Friday, December 31, 2021

Garden Friday

Season's Greetings on this Garden Friday!
Today we celebrate our fifth year in North Carolina!
We moved here 5 years ago on December 31st,
so that we could start the new year in our dream state.
We have a few things to report this week,
and I'm happy to say, it's all good news.

We got our first load of free wood chips dropped off,
just before Christmas day.
I've been on the list for Chip Drop for almost 3 years,
and this was the first time we have been graced with a load.

This mountain of mulch was put to work
as soon as it cooled down enough to move.
It's also been offered to several neighbors,
should they need them for projects.

The trees will savor the extra insulation
and utilize the nutrients to enrich the soil below.
I'd like to eventually plant some bulbs 
around the base of some of the trees,
but at the moment, the ground is heavy clay and 
nearly impossible to penetrate.

Some of the chips were added around the two raised beds
from the former garden location.
These beds didn't have to be moved,
and they are in their permanent spot.
The mulch will help to keep weeds down.

Another area near the old garden area
is dotted with birdhouses.
This may become an ornamental area in the future,
so adding the mulch helps me visualize the parameters.

Great news on the chook front!
Gandalf is feeling more himself
and has even started crowing again on a regular basis.
Of course, this means that he is back to "bothering" the ladies,
but I guess it all goes with the territory.
So grateful that he has healed well from the dog attack
a few months ago.

One thing recently discovered was that the chooks
love turnip greens!
We will have to make a point of buying them regularly
to add to their mix of cabbage, kale and lettuce greens.

I finally got the bulbs planted this past week.
These were gifted us by the local Extension Center,
and I just couldn't get to them until now.

New tulips and crocus will be a welcome addition come spring.

Piedmont Farmstead is a local farm that sells their produce and personal care products
at the farmers' market during the season.
On the off-season, they sell from the farm directly,
so I paid them a visit to purchase some Christmas gifts.
I'm hoping that I can pick up some of their lettuce and kale
on a regular basis.
They are good folks, doing what they love.

Back at home, I've covered most of the raised beds
for protection from the winter chill,
(although there hasn't been much of it),
and found that using t-posts works well to weigh down the sides.

The lettuce has been doing well under the covers,
and is finally big enough to pick for salads.

It feels fantastic to be able to harvest during the winter months.

The chooks go through quite a bit of water each week,
so I decided to fashion a 5-gallon waterer
out of an old bucket I had laying around,

and these poultry nipples purchased at our local hardware store.

So far, so good.
It saves me from having to fill it so often
and keeps debris out of the water as well.
Several other improvement projects are lurking
to make the chicken run a bit better.
Hopefully, the weather will continue to cooperate
and I can find the time to get it done.

Wishing you a multitude of blessings in the New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Wishes



 From our home to yours,
wishing you the most wonderful holiday season!
Be Blissed!
-daisy & crew

Friday, December 10, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's growing in our Zone 7 Piedmont garden.
This fall has been an amazing display of color,
with plenty of interest just outside of our kitchen window.
This is the pathway I take each morning
when I let the chooks out of the coop.
We are so blessed to live here.

The strawberries have turned a brilliant shade of red,
as if to greet the Christmas season.
This fruit does well over the colder months,
just awaiting the spring thaw to work their magic.

The blueberries also turn a variety of colors,
as they enjoy their winter slumber.
I'm  hopeful that this coming spring we will be awash in berries!

Our raised beds are just starting to get a foothold 
on producing broccoli, lettuce, 

and leek.
I've been a bit disappointed in the germination rate,
and not having as many things growing as I'd like.
We'll enjoy what we can and think toward springtime planting.

The cover crops are filling out one of our beds nicely.
Each fall, a different raised bed is sown 
with a cover crop to add nutrients to the soil.
A thick coat of shredded leaves has been added here.

We have a couple of parsley plants growing,
one in a raised bed (see below),
and this one planted in a pot.
They both do just fine over the winter,
and it's a real treat to be able to harvest something
on a regular basis.
You've gotta love crops that need no coddling!

garlic and parsley
The garlic is doing well
and will be well worth the 9-month wait to harvest time.
Garlic is the best hands-off crop ever!
Just plant it and forget it!

I was so perplexed about the asparagus.
It's a new to me crop,
and I wasn't sure what I had done wrong
to make it turn this harsh amber hue.
A fellow gardener told me that this happens to hers every year.
She simply adds a bit of magnesium sulfate to it,
cuts it back and mulches over the top.
What a relief to know it wasn't me!
I will be putting this task on my list.

Our leaf mulch pile has grown leaps and bounds!
Our sweet neighbor allowed us to use her riding mower to mulch and bag up
the leaves on our property, so we did hers as well.
I still have bags and bags to go,
but no doubt we'll be set for leaf mulch until next fall. 
It really is the best mulch to use,
and best of all, it's free!

snack time in the chicken yard

Excuse my absence from the blog of late.
I am struggling with the motivation I need to write.
Although I do my best to focus on the blessings in my life,
so many folks I know are having a difficult time right now,
and I'm afraid I am more sensitive to that than most.
I can't promise that I will be here every week with a garden post,
but I will make an effort to at least post some photos from the week.
It's so beautiful here, especially this time of year.
Maybe it will even help me get out of my funk.


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?