Monday, April 30, 2012

Asparagus Fern Update

It's been almost a year since I divided the Asparagus ferns, and they are doing quite nicely:

Small pot--it is broken, so this one will find a sturdier home soon.

This one is out by the garden in a clay pot that was spray-painted
black at one time. Funny!

This one is on the porch and is going crazy!!

The foliage is looking a little lime green, so I will probably ask Pat which fertilizer to use.  Maybe an Ironite, just to get it going green.  The one on the porch looks deep green, but that was the camera flash.

Here is the link to the previous post showing how to divide Asparagus fern.  Not for the faint of heart, but well worth it!

Here are some other ferns that Pat divided last year.  I'm sorry, but I don't know the name of the fern. Happily, new growth is emerging!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beets, Beet Salad & Lettuces

Nothing like fresh!
This week marks the end of the lettuce-growing season for the Boney household.  We've cleared the row for okra and whatever else Mr. Pat will plant.  The beets are filling out nicely.  Last weekend I made some beet salad, and this weekend I will make some more.  Neighbors and friends will be surprised this week with a small harvest.  Next weekend is already very busy, but I know I'll have to make time to pickle some more beets. We have a lot of beets in the garden, still!!

Other weekend tasks:

  1. Plant 2 more Salvias--Hot Lips and 2 more Guaras!  I am so excited to be planting some more Guaras, plus--the Guara I thought we had lost to the drought has come back!  We'll have 3 now!
  2. Fertilize container flowers
  3. Dead-head knock-out roses
  4. Harvest some collards and squash for supper
  5. Pick at a few more weeds and grasses

Beet Salad Recipe

Wash beets well, removing all the dirt.  To cook, I like to clip the greens off, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of the stalk.  I do not clip the root until after they have boiled. I boil the beets until fork-tender then toss into ice water until completely cooled.  The skins slip right off, and I slice right away.  Be sure to wear an old t-shirt because beet juice stains quite nicely!


I make a type of balsamic vinaigrette.  I like 1 part red wine vinegar to 1 part balsamic vinegar.  Last time I used basil, but I think I like a little fresh thyme better--about 1 to 2 tablespoons.  Add some crushed or minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well. Whip in 1 to 1 1/2 parts olive oil (or more if you like...I like my dressings vinegary).  When I'm finished I have enough dressing to coat the beets well, but not completely covered.  Probably about 2/3 to 1 cup of dressing.

Pour dressing over beets and slice some onion into rings.  Put all into a bowl with a lid that snaps tight.  Shake over the sink until well-blended (when I don't shake it over the sink, it winds up on the floor or all over me!)  Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or into the freezer for about 30 minutes) to chill well.

This is good the first day, but fantastic after about 2 or 3 days in the fridge.  This will keep about a week in the fridge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

100th Post: Nostalgia

Trusty wheelbarrow

Sometimes in the midst of working it is easy to forget some of the things that help you get the job done season after season.  The wheelbarrow full of dead vines has been a part of the family since the early 80s. My mother gave Pat this trusty tool when we planted our first garden in Abilene, Texas. Since then it has had flat tires repaired and replaced and new handles.  It once was a bright, shiny red.  Now it's a true faded orange.  It cracks, groans, and pings sometimes, but it is always there to make the load light.  Thanks friend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beautiful Butterflies--2012

I love my butterflies.  Here are a few action shots.  Please understand, butterflies do what they want...not what the photographer wants!!  Many are upside down, but perhaps...I am upside down!


I think this is Hackberry Emperor.  Makes sense...we have some
Hackberry trees in our yard!

Red Admiral--they are everywhere, literally!

Gray Hairstreak--a gorgeous little butterfly, but very shy.  Rarely opens
her wings for an inside shot!

Love the duo shot of the Red Admiral!

Future butterfly on the Tarragon!

Future butterfly on the Oregano!
This has to be my favorite butterfly post ever!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Over Clover and Other Garden Updates!

It felt good to get out in the yard today and yesterday, even if it was only for a short time.  I did my best to weed the circle garden for the second time this season.  As the title suggests, I now understand why gardeners don't like clover.  Clover belongs in a pasture where it's bound to be eaten and not in a flowerbed. Nevertheless, it was easy to pull up, and the circle garden looks fantastic again! 

Blackfoot Daisies--April 2012
This picture wanted to stay here--so I stopped fighting it!!
Below is a look at the circle garden last year when Pat and I had cleaned it out.  At the time this picture was taken, it was Spring Break of 2011 (March 17th).  At the time I felt silly labeling everything we planted.  Little did I know just how helpful it would be to keep a record.  Thankfully, I'm using it now to help me figure out just how much we lost and was able to keep due to the drought last year.

New plants added to Circle Garden March 2011
The plants that existed last year were:  Gray Santolina; Daisies; Daylilies; Turk's Cap; Salvia; Thyme; Russian Sage; Mexican Petunias; and Society Garlic.  The only established plants we lost to the drought were all but two small patches of Gray Santolina and the Daisies.  Pretty remarkable considering Pat and I barely watered this bed last year.

The new plants last year were:  Pink Guara (lost); Blackfoot Daisy; Bat-faced Salvia; Copper Canyon Daisy (we lost the one labeled in the picture...there was another one that we planted between the trees) all are survivors of the drought!!

Below is a current picture of the Circle Garden as it is today.  What a difference a little rain makes!  By the way, please pardon the photography.  During the week I have to shoot when I can, and the setting sun is directly in the path of this garden.  It casts a nasty glare over everything.

Circle Garden--April 2012
A close up of one section:  Love the Thyme!  I pruned it back severely last year
and look at it now--gorgeous!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Irises 2012--Take One

I have a gazillion pictures of our Irises this year.  The Louisiana Irises under the Bradford Pear are especially stunning.  The show has only begun.  More to come!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dragon Wings and Such

Pat doesn't understand why I want to put tons of plants into one container.  I suppose I have Pinterest and other gardening blogs to blame for that!

Pinned on Pinterest--Photo Credit:  Daryl Mitchell

Combining plants in a planter adds interest and beauty.  Although, I admit I am still quite a novice at the art.  Last year I designed a container arrangement in a beautiful green bowl, shown below.  Unfortunately, the drought and heat got to the new plants, and only the spider plant survived.

Spider plant, Angel wing begonia and other plants
in green bowl--July 2011
Here is the 2012 version.  I've added a succulent and Dusty Miller to the spider plant.  I'm sorry, but I don't know the name of the succulent.  It's a little annoying when plants are not labeled at the garden store and no one knows what they are, but I'm willing to give just about anything a try.

The angle is a little off, but the spider plant is growing well, Dusty Miller
is in the background, and the succulent is doing well in the
foreground.  I already know I'll have to transplant the spider
at the end of summer.
Here is another container garden for 2012--and it's my pride and joy!  I have crammed this planter with Dragon wing begonias, money wort (I think), Dusty Miller, and two baby spider plants.  May the fittest survive...the rest will be plucked up and re-potted or composted!!

Dragon wing begonia container--2012
Finally, just so everyone knows I really do some gardening around the yard, I made Pat take a picture of me.  I'm laughing because I know it's a horrible picture!

Boneygirl--the Southwest Gardner!