Category Archives: Gardening

June 2022 Garden Tour

These photos were taken about two weeks ago. I’m just now getting a chance to post them. The gardens have continued to flourish since. I hope you enjoy this garden tour. I will post another in July.

Potted Flowers

I’ll start out with a couple of flowers in pots that we started from seed.

Nasturtiums have begun to blossom. We have three window type boxes of these to adorn our deck.

Johnny Jump-ups (also known– as wild pansy) we have several pots of these in the garden beside our deck and alongside the front of our house.

Prayer Garden

Then we’ll move to the prayer garden where I spent a lot of time weeding in June.

The salvia blossoms are fading but it is not time to cut the spikes yet – the bees are still foraging these flowers.

Dianthus made a grand showing, but the blooms were mostly spent when I had my camera out. It’s time to get the clippers out and remove the dead blossoms.

I was late with getting picture of the chives as well. They too made a grand showing but were quickly going to seed. As I finished my weeding, I got out the clippers and cut the chives down before they could drop their seeds.

Chives are very prolific. It is my personal opinion that left to their own devises, chives could take over the world. I have learned that it is best to cut the flowers once the bees are finished foraging them but before they start dropping seeds. This way I keep them under control.

The creeping thyme is flowering, and the bees are enjoying it.

We have roses,

roses,

and more roses.

We also have primroses.

And these evening primrose that normally get eaten by deer (or perhaps rabbits) is flowering this year.

Shh! Don’t tell the critters. Maybe we’ll get to enjoy the flowers for a while.

Vegetable Gardens

Our vegetable gardens are doing really well thanks to my husband who has spent many hours planting, watering, weeding and mulching.

The raised beds gave us the ability to get some plants started early. Now that we have entered a dry spell they require a lot of watering.

We have small tomatoes on some of the plants.

and peppers and green beans are blossoming. It won’t be long now. 🙂

Our field crops are also doing well, except for the ones that the deer have eaten.

The straw mulch will help keep the weeds down and help the ground retain moisture,

We have very little rain in the forecast for the next week, so that mulch just may be a lifesaver.

Bonus Picture

You just never know what might pop up in the garden.

Thanks for visiting.

Are you enjoying summer so far?

Turning The Corner

As we turn the corner toward summer I’m going to back up into May and share some of the things that I didn’t get a chance to blog about as they were happening.

MOTHER’S DAY

Sunday, May 8th was the perfect day for the Mother’s Day picnic we had planned at the farm. Before going to the farm, I took a short walk in our back yard to see if the trilliums were coming up in the woods. My mom loved trilliums and each year on Mother’s Day I look for the trilliums because they are normally in bloom. This year they were not.

All of our spring blossoms are running about two weeks later than normal this year due to cool and wet weather conditions. Our cherry tree was full of blossoms the week of May 8th and buzzing with pollinators. Last year on April 21st I blogged that our cherry tree was blossoming, and we were worried about freezing temperatures that were in the forecast.

My two youngest daughters came out for the picnic. They brought me this t-shirt from all four of my girls.

Love you girls! 💞

RAISED GARDEN BEDS

I had mentioned in a previous post that we decided to plant some of our garden in raised beds this year. With prices skyrocketing, buying lumber to use as garden beds was not an option.

We decided to use something that we had on hand and were not using for anything else -barrels.

My husband cut the barrels into various sizes.

The portions that had a bottom in them he also drilled weep holes to allow for drainage.

We put paper bags on the ground before placing the barrel pieces in place. This will keep weeds from growing up around the garden beds. After we placed the beds in place we added a layer of pea gravel to help with drainage. We then added our soil mixture which included some topsoil and sand.

The tomatoes were planted deep in the barrel to help protect them from the elements.

They continue to grow upward, reaching toward the sun.

Marigolds are said to help protect against various pests so we planted some with tomatoes and peppers.

We also planted green bean, beet and carrot seeds – they have begun to sprout. Some of the beds are awaiting the arrival of our new strawberry plants.

