Blog posts from May 2009

Gratuitous garden photos…

May 31, 2009

I've been so busy that there has hardly been time to keep photos posted quick enough! So here are just a few random shots from this past spring. The first few are from May and others from random times through the spring...enjoy.

Baptisia_sm House_front_may09
 Henschicks Garden_spring_blue
PurplesmoketreePeaches Calla_giant_whiteRoseperledor

Lovely dinner salad…

May 30, 2009

Ok, I do actually have things other than squash in the garden right now! This was my dinner last evening...still harvesting the last of the salad greens, baby style. Pulling the last round of carrots young as it's getting quite hot here now. Peppers, Swiss chard, basil and the first an orange cherry tomato. YUM. All varieties are test subjects for OG magazine, so you know the drill, can't tell you what they are or else I'd have to kill ya. Exceptions: 'Spicy Globe' basil and 'Big Bertha' pepper. The carrot is a long and slender type which, in our soil/climate, needs to be grown either in containers or raised beds. I usually grow the stubbier heirloom Chantenay types because they are easier to grow here. But this variety is doing well so far. The tomato is super tasty, although plants are kind of wimpy.


Squash and wine…that’s it…

May 27, 2009

Priorities people. I've already cooked several large stew pots of squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and chard with fresh oregano...but the squash keeps coming. I took a lovely photo of the concoction whilst it was stewing...but now can't seem to find it. I harvested an armful load this evening after work, chopped it up until I realized the pot would hold no more. So I went back outside to harvest more...and more...and more...


The bins are full...the shelves are filling up...and there is still more in the garden that should be picked. At least they left a little room for the wine...

Summer vegetables…sweet spot

May 25, 2009

This is sort of the sweet spot in the summer vegetable garden in our climate. Warm enough that summer vegetables likes cucumbers, squash, zucchini, corn and beans are coming on, as well as the first tomatoes, but not yet hot enough to melt everything down into scortched earth, as will be the case soon enough. I'm beginning to be rewarded with more squash and zucchini than I will be able to consume fast enough, but I'll happily try. It's also the time of year where the last of the cool season crops, such as broccoli, chard and the last of the lettuce greens, overlap into summer.


Summersquash2 Zucchini

Cucumberstraightnine Broccolimay


Fyi..JULIE is the chicken lady…

May 23, 2009

Polishblack Why is it that the paper wants to come take pictures when you're dirty and sweaty? Why does the tv crew have to come shoot, with no notice, after a long day at work...when I'm tired, in desperate need of a haircut and look like HELL!!  And why do they have to edit out all the good useful comments and use one where I stammer about stupid tomatoes??? Julie..surely you know my pain...LOL. But, these are the things I do for the good of the cause. And at least there are some good shots of the chickies...and Mona sure looks fab...

And btw...JULIE is the chicken lady...I am only chicken lady JR. Her Highness of Horticulture I'll take, but Chicken Lady goes to Julie!

Some tips on pruning…“confused”

May 20, 2009

Proper pruning seems to be a point of confusion for many...I get regular questions on the subject. So in response to all those questions, and an email plea from a friend of mine with a pruning and cilantro harvesting conundrum, here are a few photos of how to prune a few different types of plants (and harvest some cilantro...)  This is by no means a comprehensive review of the subject..the light was fading this evening and it's not exactly easy to get good one-handed pruning shots! But I hope this will at least help a bit. I'll delve deeper into the subject at a later date. photos to enlarge...

Cilantro_cutleaf Cilantro_cutstem Cilantro_cutstalk

1. Simply cut individual leaves for use  2. Or cut entire stem at base of plant if you need a bundle, or you've already removed most of the leaves from that stem. 3. Prune flower stalks all the way to the base of the crown of the plant. you should try to keep cilantro constantly deadheaded so it will continue to make leaves, instead of only more flowers. you can leave the flowers if you want to collect "coriander" seed.

General pruning..

Prune_rose Prune_salvia 

For plants like Roses and Salvia, that will continue producing new blooms along the same stem, prune the expired flower stem back to the next leaf node, where a new sprout will emerge. Prune about a 1/4 inch above the node.

Prune_heuchera For plants like this Tiarella, where the flower stems originate from a central crown, rather than along a stem, prune expired blooms all the way down to the base of the plant. If you prune them higher, all you'll be left with is a decaying brown stalks...not too attractive. Same goes for any flowering stalk that is totally finished booming...Irises, daffodils, daylilies, daisies and the like (you can also refer to the way I'm pruning the cilantro flower stalk above).

So I hope this helps a bit? Please post follow up questions if this is at all confusing.... 

Question of the day: Did I kill my cucumbers with kindness?

May 19, 2009

(alternate title: When Neurotics Garden)

After all this rain we've had my yard has been a fungus festival. Madame Leslie hooked me up with the necessary potassium bicarbonate and I sprayed rather, ahem, generously... which brings me to my question.

When I've used it in the past I noticed that the fungusy spots turned black and funky but the new growth was fine. I'm seeing that, but I'm also seeing some bleached-out spots and shriveled edges on some of the plants I sprayed in a fit of hey, maybe they need some too: cucumbers and sunflowers in particular. Too much of a good thing or what?

Garden Tour May 2009…

May 18, 2009

Ok, again, after hosting somewhere between 600-1500 people through my yard yesterday (it seriously felt like 1500!) I realized that I'd not gotten a moment to take any photos before or during the tour. Perhaps some folks on the tour got some shots during. I know I didn't get a chance to answer everyone's questions, but hopefully a good time was had by all. I took a few quick photos after the tour last evening, so forgive all the smashed turf and pathways, etc.! Click on the photos to enlarge them:

Halleck_front_garden_May09 Halleck_backyard_shade
Cardoon, Bronze Fennel were popular in the front yard...Dwarf Bear's Breeches (Acanthus spinosus) drew a lot of attention in the back shade garden.
In the background, Sean doing what he does best...I set the patio table with my botanical china...I had to laugh at how many ladies were checking out the dishes, on a garden tour, ladies are like that...
Halleck_backyard_shade2 Halleck_sideyard_may09
Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus 'Royal Ama' totally stole the can't beat that blue! And in the background...Ramona telling everyone to get out!

 I have lots going on in the veggie garden, so I'll update soon...

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