Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021


Hoping that you have much to feel thankful for on this day.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome back to Garden Friday,
where we share what's been going on in our Piedmont garden.
This plant was acquired last year from a local vendor
who decided to get out of the plant selling business
and gave them away for free!
Sure wish I had grabbed a couple more,
because these beauties are giving us abundant color in late fall.

The yarrow seems to be bouncing back,
despite our temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
This is one of the best plants for pollinators.
There are also some Shasta daisies and California poppies near the brick wall.

The salvia just won't quit, no matter how cold it gets.
I expected this plant to die back with the frosts and freezes,
but it's still popping out color like nobody's business!

The liriope is tucked near some of the raised beds
and seems to be unfazed by the cold and wind.
I love using this as a border plant,
because it asks very little and doesn't overtake the spot.

The lantana has not fared as well as some.
It didn't like the cold one bit,
although with as many weeks of color as its given us,
I really can't complain.
Hopefully, it will come back next year.

The nasturtiums in the vegetable beds are about ready to come out.
They thrive in the heat of summer and give us months of color.
Seed has been saved so that we can plant it again when the season starts up.

The loofah was harvested, 
although it had not yet fully dried on the vine.
I am leaving it outside on the porch in the sun,
hoping that it will continue to dry out.
One of my projects this weekend will be to
peel the loofah that are starting to dry,
to see if it's a bit easier to do at this stage.
Most of this will be given away.

The leaf mulching has begun.
I began the process of creating leaf piles on the lawn,
so that all I have to do is take our handy-dandy backpack mulcher,
and create wonderful, rich mulch for our beds.
I'll never need to buy mulch again!
The stuff is GOLD!

This has been a beautiful fall,
with leaves of every hue gracing us along our way.
Here are a few glimpses of neighborhood trees
in all their glory.

 I hope you are enjoying some fall color
and the magical feeling that comes with autumnal changes.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Garden Friday

It's time again for Garden Friday!
We are relishing our autumnal weather,
and were even blessed with a smattering of precipitation.
Our pansies are enjoying their time in the rain.

The cover crops are filling in 
and will create a warm, cozy blanket for one of our 3X8 beds.

The garlic is growing well, especially considering our colder temperatures.
I sowed a few extra cloves from some of last year's garlic,
as we had some bare patches.

The cattle panel frames have been placed on some of the beds
for the winter, just in case we need to put row covers on.
These did a great job last year to keep out the cold.

The lettuce is still fairly slow growing,
and even the starts that were purchased aren't doing much.
I fertilized them this week with worm compost tea,
so we'll see if it helps them along.

I was surprised to find peas growing on the pea vines.
They kind of snuck up on me, 
but I'm so happy they are here.

I need to take some time to do a bit more clean up,
like cutting these irises down for the winter.
Once the foliage starts flopping over and turning brown,
it's time to put them to bed.
Some of them will be transplanted to other areas.

Some of the lavender didn't do well.
The gap shown here used to be lavender.
It may not be getting enough sun,
as it is planted directly under our crape myrtle.
It will most likely call another place home come spring.
One of its uses is to keep the chicken coop smelling good.

Leaves, leaves, leaves!
It's that time again to repopulate my leaf mulch pile,
and we've got plenty of leaves to get started.
Leaf mulch has done a tremendous job
in keeping weeds down in the flower beds.
It also adds nutrients to the soil in the veggie garden.
And best of all, they're free!

These nasturtium seeds are drying inside.
They are sown in the corners of our raised beds,
to attract pollinators to our vegetables,
by providing nectar to those who thrive on it.

Just by taking this step,
I am assured another season of these beautiful (and edible) flowers.

I have yet to plant the bulbs I was recently gifted.
I should still have some time, as our ground never really freezes.
I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

For those who were concerned about Gandalf,
he is doing much better and acting more like himself.
He still has a way to go to fully heal,
but it's heartwarming to see him once again strutting around the coop.
We will be starting a project to keep the chooks better protected.
The dog who injured him has not yet been caught,
but he visits our neighborhood almost daily.

Autumn has been delightful thus far,
and we are patting ourselves on the back
for our decision to move here a few years ago.
Once again living with the seasons was a great idea.
Are you enjoying some seasonal living?

