Sunday, September 29, 2019

Off-Topic - My Recent Thrift Store Treasures (non-gardening edition)

Lots of nice finds at local thrift stores recently. These are not garden related, but I still felt like sharing.

A Shawnee cat creamer, "Puss 'n Boots."   I misread the price tag, so paid more than I normally would at a thrift store, but it all goes to a good cause.  This makes it my second piece of Shawnee, and my second creamer, but it isn't a collection until I get three!  That's my rule!  Two is just a coincidence, three is a collection!

My first grey porcelain insulator.  (Ohio Brass Co. B)

I've been finding quite a bit of art that draws me in.  I have two rules for thrift store or garage sale art.
1 - it must catch my eye instantly
1 - it must be original

 I love what I call "Lady in Orange," even if everyone else passed her by and those who know I love her think I'm nuts!  

 A "demonstration painting" for the use of pallet knife and brush done in an Oregon coast gallery.
It's a scene in Cap Corse, Corsica, based on the artist's sketch done in 1961.  I don't know when the painting was done. A lot of information about the where and when are written on the back.

 A small, 5x7, painting called nothing but "seascape #9" by the artist.   It looks more like a lake scene than a seascape, so I'm thinking of a new name!

 It's hard to see how pretty (I think) it is by the full photo, although easier than on Instagram, where images are much smaller than on computer (which I use for this blog), so here are two close-ups.

I am not sure I posted this intaglio etching (a type of print) by Al Kaufman, who actually has an Internet presence and an page!  It's "Mariner Bay." I'd love to find his "Sailor's Cove," another etching of the same harbor, different details, different boats. 

Oh, my, I can't forget my poodles!  Or, oh, my, I can't forget my decanters!  
 Again, two is a coincidence...

The hooks held shot glasses (or little mugs actually).

"Penny" the Jim Beam poodle from 1970 in white.  She comes in grey also. 

Early Autumn 2019

September's nearly over.
That was fast!

Most of the raised beds are finished for the year.  I still need to get more mulch laid down
on them, compost, lawn clippings, later on chopped leaves.

Bed #1 has one ornamental gourd plant (which are large, plain green with a few warts, nothing to bother with), the three knautia Macedonica  Red Knight (one is reblooming), some transplanted from the herb garden (planted for the blooms, but didn't get any) Welsh onions, and a bunch of calendula and marigold seedling volunteers.  There's already a layer of manure blend and grass clippings here.

Bed #2 still has the Early Girl tomato, cut back severely yesterday.  The Sugar Ann peas aren't doing well, until the past few days they've been in full hot sun.  There are a few last of the year nasturtium, a cosmos mixed in with the tomato, and a straggly ox-eye (false) sunflower I need to transplant when/if it's dormant.   

One pathetic melon (probably Ogen Israel, I had leftover seeds) is climbing the tomato cage, but it needs to just be put out of its misery!  It's quite pretty.

Bed #3 contains four artichokes, one of which produced.  I have to read up on artichokes to see how much room they need, if they winter over of course.  There are lots of calendulas that volunteered and one remaining plant.  Oh, and the Arbor Day Sargent's crabapple!

The Blacktail Mountain watermelon in this bed was a flop. I got one, actually the largest I've ever grown, but still too small to bother with.

 It tasted fine!

Bed #4 is the Pool Bed, currently empty (the gourd is from Bed #1 and the squash Bed #5) but for marigold and morning glory seedlings.  So many flowers have sprouted from this year's seeds.

Then, Bed #5.  The Galeux D'Esyines squash has two fruit. There was another but its stem broke and it rotted.  Not worth the 4x4 bed it mostly to itself.  There are two Arbor Day white flowering dogwoods, a volunteer wild grape, a perennial calendula in the far corner, and many morning glory seedlings.

Galeux D'Esyines are wonderful squash I use in pumpkin recipes.  I don't like squash in savories, so I only use it for cookies, muffins, pies, etc.  Galeux D'Esyines cooks up smooth and thick and incredibly orange.  But, two is not enough.  Actually, I am taking a break next year from any cucurbits, which means no squash, no pumpkins, no gourds, no melons, not even any cucumbers!  I really need to deter the squash bugs.  They always start off in the compost heap, and this year finished off those volunteer pumpkins really quickly and moved on!  It might not help, but it's worth giving up the lemon cucumbers to see what happens in 2021!

The Garden Salsa hot pepper is slowing down, and its leaves are not such a bright dark green.
It had SO MANY peppers!  We find them to hot to eat, so most are strung up drying for looks!

I'm not one for fall crop planting, and so far my trial with chard, carrots and the peas aren't going too well!  The Swiss chard barely germinated, so I pulled out the little stunted seedlings that did.
The carrot tops look nice, who knows what's happening underground? 

 There is still so much color in the Pollinator Garden you wouldn't guess it was a few days from October.

Lots of cosmos.

 Rain lilies.

 The Baby's Breath reseeded and is flowering better than before since it came up in the bed instead of a concrete block hole!

giveaway for mint seeds!  
Sow Right Seeds ( had a "Get Minty With It" giveaway, and I have so many mints I shared!  I love mint!

