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Garden Happenings

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Getting back to the garden after an extended hiatus where we let things go wild.  Several pretty blooms, and I am excited about our tomato beds.  We got the idea from DIY wicking beds using pvc, gravel, container, etc..  Google it, there are so many variations that use supplies you probably already have!  Tomatoes prefer to be watered from the bottom up, so this should be a success…we will find out!  I also planted some bush beans in the container as the kids love fresh green beans!  We also have some cucumbers and I just picked up some peppers, another tomato (Cherokee Purple) and strawberries for a $1 each!  OH, and peppermint to put in a pot.  I am so happy to be back out in the dirt.  It’s been awhile I am ashamed to say…

And it looks like we will have lemons this year!!  So excited for this!  We have a dwarf Meyer’s lemon in our front yard and I wasn’t sure if it would really ever produce, but this is year 3 and it’s covered!  Happy dancing over this…;)

What are you growing this year?

Mouth Watering

Three of the tomato plants are already producing!  Noticed several teeny toms yesterday while out in the front beds.  I can hardly wait.  I never liked tomatoes until I started growing my own.  Now I crave them when the season is over.  Funny how homegrown, organic goodness can turn the taste buds around….

I also am almost finished with the bamboo trellis’ for the pole beans and cukes.  They are growing rapidly.  I got all the structure done and about half the twine up, am about to head out and work on it some more. 

My ornamentals are filling in beautifully!  First year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap!  This saying is proving true for my perennials out front.  The plants that are on their third year are really taking off nicely!  It seems that there are huge amounts of growth everyday right now.  I am loving just hanging out in the garden.

The back flower bed definitely needs work.  Those rascally chooks of our’s ate the new seedlings, so it’s just the established plants right now.  I am seriously considering a small iron or picket fence.  Whichever I can find that will fit the budget.  I don’t like fencing off beds like that, but if it means that the plants have a chance and I don’t have to leave the chickens cooped, then it may be worth it.  Suggestions are always appreciated!

How does your garden grow?  Hope it’s all green and fun!  Peace!

Veggies…

So today I got the Spring garden started.  My seeds are in soil, hopefully to germinate and grow strong over the next few weeks before braving the outdoors.  It has been my experience here that if I start my Spring beds in January, I have a much more productive crop.  I use alot of mulch in the early days, and those seeds that went straight into the beds will be covered with sheets should a hard freeze hit us this year.  We still have several weeks of so called “winter”, so really anything can happen.  Last year it snowed here in February!  Last year was also the year that I finally “got it” on the mulching.  I am now a firm believer in heavy mulching to protect the plants from all elements, even hot weather.  Good thing I have alot of leaves! 

How does your garden grow in the New Year?  Peace!

Tropical Colors and Smells

As the heat, and humidity, rages on there are a couple plants in my front garden that are completely satisfied with it all.  It’s giving the yard a tropical feel, giving us a little bit of being back in the islands. 

Ginger.  I don’t know what kind but it was a gift to Jason and I stuck it in the ground.  It has bloomed every year since (3 years).
Pride of Barbados.  My in-laws got us started with these and we couldn’t be more grateful.  They put on quite a show when the temps rise!  We have 3 mature blooming ones, and several grown from seed that look like they will be blooming by next year.  Love them!
Plumeria.  This was just a stick from a neighbor about 3.5 years ago that we stuck in a pot.  It didn’t do anything, so we thought we’d killed it and put it in the shed to reuse the pot at a later date.  Last Winter, J noticed the smallest of green so we brought it in for the season and put it out this Spring, still in the pot.  It’s putting on quite a show!  And the smell….heavenly.  One of my very favorite scents.  I’m thinking of planting it in the yard somewhere so it will eventually grow into a tree.  I need to find the perfect spot.  Any suggestions from my fellow Austin gardeners?  Or should I transfer it to a bigger pot and call it good?
I should say that these photos were taken with my phone ap – Retro Camera – which explains the graininess of them.  
Hope your summer time is tropically sweet smelling and full of color.  Peace!

