Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Garden Club

Technically, I started writing this post on Monday but by now it's closer to Tuesday than Monday and my Internet connection is still working like shit, so it took approximately 4 hours (a majority of it watching the little spinny thing go around and around) to upload this week's garden photos.The weather here has been very summer-like for the past 2 weeks. In the 80s and humid almost every single day and seven-tenths of an inch of rain fell Wednesday night to water the garden so I didn't have to string together 4 hoses and stretch them out across the driveway and into my enormous garden. With that new rain of course brings the weeds and the first pass of the cultivator through the garden. The Gardener started small with the push cultivator but plans to go through it with the ATV mounted cultivator in a few days once the tiny seedlings get a little bigger and easier to see and hopefully easier to avoid.

So far every plant that went into the garden has survived and most of them (I would say) have already grown a little.
Almost all of the seeds have sprouted too. Here is a row of pole beans and sunflowers.
The idea is that the pole beans will use the support of the sunflowers to climb. We'll see how this works out...

The strawberries are starting to ripen! The Gardener ate the first one yesterday and the girls each found a red one today. Tomorrow I'm going to run out there first thing in the morning and check for red ones. My mouth is watering already!
I ended up moving the other strawberry plants and the other Topsy out to the new flower bed to get them out of my front yard. I also bit the bullet and bought 13 bags of mulch to spread around all of the flower plants. The weeds were getting to be too much to handle especially with the veggie garden being very close to needing a regular weekly weeding. The mulch should help keep the weeds down and besides it makes it look so much nicer and now that the plants stand out against the fresh mulch, I can tell which green thingies are flowers and which ones are weeds.
The peonies just opened up today and are as beautiful as ever. The girls each picked one this afternoon and wore the giant pink flowers in their hair until they got too heavy and floppy then they brought them in the house and put them in little opaque glass Remy Martin glasses vases to set on the kitchen counter.
The lupines are blooming wildly for the first time and I love it! Last year they bloomed but the flowers were small and not very impressive. This year is completely different and I'm so glad I started a bunch of these from seed and put them in the new flowerbed.

The hanging baskets are starting to bloom...
And while my mom was visiting this weekend she went through some of my houseplants, repotted them and set them out on the front porch to enjoy some of this warm weather.
As much as I love outdoor gardening, indoor plants just don't seem to be my thing. I forget to water them and basically neglect them. Hopefully these will do well outside and catch a few drops of water from the garden hose once in a while.

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either leave a comment on what's growing in your yard, or post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog. Don't forget to drop your link in the comments and I'll add it to this post.

Friday, May 28, 2010

7 Things That Make Me Grumpy

I was tagged by Jean from Raising 2 Boys 1 Day At A Time in a fun meme called 7 Things That Make Me Grumpy. I always have good intentions to play along after being tagged, but lets face it, it doesn't always happen. Today was just one of those days filled with grumpy moments (but not all, it ended up being a full but not so terrible day after all) and me muttering foul words under my breath. A perfect day to let out the grump I've been holding in... Thanks Jean for the opportunity to let it all out!

So here goes. 7 things that make me grumpy:

1. Getting up early on a morning that I need to be somewhere at a certain time and finding out that my car is suddenly spewing antifreeze all over the place.

2. Needing to drive my husband's work van instead of my car and remember that the thing is HUGE, has no rear view mirror (wouldn't do any good with a big wall divider and no back window to look out of.) and is more or less a rolling billboard. The look from the guy mowing his lawn near the 4 way stop sign in town was a little weird. Apparently I can't pass for an electrician.

3. Low fat cottage cheese. Seriously, that shit is terrible!

4. When the Internet is slow. We had a storm the other night that knocked out our Internet and now two days later, it's back on but still running slow and cutting out occasionally.

5. When my husband forgot to take my rubber shoe covers that I wear at the farm out of the truck during this morning's holy shit the car isn't working shuffle.

6. Know-it-all moms from my kids class. Today the one mom (with perfect Farrah Faucet hair) was an expert on everything bowling during the class field trip to the bowling alley. First she tried to tell me that I had given out the wrong shoes to the kids in my group. The shoes were right just that the bowling alley guy (someone who takes his job as bowling alley attendant way too seriously) shorted us a pair. After that she was all "you know I used to score bowling tournaments for cash in high school." Thank goodness for modern technology and computers that do all of that nowadays without a smart mouth to boot.

7. And the last thing that makes me grumpy is coming home to a messy house or a sinkfull of dirty dishes. The Gardener tries his best, but once in a while...

I'm exhausted and it's officially the start of the holiday weekend (meaning I'm sipping an ice cold beer) so I'm not tagging anyone else today but if anyone else would like to share what makes them grumpy, I'd love to hear about it.

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

My brother (bless his heart) came over again yesterday to help me plant the tomatoes.
He also found this giant worm!
After a friend of ours read Monday's garden post and scrolled through the 39 photos (Yeah, I'll admit, that was a ton of photos, but there was so much gardening activity in the last week that I couldn't help myself.), the friend sent me this message.

