Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Bits

It has been a very good year, in the new house. I actually feel like we are at home now. This will be our second Christmas here.
Finding and getting that star up there was no small feat. Blown up Santas and other assorted lawn ornaments were easy to find. I'm glad we persevered. I think it looks good.
Merry Christmas to all and best wishes to all in the coming Year!
Just wanted to share with you, a new friend I spotted early one November morning. He had a few females with him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adventures with Leeks

I pushed the harvesting until November. My reading said October for leeks. Our weather has been mild, so I gave it a try. I planted a four foot row. I didn't know what I was doing, and didn't thin them. You are suppose to build sand up around the bottom, to keep them white. I didn't do that either, since I am a lazy gardener.
This defiantly was a labor of love. I love leek soup, but I don't think I will be growing or harvesting leeks again. There's the twice trimming while growing, the picking, more trimming, washing and more washing. Then I laid them on trays to be placed into the freezer, so they wouldn't stick together. When they were frozen, I tucked small bunches into freezer bags, and refroze.
If anyone has a good potato and leek soup recipe, they'd like to pass along, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Your Opinion Greatly Appreciated

Here is the current problem, a tree may fall. This tree is on my new neighbor's property. The root base is exposed on my side of the property line. The stick in the back round marks the line. Beyond the stick is a water run off drain. When we had our house built last year, we requested some trees be left on our property. I am satisfied with those. When they leveled our land for water run off, that is when I realized the current problem.
Well I thought when the new neighbors bought the land they would see the problem with this tree and have their builder remove it. Nope!
So fellow bloggers, what would be a good band aide for my side of the stick. I thought a stone retaining wall as high as the roots, on my side of the line, might help. We could shovel in some dirt to protect the roots, for awhile anyway. I don't know how that would work in the future.
What do you think? Have at it people!
And by the way, yes I have been a negligent blogger, and I am sorry. I must confess, I have an a addiction, and it is a game called Wizard101. Just can't stop playing. Don't go there, you will get sucked in, your family will never be able to shop or check their email again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thanks To All

This time of year is pretty much the end of summer in Western NY. I still have leeks, carrots, some tomatoes, and a few onions left in my veggie bins. It was a bountiful harvest.
I'd like to take this moment to thank all of the garden bloggers who have encouraged me, and forgave my blogging errors, graciously. This being my first year to blogging, I can't tell you how helpful and inspiring, all of you have been to me. I have taken copious notes, and followed your instructions, to find myself a better gardener, and proud it. It is to your credit, that I can walk around my garden, coffee cup in hand, before I head off to work in the morning, with a garden blogger smile.
I am indebted to you all. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Bountiful Garden

This is just some of the harvest. It keeps on coming. The tomato is a Burpee Big Boy Hybrid.
All veggies started from seed. The peppers are sweet from Burpee. So far, I have put up 12 pint jars of sweet pickles, 12 jars of dill, and three gallon freezer bags of tomatoes.
There was a blight that struck around here, which devastated much of the tomato crop. I had about 6 tomatoes with a white shoulder, appeared as if etched in mold. Those tomatoes were exposed more then the others. I had clipped away some foliage, to exposed them to the sun. The others were protected by dense leaf cover. A few went to the giant slugs.
The ladder experiment worked quite well, placing it over the cucumbers kept them trailing up.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kids On The Block

This is what has been going on on the lot next door. You can plainly see it's an excavation site of ancient Mayan Temple. Yes folks, we have it all, right here in Western New York; giant tomatoes plants, endless rain, and mosquitoes the size of small birds, yup.
Four, eleven year olds carved that into a pile of soil, excavated behind a new home going up. They worked for days, from morning until night with all of their garden tools. They never argued or complained. To bad it will have to be shoveled back to fill in the swamp, where some of the mosquitoes are breeding.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Plants Gone Wild

My tomato plants, started as seeds in cups last February or March. I transplanted them twice to larger containers, before I took them outdoors. They were planted, with their roots and first two leaf shoots buried laying horizontally, in my raised bed. There are five plants here.
We had a 70 MPH wind and rain storm this past weekend, and much of my already weakened stakes fell even lower.
I bought new stakes and re-staked them as best I could, without losing more then five green tomatoes. There are yet a few beets at the lower left.
The little Maple in the back round has already decided it is Autumn. I think it is to deep in the ground. When they graded the land around the house, that little guy lost out.

