Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I started a compost pile

After much deliberation (Yes its taken years to take this step!) I've started a compost pile. I will post pics up in a few weeks as we've had several storms pass through in the last few days.

I cleaned up my container garden of my dying peppers, squash and tomato plants and put them in my compost pile. I didn't realize that I had actually started one along the way with the stump that was already there and the bark that was decomposing on its own.

I'm thinking of starting another basil plant indoors. I brought in the one that I started from seed and its still trying to grow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My vegetable garden is still thriving :)

We have had the strangest weather system here this summer. Very rarely was our days nice and sunny much less warm enough for tomatoes to blossom. Around the Middle of August I started getting blossoms and by late September tomatoes were forming on my Cherry Tomato and my BeefSteak Tomato. My Early Girl even made a second appearance and picked on ripe one last week to put in a tuna salad.

My peppers have been producing madly and I've picked about 15 of them from the 4 plants that I planted so far. I'm freezing them whole as they are small, most just the right size for stuffing with rice as a side dish. I used a couple of red peppers for tuna salad finger sandwhiches I made for our women's tea we had Sunday night. Also added to the tuna was basil from my garden. I used the lettuce I had growing as well.

My zucch, yellow squash, and the two cuke plants have come to an end. I was able to get only one zucch and two yellow off the plants, and about 3 cukes from the two cuke plants I had. I decided I will be digging up my back area where the daisies are for a garden next year. I will probably do zucch, yellow squash and my cukes on trellises.

My beans are producing quite a bit and I love how the vines are wrapping around the tomatoe cage that I planted with it. I did also get some pea vines and bean vines wrapped together as they merged with in a couple of days. I will probably keep them in containers next year.

I will do peppers again next year and will do them in the ground. Most of my herbs that are surviving I've been transplanting. I have two basils that I started from seed and I will bring them inside and hope to coax them to make it through the winter season. My Thyme is doing wonderful and I dryed my first small patch of chamomile for tea the other day.

I've got pics of the begonias I planted in the back yard that I'll post later. It was an inspiration from my mom as we were discussing my back yard plans. They look nice around my azalea tree.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making bath oil out of herbs

Finished one thing on my memory list Today: Found a website on how to make bath oil. So I went to cut lavendar and rosemary and had sage drying in my dehydrator and mixed them together pressed down in a small jar and pour Canola oil over them using a knife on the sides to remove airbubbles. Its suppose to sit for 2 weeks in a warm area and today that is next to the sliding glass door in my family room. Supposively the scents from the herbs mix with the canola oil.

After about 2 weeks, you strain the oil through a cheese cloth into another glass jar and let it sit for another 7 days. After that you can pour into gift jars for gifts or use for yourself.

What I used for this one as I was limited was I did Rosemary, Lavendar, Sage. I'll post pics of how I did at a later day.

There are other oils such as sesame seed, almond and olive oil that you can use as well.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Update on my prayer garden

My prayer garden is the one I have for a profile pic. I know it looks rather messy hense the title of the blog

I went out there today to do some clean up that didn't get done before I left town last week to a prayer conference in Mesa Az. My Wine and Rose thyme was very much on their last legs in the containers having not been watered while I was gone. My fault as I had only instructed my hubby to water the veggie garden.

I decided that I needed to plant my thyme before they were totatly dry and root bound. Glad to have them in the ground, and their location is not going to deter from putting in the fence this weekend.

Finished cleaning up the pulled up weeds that I left in a pile as I figured I'd just do one clean up when I was done.

The prayer garden does look as if its not been tended properly and that is true and I hope in the next day or two to get out there and pull back some more weeds.

While in Arizona at the motel I stayed at I spotted a similar design that a friend suggested I do for my back yard. Below is a picture I took.

