Friday, June 30, 2006

A bean's eye view, etc.

Shelf added by DH is quite handy to hold the single malt while out for the evening harvest. A beautiful evening tonight, not our usual July 4th cold spell. (But ok, the beans cannot quite see this sight yet.)
Here they are. The beans CAN climb the bean fence!
Maybe one day, they'll be as tall as the barn in the background here (or at least the peas and the foxglove)!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Watch out weeds...

This is my favorite weeding companion lately. Dear Husband says it's a rat's tail file, but I thought it looked like it would have some use around the garden. For a $1.50 at a second hand shop, it was worth a try (even just to look good laying around the barn) .

The file part is about 12 inches long and can reach to the end of many roots as well as the spot in the middle of the almost-too-wide beds. Slip the file down next to the main root and give the weed a little tug. Oh, joy and satisfaction! It also can pry up grass roots, especially with a rock used to get a little leverage. If it makes me do some weeding, it was a $1.50 well spent. (It's been used to poke through the mole tunnels too.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Warm summer evening

Nothing like a fresh garden salad (& steak) dinner on the patio after a hot day. For the salad: broccoli, peas, an assortment of lettuce, mint, thyme and chives, but I forgot the basil tonight. We don't always have such nice evenings in June.

Another hot day tomorrow so I did some watering, as much as I don't like to. The mulch helps, but it's not enough after several hot days, especially for the recent bean, sunflower & pumpkin sprouts. With the heat, the frogs seem to have moved from the pond to the trees but tonight we can hear the owls planning their evening.
Not only is Petunia camera shy, these little Chickadees begging their parents for one more served meal promptly turned around when the camera came out. Finally close enough for a picture of birds (with my little camera), and they moon me!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pumpkins!

Remember this guy (and the No Fooling! post)?Be sure to visit in October and see what his off spring look like...
The almond sized pumpkin seeds were planted June 11 and surfaced earlier this week.
And here is tonight's shoot of the beans before they got mulched for the hot day tomorrow. Pole beans (helda romano), runner beans (scarlet emperor) and bush beans (romano gold), planted June 10th. Some petunias for Petunia also.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

What is it?

Now I know, thanks to JLB at Arboreality! It's a white campion (with some unusual petals).
This little star is growing in the edge of the former pasture, now known as Petunia's Garden. Any ideas? Here, it is only a foot or so off the ground, but I noticed another about 4 feet tall.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Daily Changes

*** Thanks, Neighbor J. Now I know these flowers are Canterbury Bells (aka Cup and Saucer flower). ***
This time of year, there seems to be something new waiting in the garden every day! Could be a seedling, or could be a slugfest, but always something new. I planned to post a picture of this plant and its many buds to see if anyone knew what this would be. Today the first flower has opened. It's a Bellflower (Campanula), right? Neighbor J gave me the seedlings last year (& probably told me what it was). I hope she'll visit to see it in flower. It hung around throughout the winter and has now claimed one end of a garden bed quite happily. Hey, could these have formed in a day? I was out there yesterday, really! You can just see the volunteer pink foxglove behind the peas too. Apparently he really didn't like being under the trees and moved himself to the garden.
No signs of the pumpkins yet! But YES, they went in the ground yesterday. Big ones in this new area and a smaller type pumpkin in the other part of the garden. Probably should work out a cloche, but we'll see. Decided all of the rough parts of this pumpkin bed could be finished later. AND the pole beans & runner beans have now been planted around the bean fence structure.

The bed on the right, above, did get dug and planted with birdhouse gourds yesterday (see last post also). Now that it will be raining for a few days, I'll be planting sunflowers in the bed along the fence as well as anywhere else I can. Oh, what will I do when it quits raining and I have to water? I think the next task is to get the new rainbarrels incorporated into the system...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Expanded Garden

Here are photos from one evening this week since I lost my pictures from last weekend. The square patches of dirt are at the end of each of the two new beds (added to the 2 existing beds plus the herb row). The rest of the new beds are covered with the coffee bean bags as a mulch (since I thought I ALREADY had the photos taken). Yes, I did decide to use the movable fence sections as bean supports. (See last year's photos here)Last weekend, I finished preparing the new beds by digging out loads of rocks & grass roots and digging in somewhat composted sheep straw and other materials. I like using the coffee bags for this stage of the garden as it is easy to move small sections for planting. I'll add straw mulch around plants later. The coffee bags work great for pathway mulches also and cat Emily likes having a carpeted garden to keep her feet dry while stalking moles.
Zucchini in the milk jug mini cloches. Now they've been thinned to ONE plant per jug.
Basil seedlings are coldframe residents now.
And here is the next task. I want to have the birdhouse gourds from DH parent's and sunflowers growing along the fence. And room for the pumpkins to roam in the area away from the fence. (At this point, it may be for NEXT year's plants, though.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Oh, Peas!

Just noticed the first open snap pea flowers this weekend. Here is one on the Cascadia peas, tonight. I did remove the tendril threatening to strangle it. As a side note, I've noticed DH and I both seem to enjoy helping the tendrils connect to the wire support. Just get a little hooked end of a tendril close to the wire and it seems to grab a hold!

After a productive day yesterday preparing the new garden areas followed by a good rain last night, we decided to take an excursion today. I was fooling with the camera settings as we left, wishing I had read more about them. Sad to learn when we opened the file tonight that the pictures from yesterday were no longer on the disk! I thought I was just browsing the various settings, but apparently I reset something. I am not happy about this at all! The garden photos I can take again, but not Emily stalking the mole who arrived before we put the tools away!

I'll try again this week to take some updated photos of the new and existing beds (including the bean structure considered in an earlier post and now in place). Otherwise, we had a great day geocaching and garden touring!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Petunia's Back!

Time to get serious about getting the garden in order. Petunia has returned! I found her sunning herself this morning and, of course, welcomed her with a scream. I don't mind them around, but when I wasn't expecting to see her, I just cannot stop myself.
She's rather camera shy, so here is a picture I found on this web site http://www.californiaherps.com. She's probably about 2 feet long (though I almost never see all of her at one time).

Now back out to work on the new bed before it starts raining. Garden updates will be next.

Friday, June 02, 2006

And the Tale Continues

Home from a evening out to learn the competition is not over yet! Both Frogs are in the little pond and not always taking turns to air their versions of a love song. After one took an excursion out and about last night, apparently the little hole of water is worth singing for. Hopefully they can settle on separate ends.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tale of Two Frogs

Several days ago, Frog had a little excitement in the pond. We noticed he was singing very different notes. We thought maybe a girlfriend had arrived. Then we heard another voice - competition over the little hole of water! For about a day, they made noises ("This is my pond" "Says who!" "Just leave" "Make me!") but not the usual singing. Then they seemed to work it out and very nicely alternated their songs.

Do frogs try to return to their home body of water? If so, I thought they might be brothers from last year... Late Arriver and Later Arriver (as other frogs in the area were singing back in March).

But now the pond water thickens...Tonight, it sounds like we're back to one voice. I do know they are territorial so maybe one finally won the singing contest and the other is headed out to the water in the ditch.

Petunia & friends must know there is still some cool weather ahead. No signs of them anywhere.