Friday, October 29, 2021

Garden Friday

milkweed and salvia
 Greetings on this Garden Friday!
Autumn has arrived in all of Her splendor!
A few remnants of summer remain,
gracing us with beautiful blooms.
The garlic we planted last week was up in a matter of days.
We planted out almost this entire bed
with one of the easiest crops to grow.
We use garlic for almost every savory dish,
so it is a staple in our fall/winter garden.
It will grow a bit more before becoming dormant for the winter.
In early spring, it begins to fill out and soar!

The cover crops are slowly making progress.
This is a special "raised bed" mix 
that I'm trying for the first time.
We were blessed with some rain this past week,
and nothing helps crops along like Mother Nature's gift.

I ended up purchasing lettuce and broccoli starts,
something that felt very strange to me.
With poor germination to blame,
I decided that it was necessary if I want to eat homegrown this winter.

There is abundant color popping up all over the area.
Our neighborhood has some glorious trees
peppering the sky with golds, oranges and reds.
It's one of the best things about my daily walk.

A bit of clean up was in order,
so I tidied up a few of the flower beds.
I'm amazed that we still have some blooms 
looking untouched by the cooler temperatures.

Our local Extension Center gifted some of the Master Gardeners
with free bulbs for planting this fall.
I hope to get these in over the weekend.

It's time for pansy planting!
The cooler temps don't bother these sweet things one bit,
and some were added to the mailbox bed,
as well as the pots on the front porch.
I look forward to many months of color.

I'm trying an experiment after watching a few videos
about trapping yellow jackets.
We have some near in our yard waste pile,
and I don't wish to use chemicals to eradicate the problem.
I'll share the results of this homemade trap next week.

We had a bit of a crisis this week,
when our rooster was attacked by a dog
who roams our neighborhood.
He was injured pretty badly, and shaking like a leaf when we finally found him,
but he survived the night and we hope is on the mend.
We now have a trap in our yard
so that the dog can be caught.
It has no collar and is quite skittish,
so it's difficult to get close enough to nab him.
The neighbors I've asked do not know where he lives,
but we're hoping the trap does the trick.
For now, Gandolf is in the garage mending
and the girls are on house arrest in the coop.

This life isn't always easy,
but we try to find the silver linings where we can.
Enjoy your weekend,
wherever you are!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's happening in our Piedmont garden.
The weather has been absolutely delightful,
and the best autumn so far since we moved up here.
Row covers were added to several beds in order to foster germination, 
because we've had mornings in the 40's and 50's.
So far, it's not looking good
and this may be the first year that I'll have to purchase starts.
It's a joy to see the pollinators enjoying the weather too.

This week, the garlic was planted.
I ran a bit short, as one of the bulbs that we saved
from last year's harvest, was found to be rotted out.
No matter, we filled most of a 3X8 bed with cloves
and are looking forward to watching it come along.

Rather than plant by specific spacing,
I decided to put five cloves in each 1-foot square.
 I keep seeing the picture in my head 
of what it will look like when it comes up,
and that seemed like a good design.
We'll see.

 The cover crops were also sown this week in last year's garlic bed.
This raised bed mix is a blend of several crops
including oats, buckwheat, peas and a few other things.
I noted on the label, the last item listed
was Noxious Weeds:  none

It's the first time I've used this blend,
although each winter I do sow one bed with cover crops
just to give it a boost.
The hope is that extra nutrients will enable 
whatever is planted there to do well.

 One of our chooks, Wilma, is looking a sight.
She has lost most of her feathers due to molting,
and just looks so pitiful.
I've been keeping Gandolf away from her as much as possible,
as it can be very painful for them to be touched without their feathers.
The rest of the chooks seem to have gotten all of their feathers back,
and I'm glad it happened before winter sets in.

I've taken to using the shavings from the coop
(with accompanying chook poop and feathers),
around shrubs and trees.
I'm hoping it will act as a natural fertilizer
and  helps me put it to good use.

The beautyberry is loaded with berries.
I hope that the birds will relish the treat over the next few months.

The loofah is not as prolific as in past years,
but we'll take what we can get.
They have not started drying on the trellis yet,
but as they do, they will be harvested and most given away.

 A row of spiderwart was uncovered while weeding a path.
I added a bit of wood chips to finish it off.
There's nothing like mulch to dress things up.
Looking forward to working on adding plants to the landscape
in the spring.

This weekend will find me outside tending to things
that have been ignored over the heat of summer.
I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do 
about the yellow jackets around the yard waste pile.
Nearby is also my leaf mulch pile,
which I will need to start filling up.

A gardener's work is never done,
but you'll not hear me complaining!
Enjoy this glorious autumn!