocated some shrubs that have looked bad for awhile. Actually, EVERYTHING has looked bad for a long while! I cannot stand it any longer.

We have cabbages and cauliflower, and broccoli, peas, and onions. That is all the winter stuff that I will eat, and I have decided that I don't have enough time to take care of things we won't eat.

In a couple of weeks, I will set tomatoes in the ground, with lettuces, and beans. In about 3 weeks I will plant squash, cucumbers and zuchinni. In a month, or 6 weeks, I will plant peppers and okra. That is all I am going to grow. I love to eat all of that stuff.

AND...zinnias! I am going to put zinnia seeds in at mid-March. They are my favorites!

I am still doing 'pottree', as the guy from Louisianna says. He is a fabulous potter, so he can say it any way he wants to say it.

I took a 4 day workshop back in January, and had a ball. Learned to throw BIG pots, in 3 pieces, sculpted the ugliest lady you ever saw, and learned Raku! from the 'Pottree' guy. And I learned that I love handbuildings! I am having a great time.

It felt so good to have my hands in the dirt again.