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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Sweet Begonia


"I beg on ya to make sure I have a nice protected spot come summer," said the begonia, which has been doing quite well on its own.

Just when I think this begonia's no more, it shows itself to be a survivor out in the elements. Maybe it would like hanging out on the north side of the yard. We shall see.





Sunday, January 7, 2018

Impatience


Now I understand the Mama's impatience about planting her vegetable garden. During her last several years, she was sowing seeds into the ground earlier each year. April, March, even February.

Some years, the Husband and I didn't even get the chance to turn over the ground and work in compost and bags of top soil, which meant she got less yield. On one hand that was okay because how much bittermelon can I eat, as no one else would. On the other hand, we had less squash, tomatoes, beans, and her Filipino vegetables to eat, requiring us to head over to the Marina farmer's market every so Sunday. Except for the traffic that was a fun outing for the three of us.

Supposedly I must wait until after the last frost to sow the flower seeds I gathered last year, along with that big packet of wildflower seeds I bought last Spring. Part of me says to put some in the ground now so that they can benefit from the rain the Farmer's Almanac says we'll be getting this month.

I've already begun to propagate rosemary and Marguerite daisy branches. The experts say this is not the time, but I've put some in a glass of water with half an aspirin anyway. Maybe roots will grow. I hope so. The rosemary bushes are about 20 years old and the daisies are probably 12 to 15 years old. They're getting sparse. I can simply purchase new plants, I know, but, it turns out I've inherited the mad horticulturist genes of the Mama.


I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!



Friday, January 5, 2018

Autumn Hasn't Left


It's winter but the ornamental pear tree on the front yard doesn't think so. For the past few weeks, it has been slowly shedding its colorful autumn leaves. I love the warm yellow and red colors on the ground. I've already raked twice. Maybe I'll rake once more just so they won't be flying over to the neighbors' yards or into the gutter and clog up the storm drain. Not thoroughly though. I think the leaves make a warm cover for the bulbs, tubers, and seeds that are in the soil beneath them. Not to say, the dried leaves will turn into lovely mulch and soil come Spring.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Peeking Bougainvillea Vine


By now, if our climate was the way it once was, the bougainvillea near the front window would have died back from the frost. Instead, one of its vines taps at the window, calling to us inside, "Hiya! What ya doing? A gorgeous day, don't ya think?"

I suppose if the frost doesn't get the bougainvillea this year, I'll have to prune the vine away from the window.  The castle look in the Sleeping Beauty story really is not a good idea to attempt.

                    


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tradescantia Fluminensis


Quite a mouthful to say. What if you imagine yourself to be in Italia, near the Prealps, hours north of Venezia (Venice)? Suppose you pronounce it with a flourish, as if you're singing . . . tra(y)-des-can-ti-a flu min-en-sis.

Be still my heart.

Tradescantia fluminensis is the formal name for the green wandering jew plant. Maybe you grew it as an indoor houseplant when you were a young That Girl/Mary Richards thing like me in the 1970s.

It turns out the vines by the back fence that grow back with a vengeance, no matter how much I believe I've removed them, are of the species tradescantia fluminensis, hot-cha-cha. I found out last night when I posted this photo on my Facebook wall (my "back fence"). Thanks to Mike for pointing me in the right direction.

This plant grows quickly and spreads happily, especially in its role as ground cover. Some places consider it a pest because it can be quite invasive if its owners are not giving it attention.

Imagine this: A vision of green vines cascading down a chocolate fountain kind of planter. Ooh-la-la!


Hanging out at Our World Tuesday. Click here to check out bloggers from all over the world. Thanks, OWT team!



Friday, December 15, 2017

Young Banana Blossom


This morning I came across a banana blossom, the first one since the garden came under my supervision. The blossom is still young. Proof of climate change?

Doesn't the blossom look like a goat's head to you? Baaaaa.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Sweeping Thoughts of the Mama


I need a broom to sweep the dirt off the sidewalk in the front yard, which means a slow walk around the house to the shed in the backyard. I push apart the rusty sliding shed door and immediately spy the broom in the filled, and so far neat, interior.

The broom, mind you, is not pristine. It looks a little frayed. Still, I find myself say, "I can't use you."

Oh no! That's the Mama in me speaking. A broom lasted literally forever for her because she let it sit for many months before using it, and when she did, it was sparingly.