The Love of Succulents

I have found a true love for succulents and sedums.  I have my darling J and my friend Becky to thank for it.  I never really saw the beauty in the sometimes spikey, messy, unusual features of some of these plants until I really looked.  Now I just think they are the most interesting creatures!  So beautiful in the way they fall and grow.  I have a very small collection that Becky adds to for me every now and then.  Pretty much all my sedums have come from her.  I am doing my best to cultivate them as I have a vision of a rock wall covered in sedums and succulents one day.  For now, I’ll share some of my meager collection (most of which I do not even know their names, so if anyone wants to take a gander at this, feel free to comment!)  I have a couple more, but these are what begged to be photographed today. 

Peace!

Harvest

Things are starting to really come on now…the only reason I have any green beans in the basket is because the girls were out of town for a few days.  Normally I find them out there eating right out of the garden.  And I don’t mind that a bit!! 

Happy harvesting!  Peace!

Yes, We Still Do Garden

We do still garden, quite a bit actually.  Our veggie plot is going crazy right now…everything is quite happy at the moment. Now we just need to mow…oh boy do we need to mow.

Some photos from my phone today:

View from front door

So many tomatoes!
Tomato jungle.

Volunteer…pumpkin?

Big soccer tournament this weekend…hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Peace!

Some Garden Photos…Finally!

Just a few photos from last week.  The gardens are growing like crazy right now.  We are into May, and that means the heat is coming on.  So far the plants are loving it as the nights are still nice.  Soon we’ll be into Summer weather however and the Spring blossoms will fade and make way for the heat loving plants.  I just hope it’s not another record breaker summer.  Last year was rough with the drought, no rain and more days than bearable of 100+ degree weather.  Then we had hard freezes and colder weather for Winter.  One thing with all these extremes that I am a firm believer in…mulch!  I mulched like a mad woman before Winter hit and so far everything has come back.  I am about to do the same for the Summer heat.  Oak leaves have been our best friends in the garden.

Anyway, without boring you more on my ramblings, enjoy the few snippets of color I have to share today.  I’m sorry I’ve been neglectful of this space lately…life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it and demanding all your time!  I’ll try to be better…Peace!

Do You Ever Feel Like It Never Ends?

The laundry…the dishes…the cleaning…the cooking…you get the picture.  Hah!  Today I have so much to do and it just seems like the days are way too short to get everything done.  Somedays, all I want to do is sit and knit.  In my defense for whining right now, I do take care of extra kids during the week…I love them all so much, but do get tired sometimes.   Haha!

There are many excellent things happening in my world too, it’s not all piled under laundry and dishes!  My dear dear sister is giving birth to her first children on Thursday.  Yes, I said children.  A boy and a girl!  She’s been a trouper through all she’s gone through to get pregnant and then carry twins to over 38 weeks.  I’m so proud of her and excited for her and my bro in law!  Can’t wait to see the pictures…Check her out at Happy High Heels.

Also, J’s sisters are visiting!  His oldest sister and her two wonderful children are here all the way from Australia!  We have been having the best time.  I swear I could just keep them all.  I wonder if they’d be mad if I sabotaged their trip home in a few weeks…hmmm.  The kids, Chai and Lilee are so much fun to be around.  They and the girls clicked from the moment they saw each other.  This is our first meeting of them as S and her husband (an Aussie) moved to Oz while J and I were still in Hawaii.  Then they adopted their two lovelies the same years we had the girls.  So it’s been close to 11 years since we last saw them, and of course only had pictures and videos of the kids.  We are in-love to say the least.  They go to Steiner schools in Australia, so we are all on the same page with how we are as parents.  It’s so easy!!!

 Hunting Easter Eggs as the sun came up.

J’s other sister is flying in this afternoon with her partner and the girls are so excited to see their aunties they can’t stand it!  Xi corresponds with their dog, Wink and keeps saying that maybe Wink will sneak on the plane..haha!  Seriously, she sends letters and L sends emails from Wink back to Xi.  It’s very cute!  I can’t wait to see them though…L writes Lelo in Nopo, and is an extremely talented writer, artist and all around person.  She’s also a gardener extroidenaire!  Her and my in-laws are my true gardening inspirations.

Which brings us to the garden.  It’s growing by leaps and bounds!  Here are a few photos to share, most of them were taken last week and there has been a ton of growth since!  I do need to get back to the piles around here and then get ready to go to the eye doctor.

Hope you all find some amazing bright lights in your times of overwhelming chaos!  Peace!