right now

right now

Oct 1, 2009

Fall Days...

Have I said how much I love Fall? No more disgustingly humid days with 100+ heat indexes, mosquitoes are fewer and the garden chores can be done at a slower pace and be enjoyed - the well behaved fall veggies are a stark contrast to the hyperactive summer tomatoes and such! Every day I can't wait to get into the garden now and work, but find it difficult to watch my $$ since it's easy to go overboard planting new things now that I have time to spot all the bare patches in the perennial garden!

I just finished week 3 of Master Gardener training, and am loving it! It is nice to meet so many people who share a love of growing things, whatever their specialty is. I come home after every class ready to tackle some forgotten project I had going, lol!

I spent the whole afternoon in the yard today cleaning out "my shed" (hubby has his own!) and was inspired to actually sow some seeds in flats. It seems like yesterday when I was so tired of tomato and other seedlings all over the place, how soon we forget the pain and only remember the pleasure. Good thing, or no one would ever do it! Here a few pics shot this evening:

Mums again!

Montauk Daisies are blooming now - love these since they bloom from now until past Thanksgiving. Mine were planted 4 years ago when my young Crepe Myrtle trees weren't shading anything yet, but I am sure you can see they are suffering in the shade now. They will be dug up and moved into a sunny location. They are normally about 3-4 ft wide, and 2 feet tall!

Flats of pansies I got yesterday for a STEAL! They were $5 per flat on a clearance cart at a big box store since they needed deadheading .... what, lol??? Needless to say, I bought 3 flats!

The peas are up!

My second crop of Edamame will be harvested tomorrow, and be steamed, salted and eaten with a glass of homebrew by tomorrow night! I think I mentioned before, you need an acre of these to have any to freeze for winter - I was lucky to get 2 crops in this year, but will start earlier, and plant 10 times the amount I did this year.

Every time I walk out the back door, I am now greeted by this guy!

You never know when you may see ghosts of gardeners that have passed before us!

The Haunted Garden is coming along nicely, unfortunately now I am afraid we may scare all the little kids at our party! I am a sucker for campy horror flicks (can you tell I grew up in the 80's?) and can't seem to stop myself! Next hubby and I are going to put a 'dead guy' in our canoe and splatter him with blood with a butcher knife sticking out of him... yeah, we might have to dismantle that one before little kids get here, lol. Too bad we don't live on a lake, I have already dreamed up a classic summer camp theme with floating bodies tied to the dock and overturned canoes and blood spatter on the dock... that one will have to wait until we get our cabin 'up north'! Mama Pea, we will be in your neck of the woods then, so you will be expected at the party! So how about the rest of you? Do you go all out for Halloween or do you lock the doors and turn the lights out and pretend you're not home? :)

Sep 27, 2009

Blood Spatter in the Garden?

I have been taking a "burn & blister holiday" since the canning fiasco, but I will make up for it now with a bombardment of pictures! Yesterday was a good day cleaning up the yard and stringing up a trellis for peas. I love fall days when the new garden is immature and doesn't require much work, and the weather is conducive to just hanging out there and enjoying it! We took the kids to "Safety Day" at the local Farmer's Market and got the obligatory fire truck picture:

I also took a photo walk around the yard, and here are the current happenings:

I recieved a bunch of bare twig volunteer Rose of Sharon last spring that I figured would never grow, but here they are on the right, and developing quite a hedge at just 5 months old!! Not to bad for FREE!!

Marigolds perking along as strong as ever!

Last year's potted mums were planted and are coming into bloom

Perfect example of Mother Nature at work... literally over 100 cherry tomatoes sprouting up in my bed of peas, complete with a still red tomato attached! Remind me again why we baby those seed flats so much in the winter, lol??

My first year actually planting my containers on the deck for fall, usually my guests are greeted with assorted dead stuff by Thanksgiving!

Don't get me started on this.... I grew gourds all over my fence so when I have my kids' Harvest Party they are able to pick out and harvest their own gourds to paint - neighborhood kids have been stealing them off the fence and carting them off at the rate of 5-10 per day. This is all I have left. I caught the little ba*%ar#s yesterday and told them they were for a party and now there weren't enough for us to invite the whole neighborhood... that seemed to have stopped them, lol! What is it about the 9-12 age range? Even the nicest ones seem to transform into hoodlums overnight. No offense to any of you with kids that fall into that range, and I know... my time is coming in just a few short years!

The kids have been begging for me to get started on our Halloween decorating, so this morning we dug out all the stuff from the attic (thank goodness I am OCD, since this was an easy task with all my labeled orange containers, lol) and the kids proceeded to run all over the house with spiders, rats, and anything else creepy they could get their hands on. Thankfully, I snatched the spider web stuff before they could get that crap all over the place! So fifteen minutes later, my organized box was strewn all over the house and the dogs are barking at the fog machine and rubber rats, total chaos! I told the kids it was too early to decorate, but they pointed out to me that it was already Christmas at the stores lol, so I gave in to their demands. I must admit that the older the kids get, the more into Halloween I get! There was a time when all I liked was a simple 'Harvest Display', consisting of straw bales, a scarecrow, leaves, fall wreaths, pumpkins, mums and the like, and I could leave it up all the way until Thanksgiving! Now that the boys are getting old enough to enjoy a good scary display, I am going all out, and I admit that it is pretty fun - my challenge is to be old-school scary, and not give in to the tacky inflatables and all that junk even though the kids seem to love that stuff. I am keeping the front yard 'Harvesty', but am going to do a Haunted Garden this year for our 2nd Annual Harvest Party, a fun social for grownups but with enough activities to keep the kids out of our hair for the evening! The kids get to do Pumpkin Painting, play camping in tents we set up with buckets of cheap flashlights, treasure hunt, etc but it is just a guise to enable the grownups to imbibe in our own creepy punch bowl and yummy apps and get some much needed adult time!

Even though sailor/husband/farmer had to work this afternoon, he went out in the rain this morning to create headstones, signs, etc out of scrap lumber for the kids & I to paint today. I know he was tired and has to work all night tonight, but the kids will remember their dad doing some fun stuff for them! Too often I think what they remember most is either him being gone or getting ready to leave - the Navy doesn't always jive with creating family traditions, but we try to do it anyways! Here are the day's projects:

Headstones courtesy of hubby and his stash of scrap lumber

Miscellaneous crosses in the garden - this area will become a haunted garden over the next few weeks. It works perfectly since it's in the back yard so neighborhood hoodlums can't destroy our fun!

Painting underway: signs for the food table

Signs for the yard

Gravestones maybe only the adults will get :)

Sign for the adult beverage area...

I highly recommend blood spatter as a stress reliever! I did this tonight and was having so much fun that my kids were whining and telling me it wasn't my turn anymore. I couldn't seem to give up the brush... even some neighbors came over to my driveway to see what all the arm throwing and giddiness was all about... try it, you'll see! More on the Haunted Garden as it develops...