Saturday, May 19, 2012

May Flowers--Lilies

We are getting quite a collection of Lilies now.  Our son's girlfriend has been giving us Lilies every Easter for several years now.  We have a cluster of Lilies in the front Daylily bed and in the Iris bed in the backyard. This year they were quite showy!  I love how the bloom last for at least a week or more.

Garden Angel

In other news...for Mother's day I went shopping for some yard art.  Above  is my sweet garden angel.  He looks like he is saying, "Grow, plants! Grow!"  Hopefully he will have some nice influence on my Circle Garden plants!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Garden Update--Harvest and Crop Rotation

Upper Left--Squash blossom, peppers, tomatoes
Middle Left--Overall view, squash plants
Lower Left--Overall view, tomatoes are starting to make!
Because Pat and I attended an out-of-town graduation this weekend, the garden needed attention on Mother's Day. There were weeds a-plenty to poke and prod up out of the soil.  Even though moms should take their day off, I am certainly glad I did that chore!  There has been a steady drizzle of rain Sunday evening and Monday evening until now.  From the sound of the gentle rain now, I am thinking--or hoping--we have had at least an inch!

We are still harvesting beets.  Since the weather is cool, especially at night, the beets seem to be fine with hanging out in the soil until we are ready to eat.  I made another beet salad last night, and I do believe the beets are getting sweeter and sweeter.  I have started to use some of the onions, too.  They have fallen over, but are still green.  Only a few have bulbed out and not by much.  It is too shady under the Bradford Pear.  We also harvested some squash.  The squash and zucchini have been kind enough to only put off as much as we can eat in a week.  I am pretty sure that trend will not continue.  A friend of mine shared a nice zucchini bruschetta she made.  I am thinking--come on new recipe!!

Other crops in the garden include some purple-hulled peas.  They are beginning to show signs of life.  The potato tops are beginning to thin away meaning we will harvest the new potatoes around June: just a couple of weeks away!  The carrot tops look pretty, but there are no signs of filling out.  We may just leave them there for aesthetics!

Pat's duties are to harvest the cabbage and pull up the Swiss chard and collards.  Then he plans to plant some okra. He is waiting until it warms up some, as okra seeds prefer warm soil.  I know my momma will be looking forward to some peas and okra soon!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May Garden Update: Corn!

The corn has tassels!!

A lot can happen in the garden in just one short week.  I was going to post this collage last week, but was too busy.  Even though the corn has tassels, at the time I only saw one tiny corn emerge.  Take a look at the lower-right picture, and it can barely be seen.

Now take a look below!!  Not only do we have corn, we have a least one ear per stalk.  Some might say that doesn't seem very successful.  But for our very first time at growing sweet corn, Pat and I are tickled.  Not to mention, it's very hard eating this bounty, even when we do give it away!  One ear per stalk is very manageable.

That is one nice-looking ear!
We did get about 1.5" of rain since May 1, which is a true blessing.  We are beginning to lose the war against the drought since April rains were almost non-existent.  The rain outlook for the rest of the week shows a 20% Monday and Tuesday with temps in the 80's.  Come on double portion!

Happy Mother's Day 2012

"Happy Mother's Day" Means More

"Happy Mother's Day" means more
Than have a happy day.
Within those words lie lots of things
We never get to say.

It means I love you first of all,
Then thanks for all you do.
It means you mean a lot to me,
And that I honor you.

But most of all, I guess it means
That I am thinking of
Your happiness on this, your day,
With pleasure and with love.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May Garden Update--Herb Garden

The Herb Garden Grows
I stepped outside early Sunday morning and the familiar sight of a garlic in bloom caught my eye, so I had to shoot some pictures.

Herb Garden Highlights:
Everything is green and lush.  The hot days are causing the oregano to lie down somewhat, but it always does that. As the tarragon stretches toward the sun, it too, falls down.  The Mexican Mint Marigold is mounding nicely and I expect some gorgeous blooms soon.

The Basil is absolutely beautiful this year.  It is a deep green, compact, and the aroma is so delightful.  Pat noticed a voluntary tomato plant coming up.  He probably committed a novice-gardener mistake--which is not cleaning out the previous soil completely before planting.  We'll see how this one does alongside the Basil.  As much as we love to cook with Basil, I'm pretty sure the tomato plant will have plenty of room to give off some mid-summer treats.

Finally, I have a picture of our last Iris bloom.  Not exactly an herb, however, it is blooming nearby!

Other herbs pictured:  Dill and Cilantro.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bloomin' Trees & Shrubs

White Antique rose
The first wave of Knock-out roses and Antique roses are coming to an end.  Pat and I dead-headed 3 rose bushes this past weekend.  The other bushes are starting to wind down, too.

Red Knock-out rose
I managed to get another good shot.  The recipe:  patience + overcast skies = maybe not perfect but good enough to make me a happy photographer!

Desert Willow blooms
The Desert Willow suffered a setback last summer.  We lost one large limb, but this spring we're budding and blooming daily.

Texas Sage
I wasn't too concerned about the Texas Sage until I easily snapped a branch.  Then I got to thinking that it hadn't bloomed at all during the recent rains.  Finally blooms appeared last weekend!  I think she'll be okay.

Esperanza Yellow Bells
This year's blog theme is hope and double portion.  The Esperanza is beginning to show its lovely yellow flowers.  Hope renewed!

Everyone else's Oleander is blooming like crazy.  Our Oleander is always last, but I see blooms on the horizon!  Plus the bush is very lovely this year and shaping up nicely.

Almanac Update for April 2012

We didn't see as much rain as I was hoping for.  Officially, we only had about 1.66".  I think we got around 2.0" at the house.  Sadly, there is no rain in sight for the 1st week of May.  We are getting a little antsy and desperate for an inch or three.

The temperatures have been very mild at night, but 80° to almost 90° every afternoon now.  Still, around 5:30 to 6:00 relief comes in cooler temps and/or a nice breeze to cool us off.  We still haven't turned our A/C on.  We try to make it until June 1 every year.  As allergies and old-age sets in, we usually give in around May 15th.  I'm hoping we can at least make it to Memorial Day weekend.  We'll see!

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!