Saturday, June 5, 2010

And the Beet Goes On....

Tiny baby beets and baby lettuce. This is the stuff that Hamster and Guinea Pig dreams are made of, and I love them too. It's my first real "harvest" of beet greens and baby lettuce. Enough for a large salad and several days of hamster and guinea pig treats :  ).

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Early Bird Finds the Early Bird!

This morning about 6:30 I saw something hovering around the window in front of my computer. It was a hummingbird! It landed on the hummingbird feeder that I attached to the window. Fortunately there was just a bit of food left in it, sadly I should have changed it out a few days ago. It's been cleaned and refilled with fresh food so hopefully the little guy will be back. I just can't fathom how something so tiny can migrate so far!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Sadly the lilacs are ending their blooming season. Our lilac shrub is right outside the porch. The scent was so rich this year, but just as they started blooming, the temperature dipped. So no reading on the front porch enveloped in lilac scent for me this season lol.

Also this year I need to take out the two largest canes. If you have lilacs with leaves like the ones shown that develop notches as the season goes on, you have the little beetles that live in the bark of the older canes. But I have to wait till the lily-of-the-valley which are growing through the base of the lilac finish blooming.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We have Babies!!

The lettuce and beets I planted sprouted last week. It's been cooler than the last couple of weeks which has slowed them down a little. Especially good for lettuce so it doesn't bolt before it makes a head of lettuce.

Baby lettuces.

Baby beets.
The great thing about both these crops is that you can eat the ones you thin out.

Today or tomorrow I'm hoping to plant the watermelon radish seeds. Well just a small row, because I don't eat that many radishes lol. I've never tried this variety before either.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Photographic Evidence

The lilac is starting to bloom. I'm still amazed everything is so early, but it does feel like it's slowing down a little bit with some cooler temperatures.

Pinnate lavender and Red Kew lavender in my new face pot. I planted him a mohawk lol.

This year I've been pretty good about not buying everything I want to plant for the season all at once. I only have one plant left to plant out of this bunch (an apple mint). And three plants from the other. I need to find my "walls of water" for the tomato plants to give them a boost. One the other hand, if I don't find them by Wednesday, I'm going to use some 1-gallon milk containers with the bottoms cut off.

My little raised bed. It look so tiny, but I almost broke my knees when I optimistically bought 2 2-cubic foot bags. I had to put a corner of the bag on each foot and walk them in because I don't have a wheel barrow yet. Good thing I'm not overly concerned with what the neighbors think lol. I think the hanging basket has pineapple sage and pineapple mint in it.

The front yard is very small and very shady. I decided to rip out all the grass and just replace it with plants. It's a slow process, but hey I don't want to run out of things to do lol. I'm plutting some stones for walking as I work. I have to remember to save room for the fritillarias in the fall!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A good start to the week

Today I increased the amount of grass I took out of the front yard with my trusty garden claw and I planted 2 for-get-me-nots and one bug gloss. I also planted a purple daisy like plant (I have to find the tag for that one lol) and a flax plant. I transplanted a fern and a columbine from under the front porch to the front yard too.

The lilacs started blooming earlier in the week, the lily-of-the-valley is about to bloom and the buds on the Dianthus superbus are getting larger every day.

In the backyard I planted one planter with romaine lettuce, one with a butter crunch lettuce, transplanted the pineapple sage and pineapple mint, the honeymelon sage and regular sage and planted 1/4 of the raised bed with detroit red beet seed. I also planted the two lavender plants (pinnata and Red Kew) into my new face pot.

The oriole feeder is out on it's new post with fresh food and the humming bird feeder is on the window near the favorite plant of the hummingbird we had last summer.

All that I have left to plant from the plants I have already purchased are the apple mint, tarragon and the cherokee purple tomato and roma tomato. Then I get to go plant shopping again lol. I hope to post pictures tomorrow.

I also got the 2 liter bird water bottle hung up much to the goldfinches delight. We seem to have 2 male goldfinches (I've seen both of them at the same time). We might have 2 females as well, but I only see one at a time. We also have some house finches and what looks like a song sparrow (I'll have to look it up to be sure). The robins have been enjoying the bird bath more than anything, and we have an occassional bluejay.

Nowwwwwwwww We're Cooking

Solar Cooking.

On an whim Easter Sunday I grabbed one of my solar cookers and cooked green beans for our contribution to the bigger family Easter celebration. Of course I forgot to take pictures, so I had to "re-enact" the bean cooking inside on the kitchen table lol.

The beans were well cooked in about an hour. Solar cooking is supposed to be a "burn-proof" way of cooking, time will tell of course lol. For the beans I put them in a zip lock bag and then put that inside an oven bag.  There is a black mat to really absorb the heat and a mirror to catch the sun. I found some glass casserole dishes with lids to use in this because I'm not crazy about cooking in plastic. It's definitely the most portable of all the solar cookers I have. Their website is if you want more information. This is the Deluxe Solar Cooker System.

Last week I decided to use my HotPot solar cooker. The metal reflector folds flat and the hot pot set up with its black enamel bowl that fits in a glass bowl with glass lid is extremely efficient. I cooked 2 cups of raw red rice in 5 cups of water in 3 hours. You can read a lot more about HotPot Solar Cooking at .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The season begins and then gallops away.

One small "leftover" crocus bloomed March 21. It's been a much milder spring than we usually have.

Then the lungwort started blooming around the 2nd of April (gotta love the macro option on the camera, these flowers are pretty small. I bought last year from the Garden Club Sale, I think it was in mid-May and it was only then time to plant. Here it is early April, it's been in the 80's we're about a month and a half away from the last frost date and I think my lettuce seeds will bolt.

I'm loving the variegation on the leaves.

The forsythia is blooming just a little bit early I think.
The ground is ready to plant but there's nothing in the nurseries. Of course we could get hit by a hard frost, but if I wait too much longer and the season continues the way it is, it'll be too hot. The proverbial rock and a difficult choice dilemma lol.