Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wow... where'd the summer go?

Apologies...   I can't imagine not posting since July 4th!  I did start a new job, but that's only part-time, in the afternoons, so that's no excuse.  Speaking of the job...  I often mention The Grange Co-op, and that's where I got a job!  At their pet store location.  I LOVE PETS!  I have three dogs and two cats, and since starting to work there we added two little boy Guinea pigs and a baby girl rat!

As for the garden, all I can do is mention the summer harvests and some dramatic growth in other areas.

Both my full size tomatoes were indeterminate, which I will not be getting next year.  They set too much fruit all at once for my family to manage.  I tore out Ace, leaving Siletz, which is still producing in our mild October.  Sungold was, as always, a reliable cherry.   I had few bush beans. The lemon cucumbers outdid themselves!  There are a few left, but the plants are fading fast. Peppers didn't do well, but they seldom do.  I did get a few nice gold ones, and one I forgot turned red and was very sweet.

The biggest change was to the front yard.  It is looking nice, if I do say so myself!  

June 29th - two rockroses, golden oregano, Tuscan blue rosemary, and a lavender
Same plants on October 16th! 
Newly transplanted iris - summer
October iris - they almost need dividing again!  
New handrail and day lilies - September (We will be adding a side handrail too.)  The Hidcote lavender under the window is doing well.  I am slowly adding more flat rocks to the walkway.

The raspberries I transplanted have spread nicely, and a few new plants have started emerging between the rows.  



So, that will do for now.  I hope to keep up on this better in the future! I am making a list of what to accomplish before winter hits.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Iris, Raspberries and Rocks on Independence Day

Happy Independence Day USA!  

The iris have been transplanted (as well as divided) to the front yard... 

and the raspberries have been planted in the iris' former bed.

I have four plants too many, but will keep them around a while in case I need to replace any of these.  I will be putting in a support system within the next few days.  Free with bamboo I have, or $14 for t-posts I have to buy?  Probably the free, at least for the time being.  I already bought peat and steer manure to amend the bed.  Plus I dug in some soil sulfur to help the acidity. 

There are five Hidcote lavender (small and dark purple) planted under the front window.  (The damaged siding was sanded and sealed by the painting company, I primed it, and it just needs to be painted.)

Naturally, the yard yielded more than enough rocks to line the bed!  The neighbor (on the other side of the "fence" with the iris) remembers how the former owner of my house would bring home loads of rocks from vacations several years running!  (Not recommended, and probably illegal on public land.)  That does account for the overabundance of rocks!  I have a garden cart full left over, as well as a pile of flat stones still in front that I hope to add to the current stepping stone path used as a shortcut to the mailbox.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

WOW! The garden's really taken off!

I forget year to year how quickly the garden starts growing once warm weather arrives!  There are...


Ace - June 29

Sungold (cherry) - June 29

bush beans - June 29

lemon cucumber - June 29

lemon cucumber - June 29

compost heap squash volunteers - June 29


Golden Wonder bell - June 29

Blue Crop (5 bushes) and Legacy (1 bush) blueberries - June 29

I'm getting enough to freeze!  Plus I am making blueberry muffins for breakfast this morning.
The boysenberries are finished, but for a dozen or so individual berries.  I have a few bags of berries frozen. It was their first year producing, so I think future harvests will be larger.

Boo loves to garden.  Here he is checking for pests. Not really, he's the pest searching for his tennis ball!  I am not sure what I dug into that part of the bed to get the plants so big and healthy.  Those marigolds are going to take over.  The cucumbers have a long summer's growth ahead of them, but they are already forming fruit.  

I am off to bake those blueberry muffins! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boysenberry Pie

If a picture tells a thousand words, a few pictures must tell a million... so I will get straight to the boysenberry pie!

Nothing much more to say about it other than it was delicious, and that I am picking more berries this morning!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Berry Update for June 2014

Raspberries!  Oh, they are so delicious!  I haven't had freshly picked raspberries since I was a little girl on vacations in Fort Bragg, CA.  I only have one plant currently producing berries, so am really looking forward to next year (hopefully) when the baby plants bear fruit!  There are no photos of the handfuls I pick each morning, since my daughter and I gobble them up before I remember I need to get a picture!  It's a Meeker raspberry, which produce well in the Pacific Northwest.  Seeing how long the vines grew, I will need to move it once the bed for the new plants is finished.  That needs to be soon, as there are are now baby raspberry suckers coming out the drainage holes of the plants awaiting the bed! 

Meeker raspberries - almost ripe!

waiting for their new bed
The blueberries are getting plump!

Legacy Blueberries - June 2014

and numerous...

Bluecrop Blueberries - June 2014
I am harvesting more strawberries a day than we can eat, so I am freezing some.  The first ripe ones were lost to sow bugs/slugs/something.  I used diatomaceous earth, which didn't help.  So, I have resorted to Cory's snail and insect bait.  Now I get most of the strawberries, around 5:1 for me!  They smell just like sweet strawberry jam. I have no idea what kind of strawberries they are, other than June bearing. 

