Cosmos

_MG_8404Finally I can look out at the garden from either the east bathroom window or the west door of my bedroom and see my favorite flower. The cosmos are in bloom. Paulina captured the picture to the right a few days ago. It actually looks like a painting that is peeling, but nonetheless I think it is beyond beautiful. I like them almost more for their lacy foliage than for their flowers. They also have a nice smell if you get right into them. These and the zinnias have really been a great attraction for the pollinators into the garden this year. What I have not noticed is any cabbage worms turning into white butterflies. I suppose I didn’t plant anything for the worms to eat so that has eliminated that species from my garden. Hurrah actually. We do have lots of grasshoppers in the grass and on the raspberries. This is where a few hens would be wonderful. Maybe next year I will get brave.

IMG_8477 Paulina also snapped a different angle of the Echinacea. I forgot to tell her that they were back and blooming. For some reason they didn’t come up last year. I don’t know if the daisies crowded them or what, but I did trip off the dead daisies this year and that has sort of helped some of the other plants in that area.

IMG_8485In the meantime, here is what I picked from the garden last night. I ate all of the purple beans for supper. I fried them in butter and loved every savory bite. Of course by the time they were finished cooking they were green, go figure. I added a purple pepper and those beets in the picture. Yummy!!! I have a little bit of lettuce also in the basket, but something has been in the lettuce pot ripping it up. James thinks it is the same pesky squirrel who got all of the strawberries. Dang rat!! The tomatoes are huge if you can’t see them very well. I have to get that same type again next year, but many more. The tomato soup row is nearly empty in the basement and with only a few plants, I will not be able to replenish much of the area. Oh well enough for now. I have a picture of a female Northern Woodpecker (ant eating) on my lucindalines site. It says I am not sure what the bird is, but I did a search and found out its species. Catch you later.

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Vic’s yard

When we were in Dickinson on Saturday, I snapped a shot of Victoria and Nate’s sodded front yard. They have added some trees and a few plants around the fence edges. No words today, watching the DNC.

Vic's yard
Vic’s yard

More blooms to share

Zinnias blooming
Zinnias blooming
Favorite color of zinnia
Favorite color of zinnia

Yesterday I shared a picture of the back of the garden and if you looked closely between the sunflowers, you could see the zinnias. Today I have a picture of the zinnias with the beans in front of them. Off to the right is a little picture of one bloom. The pinks are pretty and seem to really attract the pollinators, but my eyes tend to stop on the whiter colors. This one has a hint of green to its hue. You probably can’t see it too well, but the beans are in full bloom. I am hoping that in a few days, I will be able to do some picking and we will be able to enjoy some garden fresh fried beans by the end of the week. I was really hoping to get into the garden and do some weeding today, but not a chance.

Hosta in bloom!
Hosta in bloom!

James and I mowed at the campsite this morning, and by the time we were finished going around everything over there it was noon. (It also hit 95 degrees today, no outside for me when it is that hot.) After lunch he packed up to head to Fargo for the coaches clinic. He thinks this is his last year on the advisory committee for track and field, and as he is close to retirement, next year might be his last clinic. Wow! Makes a person think back to the beginning of our teaching career, we never thought it would end. One last picture, the hosta on the north side of the house is in bloom. Always one of the late summer flowers for us. I suppose it would be about time that I plant some fall blooming flowers so that the colors in the yard keep going. That is about all for now, Happy Gardening to you!

Flowers, flowers every where!!

Flowers in the garden
Flowers in the garden

The garden is currently one large mess of blooms. Well, mess is not really the best term for it, but it is a way of saying flowers are blooming all over. The beans are in bloom, the zinnias are in bloom, the big blossoms are way up high on the sunflowers. There are a few small volunteer cosmos inside the dill and everything else from the zucchini to the peppers and the cucumbers and tomatoes have flowers on them, oops, forgot the peas. Thankfully the beets and carrots are just under the ground doing their thing. I picked again this afternoon, and though there wasn’t a plethora of items, it is enough to keep us chewing. I ended up taking 2 cucumbers, one purple pepper and a handful of tomatoes into the house.

Raspberries
Raspberries

I also found a wee little amount of chokecherries that the birds have not devoured and about 6 raspberries just right for eating. I am guessing by the end of the week, I will be out in the beans with a pail or two having some fun picking. So, how is your garden growing. Stop by and leave a note, I would love to hear from you.

