Thursday, May 29, 2008

Working in the garden

Tonight Bill and I worked in the garden (I also got in a little over the fence neighborly chat!). We weeded the onions, planted more radishes, planted cucumbers, and strawed the paths between my raised beds. I put batteries on my shopping list so that I can get my camera out and get some pictures.
We put up a cattle panel along the back edge of one of the raised beds for vining plants. It worked great! Our beds are 16 ft. long and the panel is the same length.
When we were done in the garden, we both just sat back and admired it. I love a garden in spring.
We put more root stimulator on the fruit trees. Our new Honeycrisp apple tree is budding out very nicely. They look so pathetic when they are shipped as a bareroot tall twig!
I think that we will be camping this weekend, so there will not be any garden work this weekend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strawberries and cherries

Today my daughter picked 4 ripe strawberries. It is time to get out the netting before the critters get the berries. Lauren asked me tonight if we could "make all kinds of strawberry things like jam, pie, and tarts". Sounds good and fresh to me.
I was checking our cherry tree that we planted earlier, and it is not coming out of dormancy as well as I would have liked. Most of the limbs are not budding. When we bought the tree, it was leafless, so it was hard to know what it would do. Hopefully, it will come out of this. My camera is out of batteries right now so I am unable to take a picture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where is the heat??

This has to be one of the chilliest months of May that I can remember! This afternoon it was only in the 40's. My garden is usually planted 2 weeks ago and going great. I think I am just going to bite the bullet and plant this week. Hopefully some of the warmer days will cancel out these cool nights. Tell that to my peppers and tomatoes!
Actually, it has been so busy around here, that I have not gardened much at all anyway. I think that it would be great to get my hands in the dirt though. It is such great therapy for me. Seeds and plants generally do well with very few disappointments.
As soon as I get everything planted, I will have to post pictures again. I know that I will want to plant more than I have room for; I always do. Gardening in the spring is so much more fun than a worn out fall garden that is spent for the year.
One advantage to this cool weather is that the spring blooms are lasting much longer than they usually seem to. It has been pretty.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This week's flowers and plants

I cannot believe that it has been 10 days since I posted! Work has been busy with starting a new position within the same department, so everything else has been on the back burner.
We have been having such a nice spring. Usually spring in Illinois is winter with the heat running straight to summer with air conditioning.
Containers of tomatoes and peppers waiting to be planted. It has been a little cool at night still (in the 40's) and I am hesitant to plant them out. I don't remember it being so cool this late into May. The plants are looking a little nipped, but the new leaves are doing better. I think the time that I forgot to water them did that. Oops!
This is the first year that my variegated iris has bloomed. Bill cut quite a few low branches out of the trees in the front yard last fall. Maybe that helped. I don't know. I had an apricot colored iris that also bloomed for the first time this year.
These are pictures of the columbine that I started from seed last year. I was glad to see that they made it through the winter and are blooming.

The strawberries are still blooming and starting to show berries. Soon we will be fighting the birds for berry rights!
My lilac is blooming also. It always blooms later than the hedge of old fashioned lilacs. I am not sure if it is a Miss Kim or Dwarf Korean.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope that all you women out there have a great Mother's Day! We are all mothers to something or someone!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Great Day to Work Outside

Today was a great day to work outside. It was breezy, cool, and overcast. I mowed the lawn, worked in the flower bed, transplanted peppers and tomatoes, and planted seeds.
I have definitely decided after today that not all plant starts from neighbors are a good thing. I received a start of a plant that my neighbor said, "only gets about so high and has pretty yellow flowers on it". Having never seen this plant in her yard before (now I know why), I planted it. The first year, it grew at least 5-6 feet tall. This was not a small plant. This year, it is threatening to take over my flower bed! I pulled so many of those plants today, it was not even funny! This thing is invasive!! The bad part is, I think that it may spread by roots also. I had a devil of a time getting them out. Finally, I started just yanking the plants. I will have to keep an eye on them for regrowth. Lesson learned.
My peppers and tomatoes finally got transplanted today to bigger pots. I should have done this weeks ago. It is still supposed to drop into the 40's at night, so I don't feel comfortable planting them out yet. I had them out to harden off a bit though. I have so many! They will probably end up like zucchini and I will have problems giving them away!
Finally, I planted some lettuce and radishes in the garden. The lettuce that I started a couple weeks ago is not ready to transplant yet. Again I am late starting.... We are supposed to get rain tonight and tomorrow, so the seeds should get watered in well.
I received my Mother's Day present today. A new butterfly bush. It is probably the largest one that I have ever started with. It is multi colored picked out by my girls. My husband and I planted it today also in anticipation of the rain.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Forgiving Seedlings

I have found that seedlings are somewhat forgiving of my care. I thought that I had watered my seedlings in the shed and walked in there yesterday to find that I was wrong. I was in shock to see how badly they had shriveled. Well, lots of water later, they are surviving. The cotyledons of my tomatoes are yellow, but the leaves are okay. I need to be more careful about their care.

There is so much to do in the spring that I feel that I almost need a list to check off just to get everything done.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday happenings

Today was a busy day. We went hunting for morel mushrooms this am and found 3-4 pounds! Guess what was for dinner? Morels are great in egg, crackers and fried in butter. We are dehydrating the rest for later.
On the way to mushrooming, we saw a calf that had just been born. We pulled off the road and watched the calf attempt to stand a few times before being successful. I felt bad for it because it was 49 degrees, drizzling, and extremely windy at that time. What a horrible time to be a helpless wet calf!
After mushrooming, we went to the nursery and bought 2 Redhaven semi-dwarf peach trees and one semi-dwarf North Star Cherry. I wanted one more apple tree, but the nursery did not have Honeycrisp. I ended up buying it from Jung's online.
Now I think it would be a good time to go to bed and read some gardening catalogs.
Good night.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day Blooms

The crab apple blossoms are especially pretty this year. Last year they did not bloom due to a late freeze. The smell is wonderful.

More of the same crab apple.

I don't think that I remember the strawberries blooming quite so early as they are this year. Maybe I just haven't paid that much attention either.

Lilacs have to be one of my favorite spring flowers. We are fortunate to have a hedge of them across the backyard that makes for a scented outdoors! I remember as a kid, my Dad pruned them down to probably about 2 feet. (I live in the house that I grew up in.) I thought for sure that they would die. Nothing quite like a man pruning!

Now this is not a flower, shrub, or tree.... Maybe it is a tree monkey! Actually this is my youngest daughter. She was following me in the yard as I was taking pictures. The next generation of gardeners is starting!