This flowering cherry is the gift that keeps on giving..

What was I thinking? It went from about 15 degrees below normal to 15 degrees above normal for the past week. We hit 90 the other day! I've been covering the greenhouse with a tarp every afternoon to keep everything in there from frying. And watering twice a day to keep the soil cool for the peas and lettuce and carrots. Fortunately, temps will be back to normal tomorrow and we're supposed to get some rain, too. Not that we're really lacking for that, we're ahead so far for the year, but it'll be a nice change from the past few days.

The cool crops are doing quite well in spite of the heat, this pic shows about a third of my
Mangetout Carouby row in the back of one of my 8x4 beds. If you're wondering why one of them is out of line, I have no idea. I'm quite sure I was sober when I planted them.

The plants in front of that are Chesnok Red hardneck garlic, and I've got Romano Bush beans going in front of those tomorrow morning. My French Climbing beans should be poking through in another day or so, and I hilled the potatoes up for the first time this morning.

Speaking of morning, this is what I see when I open the back door..

Why does Jack always look like he's judging me? It can be quite unnerving to turn around and see that glare of disapproval. Dude, I'm sorry I threw a shoe at you, K? The crowing was a little much that day, I wasn't myself.

I planted some of my tomatoes and peppers on Saturday, since the weather has warmed up so thoroughly. If we get a late frost I'll do what I did last year, cover the little seedlings with a layer of soil overnight. It worked like a charm last time, no damage at all to my toms after a 28 degree night in early May. I planted the little 30 inch wide 20 ft long strip on the side of the house with 10 tomatoes and 9 peppers staggered in between and in front of the toms. There'll be some bush beans staggered in between the peppers, I soaked some of my Romano Bush beans the other day and they're starting to sprout. No pics of the bed yet, since the seedlings are hard to see at this stage!

Tomatoes, left to right when facing the bed:
Yellow Brandywine
Black from Tula
Wapsipinicon Peach
Black Cherry
Brandywine OTV
Cherokee Purple

Portugese Thyme in the early morning sun

The peppers I planted are Quadrato Rossi. I planted nine more QR peppers in one of my in-ground beds, and the Orange Bells are going into the bed at the end of the garden where the new trellis is. My French Climbing Beans have sprouted and they're getting planted at the foot of that new trellis today. The melons and winter squashes are also getting started while I'm out there. I'm growing Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck squash for the first time this year, as well as a variety called Galeux d'Elysines. I think the kids will get a big kick out of them.

Happy Gardening!

Happy Dance!

The first day of April...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I hate winter. I really do. If it snowed with any regularity here, that would be pretty. But no, all we get is cold, dreary, wet weather. So when the earth warms, the air is fresh and sweet, the birds are singing their hearts out, and "the flowers appear on the earth" I just about burst with joy.

Hubby put up the large trellis for me over the weekend,
and I've got my French Climbing Beans soaking already. The Purple-Podded Pole is next, and I think I'll start some of my Romano Bush beans, too. The volunteer climbing beans in the garden are doing marvelously, so I'll take that as a green light to start the others!

The trellis is difficult to see in a picture, but it's two widths of 4 ft high 4x2 fencing giving me 8 feet vertically across that 20 foot
width of fence. That's a lotta beans!

Three of my Calabrese broccoli overwintered, so I let one go to seed and the other two are ready to harvest..again! I'm so thrilled, since I didn't start any spring broccoli because of a lack of space.

The tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse are coming along gangbusters, and I got over a hundred Cosmic Purple Carrot seedlings planted yesterday. The Danvers carrots are next, and I'll pot up my Rosa Bianca eggplants and Napolitano basils later today. The baby boy is already yawning (yay!), so I'll go put him down for a nap and get started.


Found it! The camera went missing two days ago, and I haven't posted anything because I like to put pictures up of all the goings-on that I talk about. It just occurred to me to look in the seat cushions of the loveseat in the computer room. Bingo!

So tomorrow I'll take pics of all the latest progress and boast about how well everything is doing, in spite of the hailstorm Sunday night. See you then!

Breaking Ground

Welcome to DeBeardedOne and Ruralrose, thanks for following!

After reading the blog last night and finding out the girls wanted their own flower garden, hubby went and picked up a load of compost and broke out the shovels.

He's putting in a nice semi-circular bed around the mailbox, and the girls couldn't be more pleased. Especially when they found worms..

And yes, ladies, in case you're wondering, the girls did pick out their own outfits this morning. Oy.

So by the time they finished scraping up the turf, it looked like this..

Then the rich, dark compost went down..
(see the little toddler footprints?)

That shrub in the back is a rosemary we already had in that spot, it'll make a nice backdrop for some herbaceous perennials.

And now all we have to do is sow a few more seeds in the greenhouse and pot up the flowers we already started. I'm sure we'll pick up a little something or two at the nursery, as well. Who can resist? I'm thinking a blue clematis for the mailbox post and some Moonbeam coreopsis...and perennial blue salvia to contrast with the Calendula I've already gotten started.

Yeah, spiky deep blue flowers with deep apricot daisy flowers..and a soft, fluffy border of yellow. It'll be gorgeous! I'll put up some more pics when we get things in the ground.

Happy Gardening!

And foliage, and bark, and... :-)

This is the flowering cherry in the front yard in tight bud..

Slowly unfurling and growing lighter....

And now fully open..

Simply gawgeous.
(double click on this last one, it's worth it)

The purple tint to the new bergamot foliage makes my heart go pitter patter, too.

As does this lovely baby..

