Friday, September 24, 2021

Garden Friday


Welcome to Garden Friday!
Today, it's all about the Monarchs!

As you can see here, our milkweed has been stripped bare.
Most of it has been left in ruins, eaten until there is nothing left.

I couldn't be happier about it.
We grow milkweed specifically to support the Monarch caterpillars.
We are a certified Monarch Way Station,
which means that we provide all the resources necessary
to enable these critters to proliferate.

With an ample food source, they found our homestead
and decided to stay a while.

Some time last week,
the count of cats stood at 23.
Thankfully, we had enough plants to feed them all.
Milkweed is the host plant for Monarchs.
It is the only thing they eat.

This was the first time I'd ever seen one 
trying to get into the house!
This is the space between the screen door and the jamb.
No doubt this lil' one was ready to form its chrysalis,
and was looking for a safe and protected spot.
It was relocated to

the front window.
I left it to roam on the window sill,
where it is sheltered under the porch overhang.
It must have decided the spot would do,
and went about attaching itself to the top of the sill.
That "J" shape means it's getting ready to spin its covering.

 A few hours later I checked back, 
and this is what I saw.
The Monarch chrysalis is unique in that 
it has tiny gold specks adorning the emerald green casing.

 By the end of the week, we found quite a few 
underneath our front porch table, 
as well as several in other spots near the porch.
It amazes me that they know just where the chrysalis
will be the safest and most likely to complete its transformation.
It should be quite a show!
We'll do a follow up as soon as there is anything to report.
Here's hoping that you find something absolutely breathtaking on your homestead!
Here are some other caterpillar and butterfly posts:

Friday, September 17, 2021

Garden Friday

It's Garden Friday!
Welcome to our lil' Piedmont garden,
where we were blessed with a bit o' rain yesterday.
The flowers just drink in every drop!

Both of the mystery melons that grew in our melon bed
were either eaten or split before they could be enjoyed.

This sometimes happens when watering is inconsistent,
although when this photo was taken,
we hadn't had any significant rainfall,
and the drip irrigation is very consistent.
All is not lost though,
these were fed to the chooks,
who suck up the seeds like a Hoover vacuum.

I managed to save some seeds for planting next season as well.

 Speaking of seeds,
my order from Sow True Seed came in the mail,
so I will be ready to complete my fall planting.
I got a bit behind, as I was dog sitting last weekend,
and didn't have time to work in my own garden.
I hope to remedy that this weekend.
This year, I will be trying their raised bed mix
on one of the larger raised beds.
Every year, I choose a different bed,
and sow cover crops in it. 
I will also be sowing some white Dutch clover
to the drain field in our yard.
The chooks scratched up quite a bit of it over the last year,
and it needs a bit of resowing.

Each year, I snap a picture of our Mammoth sunflowers,
although this year I'm a bit late to the party.
They were well past their prime by the time we got a photo.
Fortunately, the squirrels did not climb the stalks this year,
so I will be able to harvest huge heads of seeds for next year.

A surprise greeted me when I was perusing the garden.
A few more of the Kajari melons popped up in the grass.
We'll see if we get to sample any.
So far, we haven't had much luck with melon tasting.

The sweet potatoes are surfacing, for some reason.
I've grown sweet potatoes for a few years now,
and never seen them come up out of the ground like this.
It'll be fun to see what's under there!

Strawberries in September?
Is it me, or are things a bit off this year?
I never expected to see berries forming now.
Not complaining one bit!

The loofah are getting huge!
I have sampled some of the smaller ones,
and was surprised to find out that the chooks enjoyed them as well.
The rest will be left to size up and harvest 
to use as "sponges" once they dry. 

The chooks have relished the extra bit of shade the vines provide.
The pollinators have delighted in the flowers.
Everybody wins!

This sweet basket was made by a friend's husband
so that C could use it to collect eggs.
I gathered some basil for pesto making
and it was exactly what I needed.

There are quite a few projects planned for when it gets
just a wee bit cooler.
It's coming, little by little.
I'm hoping that the drier air and cooler temperatures
will motivate me to get out there and get things crossed off of my list.
I'm not sure if I'm slowing down,
or just not willing to go out into the heat anymore.
 Do you notice the asparagus bed in the foreground here?
We've not had any significant wind events,
but the ferns are always laying over in the bed this way.
Any ideas?

The weather is starting to change,
and once again my favorite season will be here.
It's such a blessing to be able to send the heat of summer packing,
and welcome in a milder season.
Here's hoping you enjoy all the loveliness of this very day.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Garden Friday


Garden Friday is on hiatus until I come back 
from my time with a special friend.
Life is good.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday! 
 We got over 1/2" of rain from tropical storm Ida
on two separate days.
Our thoughts and prayers go to those affected by the storm.
Mother Nature's strength is astonishing.

One raised bed was filled with soil and planted with leek, 
three types of lettuce and tatsoi.
The other beds will be worked on over the weekend.
fall garden candidates

An order will be placed for cover crops and seeds that I was low on
so that I have a better chance to restock my supply.
With seed shortages, I'm ordering early.
I'm also getting better at saving seeds where I can.
The cover crop will be used on the bed where we have grown
garlic for the past two years.
The garlic will planted elsewhere.

The beautyberry is starting to bear fruit
and will soon be feeding some of our visiting wildlife.

Speaking of visitors, look who showed up this week!
At last count, there were 17 eggs 
and last night I counted 10 caterpillars on the milkweed.
Oh, I see some gorgeous Monarchs in our future!

The gazebo frame is becoming covered in the loofah.
I love the bright golden flowers almost as much as the bees!

I hope your holiday weekend is just the way you like it.
Personally, I'll be hoping for more rain!