My plan from the Prayer Garden to the front was to have a continual walkway going to the back yard from the front. Costwise using pea gravel such as what is used inbetween the slate in the photo and then as a ground cover made sense to me to do to help this project along as to where my patio set sits by another flower bed and close to my birch tree. My big plan is to not have to move my lawn furniture to mow the lawn underneath.
My veggie garden is doing very well. My basil is having trouble and I don't know why it won't grow past a certian point. Every time I walk by Fred Meyers I want to just break down and buy one but then I come home and replant another crop in the pot hoping something will take hold.
Someone I met on the trip going with us said that he was doing some landscaping this week and had 5 gallon buckets for plants he was using and said I could have as many as I want. I figure in a couple of weeks I'll need to tranplant my two tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas into bigger containers and just have them line up alongside the driveway next to the porch. Its not going to work to dig up parts in the daisy garden like I planned as it would take me several days to just clean that area up before I felt comfortable planting my garden there.
The weather is still cool here which is why some of what I planted is having trouble growing properly.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I bought a beef steak tomato plant and a crookneck yellow squash today(In the chair on the left). I sure hope I'm done!
I moved my starters on to the stand again to make things easier for watering for later in the week. The plan is when the zuc and the two cukes up on the top start to grow out more, they'll cascade down the stairs. I'm not sure where the other garden that is there already is going. I'll be adding the yellow squash up there also. Not sure why my pickling cuke is holding back. (the top left). I found if I move the table under the stand a little more, the overflow of watering the peppers falls into the begonia.
I picked up some soup cups at the misson to use for my plant drainage and to also bright up my plant area a little bit more with the mixture of containers I have already on the plant stand.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

my "bumper" crop

The other day I was coming in from my porch and I bumped into the table where my garden starts are. Everything hit the floor, some clay water trays broke, and dirt was everywhere.

I manage to save the lavendar starts, and my basil as the roots were still in clumps of dirt and I swept up the dirt. I wasn't sure about the other three smaller clay pots that were nearly empty, not only that the labels had fallen out as well. I knew one was thyme and was in my blue and white pot, but I don't know which is the chamomile and which is the lavendar.

Yesterday morning, I spotted two leaves sprouting from my thyme container. This morning both the lavendar and the chamomile are leaves coming up as well. So its safe for now.

My beans and peas seem stable and I'm going to transplant them this weekend and start another bean plant and another pea plant. While watering the tomato plant in my strawberry pot, I noticed that a bean I planted several weeks ago is also sprouting.

My peppers are growing and my lettuce is coming up. I think putting them on the plant stand was a good idea. I planted another container of lettuce and put it on one of my chairs on the porch.

This weekend I'll take a look at the area where my daisies are and then google (again!) to see if planting some of my garden there will be okay for the duration of summer. I won't move anything until after I get back from Arizona as I don't want to make watering harder on anyone tending my garden while I'm gone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Okay last one for the day!

I know it doesn't look like much now but here is my lavendar and rose garden/herb garden.

Its been in a developing stage for several years, as I've gathered mini roses for my garden representing friends that I pray for. Its been rather neglected over the last couple of years as other projects have come up, but this year its getting good treatment.

There's be a fence around it, and a wine and roses thyme ground cover with lavender planted throughout the outside of the fence to help complete the pathway. This is phase two of my project.

Phase three is the path way that I'm making in the garden itself to make it a more formal with broken clay pots, small shale rocks and such for paths inbetween the plants.

Clover this year seems to be taking over most of my yard and I can mow it down in the lawn, but by my plants I've been digging it up like crazy.

So that's it for today. I think I got everyone caught up!

My lavendar starts

Okay I did cut of the tops to my lavendar and instead of drying them I stuck them in a pot and put a glass jar over them. My english lavender is growing and rooting, my french lavendar (with the purple flowers on the top) are wiltering but the stem seems to be still strong. Its been about a month since I did that and everything is still green.

I took the glass jar off of them a week ago and they seem to be doing okay.

I'll probably plant them in a few weeks after I get back from Arizona. I'm planting those by the fence I'm building for my lavender and rose garden, inbetween the wine and roses thyme ground cover.

I'm becoming addicted to my garden!

Hope thats a good thing! I planted another lettuce bowl, and once my beans and pea get more stable I'm transplanting them in other containers and doing a second batch.

If the containers get to be much I may have to resort to moving some out to the back yard where it will get more sun in the day time. I've got an area with daisies that if I have to put them in the ground there I will.

I like the container gardening since its on my front porch and easy access to my kitchen where I plan on putting them up as the summer continues on.

Its part of my goal to returning to where I first started with my canning, freezing and other stuff years ago. Its that feeling you get at the end of summer knowing all the hard work you put in is now continuing into the fall and winter.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Phase one is done!