I can not believe your brother was not wearing bibs to plant the garden. What is this world coming to? Dress code violation. Big time.
Good thing he had another opportunity to make up for his fashion blunder.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Garden Club

Monday again! The sun is shining (even now at 5:48 AM), the birds are singing and the garden is mostly planted. Yay! My brother came over last week to help with the planting.

I say mostly because after hoeing in all of the row crops (peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, radishes, etc) and planting all of the vine plants (cucumbers, melons, squash, giant pumpkins, etc.), I was beat and still had a house to clean and a Birthday party to plan (more on that tomorrow) so I decided to hold off on planting the tomatoes until things calmed down a bit. It rained all day Friday totaling about half an inch so I didn't need to drag out the 4 hoses and water my freshly planted garden, Mother Nature took care of that. She also managed to clear things up just in time for Binny's party. Love her!

This year, since the garden is so freaking big, we have separated it into quadrants, kind of.

The row crops take up the right half of the garden.
The other half (separated by the rhubarb and asparagus is actually 2 gardens. One for all of the vine plants...
And one for the tomatoes... (yet to be planted of course)

The rhubarb is still going strong and growing like mad. I have been giving it away as fast as I can cut it and throw it into a grocery bag, although I will admit that some of the family that was here over the weekend for Binny's birthday did one hell of a job thinning it out. We still have more than we could ever use so please come and get some if you don't have a supply of your own growing like mad in your yard.The blueberry bushes are showing signs of life and the possibility of actually bearing some fruit this year, if the birds don't get to them before we can. We haven't had much luck over the years with blueberries but since they are my all time favorite fruit (not to mention the health benefits) I'm not giving up quite yet. Our soil here is a bit on the alkaline side (blueberries thrive in acidic soil) so I have been giving them acid treatments on a regular basis. Seems to be helping! Here is one of the healthier looking bushes. And yes I do have several varieties so they can cross pollinate.The strawberry plants are doing great this year too. I'm sure all of the weeding we have been doing this spring has something to do with it. Even a few green berries already!
Speaking of strawberries... My dad gave Binny a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter for her birthday, so yesterday we assembled it, and supported the one business in town that happened to be open on Sunday. Turns out, the Topsy Turvy Strawberry planter holds 15 plants. My Dad brought over 8 plants, a bag of dirt and the planting bag, so I thought we were all set. Who would have thought it was HUGE and required 15 plants? A little big in my opinion. Plus the directions say to shove 2 plants into each hole. That's 30 plants! These Topsy Turvy folks must have some interest in the strawberry plant business, I mean really! Good thing I overheard the man at the local Garden Center (Windmill Gardens, in the heart of Dutch country) tell another customer that he would be open every day for the next few weeks. You should have seen the woman's reaction when she asked if that meant Sunday's too and he said yes. Trust me, it's a big deal. I'm pretty sure I was the only customer in all day, so I think he kind of appreciated that I bought every single strawberry plant he had in the place.
After finishing the strawberry planter, we decided to give last year's Topsy Turvy tomato planter (Binny's B-day gift from my brother last year) another year of service and plant a pear tomato.
Since the planters are very heavy, especially when they are full of water (and they need to be watered at least once a day to keep all of those plants alive) we needed something a little stronger and more sturdy than the Shepard's hook we used last year. I casually mentioned to the Gardener (my husband) while I was hanging some laundry on the line that I need a few hangers and after a minute of him thinking about it he said "how about a tripod?" I say "yeah, sure" and 20 minutes later he walked out of the shed with this.
Then another to make a pair. Not sure that I'm loving them in my flower garden (or that purple sticker on one of the pipes) right next to the house but they can be moved fairly easily.
Hooray for handy husbands!

More flowers...The yellow irises (I wish I could claim that they were the inspiration for the house color, but they weren't. Almost a perfect match though.)

Lupines finally going to flower after 2 years of no flowers. I hope at least!

These are the hanging baskets Binny and I put together last week from plants we started from seed. Since we planted these, one pansy has opened and one zinnia is almost open. I can't wait to see what colors we get. Always a surprise when you buy the seed packets labeled assorted colors.
This is a giant planter that ended up getting waaaaay too heavy to move, so we just left it in front of the barn about 6 inches from where we assembled it.
And another planter...

I know I keep raving about it, but this greenhouse has been an absolutely wonderful addition this year! This is how it works. I get the urge to plant something. Flowers, veggies... anything and I grab the ATV and trailer. Drive it over to the potting shed, collect any tools I will need along with my gardening gloves and a bucket of fresh dirt mix, swing by the greenhouse and go shopping, throw everything in the trailer and off I go. How nice it is to be able to have everything on site and not have to make so many trips to the garden center for flowers and veggies. Definitely doing this again next year!

This beautiful arrangement was given to me as a gift for taking some photos recently. I love it sitting right here on my front porch.

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either leave a comment on what's growing in your yard, or post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog. Don't forget to drop your link in the comments and I'll add it to this post.