"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Potager Plans

We are building the 4x8 frames, but still cant figure out placement. My husband thinks it will look odd right in the middle of the backyard,and wants it clear to the right under the trees where it will only get sun from about 2 pm on. We will have to fence it due to deer. He has me talked into a much smaller garden now. This one contains three 4x8 beds with a 2 foot deep perimeter bed. I am placing these pics on here to get some thoughts on the matter. If we place it in full sun , it will be where the trampoline is located with the gated opening facing the back of the house (which is where I am standing when I take these pics). The walkway up to the backdoor, is located far right. As you can tell we are situated on a hill, with the sun coming up behind the trees to the far right. We also have another hill facing our front yard and the sun sets to the far left of the photo in the front. The sun will be coming into the backyard at about a 45° angle when it hits the back yard. If you can click on the pics to make them larger. If you look closely at pics 1 and 4,you can barely make out the possible position of the 4x8 beds. We are going to put a two rail board fence around it. Got any ideas?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mosaic Monday

My contribution to Mosaic Monday,hosted by The Little Red House.

Mello Yellow Monday

I decided to add my contribution to Mellow yellow Monday. I also love a bright cheerful yellow. This plant is Lysimachia "Alexander". It is supposed to be variegated, but parts of the plant and reverted back to a solid green. I may cut these parts out this yr.The common name for this is Variegated Yelllow Loosestrife. It belongs to the family and species of Primulaceae punctata.It is a perennial that reaches heights of 18"-24". It is hardy from zone 4-8. It blooms mid summer to late summer/early Fall, and prefers sun to partial shade. It attracts bees and butterflies. I discovered the leaves come up in Spring as red nodules, then finally changes to its green leaves dappled with yellow and white.The variegated cream and green foliage occasionally gets some pinkish highlights. It is easily divided as you do Hosta'


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hurley The Great

Remember Hurley, my daughter's big ,brave Himalayan? he is one that stays in her room most of the day waiting for her to come home from school and work. He also doesnt like to go outside after dark. We found out why. He isnt as tough as he lets on. He has a huge head and and very large paws, but a baby at heart. A few nights ago, he went out, and then sudddenly made a mad dash into the doggy door. He only made it part way in when something grabbed him from behind and jerked his butt back outside. My daughter's boyfriend quickly went out to his rescue. He was being attacked by another cat. The boyfriend had a fight on his hands to get the stray off. Anyway. Hurley ended up with a few battle scars. The boyfirend didnt fare much better :) He had some hair missing around one eyebrow, and in a day or two his eye had started to get a little puffy and watery. She took him to the vet, who gave him some drops and a shot of an antibiotic. Hurley is a little strange tho, when they stuck the needle in he suddenly started purring .... loudly, lol.
I wonder if he is secretly looking forward to his next vet trip?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Spring Growth

These Crocus are a lighter purple than the other pics plus they have a dark veining which I think is very pretty.

More winter sown sprouts!
These are the plants I bought a week or so ago. The one to the far left is a Latham Red Raspberry, the other two are Strawberry plants. They are called Sequoia. Fifteen in each box.
This is an unknown plant I am trying to get identified. The growth is about 3-4 inches high so far.

I love the brilliant blue of this tiny little Primrose!

I planted this Garlic this Fall from store bought heads. They are already about 6" tall. I cook with a lot of garlic, so I will be planting more this Fall in the potager I have planned.

If you look closely at the center of this shot, you can see one of my Lupines coming up. i planted these from seed last yr. I am expecting my first blooms from them this year.

These are my pink Bleeding Hearts coming up. I never noticed before how beautiful they are when they first come up. I love the burgundy tints ,too bad it doesn't keep this color.