More garden picking

Jaxon and Ana counting up the garden produce for the day.
Jaxon and Ana counting up the garden produce for the day.

Just a quick post today. This afternoon when it got a bit hotter, and we were hoping the mosquito activity had died out a bit, we headed for the garden with the grandchildren. I normally do NOT like dousing children in chemical sprays, but with Jaxon it is not a choice. We have been so careful with him this week, and yesterday afternoon when it was super hot, we decided to take a chance of running through the sprinkler for just a few minutes. Well, of course a mosquito found him, and never would they bite him on the leg or arm or even a toe. Nope it is straight for the face with that boy. He now has a cheek that makes him look like he went through a root canal, and they have family pictures next weekend. Hopefully all will be reduced and taken care of by them. So today, I pulled out the spray and put a little on his hand and let him do up his face a bit, so we didn’t get a second one to make things worse. He so very badly wanted another chance at the garden produce and hurrah for him, he found almost everything that we came back with in the basket. I had him line things up largest to smallest and take a count. There were 2 cucumbers today, 4 purple peppers and 3 green ones, and with the tomatoes from yesterday we were well over 30 of the little things. I am guessing by next week we will be picking like crazy. Yipee!! More of what Jaxon and Ana did while visiting is on my other site: lucindalines. That is all for now and Happy Gardening to you!!

Flower garden late July update

Echinacea in bloom.
Echinacea in bloom.

The flower garden is continuing to evolve. Currently the most exciting parts are the Echinacea in bloom and the morning glories are to the top of their strings in a few places. The lilies have all finished blooming and died away, but the holly hocks are in full bloom nearly to the top.

Morning glories climbing the vines.
Morning glories climbing the vines.

I put up some strings around the largest batch, and it has helped to keep them from falling over in the wind.

Morning glory
Morning glory

This picture to the far right includes the pot of sage in the white container. It is growing pretty well. I have had to move all of the herb pots out of the wind and south sun area for now until the heat dissipates. The morning glories are so pretty in the morning, as in duh LuCinda, that is their name, but with the heat, we don’t always take the time to go outside to look at them. I have tried to grow moon flowers in the past, but with no success.

James has been doing a great job of watering everything in the morning when he goes out to do his daily walk or run or bike. He turns on the sprinkler or lays the hose in a section of the flowers or both. The past few days we have also been watering for the neighbors who are away at church camp. I was over there yesterday and the weeds were calling to me to give them a pull and I would have loved to dig right in, but with Jaxon and Ana here, I am not doing any of that even in our garden. Jaxon is severely allergic to mosquito bites, so we do our best to keep him protected with bug spray and by keeping away from problem areas. The town has been spraying in the evenings much more this summer than last, and it has made a world of difference. Not much else to share at the moment. For more information on the time with Jaxon and Ana check out my site at: lucindalines. We went to the garden this morning and I will post a bit of what we found there. Take care and Happy gardening.

 

Hot and getting hotter

The sunflowers are a blooming
The sunflowers are a blooming

At one point yesterday, the bank thermometer said 93 degrees F. Today when Paulina came home from the pool, she said the temperature hit over 100. All I know is that it was HOT! The garden still looks fine and the cucumbers are loving this heat. I would like to fertilize when James waters in the morning. It would be good for the plants to have a bit of food with their water considering that they will be in for some heat and if it does not rain, we will likely be watering heavily every other day. Interestingly enough it was a bit hazy this morning. There was moisture in the air, but not enough to cause a fog, just enough to make the heat feel oppressive. Later this evening when the softball girls played, the air was so heavy the ball just sort of hung on the good hits. More garden pictures later.

One of the ladies from Louisiana at the campsite when she called about the power surging said, she didn’t realize that we had this sort of summer in our area. Oh yes we do. We maybe have cold winters, but we have heat in the summer. I would say we are one of THE places where we for sure know the difference of the four seasons. Sometimes spring is short and we go from winter on Thursday to summer on Tuesday, but we have the two extremes in the worst way some years. It has also been said on some occasions that a mild summer equals a mild winter and the converse of that is also true. If that is the case, we could be in for some cold. The positive about that is the trees go dormant and stay that way, and especially if there is a snow cover, they turn out better than on a mild winter. Hopefully we have lots of snow and cold, and no spring dew and fog so that we have a decent plum harvest for a change. For now the apple trees appear to be putting out a heavy crop. Only problem is I need to be willing to prune. If a tree is going to produce 50 pounds of fruit, it would be better to have it on less apples instead of more because it would mean less loss to cores. Well enough of all my carrying on. We do have the grandkids at our house, and James and I took a little time to take them to the pool yesterday. I have a story and pictures on that at my other site: lucindalines. Enough for now and Happy Gardening to you.

