Veggie update

May 11, 2008

Now that the trees are trimmed, I think we'll have much better sunlight in the veggie garden this summer. Bush bean and radish seedlings are on their way up...
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The corn has been a little inconsistent in its growth habit due to the bit of shade that was being cast in the back. Hopefully the smaller plants will have a spurt now that they have more light. Potatoes are happy.

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Here are the tomato plants I started from seed - in the flood, with hail, then freeze...the ones I didn't think would even germinate. It's been such an unseasonable cool spring...but they made it and the seedlings are now coming along nicely.
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Found the first squash bloom of the season yesterday. These squash were also direct seeded. I have a few varieties, this being a dwarf cultivar.
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We've been harvesting really nice salad greens lately. Again, it's been unseasonably cool and normally by this time of the year it's warm enough that the greens can't help bolting. But we're still cool enough that the baby greens are still fresh and tasty.
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Blackberries are coming on...I think their flowers are so pretty
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Chaos in the garden…

May 10, 2008

Img_3031_2May is generally what I call a "transition" month here in North Central Texas. The blooms of spring are fading and the beginnings of summer are emerging. The leftover violas and pansies don't look their best any longer but they still have enough blooms left on them to extend their stay just a little longer. The time to pull out spent tulip foliage is far overdue...but I'm just now getting to it. The last of the cool season residents such as fennel, parsley, chard and the like are beginning to flower and bolt but still look too pretty to pull. Cool season weeds left un-pulled have taken up a firm residency by now and are quickly being flanked by the warm season invaders - dandelions, wild carrot, Bermuda grass (yes...it's a weed in my book). Being a professional horticulturist, I don't get much time to work in my garden in spring. So I let them all run a muck! Why not. Come May I look around and say "oh jeez, what must the neighbor's think of me!" They all claim to be fascinated by and enjoy my garden chaos, but at some point you've just got to get to clean up! Today I'm having all my trees trimmed...long overdue. Heavy branches were encroaching upon the precious sunlight for the veggie garden, not to mention the overall poor condition of most of my trees...Ashes, hackberries and the like. Full of trash. So today they've all gotten a haircut. It's like I have a whole new back yard...twice the size. The veggie plants are squealing with thank yous..I swear I can hear them. I spent the day cleaning in the front garden, pulling weeds and such while the crew worked. Still have some things to pull and new color to plant, which is overdue, but will hopefully get to that in the next week or so. Right now I'll post some photos of things blooming in the garden. Later, after the tree crew is done and cleaned up, I'll post some veggie garden updates.

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Ah, the scent of spring…

April 26, 2008

HoneysuckleI stayed home sick yesterday..yuck, but I usually walk early on weekend mornings and even though I'm not feeling so great I still felt like I needed to get outside...the weather is so pretty this morning. I'm so glad I went.On my early morning walk today, I was hit with the most wonderful scents of spring. I live in an old East Dallas neighborhood called Little Forest Hills. Just down the street from the Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake. It's a neighborhood of tiny funky houses built in the 30's and 40's. So the neighborhood is filled with lots of "volunteer" plants as well as old varieties exchanged by neighbors over the years, like daffodils, irises and honeysuckle....lot's of honeysuckle! There were points along my lovely quiet walk where I was hit...almost physically hit...in the face with the most intoxicating waves of honeysuckle scent. It's a scent so powerful for me that it creates one of those moments where your brain just can't focus on anything else, and life feels pretty good. It takes me back to when I was 6 or 7, playing in our huge yard in Silver Springs, Maryland, where we had tons of honeysuckle along the back fence. Everyday my younger sister Laura and I would pluck handfuls of honeysuckle flowers and suck out the nectar...good times...  smile


Bye Bye Bulbs…

April 24, 2008

So the transition from spring to summer begins...it's sad but also exciting for me. I'm such a bulb fanatic and my spring garden is always so pretty that I hate to see the season fade. The Dutch Iris were stunning and my bearded Iris bloomed gangbusters this year. The tulips and daffodils put on a great show. I believe there is one last lone white tulip still holding on to its petals, but I'm sure after last night's heavy rainstorm, it has expired. I wish I'd had time to get photos up of all the lovelies, but just didn't get to it quickly enough. Sigh. Ah well....ON TO THE ROSES!!!

For those of you who've read my blog in season's past, you may know I'm obsessed with peach colored roses. Now most varieties that fall into that color category are not always the best types for growing in my area (lots of English Austin hybrids, etc.). The Texas climate, with its heavy clay soil, scortching sun, but lots of spring and fall humitidy, doesn't really suit these daintier specimens. But what does any professional horticulturist do? Well, we break the rules of course! Now there are a few better suited antiques that fall into my favored color range, so I have a fairly decent mix of the dainties and the hardies at this point. They've all started popping into bloom in the last two weeks. The garden has smelled just lovely...here are a few photos. Addendum: you can scroll over the photos to see the variety names, but per request I'll provide ID 1. 'Abraham Darby' 2. 'Abraham Darby' 3. 'Perle d' Or' 4. 'Mutabilis' 5. 'Mme. Fraziska Krueger' 6. 'Pegasus' 7. 'Pegasus' 8. 'Tamora' 9. 'Pat Austin' 10. 'Ebb Tide'

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Trip to Antique Rose Emporium

April 18, 2008

I took a quick trip down to Independence, TX  last week to the Antique Rose Emporium. Was there to pick out an un-named seedling to be the new 'Ebby Halliday' Rose. I wish I could have spent more time, but did my work part of the trip and then a quick whirl around the nursery. It's a lovely independent garden center and wholesale growing opperation that specializes in antique roses. Mike Shoup, the owner, is rose rangler and breeder. So fun to see all the pretty new un-named varieties he's working on. Of course a nursery devoted to roses smells pretty good this time of year...intoxicating. It was a gray windy day, so not the prettiest of days, but still nice. Problem is..when you go to a place like this..you want to plant one of everything in your garden! So many roses...so little time..and space...Are_infostand

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Spring Color

April 4, 2008

Just a few more shots of the progression of spring color...

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  Dutch_iris_2 Phox_subulataSpring_color


Yay Spring…

April 4, 2008

Just a little blurry shot of some of the front beds and their color..

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Seedlings…

April 4, 2008

A shocker...
The tomato, some pepper and egglplant seeds I sowed outside 3 weeks ago...the day before a torential downpouring flood, with hail, then a freeze a few days later...actually germinated...total surprise. These photos are about a week old. Lettuce, corn and squash seedlings as well.

Tomato_seedlingLettuce_seedlings  Corn_seedlingsSquas_seedlings


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