Friday, May 27, 2022

Garden Friday

 
 
 
Welcome to a stormy Garden Friday!
We were blessed with a couple of inches of rain this week.
It was much needed.


The ground here gets saturated so quickly
with an abundance of rain,
that trees are uprooted.
Our apple tree didn't make it through the storm,
so the squirrels will have a little less food this summer.
It was planted in the wrong spot from the beginning,
and had been leaning for some time.

 

This is the earliest I can recall having a sunflower bloom
since we moved to North Carolina.
This beauty popped up early.
We usually don't see sunflowers until later in the summertime.
 
 
Our corn patch is doing fine,
and certainly relished the extra moisture.
This spot is not irrigated,
so I need to be vigilant to keep it happy.

 
Earlier in the season,
these two different varieties of carrots showed much different growth.
Looks like they are about even now,
and will be harvested in a few more weeks.

 
The carrots that were planted much earlier 
are being harvested a few at a time.
This allows the remaining carrots to continue growing.
They share space with potatoes in this bed.

 
The kale seems to have awakened,
as it has been doing a lot of nothing for months.
Kale is one crop that I can't get enough of.


Two of the straw bales are shrinking before my eyes.
I'm not sure if they were oversaturated or what,
but I'm hoping they stay intact for another two months
until we can harvest our squash.
A good project for the fall would be to create
bins in which the bales can sit.
Should be easy enough to build.
 

The butterfly bed is getting filled in 
with various plants I'm finding at the nursery or hardware store.
It's amazing the difference that the rain makes 
with regard to the greening and flowering of plants.
 

 Although we have three trees planted in this bed,
most of these plants will tolerate some shade,
and all are drought tolerant.
Attracting butterflies is just a bonus!


 
The lettuce that was planted as a border 
finally decided to pop up!
I'm so excited to be incorporating food in my flower beds.
 

 
Some of the yarrow and poppies were cut back drastically.
They were basically spilling over on top of the Gerbera daisies in front.
It looks a bit tidier and I will work on finding a support for them.


What a gift the rain is!
I hope you're getting just what you need
to make your garden grow!
 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Garden Friday

 
First daisy of the season
 
Welcome back to Garden Friday,
where we share the goings-on of our Zone 7b Piedmont garden.

 
This week has found us dealing with some scorching temperatures,
but so far, we are harvesting lettuce without any problem.
 
 
The lettuce in the background has bolted,
so we are leaving it in place to save seed.
 
We've even enjoyed a handful of snap peas in the last week.


The carrots were cut into matchsticks
and placed in a pickling solution.
This is one of my favorite ways to eat carrots.
Great for the gut!

 
The soil test I did for the blueberries is not good news.
The pH is waaaay off, although I added some soil acidifier
when the new plants went in last fall.
Back to the drawing board.

 
It was a thrill to see the potatoes flowering!
It won't be long until harvest time.

 
More daisies are on the way.
Can you ever have enough daisies?

 
I noticed what looks like a squash plant
coming up from one of the straw bales I have yet to plant.
I will leave it in place and see what it wants to be when it grows up.

 
The next few shots show what it's like for me
when I try to take pictures of the garden.
Photo bombed by the chooks!
They insist on being included in near every shot.
Here they are admiring the cannas that will provide them shade.


 
Queenie was noticing how well the clematis is doing
 on the new chook run fencing.
A gal needs pretty flowers around her, no?

 
The moonflowers are starting to come up around the fence.
These will provide us with a heavenly scent in the evening.

 
 The melons are coming along nicely.
This is one crop that I'm really interested in mastering.
I'm a long way from it, but we keep trying.
Melon is one of my boy's favorite things.
 

Have you ever seen anything eating a Redbud tree?
I'm thinking our resident (wild) bunny,
but I can't imagine it could taste any good.

 
On the other hand,
I know exactly who is responsible for eating our strawberries
and leaving the remnants on the chair in the garden.
As if to rub it in our faces,
they leave traces of their tasty treat for me to find.
 
 
This sweet lil' thing kept falling or being pushed out of the birdhouse on our porch.
We put it back several times and kept an eye on it.


C even put a blanket down on the porch
in case it took another dive
in order to protect its delicate young body.
I wish this had a happy ending,
but C found its lifeless body yesterday.
It was buried in the garden and sent off with a prayer.


Next week is looking more like spring again,
and we will relish the cooler temperatures,
at least until summer arrives in earnest.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend wherever you are!


