Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Surprise: Apple Blossoms!


When Molly the Cat and I opened the curtains in the living room this morning, the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the patio.

"Look, Molly! It rained during the night." Noticing the white petals in the puddle, I glanced up at the apple tree. "Apple blossoms!"

Molly the Cat looked out the window, posed in her So are we going outside to explore further stance. She didn't seem as pleased about the apple blossoms as the Mama and the Husband did when I told them.

It may be a good year for apples from that tree, which the Mama planted from seeds 28 years ago.


I'm hooking up with Seasons, a new weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at St Germain's Blog. Click here to check out other participants.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another Pruning Job


This afternoon the Husband and I pruned the Miracle Tree. Saw-saw-swear-saw. Clip-swear-clip-clip. We were three branches away from finishing when Only and Older Bionic Brother surprised us with a visit. Whooo-hooo! He came out to watch us complete our job and that brought out the Mama. The first time she set foot in the backyard since October. Whooo-hooo! 

Thankfully, it was a warm day. The Mama's eyes were good from afar. She couldn't resist. "Cut that branch." "And, that branch." I was perched on the ladder at a weird angle so it took me awhile to find "And, that branch." The Brother's eyes for pruning were still good. "You want to cut that one so it doesn't grow towards the house."

Only and older Brother stayed the afternoon. Hurrah! That also meant the Husband and I didn't have to deal with the yucky part of the pruning job—snipping, cutting, and bagging the branches, leaves, and seed pods—until tomorrow. That's okay. It was great seeing Only and Older Brother.



Friday, December 25, 2015

Jade Plants and a Rose


I didn't notice the good-luck jade plants growing next to the Mama's red rose bush by the patio until I started playing with this photo in Photoshop. Now, why did I think the jade plant in the front yard is the only one sporting white flowers? Silly me.

The red rose was what caught my eye the other morning when Molly the Cat and I went out to stalk a squirrel we saw tiptoeing along the fence. A bird distracted Molly from the squirrel. Not good hunters are we. Which is just as well. After all, what would we do with the squirrel had we caught it.  Fortunate squirrel.

From the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and Me, Su-sieee! Mac:   
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Persimmons!


The Mama's persimmon tree gave us an abundant crop this year. We're sharing the fruit on the top branches with the birds and squirrels. I told them to leave the lower branches for us. So far, so good.




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Warm-hearted Rose


We've had frosty mornings for the past two weeks now. I'm pretty much used to it now. Yesterday, I noticed a rose bud waving as I was raking leaves in the backyard. Then I noticed several more here and there around the yard. They are the Mama's blooms.

Today, I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Click here to read joyful posts.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Patiently Waiting


Our original avocado tree has about 30 fruits. The Mama and I counted them a few weeks ago.

I learned that avocados start to ripen once they're picked, and the best place to store avocados are on their trees. Up until a point. And, that's when they look like they're about to shrivel, which means they'll soon fall. Those we won't want to eat. I'm sure the Mama would still say, "Nothing wrong with them." Anyway, I don't want the avocados to get to that point.

Maybe after Thanksgiving, we can pick an avocado and see if it'll ripen in two weeks. Yummmm. Knock on wood.


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mama's Happy


Today is a sunny day, but quite chilly because of the wind factor. According to the thermometer, it's about 52 degrees in the sun.

Molly the Cat came inside about 20 minutes ago. How about the Mama?

The Mama says it's colder inside, even with the heater on.

She'd come in if the garden happened to be inside.  Maybe.




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ten Minutes on the Ladder Today


Rattle, rattle, rattle.

"Sounds like the Mama is playing with the ladders," said the Husband. We were in our office in the front of the house. Fortunately, we can hear the rattle of ladders through the window.

I sighed. Looking away from the computer, I said, "It's time to give her medicine anyway."

* * * * *
The Mama stood holding onto the fruitless persimmon tree, the six-foot ladder propped on the ground next to her feet. She looked both guiltily and defiantly at me.

"What are you doing?"

"I need to prune the persimmon tree," she said.

"Here, take your medicine," I said, handing her a cup of water and the pill box. "Move away. Let me do it."

"I can do it," she said.

"Yes, you can. But, I'm doing it," I said, struggling to put the ladder in the narrow space.

"Just those two branches shooting straight up," she said. "Not the one with the fruit."

Climbing the ladder, I saw that she had already cut a few branches that she was able to reach from the ground or standing on her three-foot ladder. I sighed.

* * * * *
"Don't cut the branch with the persimmon."

"That's an apple," I said.

"That's a persimmon."

"No, it's an apple."

"Persimmon!"

"Apple!"

"Are you telling me that the persimmon tree now makes apples?" she asked in her you're-crazy-how-are-you-my-daughter voice.