Lemon balm, spearmint, peppermint and lemon mint.  Lemon mint is an annual balm and has the most beautiful flowers.  I grew it last year and am excited to do it again!

 They threw in a surprise chamomile packet!

Today you can really tell it's Autumn.  Not just for the grey sky and on and off rain, but it's cold!  Actually cold!  Unpack the sweaters and put on long pants cold!  Turn on the heaters (at least in the Guinea pig room) cold!   The woman working at the electric company has me a bit concerned for winter, she said they were told it is going to be a "harsh" one. 
I bought a California pottery planter at St. Vincent de Paul recently.

I added some off-topic, not gardening related thrift store treasures below this, but found I'd added so many I decided to make a separate post! So, this one is gardening, skip the next if you don't want to see my bargains!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Autumnal Equinox 2019

Today's the Autumn Equinox, which means
it's the first day of Fall!

Nature lets us know that without a calendar of course,
it's been raining for the past week, 
the nights have gotten cool, trees are changing color,
and I'm wearing a sweatshirt!

In my yard the peach tree has the most noticeable change.

 This next one is the little peach I grew from a pit.

Virginia creeper leaves are just beginning to color up,
but the berries are gorgeous.  I'm not sure where the birds that eat them
are this year.

 Pyracantha berries are turning orange.  
There are more berries this year than in any past.
I should be happy with any, I rather neglect this shrub!

Legacy blueberry has a wonderful red pattern to its leaves.

Autumn crocus is in all its glory.  Colchicum autumnale, of the lily family, not a crocus, it's called that for it's crocus-like looks.

 Apparently the nights are cold enough, although far from freezing, to harm the last sunflower buds.

 Lastly, a sure sign of autumn, the squash are nearly 
ready to harvest!  This Galeux D'Eysines should be very sweet,
the more "warts" the sweeter.  They are caused by sugars in the skin.  This is my recommended winter squash for recipes calling for pumpkin.  It cooks up so smooth (I just microwave wedges) you don't have to even mash it, just stir it. Such a brilliant orange color too!  I plan on skipping the cucurbits (squash, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers) next year to try to kill off the squash bugs.  As much as I love this "warty French" squash, I was disappointed in its yield.  I can't spare a 4x4 bed to get two fruit (another is on a broken stem and may not mature).

In honor of the Equinox, here's poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Autumn Daybreak

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know - for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor -
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south or east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meager light increased
Than by a disk in splendour shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2019

 Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2019!

Thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens, who hosts gardeners around the world every month!

There are still LOTS of blooms in the September garden!

I'll try not to repeat the post before last, where I shared the Dollar Store seed successes. 
Still flowering are the
calendulas, corn poppies, rocket larkspur, Chinese forget-me-nots, cosmos (many, many cosmos!), black-eyed Susans, alyssum, and lance-leaf coreopsis.

Other September blooms include:
autumn crocus - not a crocus, Colchicum autumnale, which is in the lily family. 

 "Angel" Shasta daisies in their second flush of blooms - bachelor buttons are Dollar Tree seeds

 blanketflower - wintersown milk jug seeds

 good ol' dependable borage is in it's fourth generation this year

 Dittany of Crete oregano

The bracts of Dittany of Crete are prettier than the actual flowers!

 "Ellegance Snow" lavender - second bloom after cutting back

 four o'clocks and a few short type black-eyed Susans in the Toss Garden

 garlic chives - I've very proud of these, they were grown from seed last year, 
and this bunch was only two tiny plants!

 Mexican red sunflowers will last until the first hard freeze.

 morning glories had really slowed down


 oxeye sunflower (false sunflower) - I was thrilled when I saw this
 perennial had come up from a tossed seed!  They didn't germinate in the wintersown jugs.  
Another is crowded in the tomato plant, it will
be relocated.

 sulfur cosmos in the Butterfly Garden - unsure where this came from, 
I'm saving seed, but it's a very leggy plant, full of stems!

 Galeux D'Eysines squash - the "warty French" pumpkin.  
These seeds were planted in August, hoping for a late crop.

 wild basil - Clinopodium vulgare, formerly Satureja vulgaris - another "oh, boy, it grew!" 
In the Pollinator Garden I can only figure it grew from ungerminated seeds I gave up on in a wintersown milk jug.  I mistook it for beebalm until the actual beebalm bloomed near it!

 "Moonshine" yarrow - second bloom

feverfew in it's second bloom

 gaura - these are the small transplants, already big and blooming!

 "Gay Butterflies"  butterfly weed - the large parent plant is done, but the new ones
grown from last year's seeds are flowering now

 Up Tick coreopsis and lance-leaf coreopsis - the flowers on Up Tick are getting smaller
and smaller as the season progresses

 the last sunflower 😭

 a rose - unknown kind, it came with the house.  The flower makes it look
better than it is, I pruned the plant waaaay back last year, and it's not doing well.  It wasn't
doing well before, so that's no change though.

 "Mini Blue" lavender's second bloom

 "Red Riding Hood" penstemon - second bloom

 zinnia - last and least.  I know many, many gardeners love zinnias, but I don't.  
I find them dry.  They may as well be strawflowers for all the softness they have.  This is the last remaining one in my garden, I pulled the others out.  It survived by virtue of hiding in the tomato foliage!