I shook off the Mama's voice.  The broom in the shed is solely for outdoor purposes, including sweeping dirt from the cement. So what that we bought the broom within the past year or so. So what that the broom will get more bent out of shape because I really need to sweep with extra muscle. It's not going to put us in the poorhouse if we need to buy a new broom. (At least, not yet. Maybe not ever if the current GOP tax bill loses in Congress.)

Needless to say, but I shall, I picked up the broom and did my sweeping. Near the end of my task, as I pushed dirt into the garden, I realized what I really needed was the push broom in the garage.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gardening is Part of Me


Do I garden because I love it? Is gardening something that's simply in my genes?

In her last years, the Mama would sit in her garden or at the kitchen table and ask, "Who will take care of the garden when I die?"

"Don't worry," I would tell her.

That's what I liked about the Mama. She didn't ever ask me to tend to her garden when she was gone. She didn't want me to feel obligated.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Surprise! It's an Olive!


Whoooooo-hoooo!

Our olive tree has its first olive.

It's a cute little olive.

Our olive tree is two years old, which we bought at our local olive festival in its six-inch pot of glory. It's about two feet tall today. One day it'll go into the ground. My, oh, my, think of all the olives that it may produce.

What shall we name our first lovely olive? How about Daisy?




Sunday, July 23, 2017

Succulents


I don't think I'm there yet—a succulent crazy mama.

I did go to a succulent and cactus show a couple months of ago. It was something to do. It was free.

And, yeah, okay I did buy $30 worth of plants, which I finally planted in that ceramic planter above.  The purchases were the orange and red moon cactuses, that spiny looking tree, the cactus with the tiny white flowers on the right that's blending with the white rocks, and the succulent in the metal planter on the left. Maybe that little succulent in the center of the bowl. I can't recall. I also can't remember if I kept their name tags.

Yesterday, I dug out the Mama's spindly looking aloe vera plants in the back yard. They were nesting next to the apricot tree and geraniums,  getting too much water and not enough sun.  I thought I would plant them today in a sunnier part of the backyard, but I felt too tired. Maybe tomorrow morning, I'll at least stick the largest plants into the ground, and a few of the new growth in old shoes.

Yes, shoes. I have two bags full of the Mama's and my old shoes to turn into planters for succulents. I don't know about the Mama's platform shoes, maybe they'll become part of a border. That might look cool, don't you think?

I tell you if it weren't for gardening, I don't know how I would've coped with everything these past 15 months.



I'm sharing at Jesh's All Seasons, her weekly meme that she hosts at her site Artworks by JeshStG. Click here to check it out. Thanks, Jesh!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Saying Hello to July


Surprise!

The amaryllis is in bloom. I had no idea the amaryllis could have a second bloom, six months apart. It isn't unusual, according to what I read today. My trick: Do nothing. I'm thinking that it may be getting the right amount of moisture from the foggy mornings.  Hurrah!


The drawer full of hens and chicks is new to the front yard. I finally pulled the succulents out from beneath some rose bushes and planted them in this drawer without a bottom. I placed the two plates there to cover the dirty spots on the drawer. Beats having to repaint the drawer.


The flowers fizzed out in the VHS-Tape Planter. Cie la vie!

The pot of frizzing spider plants on the other side of the yard called out "Dibs!" I hope they like their new home.


Many years ago in another town I recall a house lined with sunflowers on its south side. I thought it was so cool and wanted to do something like that one day. Looks like that day arrived.


I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants. Thanks, Jesh!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wow!

WOW — Cosmos!
The first Cosmos to grow in our yard, as well as the first of the season.

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word wow as "a striking success" when used as a noun and "to excite to enthusiastic admiration or approval" when used as a transitive verb. The noun has been around since the early 16th century while the verb usage was said to begin in the 1920s. Wow, huh?

Every day, I am wowed by the wow's happening on the once-the-front-lawn. Today's wows are all firsts on some sort.

WOW—Pompom Poppy!
Friend BB gave me seeds from her yard for the past three years.
This was the first year for them to pop out for me.

WOW—Sunflower!
This is the first sunflower of the season. The Husband and I first saw it this morning.
 
