Sucker for Poppies…

March 16, 2008

I'm a sucker for Iceland Poppies. But you know, they so pull their weight in the spring garden. And you get the most lovely photos. Here in Texas, plant them in the fall and they'll bloom gangbusters for you in spring. Just a few new photos from today.

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Oh my back hurts….

March 16, 2008

Ok, let the veggie garden expansion project begin. Yesterday we build three new 6'x12"x12' new raised cedar beds for the veggie garden. I got one of them anchored in the ground, weed barrier in and filled with soil. Still have to decide exactly how I want to situate the other two and anchor them in. More soil to be delivered for those beds next week. Cleaned out the old beds and got a few transplants of tomatoes, peppers and herbs in. Started seeds of the tomato, eggplant, lettuce, summer squash and peppers I'm testing for the mag. In addition to the already built new beds, I'll still need to build a few smaller ones to balance out the garden, plus add some pretty containers. I have an above ground irrigation system I built for the garden, so I'll have to add a couple of zones and run it to the new beds as well. Not an immediate need, but I'll have to get that done before it gets too warm. Then finish off the pathways around all the new beds as well, which is a time consuming project in itself. whew... (oh, and ignore all those weeds in the yard...they aren't really there. really. just a figment of your imagination...) Oh, by the way, I use a combination of organic compost, humus and high quality topsoil for my soil mix for the beds.

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And then there was snow…

March 7, 2008

So spring happened...and then snow happened....and then tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees...ya gotta love Tejas....

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Organic Gardening Magazine

March 5, 2008

FYI, starting this year I'll be a test gardener for OG magazine. How fun! Veggies mostly. Of course OG gets dibs on results so be sure to check out their online blog and magazine. I'm hoping I get to eat lots of extra goodies as a result...  smile   http://www.organicgardening.com/


Spring is coming…

March 5, 2008

Just a few little  updates on some of the babies on their way...The first of 'Blue Poppy' Anemone's made it's appearance a few days ago. They start off slow, but once a number of them are in bloom it's quite the show. Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) have just begun to produce their first flowers. We don't do well with Lily of the Valley down here in the South, but these make a great visual alternative. You don't get the fragrance, but the Leucojum provide a similar flower and are a super tough naturalizer  for us here in Texas. Awww, aren't those just the cutest little violas? They're just so happy. I want to pinch their little cheeks! Lots of Narcissus (daffodills) popping up in the lawn. There wasn't much else in the landscape when we bought this 1941 cottage, but there were a number of this daffodil residing in the yard. It's an old fashioned species of some sort I've yet to spend the time to identify. But because in the 3 or so years we've been in the house we haven't mowed over the foliage in the spring, the bulbs have finally regained vigor and are really blooming nicely for the first time since we moved in. Yay daffodils! The Swiss chard I use for foliage accent in the beds really starts to shine late winter/early spring. The bright red mid-veins are so pretty. The great thing about gardening organically is that I also harvest the chard for cooking. Yum. Iceland poppies 'Champagne Bubbles' are producing buds en masse and will so be the darlings of the garden. Shown here budding up with companions curly parsley and bronze-leafed fennel. More to come...

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Gardener’s lingerie…

December 30, 2007

Ok, I look good in my overalls and these super awesome veggie wellies. These are by far, the most fabulous wellies on the planet. Hands down. I lusted after them for months and months and finally got them (on the slow boat over from England - Scotland to be precise). Who in their right mind would not want me in these????   :)

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Tulip planting day…

December 30, 2007

Alrighty, it is tulip planting time here in Tejas. I couldn't ask for a better day to do it - cool and sunny. It just rained a bit a couple of nights ago so the soil is soft. I have about 1500 bulbs, although I don't think I can squeeze out enough space for all of them. Anyone who knows me, or works for me, is well acquainted with my approved color scheme. This color scheme never includes red and rarely yellow - but those are the tulips I ended up with this year. Yellow is only allowed to sneak in via Iceland poppies and Iris pseudocorus.I plant mostly white tulips, augmented by purples and peaches. White daffodils, blue Dutch Iris, etc. etc.  One of my employees calls it my "bruise" garden. Appropriately so. But, there was nothing I could do about this tulip "catastrophe" considering I don't have enough tulips left in inventory to fulfill my original order. So, I'm planting 'Big Smile', which is a buttery yellow, 'City of Vancouver' which is a creamy white (and perfectly acceptable in my normal color scheme). The big offender is 'Montepelier ', a brand new variety that I'm not familiar with and can find no photos of. It is supposed to be a "pinky red". We shall see....

I managed to drop in about 600-700 this morning and will probably try to create a few more spots to plant a couple hundred more tomorrow morning. Some leftovers will go to the neighbors. Of course, I'll have to color coordinate them too! Lonnie and Julie - lefthand neighbors - will get yellow (Lonnie's a big Iowa State fan). Phillip and Shannon - right hand neighbors -  will get the pinky/red, because Shannon really likes that color. Won't we be a cute little trio. No, I'm not a control freak. REALLY.

Much winter clean up was required as I've been terribly neglectful of my garden as of late. After all the pulling and pruning work, I found myself all scratched up. Normally, one would think of "Winter" clean up as an activity requiring long sleeves of some sort. But this is Texas yall. It ended up around 70 degrees (yes it's December 30th) so the sweatshirt came off. I tend to be a "gloves off" kind of gardener and I dive in head first. Forget the gloves most of the time...rose thorns..whose afraid of those?? No pain - No Gain. You get the idea. It's not till I'm done that I realize I look like a 10 year old boy...complete with the knee scuffs,  arms that look like a squirrel  scrambled up them and a fine film of soil covering my entire body. Hot stuff, I know. But that's not the best part. I got SUNBURNED. Yes, sunburned. I'll restate that yes, it is December. As any horticulturist or avid gardener knows, fighting the dreaded farmer's tan is a continuous and frustrating battle. But it's not a battle one thinks they'll have to fight in the middle of winter. But alas, here I am, with a farmer's sunburn for my efforts. Jeez Louise.

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Arkansas

December 20, 2007

A few pics from our summer trip to Arkansas. yes...Arkansas. It's pretty, and quiet, and I do nothing for a week. It's great!

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