OTHER GARDEN NEWS

The cabbage that we had planted in the ground, earlier in May, is looking good,

as are the potatoes.

This past weekend my husband finished planting tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. He has also planted sweet corn, a patch of buckwheat and a patch of alfalfa.

The garlic is up and looking good.

My husband finished up the blueberry patch. It is now robin-proof (we hope). Bring on the berries!

The apple trees blossomed and are now making fruit.

IRRIGATION

This pump is placed in the pond to pump water out. It is run by the windmill.

I don’t remember what day it was when my husband put the pump in the pond (sometime in the first half of the month). I do remember that, in my opinion, the water was not warm enough to be in.

I think my husband agreed.

One hose connects from the windmill to the pump. It pumps air into the pump when the windmill turns. Water comes out another hose that is connected to the pump. We run that hose into a tank like the one in the picture below.

These tanks are raised above ground level and a garden hose is connected to a spigot near the bottom of the tank. When we open the spigot gravity feeds the water though the garden hose, so we are able to water our plants.

BEES

We are not the only ones who have busy. The hives are all very active. After my husband removed the feeders and added new boxes, he said this is the nicest breed of bees he has ever worked with.

BEAUTY

When I left for my vacation the forsythia were still blossoming.

When I returned the lilacs were blossoming.

Their beautiful fragrance carried in the wind.

(I didn’t get a picture of them, but the trilliums were also blossoming at that time.)

My husband discovered these mushrooms growing near the prayer garden. While they look much like a morel, we are not mushroom savvy enough to try them. We decided just to let them be.

WISDOM

Lastly, I wanted to share this message. It’s what my sisters call tea bag wisdom. Some brands of herbal teas print inspirational messages on the tags that are attached to the tea bag. I received this message on my tea bag about a week ago.

Thanks for visiting.

Are you doing any gardening this year?

Are you ready for summer?

Too Much of a Good Thing

Last week, when I took you all on a little garden tour, our gardens were doing well. We had gotten some much needed rain and did not anticipate having to water anytime soon. Now we have gotten too much rain, and our gardens are suffering .

June 27, 2021

It is called wet wilt. The ground is simply too wet for the plants and they are basically drowning.

June 27, 2021

We have lost significant amounts of tomatoes and peppers and the entire row of green beans. Today we noticed that the cabbage and potatoes have also taken a hit.

June 27, 2021

On June 27th, when we first discovered that we were losing plants, my husband removed all of the straw mulch in order to give the ground an opportunity to dry out and prevent further damage, but with showers and storms adding water to the ground each day there has been no chance of that. We now have about five dry days in the forecast so hopefully the worst is over and all is not lost.

While this is discouraging we must remember –

Do Not Worry
(Matthew 6: 25-34)25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

As soon as the ground dries up some we will be placing some of the lost plants. My husband was able to find some tomato and pepper plants at a garden center and he also bought more green bean seeds. 🙂

Early Summer Garden Tour

Well summer arrived this week – incognito it seems. It came disguised as spring of all things. It showed up as the rain storms that were absent throughout April and May. They dumped over two inches of rain on us in about 12 hours Sunday and Monday. It also brought cooler temperatures that dipped down into the 40’s in the overnight hours.

The rains returned today and it seems as though we have gotten at least two more inches. If there is any accuracy in the forecast for the next 10 days our drought problems should be over since there are some chances of rain everyday over the next 10.

For some crops. such as our strawberries and blueberries, it’s too late to make a difference but other crops should be served well by the rain.

Shall we take a look around?

The apple trees have some apples, not a bumper crop, (we had several days of frost while the apple trees were blossoming) but hopefully enough for a pie or two.

The blueberries are beginning to ripen. Again this won’t be a bumper crop. I suspect these were impacted by both frost and drought but we are grateful for what we get.

In garden 3, which now has become the puppy playground, these cabbage and onions were some of the first vegetables to be planted. They are doing well.

Also in garden 3 the potatoes (above) were also planted early. They have blossoms.