Friday, May 6, 2022

Garden Friday



Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's growing in our Zone 7b garden.
The strawberries have been juicy and sweet,
with more on the way!
It makes dealing with the heat all worth it!
 
 
A couple of weeks ago,
sister and I worked on creating some garden spaces at her townhome.
We planted up two tall boxes in her driveway.
I never tire of sedum,
and this chartreuse color really pops against the darker geranium leaves.

 
Hostas are one of her favorite plants,
so we found some shade-lovers for her backyard,
which doesn't get a lot of sun.

 
Coleus and this grassy plant
filled out two other containers
and share space on her back patio.
I adore the color of these containers.


This was phase one of a multi-phase project.
Can't wait to get back there to work on it again.
 

 Back at home,
it's trellis time!
Cattle panel arches were added to several beds,
in hopes that melons and squash will enjoy climbing the frame.
We do have melon, watermelon and pumpkin already germinated.
With rain predicted for later today,
I'm hoping that the seedlings will take off!


Straw bales have been added to several areas
and the conditioning process should be completed by Tuesday,
when we will begin to plant okra, squash and cucumbers.
I'm reusing the stake-a-cage supports I made a few years ago.
Here's how I did it.

 
The mailbox bed has a few gaps that I'm hoping to fill in.
The irises look lovely and the yarrow is starting to take off,
but I'd like to find something lower for the front of the bed.
Any suggestions for full sun?

 
The salvia in the front porch bed need to be divided.
The goal is to add more interest,
so putting these elsewhere in the garden will give me room
to find some other interesting specimens for the pollinators to enjoy.

 
The California poppy has been a prolific bloomer since early last month.
The bright pop of color really catches your eye.

 
In the same bed, this sunflower surprised me.
No doubt I have the squirrels to thank for this,
as I don't remember planting any sunflowers this close to the house.
It's far ahead of the other sunflowers that I have started,
so it'll be an extra early sign of summer.

 
The spider wort is so gorgeous first thing in the morning.  
By midday, it has closed up all of its blooms.
I look forward to seeing this each morning as the chooks are let out of the coop.


The front porch bed is going to be retooled.
I need to remove some of the salvia
and have already dug up some of the rudbeckia,
to make room for other sun-loving plants that I want to add.
Still, it's a welcoming sight to come home to.
 
The bird bath in the center of the picture
(really just a repurposed plant saucer),
is going to be replaced by a friend's custom ceramic vessel.
I can hardly wait to see it and put it in place.
She is a talented artist and I know I'll just love it.
I bet the birds will too!

What changes are you making in your garden?
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Chook Run Upgrade

 

There's always another project when you have a homestead.
 We recently made some changes to the chook yard.
The first thing we did was to replace the nylon fencing
with welded wire and conduit.
It was a simple job that only took us a few hours to complete.
The extra security it offers the chooks was well worth the time.
It was much easier to install than a wooden rail fence,
which would have required digging holes in our Carolina clay
(no small feat).
We're thinking the metal fencing will last much longer as well.
 
 
We also added these sail shades to either side of the gazebo structure,
which will provide much more shade throughout the run.
These shades were found at the local home improvement center
and fairly easy to install.
They do not protect from rain,
but the heat of summer will be eased a bit with this coverage.
 

 Hyacinth beans have been planted at the four inner corners of the frame.
This will provide even more shade,
along with some beautiful vines and purple flowers.

 
It was a thrill when I was contacted by Omlet,
(the best chicken coop makers in the world),
and asked if I'd like to test their new mobile perch.
The chooks always flock (couldn't resist),
around something new,
and I am working on training them to use it.
I'll do a separate review after we've had it for a while.
Here are a couple of posts on our Omlet coops.


 After our rooster, Gandalf, got attacked last fall,
we knew we had to stop free ranging the chooks.
It took some looking, but I was able to find
this mobile run that can easily be moved every day.
Three of them can fit in it comfortably,
so our son C, rotates the girls every other day,
and leaves them in there for an hour or so.
This gives them some time away from the others,
although we are sure to always keep them in sight of each other,
so as not to cause any distress.

We are happy with the improvements we've made,
and it looks like the chooks are enjoying them too.
 
 
 
 
I am an Omlet ambassador.
This means that if anyone would like to know about our experience
with this company and its products,
they can contact me and even come to see the products we own.
This is the only product that I endorse publicly,
which tells you how strongly I feel about the company.
If you want to learn more about Omlet,
feel free to contact me
or head to their website, which can be found here.