Being the sunny day that it is and the second one in row at that, I took the oppurtunity to finish my pathway from the deck to the bench. A big project that I hope to not tackle again soon!

Friday, June 11, 2010

My veggie garden

Below is my vegetable garden to date: The first picture is still in the starting stage of my herbs: Basil in the aluminum pot, next is my lavendar starts that I cut a couple of weeks ago. The front row from the left is my lavendar from seed, Chamomile, Oregano and another lavendar.

The second picture is my large tomato in the strawberry pot. I had started beans and peas that are now starting to sprout after planting a second time. There were marigolds on the lower tiers to help keep the aphids out of the garden area, but no such luck as something ate those too. Next is the cherry tomato and a red pepper plant.

The third picture is my plant stand on my porch. Top row from left: Pickling Cukes, Cilantro, Regular Cukes and Zucchini. Second row from left: Azalea plant I'm starting for a bonsia plant, my lettuce bowl of Romaine, Green leaf and Boviant Blend. Next is my beans and peas. A second lettuce bowl of Romaine Green leaf and Boviant Blend (the lettuce was replanted earlier today). Bottom row from left: French cooking thyme, Green Pepper, Orange Pepper and Green Pepper.

When some start producing a little better like the beans and peas and some herbs I'll be transplanting them in larger pots for the front porch. Meanwhile I've got other gardens to be working on :) Here's hoping the sun is going to stay awhile.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To start off with....

Like I stated I've garden for years but this year its going to be more then I've taken on in the last 12 years.

I have a more extensive vegetable and herb garden growing that started inside my home as it seemed it would never stop raining.
Its been a month and I can finally take most of the larger plants, my zucchini, cucumbers, beans and peas outdoors.
Its a container garden for now as it has been for the last several years. I have my tomato in the strawberry pot again this year and added a pepper but it seems the bugs got to if before any new growth came up.
I planted marigolds in the bottom tier of the strawberry pot and the bugs seemed to like them as well on the way to eating the pepper plant.
My lettuce I'll replant a second time. They started coming up also and they were looking rather healthy. But when I went out to check on them, something got to them too.
I have a prayer garden, of roses and lavender that is my goal for updating this year. I built a platform for my bench and am working on a walkway from my back door to the bench. I use that area during the summer months with no rain for my morning devotions.
Next to the prayer garden is my herb garden. I have a sage and rosemary that are on their third year there and will be planting cilantro, chamomile, oregano and thyme. Bordering my prayer and herb garden will be a short wooden fence, and along the pathway a "wine and roses" thyme ground cover with some lavendar inbetween.
The picture I have for my title is another garden that I am working on from time to time. There's a hydranga that was dormant for several years and about three years ago started to bloom, about the time my husband had decided the deadwood needed to go. Next to it is a calilly that has yet to bloom, but loves to spread its wings so to speak around the hydranga.
I have one other garden that I'm not concerned with this year as I'm waiting for some plants to mature to put out there maybe by next year. It started out with daisies and mums and I had some other ground cover in the back that was blue with white stars on them. Around the fouth of July the daisies and the maroon mums would bloom and it looked like flag for a couple of seasons. When I went to clean it up early spring I noticed my mums didn't return, but maybe one plant. I've got some flax and spikes that I'm going to split and start planting out amongst the daisies. This area is probably my hardest to maintain only because there are more weeds then plants and its a larger area.
My last garden area is my front yard. Its been an eye sore for the 12 years that we've been here. About six years ago thinking that we would finally do something with it, I had a friend rotertill it for me. During the winter storms it almost resembles a small pond and every spring we decide we are going to do something with it even if its wrong, and something comes up and then its the fall and we've done nothing to it but spray Round-up.
Last is a smaller version of what the large front is suppose to be. I've planted most of my lilly bulbs there and in the spring time some wild hyachinth comes up in clumps. Again its another project that I need to take care early spring to spread the bulbs out that have started to multiply. I've got more daisies in this garden and four geraniums.
So that's the just of what I have going on. Some days I do a lot in them some days I don't. We've had a lot of rain in the last several weeks with very little sun and so its been hard to go out and catch up on the weeding. The evidence of the rain is very well in view as the sun shines on every weed that is hiding a rose or an herb.
So begins this journey of gardening and making use of what God has given us for enjoyment and relaxation.