We also have a row of potatoes in the main garden (above). These were the first to be planted and despite being hit by frost on several days they have flourished.

The above photo was taken as I enter the main garden and look to the north. Sweet corn, pie pumpkins, cantaloupes, tomatoes and three different types of squash are growing in this area.

The photo below is from the same spot looking to the south.

Pumpkins, cucumbers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant. tomatoes, okra, green beans, beets, swiss chard, and dill are growing on this side of the garden.

We have several varieties of tomatoes. Some have begun to blossom and make fruit.

Jalapeno peppers are starting to bear fruit

as are the bell peppers.

It will be a while before we are picking green beans (above) but just the thought of them makes my mouth water.

We also have sunflowers planted in several areas along the fence, some of which came up as volunteers.

Thanks for joining me for a garden tour. Are you enjoying any home grown produce or looking forward to doing so?

It’s Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

If there is any time of year to literally stop and smell the roses it’s now while the wild roses are blossoming.

Wild roses, unlike their domestic counterparts, give off a lovely fragrance that will even at times drift in he breeze.

Technology, at least to my knowledge, does not allow me to share the that fragrance with you through my blog.

So the best I can do is share some photos.

Our domestic roses, which really don’t have a fragrance, are doing well this year also. This small bush (above) is one of 4 bushes my husband rescued from the nursery/landscape company he worked for two years ago. Had he not brought them home they would have faced certain death.

This larger rose bush (above) has struggled over the years. It was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughters several years ago. It first produced yellow blossoms. After being severely damaged by weather and critters I pruned it way down. It then began producing red flowers. Apparently the yellow rose had been grafted on a red rose bush and it was only the original red rose that survived. This year it is producing more flowers than ever before.

Next to that is a low growing rose bush that I have had to keep pruned because it wants to spread everywhere. I don’t know the name of this type of rose but it is very hardy. It too is loaded with red buds and blossoms.

Low growing mini rose bush (above).

My peony began to blossom last week. I think it was the most beautiful peony I have ever seen.

It may have been the stark contrast of the bold pink flowers set against all of the purples and greens that made it look so beautiful, or it may have been that I planted this peony in 2019 in memory of my Aunt Shirley who passed away that year and this was the first time it has blossomed since it was planted.

It has brought back many fond memories of her.

I had read that deer normally won’t eat peonies so I felt that it was safe to leave it uncaged. I guess the deer in our neighborhood are not normal.

Those bright pink globe-like flowers were apparently irresistible to them. There are still two small buds that have yet to open so the peony will remain caged until it is done blossoming.

While the irises are finished blossoming the thyme and salvia are both in full bloom and attracting the bees and other pollinators. The lavender is getting ready to open. I expect by this time next week it will be in full bloom.

We added some creeping phlox along the new rock boarder. We chose three different shades of pink . They have already begun to spread so hopefully by next spring they will have filled in much of that area.

Not everything gets planted in the prayer garden though. I planted four chamomile plants amongst some wild flowers and they seem quite happy.

While their flowers look similar to chamomile these are wild daisies that have made their home amongst my marshmallow plants this year.

Last but least I’d like to introduce you to Mari the pig. I’m not exactly sure how Mari came to live on our farm. My husband picked her up somewhere in his travels and she fits in quite well at the farm.

I can, however, tell you how Mari got her name. Several weeks ago when I went to plant our porch pots I discovered a plant had started growing in one of the pots. It looked like a petunia so I figured a petunia from last year had dropped a seed there and it sprouted. Since I needed to work that soil in order to put in the plants that I had bought I decided to plant the petunia in the pig planter. I then named the pig Petunia.

Over the weeks we have been watering the petunia and watching it grow while waiting for it to begin to blossom. Last week while looking at it I told my husband that it was looking more like calendula, also know as pot marigold, than a petunia. A few days ago when I took the above photo I noticed that a calendula bud was beginning to form on the plant. I told my husband that I was renaming the pig Mari(gold).

Thanks for visiting and remember to make it a great day! 🙂