"It's a branch from the apple tree," I said in my you're-nuts-how-are-you-my-mother voice.

"Show me the apple branch," she demanded from below.

I pulled down the persimmon branch. The apple hung clearly from its branch.

The Mama laughed.  I laughed.

"I thought the persimmon tree finally had fruit," said the Mama.

"Shall I cut off the branch?"

"Go ahead."

Altogether, it took me 10 minutes to prune the fruitless persimmon tree, which would've taken the Mama half an hour. I quite enjoyed it—the sawing, the clipping,  the precarious perch on the ladder, and the following of instructions from the Mama as she sat on her tiny green bench beneath me.

No doubt, the Mama missed that very satisfying feeling of standing on the ladder pruning away.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Mama's Vegetable Garden


Here's a treat for you and me—a photo of the Mama's vegetable garden in the late 1990s. I'd say this is probably late February or early March. Are you as surprised as I am how few fruit trees and flower bushes were back there?

The Miracle Tree, by the shed on the right, was spindly. And, the apple tree way in the corner wasn't visible. Only the lemon tree, on the left, was going strong.

The Mama's vegetable garden was much bigger back then.  She was in her mid-70s. A youngster.

Here's how her garden looked this morning.  It's smaller and much of it is not visible. The lemon tree is hidden behind the apple and avocado trees. You still can't see the apple tree in the corner, which is now very tall, because of everything else.

I can hardly wait to show the Mama the photos.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poor Tree


The ornamental pear tree in our front yard is totally mixed up. Flowers are blooming on some of its branches. They are definitely pretty, but that's not supposed to happen in October.

Nor, for that matter in December or January. That was going on last year and earlier this year.

Some branches bloomed in mid or late Spring when they are supposed to do their thing.

I don't think it's because of the drought. This tree is said to tolerate drought conditions. I think it's the hot temperatures we've been having the last two months that's causing some flowers to bloom.

We have yet to see flowers bloom on every branch at the same time. If it did, wowza, I imagine it to look like a tree full of snow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Peppers & Persimmons


Sounds like a nice title for something -- Peppers & Persimmons. Or, perhaps, Persimmons & Peppers. Maybe without the ampersand, and italicized: Peppers and Persimmons; or, Persimmons and Peppers.

The pepper plants have been kind to us this year. Three of four fruits every couple of weeks.

The persimmons are slowly ripening on the tree. We're going to have an extra good crop this year. 

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Four-O-Clock Flowers


Pink four-o-clock flowers have been growing crazily and happily around the front and back yards this summer. These are among the late bloomers. The flowers open up in the afternoon, hence the name. Supposedly they stay open through the night.

Four-o-clock flowers are annuals. They're also called the Marvel of Peru, where the lovely flowers originated in the Andes Mountains. Four-o-clock flower and Marvel of Peru are both very pretty names. So is it's technical name—Mirabilis jalapa.

They showed up a couple of years ago in the front yard, near the sidewalk, just on our side of the property line. Mama saved the seeds from last year's blooms and threw them along the fence in the back and north side of the house.  I tossed them in the lawn, but nothing came up. Weeds did, so maybe I threw some other seeds. I won't get it wrong for next year.  The Mama has a large bucket full of seeds already, and I collected my own small bucket of seeds to toss around. We shall see what happens next year.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Long, Lanky, and Loves Rosemary


This cute bug dropped by as I was working in the front garden this morning. I have no clue what he or she is. Nor where it came from. I suppose it flew onto the rosemary bush.

Next thing I knew the bug was chomping away on the rosemary! 

Okay, a Google search of rosemary-eating bugs showed round beetles. Nothing long and lanky as this dude or dudette.  Anyone have an idea?


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday in the Backyard


The Mama was playing in the mud this morning. Her favorite thing to do. Okay, she was replanting  Filipino onions, which she does every several weeks.

The Mama likes to say, "You cannot fool me." And that's what I say. The Mama cannot fool me. She's playing in the mud and she's having lots of fun out there. Yup, she's still out there as I'm writing this post.


While the Mama was playing with her onions, Molly the Cat did her rounds of the backyard. She was late this morning. She sat on the chair, which was once the Mama's favorite chair, for the longest time after breakfast. The Mama asked her, "Are you sick, Molly?  Do you have a headache?"

The Mama opened the back door and Molly the Cat jumped off the chair in no time. "Don't go far," said the Mama.

I think Molly wanted her photo taken because she kept close to me while I was clicking away by the lemon tree. But, would she look prettily at the camera? Of course, not.  "Find a candid shot, Lady," said Molly.


So, what's new in the Mama's garden today?

Three of the four marunggay seeds have sprouted. The seeds were from the Philippines, which came from a friend of the Mama's, who got them from a cousin. Marunggay is a huge tree with yummy leaves to eat. Health buffs are now touting the marunggay as a wonder food to eat.