This was the view from my bathroom window this morning. I'm not fond of Sunflowers, but up close and personal, these are beautiful. This is my seed garden of vegetables. I planted Sunflowers in the the four corners of my raised beds. This one is almost seven feet tall. The one diagonally to it, is one-third the size. Next year I will plant the bed with that sun angle in mind.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Think Vertical

Although I used this in my kitchen, this peg board-vertical office, could be used in a garden shed for storage.

The racks could hold seed packets, small tools, journals, instructions; any number of items that get lost, wet or gone missing in our configurations of spreaders, buckets and tools. The dry erase board could come in handy for notes to post later to journal, or coupons from garden shops.
There are four long screws, with sleeves, securing it to the door. One inch "S" hooks were used to secure the bins.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thoughts on the 26th rainy day.

These are photos looking out of my dining room window. We built this new home because, as many "empty nesters," our turn of the century city house, got to be more labor then love. We chose the site strictly on location. It was close to family and services. It was in a first phase of a new development, a subdivision of a thirty five year old development, to the back of us.
I could intellectualize about urban sprawl, but to actually be a part of it, in such a dramatically rapid fashion, is unsettling to say the least. The land across the way, is supposed to be a New York State wetlands, but a land company purchased it, and mulched all the trees before they got permission to do so. So in order to keep it from staying a wetland, they plow a portion of it on Sundays, piece by piece.
The engineers office of our town, gives us lip service about the issue. "Yes," they say about it not being developed because, it is wet lands.
The geese, hawks, killdeer (birds) bunnies, and cranes, will be moving on. Well maybe not the geese, they seem to be settling quite nicely in our parks.
The neighbors behind us said, thirty five years ago, they were told, the woods behind them would never be developed. My house stands on that very site. Sometimes I feel very much the enemy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Food is beautiful

Sun flowers, tomatoes, beets (I like the tops better then the bottoms), onions, cucumbers, parsley, peppers, lettuce (leaf), beans, more lettuce (Romaine), a few peas (growing in the shadow of the towering tomatoes), and carrots (growing in the middle of the tomatoes), and more onions.
I took out the radishes to give the late cucumbers room to grow.
I need something for the giant slugs; they look like hunks of sliced sweet potatos (ugh!).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More New Friends

These came with the bare root plants I purchased a while back. They were labeled
"Flowering Shamrocks"
Japanese Anemone (Anemmone x h. 'September Charm')
"Queen of the Prarie" Filipendula rubra, Venuta (Magnifica)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Love Hate Relationship

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), smallest species of the onion family 'Alleaceae.' The word "Chive" derived from the French word"cive," which was derived from the Latin word for onion "cepa." It is a herbaceous plant, and has insect repelling properties-Japanese beetle. It attracts bees, and contains vitamin C + A, and traces of calcium + iron.
Such a delicate color, balancing their little puff heads atop long pale green straw shaped stems.
I planted them next to the patio, so I could run out and snip them as I need them. I planted them in that bottomless container, in the hope that I will be able to keep them from traveling to far. I have delt with these darlings before, so I am prepared.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Veggie Update

In the veggie garden are: Sun flowers in the corners, Marigolds on the sides (just a few), sweet peas on the far left, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets, radishes (like crazy), cucumbers didn't work-some seed+ plants wilted, maybe too cold, scallions, red onions, leeks, pepper plants look almost as small as when I put them in. All plants were started as seeds, and I'm not sure I mixed the soil/fertilizer/peat, well enough.
As you can see in the top photo, there is a Maple tree shading some of the garden, right over head. We trimmed some branches this week end past. There is a large Maple as well, on the opposite side doing the same job. It's not on our lot, it's an empty lot, and I am very tempted to go over and trim it.
At the rate the veggies are growing, we will be having a Fall Harvest.
Please excuse the "text box" in the center photo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Sunday Outing

Saw this interesting choice of outdoor decor at the Allen Town Art Festival this weekend. Allen Town is a historic and eclectic community on the west end of Buffalo, NY. People come from all over the country to sell their wares. Paintings, crafts, hand made jewelry, leather goods, ceramics, and garden decor, from wrought iron trellis, to bird baths, were some of the items displayed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet my new friends

I don't know what happened, one minute I was just strolling along, and the next I knew, I was putting them in the car. I had to find good places for them, so I asked them to stand in two rows for identification. I then seperated them by sun and shade, a couple couldn't make up their minds. So here we are as follows, from left to right, back row first.

shade Deutschland Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii) White
sun Coreopsis 'Full Moon'
sun Dwarf Russian Sage (Perovskia) 'Little Spike'
shade Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla)
sun Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'