Crabapple Cuttings

I took these cuttings this winter, and so far they are looking very good. lots of new growth starting, so it looks as if they will root. I have a total of 14 cuttings. I documented these in an earlier post.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Those Darn Deer

  I have a love/hate relationship with these guys. Love to watch, but just wish they would stay out of my garden. I have a few tulips, some of which are parrot tulips, that I dont think I have ever gotten to see bloom. By the time I noticed them, the deer would have already chomped their heads off. Last year I sprayed the deer buffet with a concoction I mixed up of eggs, garlic, milk,oil, and cayenne pepper. I then put it in a spray bottle and covered all their feast temptations with this spray. I don't think they like my cooking, ingrates! Needless to say, it worked. I couldn't even stand to breath it while spraying. I had to make sure I was upwind of the drift.
   Yesterday I was out and noticed the tulips were up about 2"-3".  I didn't take the time to mix this up. So I went in and grabbed some spray oil (generic Pam), and sprayed them very well, and then sprinkled cayenne pepper on them very heavily. Half a bottle in fact. My little green sprouts are now burnt red, lol. I hope this stops the little buggers.Maybe they will go to my neighbors yard  ; )

My Contribution to First Blooms of 2010

Winter Sown Sprouts

Well, So far things are looking good for lots of new flowers for 2010!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


  The snow is all gone, and my daffodils are getting buds. I think Spring has finally sprung. These line the front of my raised bed, and look so pretty in bloom. I will finally be getting some color in my bed soon besides green weeds, brown mud and SNOW. Not my favorite color combo.


  I have had this hydrangea for probably over 10 years. During that time I have only seen its beautiful lavender/blue blooms twice. In fact its been so long I am not even sure of the color, or the name. However, I think it may be a Nikko. I had it growing at the NE end of my home. It received only indirect light, and direct sun from about 2 pm on. The problem is that it is one that only blooms on old wood, so if the winter is too harsh for it, there is no chance of bloom the following season. I have to admit, the large chartreuse leaves are gorgeous in their own right.
   Well last Fall I spent hours, off and on trying to get it dug out. I have fibromyalgia, so even on good days I am not able to do a lot. Finally, my husband had some time, and he came out to help. Luckily, cause it was all we could both do to drag it up the hill 15 feet to its new spot in my raised bed. I was afraid it might look out of place since it is fairly large (4'x4'), But actually after seeing it in place ,I was thrilled, the Large leaves is what my bed needed for contrast. I was hoping the stones walls around it might put off some solar heat and keep the branches from dying this year. I also had good intentions of wrapping it with bubble wrap this winter and never got around to it. Anyway, I checked on it recently and low and behold , it has leaf buds on some of the branches. I would say about half of the branches have them so far. Our temps even got down to around 8° this winter.

This year I will be prepared with my camera, to get some shots of it in bloom. Maybe then I can get it identified.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I See Green!

 Some of my winter sown seeds are finally starting to sprout. I looked in all of my 161 containers, and overlooked these a few times before I actually seen them.They are my first winter sown sprouts of the season. They are called Cheiranthus Bedding Mix
" Wallflower".  I received these in a gardenweb trade. They are a hardy biennial, so I figure I wont get bloom until summer of next year.
Zones- 3 thru 7
Sun or partial shade
Soil: Well Drained
Height 18"
Use: Ideal for bedding, edging, patio, containers

  •   You gotta look close to see these guys. They are almost a yellow-green in color. I have never grown nor seen these flowers in person. I am wintersowing a lot of things new to me this year.



Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Plans For A Potager

    I hope to talk my husband into helping me put in a potager soon. I am sure it will continue to be a work in progress. In case you didn't know, a potager is a French term for Kitchen garden.It is pronounced kind of like "puh ta zhay" Turn up your speakers and here it pronounced HERE.The traditional garden most Americans think of  are done in rows. They usually only contained edibles. Looks wasn't important. The potager is different in that vegetables, fruits, flowers, and more are grown. It is designed to be attractive as well as practical. Some are decorated with birdhouses, fountains, and benches. With the small raised beds, the dirt doesnt get walked on so it doesnt get packed down, plus any amendments are right where they are needed, not out in the paths.
    The potage I would absolutely LOVE to have is at Lullabelle's View.  Never hearing the term "potager" before, it was love at first sight. Mine will probably have to start much more simpler, and hope to some day evolve to something similar ( a girl can dream can't she,lol). Right now, I plant on 4 beds built to 4'x8', and with pathways 2.5' to 3 feet wide. I also plan on a 2 foot planting border around all sides. The entrance will face the back of my house, and will be trellised with either Clematis or Morning Glory vines growing over it. My main task is to get the 4 beds in and a fence around it. Since my home is a ranch style, I think maybe a dark stained split rail fence.Here is a quick sketch of what I have envisioned:  
You can click on it to enlarge.
All around the 3 sides (shown in green) I plan on planting sunflowers, and marigolds. Maybe even a few Rose of Sharon. I thought maybe these tall shrubs may hinder the deer from jumping in. I may also put up  some kind of fencing against the split rail fence.The brown areas represent planting beds. I have considered raised beds, But I think I may sink mine in the ground some, and dig down into the ground below the frame, and generously amend my poor soil with lots of compost, horse manure, and peat. The bottom of this drawing will face my raised tiered bed just behind my house.
I wish I could afford brick or stone paths  now, but they will have to wait. For now I will probably just use landscaping fabric and straw in the paths.Below is a list of the seeds I already have purchased to plant:
1. Lettuce "Master Chef" from Parks Seed
2. Genovese Basil
3. Thyme
4. Sweet Marjoram from Parks Seed
5. Garlic Chives from Parks Seed
6. Basil Purple Ruffles from gardenweb trade
7. Tomato "Ananas Nori" from gardenweb trade ( 85 dtm,also known as Black Pineapple,The skin is  
    shades of green, purple, orange, and yellow. The bright green flesh is streaked with red, the
    flavor starts out sweet and ends slightly tangy. This indeterminate  yields about 1 1/2 pound 
8. Sweet Basil from Red Rock Nursery
9.Cucumber Burpless
10. Peppers "California Wonder" (green and red)
11. Onion Evergreen Bunching from Red Rock Nursery
12. Blue Lake 274 Green Beans Bush type from Parks Seed
13. Mountaineer Garden bean  White half runner pole type from Parks Seed
14. Mr. Big Pea from Parks Seed

The following tomato seeds ( all indeterminates) are all from gardenweb trades:
1. Caspian Pink  (80 dtm,produces large 12 oz tomatoes,thought to be one of the best tasting tomatoes available.According to some taste tests it even beat out Brandywine.
2. Brandywine  (can't wait to try this one with all the excellent reviews)( 80dtm from transplants,An heirloom that is 
     considered one of the best tasting.
3. Sungold Cherry  (55-58 dtm,very sweet, ripens to a golden orange)
4. Black Plum   (82 dtm, Russian variety with a sweet tangy flavor,colored a deep mahogany)
5. Cherokee Purple  (80 dtm, at least 100 year old heirloom,large 12-16 oz,dark pink with dark purple shoulders, 
     excellent flavor, slight sweet aftertaste,excellent for sandwiches)
6. Mortgage Lifter (great story with this one. Supposedly a man from WV was able to save his home from
    foreclosure with these.)  (85 dtm, fruits are large, pink, over a pound each, one of the best beefsteaks 
7. Black Krim  (80 dtm, brownish purple to marron colored, with greenish shoulders, sweet, mild, rich flavor,
    approx 12 oz each)
Plus lots of flowers. I also have a grape vine that I rooted from one I had that I want to place in the back. I still want to purchase Raspberries and/or Blackberries, and several Strawberry plants to put in the perimeter beds inside the potager.
Here's to BIG dreams   

Monday, March 01, 2010

Apple Tree's and Basil

    Remember the apple seeds I posted about below? Well here are my new apple trees just 10 days later. They are about 2 and 1/4" tall, and just getting their first set of true leaves. I think I may have awhile to wait on the apples,lol.

   Last week I went to Walmart for groceries. I spent 15 minutes looking for basil, and still didnt find any. I wasnt too pleased because we use a lot of Basil. I had planned on winter sowing these, but when I got home I went ahead and sowed some inside. They are about 1/2" tall now. I cant wait till I can harvest some.
  OK Walmart, keep it up, and I may end up being self sufficient yet   :)