My Babies: Veggie Harvest

June 2, 2007

Cooking straight out of the garden is wonderful. There is nothing better than to be able to run out to the garden and gather up all the tomatoes and peppers you need for dinner. Or fresh basil for instant homemade pesto. I'll probably be cooking squash out of the garden tonight (to my husband's dismay...he is not yet a fan of squash...) Here are some photos of a few of my babies on their way....'Yellow Pear' squash, 'Peter Pan' squash, 'Fairy Tale' Eggplant, 'Celebrity' Tomatoes, lots of peppers, purple bush beans, heirloom corn, okra, just to show a few.

Gratuitous plant photos

May 5, 2007

This is why Iceland Poppies and Mexican Feather Grass are such a fab combo.....

Veggie Garden

May 5, 2007

The rainy cool weather this spring has definitely gotten the veggie garden off to a good start. Lot's of "babies" on the way. Here are some (windy) pictures of a few things. Despite my caging efforts on the strawberries, the birds managed to clean both plantings totally clean of my first crop. Devastating! So, this morning, I'll be double caging them to try and fend off the attack. There are new berries forming, so I've got to get to it quick. Of course, they only steal them riiiiiight before they are just ripe. Sneaky. The Rhubarb is quite robust. I'll be harvesting some in the next few days and will start canning it. My goal is to get a strawberry & rhubarb pie out of the garden this year! The tomatoes are in high gear this year. (I attribute that to my fantabulous NHG organic veggie food...). The first on the way are 'Sugary' and 'Sun Sugar' a yellow variety.  I'll be trying to can as many tomatoes as I can get this year. Actually, I've got all the ingredients in the garden for a good salsa, so I'll probably make and can that up too. Tiny baby squash are on the way. I have 'Peter Pan' and a couple other varieties. Potatoes and horseradish are growing nicely. Will be looking for a fall harvest there. Corn seedlings are up to about 4" tall, as well as purple beans, snap peas and one last crop of lettuce. The first 3 banana peppers of the season are ready, but the pepper plants won't really take off until the heat comes on. Anyone need pepper sauce or pickled peppers? I'll have plenty! I decided to espalier fruit trees all along the NE side of our yard - which has an ugly chain link fence. If I let them grow standard, they'd shade the veggie garden. So this way, I can camouflage the fence, keep in the sun, and get better fruit production. So far I've planted a pear and a peach. I'll probably plant another pear and a plum. I've also planted blackberries and raspberries along the remainder of the side fence and along the back fence. We have great neighbors and they said they wouldn't mind sharing the "fence fruit"!

Strawberries Rhubarb Tomato_baby Squash_babyVeggie_beds_2Pear_espallierLeeks

Teacup Fetish

April 21, 2007

Well, as some of my friends know, I have sort of a teacup fetish. I see teacups and the "girl" in me comes out. I don't know where this fetish came from....or why it exists. I was always a tomboy, so maybe this it is some throwback to what I "didn't" do as a little girl. I love antique teacups, yard sale teacups, modern name it. I was looking at a stack of my cups and thought, hey, I'll bet these would make cute vases! So now some of my blooms have a new home. The regular sized teacups are perfect for displaying large double roses. Especially if you just want to cut one or two so you don't leave your garden bare. Tiny teacups let you display your tiny flowers, like violas. I know...its sooooo Martha.

The Tiniest Survivor….

April 21, 2007

Awwww, this little guys is just determined to live.  I found this tiny viola seedling tucked into a crack in my driveway. A castaway from the violas I plant in the garden each season. Violasurvivor

Nice Buds

April 15, 2007

So a few more things have started to bloom. The first is my 'Ramona' Clematis. I had to plant a 'Ramona' in honor of my Chihuahua, Ramona, of course. Next is Rose 'Ebb Tide'. The photo doesn't do the color justice. It is the deepest purple rose I've seen, highly fragrant, and produces masses of buds. I got it as a test plant before it was released. Weeks roses released it in 2006, so it is new to the market. Another shot of 'Tamora' in bloom. Such a great fragrance. Rose 'Abraham Darby' just started blooming as well. Rose 'Cracklin' Fire' is a cute little miniature. It has that great orangey color I love. It's has a wee problem with blackspot in the spring- as you can see in the photo. But it usually grows out of it with no treatment once it warms up.

Now, as a horticulturist in Texas, I'm fully aware of the roses I'm "supposed" to be growing. Who do I think I am growing all these wimpy English hybrids??? Professionally I've done a lot of testing of rose varieties and contributed data to the Texas A&M EarthKind program. Of course I have antiques in my garden. I'm sure that within the next year or so 'Mutabilis' will be overtaking my front yard, and I'll be happy for it. But, I just have this weakness, stress WEAKNESS, for those big, fat, juicy David Austin beauties. And seriously, they are doing great for me. I maintain an organic garden and haven't touched a rose in my garden with a single treatment in 3 years. Occasionally, during times of high humidity and cool temperatures, foliage fungal diseases will crop up. I generally allow plants to outgrow their problems naturally.

Iris pseudocorus

April 15, 2007

Ok, Carolyn, here is my dwarf Iris pseudocorus. This is not the standard species, which gets about 5 or 6 feet tall. This one stays at about 30" or so.

Last one standing…

April 8, 2007

Waiting for my Dutch Irises to bloom in spring is a yearly event. They are just one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden. Its too bad they only last as long as they do, which is never long enough. This year, unfortunately, we got some very hard rains just as they were coming into bloom. They were pretty beat up and just weren't able to put on their normal show. Here is one of the last few still hanging on. But, even in their injured state...they are still beautiful. I thought the sapphire blue of the flower looked especially nice up against the yellow-green foliage of dwarf Iris pseudocorus, not yet in bloom.

However, as a consolation, as the Dutch Iris are fading, my Iris pallida is just starting to bloom. Here is the very first. Such a pretty pale blue/lavender. It was the only existing planting on the property when we bought the house. Our house was built in 1941, and this is an old fashioned Iris, so I imagine the large clump in the back yard has been here for some time. Each season, I dig up a few and transplant them to other places in the garden. It is one of my favorite Iris species. The big clump in the back yard hasn't quite started to bloom, but once it does I'll post a photo. I also have a mystery Iris. I purchased what was supposed to be 'Supersition'..a "black" iris, and ended up with BEIGE. Now that's a color I never planned for in the garden! I wish I could say it was more peach, but it really is..Beige. But it has a very interesting pretty bloom with splashes of purple. I haven't yet taken the time to try and identify this variety, but I suppose at some point I should.

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