right now

right now

May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to my little brother!

(he's on the right!)

It kind of looks like we were all squinting into the sun LOL, and yes... that's MORK from ORK on my shirt :)

Mom, however did you get us to stop fighting for this picture?!

Perennials and a sale tip!

I've had to take a couple of days off from the garden in order to tend to other things on "the list", namely housecleaning, grocery shopping, and ordering Subaru parts, yes- exciting stuff.  Until I can have some veggie progress to report on, these will have to do ...

Here's what's going on with the perennials -


Hardy Geranium (pink), Walkers Low Catmint





Nearly everything in the garden is now actively blooming, but I better save some of the others for my lazy picture days :)

Weekend agenda:  Plant squashes, tie tomatoes, obsessively check my cukes, beans and melons for germination, check for early bugs, mow lawn, watch hubby put new catalytic converter and harmonic balancer on the Forester (good times), and fit a walk/bike ride with the family & dogs in somewhere!  What big plans do you have this weekend?

**almost forgot!  I received an email last night stating that Sustainable Seed Co. is having a sale - 35% off for Mother's Day!  I really like this small company, I ordered a lot from them last year, and had great customer service and germination, check them out if you are in need - they also have a clearance section (I got all my beans there for about 45 cents a pack last year!)

May 4, 2011

Post #2 today - too good not to share!

Hurrying home...

I woke up this morning already knowing that the weather was supposed to turn nasty today, but it was a beautiful 70º by 7 am so I thought that after getting the kids off to school, I would have just enough time to run an errand and get home in time to tie up the tomatoes for the first time to their supports for the approaching storm.

I was wrong!

After running my quick errand at 8 am to the post office, the sky started getting really dark and the temp dropped 10º in the 30 minutes I was gone.

This is what the tomatoes looked like at 6:30 am, they have put on a lot of growth in just 2 weeks of being outside and we are expected to get gusty winds today...

This is what I was greeted with when arriving back home at 8:30 am.  The airfield at the base is directly across the road from us, this storm was approaching fast...

I only got 4 tomatoes tied up before the winds and rain started.  Temps are expected to get down into the 40's tonight, and I'm a little worried about them, hard to believe it's been in the 80's every day and 60's at night, and now this - the challenges of gardening!  I wish I had planned ahead a little better, then I could have scheduled a sewing day instead of waiting to run out and tie tomatoes in between sheets of rain!

As for the harvest yesterday, "same s***, different day!"  No complaints though, we love our salad here.

In other news - not sure if I told you all, but hubby transferred to a different squadron, he's doing back-to-back sea duty tours to maximize our income over the next few years.  It's not that newsworthy, since the other squadron is still located on the same base, so there is no disruption in our daily lives.  So instead of being a Gypsy wife (that's the squadron's nickname, not one my hubby gave me LOL) I am now a "Gunslinger" wife!

(image from VFA-105 website)

I am attending my first FRG meeting tonight with the new squadron and look forward to meeting some new people.  I'm very excited about the fact that I get to do it sans kids - since hubby was deployed all last year I had to drag the kids along to every one!

May 3, 2011

No seedlings... just SEEDS!

The rest of the garden is finally going in - it's a total mess, I guess I'm going to have that "cottage garden" after all, take a look at my "plans".... I use that term very loosely!  It's nothing but scribbles and names of seeds with no specific place to put them.

I ripped out the broccoli, after only just a few spears, it was showing signs that it was getting ready to bolt in the heat already, so it came out to make room for bush beans.  So the bed below now contains bush beans, peppers, and peas.  A second planting of bush beans will go in after the peas come out.  It looks like I may be harvesting peas in a couple of weeks.

I did another sowing of lettuces, I hope they germinate quickly since all the current ones are mature.  I really need to work on my successive sowing, I tend to plant a whole bed and then am left saying "duh" a few weeks later!

I don't know what the below lettuce is, but I only have one of them.  It must have been in one of the "mixes".  It's so beautiful I hate to pick it, but I will this week.

I sowed a lot more of the below, "Bronze Mignonette" Lettuce, not only is it beautiful and delicious, it is doing really well in the heat!  I'll try and remember to keep you updated on how heat tolerant it becomes as the summer continues to heat up.

I'm harvesting this much lettuce every evening now... sure would like to see some red in these harvests - it's always a battle in our heat to get lettuce to keep producing once the tomatoes start coming in.  For now, we get lettuces, scallions, and basil on a regular basis.

Below is a detailed list of what went down out there today, the idea is to keep a record so I can see if any of these made a noticeable difference good or bad, at the end of the season.