Nepeta 'Walker's Low'

How can anyone look at all that beauty and not know there is a God? And He is good. :-)

Coming up next, pics of the children's flower garden being made!

Picture Day!

I was planting all my sprouted climbing peas (Golden Sweet and Mangetout Carouby) when I spied a few surprise volunteers..
Those are 'Sultan's Golden Crescent' climbing beans! I was so surprised to see them coming up already, this makes me want
to sprout all my climbing beans and put them in! Of course, I'll need the hubby to install a bit more trellising before that can happen... Hey, tomorrow is Saturday, right? Perfect timing! :-)

The girls puttered around asking for their own garden space while I was laboriously poking holes, dropping sprouts, and watering-in..and I think we'll have to make that happen this year. We've already started some flower seeds (hollyhock and coreopsis) and I've got all kinds of other flower seeds around they'd love. The only thing is to figure out where to put it!

The peach tree is in full bloom now, and I'm not the only one who noticed..

Ugh. Be glad my dinky little old camera doesn't zoom in that close. These little critters are destined to have an exceptionally short lifespan, I hope they're living it up in there..
Now for something more pleasant to look at--Hi, I'm Duke. You may scratch my tummy.
Little show-off..What is he looking at?

Ahhh, his audience. I don't know..
Sallie looks neither impressed, nor amused.

Plugging Away

The Reine de Glaces and Tennis ball lettuces have been interplanted with the Yellow from Parma onions, and I couldn't have asked for better transplanting weather. It's been cloudy and in the upper 60's all day, with rain tomorrow and temps in the lower 60's for the next three days. I wanted to get a picture of the bed after it was planted up, but the seedlings are so tiny you can't see anything in the picture yet! It'll be nice when it fills in, though the landscape designer in me would have preferred to have been planting red lettuces with the spiky green onion foliage. But we don't use much red lettuce around here, so I hadn't started any yet.

I potted up more tomatoes: 16 Wapsipinicon Peach, 10 Opalka, 10 Cherokee Purple, and 7 Copia. I'd have kept on going, but I ran out of 4 inch pots! The rest are in our outdoor storage chest, and the spare package of shingles from when the roof was replaced 2 weeks ago is sitting on the lid. I had no idea shingles were SO heavy. I'll ask the hubby to move those tonight so I can finish potting everything up.

I've still got lots of tomatoes to go, and the peppers will be ready to move out of the cells soon. I've got Quadrato di Asti Rosso coming out of my ears, and the Orange Bell and Canary Bell are coming along nicely, too. Three Poblanos and four Sweet Banana came up after I'd given up on them, and just one out of my ten Alma Paprika sprouted. You can bet I'll be babying that little guy!

Speaking of little guys, this is where mine was while some of that work was going on..
Who needs a playpen when you have a car?

Gimme the camera, lady, and no one gets hurt.

A Thing of Beauty

is a joy forever.--John Keats

Catnip volunteer

Roman Chamomile

Red Maple

Munchkin, 5 years old today

Well, I wasn't able to get the onion and lettuce seedlings in the ground last night because the hubby got home from work so late I had to bathe the children and put them to bed all by my lonesome. So I planted the onions this morning and watered them in, and the lettuce will go in late this afternoon. I also potted up all my Yellow Brandwines (12) and gave everything in the greenhouse a dose of fertilizer. I'm going to fertilize my garlic today, too. This will be the first time I've done so in the three years I've been growing it, but it needs all the help it can get after last winter.

The birthday girl pictured above will be assisting with the lettuce planting in about an hour, after which (I have been informed) we will read all the new books she got for her birthday. :-)

I Couldn't Resist

I know it's a little early to be potting up the seedlings, but I couldn't resist the urge to pop a few of the largest out of their cells and put them in some 4 inch pots. I did my three Brandywine OTV and 9 of my largest Black Cherrys. That temporarily satisfied my urge, and I'll compare them to the ones still in the cells and see if the growth rate picks up. I've been using masking tape on the side of the flat/pot to keep track of the varieties. Those little white markers are irresistible to toddlers.

I'm hoping to get the chance to plant my lettuce and onion seedlings in the garden this evening, it's so warm and sunny today I wanted to wait till the sun started going down to lessen the shock. While I was scoping out the bed I looked at the potatoes I planted last week. Remember that fuzzy, barely visible potato sprout I tried to get a pic of? You won't need to squint to see it now!

Things have been coming in beautifully since the weather warmed up last week. Not only are things like daffodils and flowering cherries coming alive, but my garlic is finally taking off! It's normally over a foot tall by now and this winter was so harsh they barely put on any growth at all. This time last week the foliage was just four inches tall and they've put on two more since then. Here's hoping they make up for lost time, I've been really concerned that I'd have a poor crop this year.

I was inspecting the softneck garlic bed when something different caught m
y eye..tomato seedlings coming up! I had Jaune Flamme tomatoes just behind that bed last year, and they dropped a few fruit and gave me some freebies. I'm really glad, because my J.F. seeds in the greenhouse haven't sprouted yet! They make an excellent salad tomato, and they're great for sun-drying, too. It got down to 37 F last night, and those little babies looked just fine! I'm going to lift them out of there and pot them up till the new tomato bed is ready.

I started a fresh batch of cilantro seeds, Italian parsley, dill, and salad burnett yesterday, and the yellow carrots are next.

My chives are filling in with such flamboyant gorgeousness (don't know if that's a word, but it's fitting) that it will be a darn shame to cut any of them. I really don't know if I'll be able to bring myself to do it.

Fabulous, just fabulous.

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About this blog

This is a chronicle of the efforts of a farmwife wannabe to bring the country to the city.