The boysenberries are ripening!  This is their first crop and I am so excited!  I have eaten two so far, and they tasted like pie!  There will be so many ripening at once, a pie is the first thing I am going to make! When they are ripe the berries are nearly as dark as blackberries, one of the boysenberry's parent.  Actually, these may be tayberries, the woman who gave me the bareroot canes wasn't sure which they were, boysenberry or tay.  Tayberries are a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries.  Boysenberries are a blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry cross. 

Updates on peas, tomatoes, peppers, compost pile volunteers, etc. to be coming soon!   This is an African daisy...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Finally got my rockroses!

My rockroses for the front yard arrived!  They came wrapped in plastic wrap, which I assume was to keep the soil moister than if they came in a pot.  Also, it's lighter, so lower shipping costs.

I planted them in front where the ugly barberry and ground covering juniper were when I moved in. 
There are two rockroses (Lasithi and Jessamy Beauty), a Munstead lavender, Golden Oregano, and Tuscan blue rosemary. The rockroses are both low growing.  Since they don't need much water once established I added in the herbs that have similar water needs, as well as low growing.  

Jessamy Beauty


Tuscan Blue Rosemary

Golden Oregano

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Annual FFA Plant Sale

The FFA (Future Farmers of America) at Crater High School in Central Point had their annual plant sale this weekend.  I went yesterday and got this (less the hanging basket, which was from Winco for only $3.88!  I got three of them.)...

2 - four packs of lemon cucumbers.  This is where I always get my lemon cucumbers.  I tried growing my own, but they always die.
2 - bell peppers, a California Wonder and a Golden Wonder.  It's cold for them right now, but it is supposed to warm up considerably in a few days.  Peppers love heat.
1 - four pack of basil
Lots of flowers - "Million Bells" or calibrachoa, verbena, bacopa (sutera cordata), African daisy, wave petunias (I am not a petunia fan, but these do look nice in hanging baskets, and I just mentioned, I bought three!)
...and a dracaena.  I liked it's looks!
All these gems came to under $20.00.  I love those Future Farmers!

It's cold and wet, but I planted anyway.  The plants were used to a cozy warm greenhouse, so they must be very shocked to be in my yard now.  I was in Ashland this morning, and there was snow on the foothills!  Snow! We do need the water, but snow in nearly mid-May?  I want spring back, and I think we are going to jump right into summer. 

lemon cucumbers - I bury most of their vines when I first plant them - 5/10/14
California Wonder Bell - 5/10/14
Golden Wonder Bell - 5/10/14
"Million Bells" or calibrachoa - 5/10/14
I dropped by Walmart this morning for a new little fan for my bedroom, and found this wonderful bargain...  and yes, I do need another ceramic planter!  Well, maybe "need" is the wrong word, but I wanted it, and it was less than half what they usually cost.  Maybe I can find a place for it in front.

Speaking of front, my new windows are being installed this Wednesday and Thursday!  They weren't cheap, but I did actually need the front two, one of which was the most expensive.  So, I went ahead and ordered new ones all around, which is actually only six.  Milgard Tuscany with prairie grids.

The front looks better already since we tore out the junipers.



And I'll lose that icky mildewed, cat hair filled drapery when the new windows go in!  I have to get the painter back to repair those damaged areas where water formed bubbles under the window.  Then I can plant this area.  At first I planned iris, but now I am thinking lavender.  I have plans for a handrail in front of the step.  Isn't my front door pretty?  I love it!  All the greenery in the photo are wild violets. They are cute and pretty, but grow just like weeds. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Just a Bunch of Garden Stuff!

The weather is so cold lately we had to turn the heaters back on, and there is snow on the foothills!  I wonder if the plants are confused by warm then cold, warm then cold?  It's supposed to be 85 on Wednesday! 

Here's what's been happening in my garden...

Frost peach blossoms:

Berries, Berries, Berries:

New Herbs: I went in the Grange Coop for a cilantro and a basil, came out with not only cilantro and basil, but tarragon, French lavender, pineapple sage (yes, it smells like pineapple!), orange mint, some new kind of rosemary, golden oregano, catnip, and one other that escapes my memory!  TEN little herbs.  But, at $1.00 each, how could I resist?  I couldn't!  A few are planted in the herb garden, others in pots, and the pineapple sage, rosemary, and golden oregano are going to go out front with some lavender and rock roses that are on order from a nursery near Portland (OR).  They all need little water even in the summer.

I transplanted a lot of mint starts, and some baby chives that must have grown from seeds.

Tomato:  The Tomato Lady is open for business (weather permitting)!  I only got one so far, but will be picking up an Ace and a Sungold cherry.  I did get a Siletz.  It's another tomato, like Oregon Spring, developed at Oregon State University, so it should do well in my yard (in Oregon!).  I didn't care for Oregon Spring last year, it was very early, very productive, but tasteless. 

Eggs:  OK, so eggs aren't garden produce, but I did get them from The Tomato Lady!  They are from  Araucana chickensThey are also called "Easter Egg" chickens, and this photo shows why!

Flowers:  The daffodils and forsythia are done, but the next wave of spring blossoms are starting to appear.


Iris, which was supposed to be transplanted before it bloomed, but I didn't get around to it!  Now I have changed my mind, and want lavender outside the front windows. This bed was supposed to be for bush beans.