Today's plantings:
  • Chinese Red Noodle Bean - (on arch spanning beds with existing peas, greens, peppers, carrots, scallions, dill, zinnias & pansies)
  • Contender Bush Bean - (bed with existing peas & peppers)
  • Golden Wax Bean -  (bed with existing peas & peppers)
  • Dragon Beans - (bed with existing peas & peppers)
  • Spicy Mix Mesclun - (greens bed)
  • Mizuna Greens - (greens bed)
  • Bronze Mignonette Lettuce - (greens bed)
  • Tango Lettuce - (greens bed)
  • Green Salad Bowl Lettuce - (greens bed)
  • Bunching Onions (Scallions) - (greens bed)
  • Chives - (in tomato bed)
  • Bouquet Dill - (greens bed)
  • Mammoth Dill - (container with cucumbers)
  • Cilantro - (greens bed)
  • Japanese Climbing Cucumber - (in container with dill)
  • Parisian Pickling Cucumber - (in ground on trellis)
  • Solly Beiler Cucumber - (in ground on trellis)
  • Sugar Baby Bush Watermelon - (in containers next to hops)
Still left to plant:
  • Danvers Carrots
  • Perfecto Radish
  • Nasturtium
  • Edamame
  • Gourmet Pie Mix Pumpkin
  • Hokkaido Squash
  • Waltham Butternut Squash
  • Ornamental Gourds
  • Sunflowers
  • Peanuts
A few things I am going to try this year as recommended in the book "Carrots Love Tomatoes"...
  • Sow radishes but do not pull - with cucumbers, squash & melons to repel striped cucumber beetle, let the radishes grow as long as they will, even letting them go to seed, for squash - sow a few radish in each hill and let grow and go to seed
  • Plant nasturtium with squash to repel squash bugs
  • Place basil leaves over tomatoes in a bowl in the kitchen to repel fruit flies
  • Keep growing more lemon balm - there is an old belief that bees will not leave the hive area if Lemon Balm is grown near it
  • There is tons more info in the book, but these are the ones that jumped out at me as immediately useful or pertained to things I had already planned on planting!

May 1, 2011


When the breaking news interrupted my "Army Wives", you know I was a little peeved - but WOW, Osama is dead.  Whenever I see that "Special Report" flash across the screen at this time of night I am immediately filled with dread, but am in awe now - I honestly am amazed that he really was alive all this time...

Welcome news to this military wife, but there is so much work yet to do, and wondering what he has been doing all this time, and what it could mean in the future...

Just had to write something down so I might be able to sleep better!

My energy's back, with pics to prove it!

The weekend started off with hosting a spur of the moment sleepover for Loch and his friend from school.  I wish I could they could donate some of their energy to us grownups, I was exhausted just watching them!

After dinner we lit a fire for roasting marshmallows.  Finn and his buddy T were included too, of course!

Just what they need, sugar...

We spent most of the evening watching them run around with swords, water guns, jumping off the fort with boxing gloves on and other dangerous boy activities.  As much as we really needed cocktails by then, we held off in case we needed to make a trip to the E.R.!

Hubby then set up the tent for them... this didn't last long however, they were telling scary stories and ended up inside.

Saturday morning we took a trip out to my favorite nursery way out in the sticks, but the drive is so worth it, they have thousands of native plants and hard to find stuff.  Both the kids were a little whiny from their late night, but they made it through.
Finn holding one of my new hollyhocks!

Hollyhocks are something I've always wanted to grow, but never wanted to wait, kind of like asparagus & rhubarb LOL - but I saw these and had to have them.

Loch's looking a little sleepover-hungover this morning, don't you think?

Oh, and I hired a gardener...

Ha ha, just kidding!  That's hubby finally getting after the hugely overgrown prostrate rosemary hedge.  Loads of dead stuff was cut away from underneath, I can't wait to burn it in the fire pit, it always smells so good.  I was also able to plant all 120 little flowers & herbs that had been started in flats outdoors, not sure if they will all make it through the dog/kid traffic, that's why I started so many.

The harvest this weekend was more lettuces - 

and TWO little spears of Piricicaba broccoli!  We may not get any more than this since it's getting ready to bolt in the heat already.  Broccoli does much better in the fall here than spring it seems.

While the kids ate pizza (store bought, yuk!) for sleepover night, we had salad!

I never get sick of salad the way I do squash, zucchini and the like.  I could eat salad with every meal and be happy.

This morning I looked for a tank top to garden in and maybe get a little sun to no avail, apparently I ruined them all last year, so I had to get a little redneck again - yep I just cut the sleeves off a t-shirt!  I've never done this before but it felt kind of liberating!

Brace yourself for what's coming next...I'm a murderer!

Above are my blackberries, below are my raspberries.  They are on either side of my split-rail fence garden.

And now they are....GONE!

I know this might seem crazy to some of you, but here's the deal... we have got to start getting away from so much high maintenance looking things and start integrating a lot more "pretty" into the garden since we are hoping to sell in a few years when the market bounces (hopefully) back.  In the unfortunate event that we would have to do a military transfer, not be able to sell and have to rent our place out, can you imagine what would happen if things like raspberry canes were left to the charge of the average non-gardener?  I shudder to think what the yard and garden would look like.  So on each side will now be my hollyhocks!  Hubby also built a few trellises for me today and I transplanted some of my pot-bound clematis to climb on the teepees we placed there.  I'm hoping it will look a little more like a cottage garden and a little less like a "garden at all costs" garden LOL, you probably know what I mean, space is a premium - you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes!

Please forgive me for ripping out perfectly good berries - it's for my future sanity!

All that's left tonight is to make dinner, 3 more loads of laundry, get the kids into bed and collapse.  I hate admitting that I'm addicted to a tv show, but I am - and will be watching Army Wives tonight after everything settles down, I can't wait! Hope you all had productive weekends or at least the sun is shining and finally warming up your northern gardens - you all know who you are :)