Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 121



Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

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The weather has been quite conducive to gardening.
Over the past week or so,
I've been able to tackle a couple of chores.
Here's an update on our 2016 winter garden: 


The lemon grass had nearly taken over this section of the back bed.
Since I'm not too worried about a freeze coming through,
it seemed like a good time to give them a little haircut.


From Tina Turner to Don King in a flash.
This has become a favorite plant as it is so easy to care for
and smells divine!
Sometimes I trim a few leaves and throw them on the grass
just before Big K is gonna mow the lawn.
Mmmmm...heavenly!


The trimmings are being used as a natural mulch
where we recently took out some of the saltbush trees.



With the lemon grass cut back,
it allowed me to see the growth habit of the beach sunflower.
I just love the way it formed a curved border with no help from me.
In fact, I aim to continue the border around the front side of the bed,
so that the entire area is edged with this magnificent creeper. 
  

 Carrots were harvested from the veggie bed.
There are some mighty unique shapes to these sweet things.
Look for an upcoming post entitled "The Carrot Chronicles".



 We've been able to add some home-grown lettuce, kale, 
snap peas and broccoli greens to our meals.
It sure is nice shopping in your own backyard!


The Dino kale is especially savored when the leaves are young and tender.
Just last year was the first time I tried it,
and I am a fan for life.


The parsley is coming back strong!
I hope that means that we'll have oodles  
of black swallowtail caterpillars come springtime.
Until then, it is picked by the bunches, chopped,
and placed in the freezer for use all year round. 
   

I just noticed this past weekend that there are tomatoes on these Brandywine plants.
What a treat if they actually grow to picking size.
I've not had much luck with tomatoes, but never say never!
Here we grow tomatoes in the fall and winter,
as our summers are much too hot and humid for them to do well.


This is the first time in the 10 years that we've lived here,
that we've had sunflowers in the winter.
Crazy, huh?


Most of these are volunteers that sprout up 
when the bird feed is displaced.
We welcome them, one and all.


Each morning the bird shard feeders are filled
and we are able to watch our fine feathered friends
enjoying their first meal of the day.

That's what's happening in our backyard.
What's going on outside where you are?
HOP to it!