The tomatoes are growing on what the Mama likes to call the "tomato tree" because the plant is about 4 feet tall or more.  Lemons are abundant. And, some of the apple blossoms that popped out a month ago actually has become fruit.


It was full house in the backyard this morning.  The Husband even went out to throw garbage. Yup. It was a good Sunday morning in the backyard.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Mama -- the Zestful Gardener


Today is the end of the 16th round of ABC Wednesday, which was begun by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt eight years ago. Thanks to Roger, Di, Wil, and others for keeping the meme going.

For this round, I have been writing about The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers. With this last post, I give you photos of the zen and zip of the 93-year-old Mama in action over the last several years working her magic in her gardens.










Look at this! I actually caught the Mama resting yesterday. Of course, it was at the end of the day. But, if I didn't tell it was almost time for dinner, she would've kept on going. Molly the Cat helped to get her to stop by weaving in front of her.


To check out Z posts by bloggers around the world, click hereSee you next week with a brand new theme for ABC Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Within Seven Years

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
The above photo is from seven years ago. That was the year the Mama decided it was okay to have planter boxes in her garden. She devised them herself, using loose boards, branches, and rocks.

At first, she grew vegetables in this box, but they didn't do to well. Too much shade from the miracle, apricot, and persimmon trees. I think it was four years ago, she decided to simply grow flowers in that box. "I like flowers," she said. "I want lots of flowers here." New flowers went in the box, as well as cuttings from her geraniums and daisies. I had my doubts. What was I thinking, right?


Yes, the box is full flowers. That's what it looked like this past March and April. The rear of the box is now full of geraniums.

Here's what the box looked like a few weeks ago. The Mama put up the headless scarecrow in hopes of scaring off the animals that were eating the apricots. Hasn't worked. But, I don't think she really minds too awful much. 


I'm linking up at ABC Wednesday, which was started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continued today by Roger, Di, Wil, and others of the ABCW team. To find other Y posts by bloggers from around the world, click here.




Monday, June 29, 2015

Watching the Mama's Garden Grow—Seven Weeks Later

The Asian pear tree
Back in May, Molly the Cat suggested I keep tabs on how certain parts of the Mama's garden are progressing throughout the summer. Here's the original post.  And, here are what those spots look like seven weeks later.

Bean vines are climbing up the wires. The Mama has harvested a hand full already.

Other kind of beans are growing in the middle boxes.
See how well the morning glories have grown.

Because it's not being watered as much (drought, you know), the apple tree
hasn't many leaves. A few apples are growing though. You can see one near the
top right hand corner of the picture.
Mama planted four eggplant plants at the end of May. I'm impressed at how they're bursting with fruit in simply four weeks. We ate one eggplant last week. It looks like we'll be eating more soon.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

X-ray Vision

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
The Mama doesn't drive anymore because she can't pass the eye test for her driver's license. (Thank goodness for that.) She gets annoyed with night and dimly lit scenes in movies on the TV because she can't quite make out what's going on, no matter how bright we make the monitor. But, in her garden, the mad horticulturist has x-ray vision, with a side of radar.

Do I see that lone, lemon leaf in the middle of the geraniums? Of course not. The Mama does.

Do I see the banana blossom sprouting within the banana grove? Nope. The Mama does.

Do I see that big chayote hanging in the midst of the miracle tree? Uh-uh. The Mama does.



It's the letter X at ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and today hosted by Roger Green and his ABC team. Click here to check out other X posts by bloggers around the world.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Wonderful, Wondrous Work of the Wizardess

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
Three weeks ago, I showed you, dear readers, a photo of my tomato plant that got broken by the wind and the Mama put back into the soil. Quite a few of you expressed faith that the Mama's wizardy would help nurture it back to life. Well, here's what the tomato plant looks like as of yesterday evening.


Vibrant! I helped a bit by plucking off the dead leaves that you see in the top photo. Maybe I inherited some of the Mama's authentic green thumb and fingers gene.

I want to show you another wonder in the Mama's garden—the Blenheim apricot trees. She started with one tree, which is the one on the right with all the drooping branches full of apricots. The first two or three years that the tree produced, the Mama collected many of the apricot pits and planted them around the backyard.

See that tree on the left with the lone apricot. That's the first fruit of the second generation tree. There's another second-generation tree by the fence that burst forth with fruit this year, too, but with a dozen or more apricots.


The Mama has a rule about the first time a tree gives fruit. She has the Husband eat it. That way, the Mama says, the tree will grow more and a lot of fruit for years to come. How true is it? Well, the Husband was the first person to eat an apricot from the original tree.


It's the letter W at ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and today hosted by Roger Green and his ABC cohorts. Click here to check out other W posts by bloggers around the world.