Wow is for the letter W, which is the theme for ABC Wednesday. Click here to see what bloggers from around the world have posted.  Merci beaucoup, ABCW team.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Flowery View


Some of you dear readers may recall that the Husband and I stopped watering the lawn and bit by bit began pulling it out. The Husband has given me carte blanche to plant what I want where I want. He seems to be happy to do the grunt work such as digging holes, hauling, placing heavy plants where I say, and putting stuff in the green garbage can. He's such a sweetheart, the Husband is.

Today, I give you a peek of the view around our mailbox. The cosmos showed themselves over the weekend. It was a grand surprise. We had no idea what flower the feathery green stalks would be.

Below is the view looking from the house. The Mama kept the orange roses and pink daisies in pots. I chose to put them in the ground because they have a better chance of surviving.

Those are the last of the Spring poppies. Yesterday I pulled out a lot of old growth, throwing many of the seed pods back into the yard. Maybe poppies will show up again in late July.


By the way, if you want to see how the once-upon-a-time lawn has progressed, click here.

I think I have a hobby -- gardening.

It's the letter V at ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out other V-themed posts. Thanks, ABCW team!



Friday, May 19, 2017

Two Fridays Ago


Two Fridays ago, the sunflower plants (those standing green guys in the background of the photo) were about one-third the size they are today.

Two Fridays ago, I was sleeping off the effects of a robotic laparoscopic hysterectomy in a hospital room over an hour's drive away from home.

I am healing well, thank you. I think I have inherited the Mama's resilience genes. It could also be described as the gene that resists letting go, chilling, and not doing anything at all. Fortunately I have also inherited the Daddy's gene of that's enough being whatever, so I have decided that I will not work in the yard unless the Husband is with me. Did you think I was going to say not work at all? Ha!

I appreciate all your warm thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, and well wishes. They're all helping me get stronger each day.

Love you, one and all,

Su-sieee! Mac

P. S. I'll write about by not-so-hysterical adventures soon.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Own Mustard "Field"


Wild mustard greens is one of my favorite foods. I like to sauté the greens in garlic and soy sauce. Add a bit of bacon grease, if I feel like being fancy. Yummm.

When I was a kid, it was common for the Daddy to pull our car beside an orchard or field full of wild mustard. The parents got out to collect bunches of greens, while I wandered about, gazing and doing who knows what.

These days I wouldn't gather any wild mustard unless I knew the property owner and was assured that the property is certified organic.

Last year, the Husband and I decided to grow our own mustard "field", not only for food but also to help put nutrients back into the soil. We purchased a pound of mustard seeds online, but sowed about a third of the bag. Toss is more precise. In December, I tossed the seeds willy-nilly into the backyard.

Today it's a mini jungle of green and yellow back there. Some of the mustard plants are nearly five feet tall. I read that these plants can grow between six and 20 feet. Do you think?

With all the mustard plants, we've only eaten greens three times. Domesticated mustard greens are not as flavorable as the wild stuff. But, who knows maybe next year's crop will be closer in taste.

I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to join in and/or to read other participants from around the world. Thank you, Our World team.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

A VHS-Tape Planter


The VHS tapes have been staring at me in the living room for more than a month. It could even be two months. I think that was the last time the Husband and I opened a bunch of boxes from storage to determine what to use, keep, throw, donate, recycle, maybe repurpose, or maybe sell. I think these VHS tapes are ones that I thought we might be able to sell online one day.

This morning I finally did something with 12 of the VHS tapes. I bound them together with duct tape to make two walls for a bottomless planter. That's it in the photo. Pretty cool, huh?

The planter would've been made of all VHS tapes, but I didn't have enough tapes. Fortunately, I kept the doors of a small cabinet, which fell apart last year, for the other two walls.

I figure the pretty flowers will take the focus away from the funky taping. Maybe later I'll pretty up the planter with color or simply put something beside the taped VHS-tape side.

It feels good to make something!

Today I'm hooking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG.  Click here to check other participants, or to join in yourself. Thanks, Jesh!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mornings with the Supervisor


Molly the Cat leads me out the front door before breakfast most mornings.

"Go see what needs to be done," she telepathically prompts me as she begins her patrol of the perimeter.

"No cats here," she sniffs. "Ooooh, ladybug."

I check out new flower seed sprouts, note what sprouts need to be thinned and where I might replant them, bend over and pull up weeds, and so forth and so on.

Sometimes the Molly's and my morning routine lasts a few minutes, especially when it's cold or rainy. "Forget this," says Molly when she quickly does an about-face several feet from the front door.

