Friday, January 21, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday,
where we share what's going on in our
Piedmont garden.
This week's featured guest is SNOW! 

I think our magnolia was taken by surprise.
It looked lovely covered in soft snowflakes.

All of the raised beds have been topped off with snow,
but most crops are tucked underneath row covers,
so they are not affected by the bitter cold.

A few days after this photo was taken,
I took some time to tidy up some of the garden equipment.
This bed houses our parsley and garlic.
It'll be curious to see how they fared
once the snow is all gone.

The cattle panel frames worked well
to keep the snow from accumulating.
The broccoli and lettuce inside is insulated and toasty.

Each morning I had the task of identifying footprints.
It was fun to see what had been visiting the garden overnight.
The birds have been going bonkers over the birdseed and suet feeders.
Here, we have tracks from bluebirds, cardinals, chickadees, doves, juncos,
 mockingbirds, sparrows, tufted titmice and wrens.

The bunnies have been busy scampering about!
There is no shortage of squirrels in our yard.

The chooks were not at all happy with the weather.
They stayed inside the coop for the first two days.
Upon some coaxing from me,
they ventured out and I was able to shovel them out
so that they had a walking path.

I also worked on their run area around the coop.
The sun cover that came with our Eglu had worn out,
so I used it as a template and cut up a vinyl tarp
to fit around the top and sides.
This will shield them from the wind and snow all winter long.
I'm working on a better way to attach it,
so that it can be easily removed on sunny or warmer days.
The side pieces will be removed in the summer. 

After the first of the snow arrived,
the underside of the metal run was full of snow, 
as the wind blew in from the sides.
I added fresh shavings and the new cover.
Doesn't it look cozy in there?
The chooks will be getting a new and improved long run
once the weather warms up a bit.
I'll be using welded wire fencing and conduit 
to improve the look of the run and add security from predators.

We've been using our fireplace quite a bit over the last two weeks.
It sure is nice to be bundled up on the couch with the fire going.
And I can channel my inner Laura Ingalls and dry my jeans!
 The snow is melting, but we may get more this weekend.
I can't complain one bit
'cause there's no place I'd rather be.
Let It Snow!


Friday, January 7, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome to the first Garden Friday of the New Year!
After weeks of mild weather,
'Ole Man Winter has come back and it looks like
He's here to stay! 
Amazingly, the other day we got 3" of rain overnight!
Sure hoping that helps our deficit.
It also snowed for exactly five minutes one day this week.
Who can predict the weather anymore?

With the temperature fluctuations,
it's no wonder the asparagus is confused.
I sampled several stalks that popped up 
and they were delicious!
Looking forward to a spring harvest.

The mint behind the chicken run is waking up.
I'd love to get into the habit of picking it and drying it for tea.
This crop was already here when we bought the house five years ago.

The carrots don't seem to mind the changes in the weather.
They keep company with beets in this bed
and just keep rolling right along.
I've decided I need to grow more carrots
since I discovered how good fermented carrots taste.

Nothing affects the garlic and parsley.
I was able to harvest quite a bit of parsley,
so it was washed, chopped and added to a freezer container
for use in all kinds of dishes.
The garlic is due for picking in May. 
It will grow substantially once spring comes around.

The blueberry plants are budding,
so I'm not sure if that will affect production.
This will be our first year with these plants,
as they were installed last spring.
Hopin' for bowls o' berries!

 Our sweet next door neighbor gifted us with two varieties of azaleas.
They both get quite tall, 
so I'll have to be careful about where they are transplanted.

 It's unbelievable, but the California poppies
are still looking gorgeous all through these cold snaps.
They have really filled out since they were seeded here in the spring.

The yarrow, as well, seems so cold tolerant.
This is one of the best plants for pollinators,
and I think more will be added to the property.

I worked on a new and improved version of our suet feeders,
by adding two side pieces of scrap wood,
to keep the suet from falling out.
They are working like a charm,
except that the one hung in front of the kitchen window
was knocked down and half of it was hauled away, 
no doubt by some rascally squirrels.
Ah well, back to the drawing board!

We are still getting no eggs, 
so I think that means that these girls
are just freeloading from now on.
They are part of the family now,
so they'll be here until their time comes.
How's your winter garden coming along?