Front row:
pt.sun Charm pisifera 'Iceberg' Comefer
shade Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum hispiulum)
sun Oriental oregano 'Amethyst Falls'
pt.sun Foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis)
sun Heather Allegro (Calluna valgaris)

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's been a week since my last post. I've been pouting. I was denied access to a garden blog site, but I don't remember submitting to it. They didn't say why, only the usual requirements. Is not my subject content garden-like enough? Should I be using Latin names for my plants? I took Latin in high school, I guess I could. Would it make my content more interesting? My language isn't colorful. Is my composition not interesting enough? Boring? Dull? Should I be posting exotic places I've traveled? I'd like to save those for the winter, we have a long winter. Are my graphics not pretty enough, to pretty? I don't know.....
Anyway, over the week end, we took some little people to the Penn Dixie quarry. It was named after the company that owned it. A dry millions of years old ocean bed, provides much fun for kids with axes and hammers. We took away plenty of dirt, and trilobite fossils. Click on the photo to see it better, if you feel the need.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mail Order

This is how I received my mail order plants from DIRECTGARDENING.COM I ordered
2 Daylillies Purple D'Oro
2 Hosta.Regal Blue
2 Hydrangea Trees
2 Japanese Lily
10 Iris, Eye of Tiger Dutch
2 Monk's Cap Purple

1 Stella D'Oro Daylilly
4 Flowering Shamrock

I hope that "Instruction book" they included, has plenty of instructions, because I've never planted bare root plants before. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Living Color

Finely starting to see the fruits of my labor, or partly my labor, mostly it goes to the "scapers."
That's a blurry Weigela, and a Lupine "Gallery Blue"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just a word of thanks.....

Just a word of thanks for all of your encouraging words, on my new house journey. I sooo miss my plantings at my old home, and I'm impatient to get back to an ample garden. I know it will take time, and I should take the time to enjoy the time in the doing, and I am. But, I miss my peonies, and my heirloom roses, I miss the forsythia, and the tulips of my old place. Plants will become familiar, and become old friends sooner then I think. I'm glad I have all of you to travel along with me. Keep blogging, even if you don't think anyone is watching, they are.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Window box

This is the view from my computer room. My husband built a beautiful window box, that expands across the front widow of my house. There are three plastic bins inside the box that are easy for me to remove for planting. He attached tiny hoses in holes of the removable bins, which drain into corresponding holes drilled into the bottom of the box. Under the box are three globe box woods. After our gray northern winter, in our new house, it's a colorful view. It's finely starting to feel like our home.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A drop in the perennial bucket

Today I went to the "candy store," oh you know what I mean, that garden center with the prettier, bigger, and more unusual plants ($$$). I bought 18 plants. I went to http://www.lockwoodsgreenhouses.com I got everybody into the ground. It looks like a drop in the bucket.
We even had time to get the deer fencing put up around the veggie bins. I attached tree branches every which way across the top, to try to keep the birds out. I saw it on a British blog.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Patio step

Now all I need is an awning, a grill, and some furniture, for this project anyway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just an observation

Today I'm pretty pleased with myself. I've been a little under the weather, (no pun intended), but I am rallying. My newly planted trees are bug free, and blooming nicely. My little starter seeds are all in the ground and trying to recover from transplant shock. Those poor little Cosmos are actually getting their feet dug in. Nature is truly amazing.
My husband is working on what little lawn area I have left him, he's a lawn guy, married to a garden girl. Oh well.......

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beds begun

I know this doesn't look like much now, and it might not look like much later. These are Cosmos
seedling. Either the deer will step on them, or some other disaster will befall them, like my husband draging the garden hose over them. I am being hopeful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beds waiting

This is my shade bedding, with a pea gravel path. It's very Zen, but difficult for draging a wheel barrel around.
I've purchased a couple Dusty Millers, A Blue Angel Aquiegia, and a couple Silver Scrolls Heuchera. They're going right there at that point on the left.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Phase One Completed

All professional work is completed. Beds, plantings, boulders,stone path, patio, pea gravel path and garden shed, are completed. The veggie beds, still have to be filled. I caught some kids with "light sabers," playing in there yesterday. I'd better fill it, and fence it soon, before it becomes the neighborhood playground. Now all I have to do is fill the perennial and annual beds, and pay the bill.
The stepping stone side is the sunny side, and the shed side is the shady side. I'm going to need some help with selections, so if anyone wants to make a contribution of ideas, have at it.