Other times, we're out there for an hour or so, weeding, planting, digging, watering and whatever this heart pleases. Now and then Molly circles me to make sure I'm doing a decent job.

What I like the most is looking up from my task and seeing Molly lying near by, eyes closed and body purring in the the sun bubbles. I feel like I'm doing the same.

There are those days when Molly patiently sits by the front door, urging me in her mews, "Come on, Lady, let's go in already. The Husband made coffee."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Not.


I'm creating a structure at the sidewalk end of our front yard. Not a fence.

Just look at it. What creature could that evolving spiderness-of-a-something keep off our property?

Giggle. Hmmm, maybe that's something I ought not to giggle about.

I'm making this not-a-fence out of skinny branches of the fruit trees we pruned a few months ago, as well as from the second-time-with-The-Mama era. I'm not kidding. You can find all sizes of branches in our yard that I'd say were at last 10 years old. Some lie on the ground waiting for their time to become something helpful, such as the stakes holding up the boards that the Mama put around her flower and vegetable beds.

Have I digressed? Doesn't matter. :-)

That's my story for the letter N, this week's theme of ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the participants from around the world. How cool is that? Thanks, ABCW team!




Monday, March 27, 2017

Starting Veggie Seeds


I feel like a mad agronomist (as in mad scientist). Also, a mad farmer. This morning I started vegetable seeds indoors. If these seeds take, I guess we're having a vegetable garden.

This is the first time I'm trying this pre-spouting step. Usually, I throw the seeds in the ground. Comme ci, comme ça. (Showing off the little French I recall from one semester of Francais.)

I don't know what got into me this morning. Maybe it was wondering what to do with the several hundred tiny paper cups that are in the closet. You know how that is. You can't find the package of paper cups that you thought you bought so you figured you didn't buy them. So, you go buy a package and a few days later, voilå, there is that first package of paper cups.

What seeds did I plant?

Sitting in that orange container are 16 tiny cups of bean seeds. The seeds are from the Mama's last vegetable garden in 2015. They're quite tiny because of that year's drought. I'm guessing they're long beans, as I didn't bother to label the bag.

I also started 2 cups of sugar pea seeds and four cups of bittermelon seeds, all from the Mama's last garden.

Let me not forget the five cups each of tomato, pepper, and squash seeds from organic vegetables that we ate last year. Yup, whenever I liked how a fruit looked, I'd put a bunch of its seeds into one of three tiny paper cups on the kitchen counter. It'll be one grand surprise to see what kind of tomatoes, peppers, and squashes pop up. 

By the way, did you see Molly the Cat in the above photo? She decided that I needed a supervisor, because, after all, I was using her table. Molly, in fact, interrupted her morning nap to monitor my work. She even watched me clear the table when I was done with my planting. I'm glad she did. I found pepper seeds still stuck to their stem that I couldn't bring myself to throw away.

"What shall I do with these seeds?" I asked Molly the Cat.

She gave me her knowing look.

Of course! Stick them in the nearest pot. If they grow, they grow. If they don't, well nothing lost. The Mama taught me well.

Arrows point to the pepper stems.

I'm linking this post with two lovely weekly memes. I hope you check them out.
  • All Seasons is hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Thanks, Jesh!

  • Our World Tuesday is hosted by a group of bloggers from around the world. Thank you, Our World Tuesday team!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keeping Out the Birdies and Kitties

Click here if you'd like to see how the former lawn has progressed.
From last Thursday to Monday morning, I've been playing in the front yard, changing more of the looks of the former lawn. You see, the weather predictors said that rain is a coming. (And it has!) So, of course, I needed to take advantage of the rain. I dug, hoed, and pulled patched of turf and sowed wildflower seeds. The Husband also got in the fun and dug holes for the Mama's roses that were getting nowhere anymore in their pots.


One of the dilemmas of creating flower plots in the front yard is trying to keep the birdies from eating the seeds and the kitties (not Molly the Cat) from turning the plots into their personal latrines.

No problem. The Mama taught me a good enough solution.

We took the branches that we pruned from the fruit trees last winter and criss-crossed them across the flower plots. Voici, voilå!


With sun, rain, and good fortune, all will be in bloom by the end of April.

It's ABC Wednesday time. Click here to check out what other participants are posting about the letter K. Thank you, ABCW team!