Some garden progress

Raspberries should be ripe soon.
Raspberries should be ripe soon.

We are having cloudy skies and lots of wind today. It also feels very much like rain is right around the corner. The air is heavy and damp. My thing today was to go out and check on the garden. We finally have raspberries that look like there might be something of a crop, not to preserve any, but at least to enjoy them for a change. After the failure of the plums this year, the raspberries are looking better and better as an alternative crop in the future. James and Paulina checked with Jim K a retired extension agent still living in the area. He said that generally speaking all of the plums in our area were lost this year to an insect infestation that came about because of our high humidity right after or as the trees blossomed. There is a spray for it, but only helps if you do it immediately as they bloom. I won’t miss that opportunity next year to be sure. This is the second year without a plum jelly crop, hopefully we can prevent a third.

Bell pepper beside paring knife to show the size
Bell pepper beside paring knife to show the size

I also found one medium-sized pepper. I would have left it on the plant if it had been a lone pepper. There are three other smaller ones on the same plant, so I picked the largest one to give the nutrition to the smaller ones. I also found a small handful of peas on the seven plants that survived germination. I will be purchasing new seeds next year. I believe the packet I have has completed its possibilities of growing anything.

Tomato plant has fruit!
Tomato plant has fruit!

A few other gardening pictures include the tomatoes which are holding lots of fruit, but nothing has begun turning red. I suspect that if we have the heat that is predicted for the week, I will have at least a few of the cherry tomatoes to eat with salads. Speaking of salad, I should finish up and go pick the lettuce growing in the pot I showed last night with the herb garden post. I shoved all of the pots under the shorter porch earlier today to get them away from the wind that is ripping at everything. I am thinking that was partly why I didn’t fill those pots quite so full.

Purple beans in bloom
Purple beans in bloom

I also have a picture of the purple beans in bloom. I can’t wait to pick those, and you heard it here, I will not complain if I have to sit in the sun for several hours to pick all of the produce from them. Yes! I really mean that. I have been salivating waiting for fresh beans this year. It seems that the past couple of years we have put those plants in such odd places that they were not accessible, well that is not the case this year. I also planted three rows of zinnias right beside them so that they will have the greatest attraction possible in terms of pollinators. Hopefully it all helps. I have to share a story about a purple vegetable. One of the campers staying in our KALM Campsite mentioned that the thing she misses most while on the road with her husband, and since her mother passed away, was the family gathering they had back in Louisiana at her mother’s house when the purple hulled peas are ready to process. She said they would pick and hull humongous amounts of them, then blanch them outside over an open fire then put them in jars for preserving. What a great story that is, and what a wonderful family memory. I sure will miss this group of campers as they move on with the pipeline.

Oh, I forgot the cucumber…check out the lucindalines site for that picture and for an update on the house work. In the meantime, Happy Gardening to you!!

 

Herb gardening in pots

Parsley
Parsley
Sage
Sage

Here is a bit of news on how the herb gardening is going in the pots on the front patio area. Basically it is not going so well. The flowers are doing wonderfully in the same area, and the vegetables (that aren’t being eaten by deer) are doing reasonably well in the back garden, but these pots are dragging behind. I am blaming myself for using pots that are a bit small and not filling them with potting soil quite as high as maybe I should have before I put the seeds in. I also wasn’t the best about getting them into the warmth of the sun early on. I was too busy trying to protect them from the wind and the hail. Alas, I may end up with some parsley and sage and a basil leaf or two, so who am I to complain.

Lettuce
Lettuce

I have noticed that the lettuce I put in one of the larger pots is doing fairly well, but we won’t be feeding too many on what it is producing. This is seriously the container that I messed up with in terms of not using enough soil. Paulina laughed and said I should turn it over to the bunnies for a meal. As in 1 meal.

Enough for now, it is getting late and I just wanted to touch base today. Paulina and I were on an out-of-town shopping spree today. We probably blew all of the profits that I will gain from our little campsite in one trip, but it was worth the items we bought and the fun we had. More on the trip over on my other site, lucindalines. In the meantime, Happy Gardening to you!!