Tuesday’s Rainy Garden Party May 31, 2011

See previous post if you wonder where I have been!  However, I have to admit I spent a lot of time outside when DH was sick, just so I did not have to listen to him moaning…..

Finally dug that sucker out!  Saved a small piece and planted since I knew DH’s heart would be broken, but it was taking up prime gardening real estate!

Here it is in the southwest corner of our lot up against a fence area.

My poor blueberries have still not been planted, but I am trying to keep the area weed-free.

There is my companion, Landon, who I keep telling to keep out of the garden areas!  He doesn’t listen.

Here are some impatients I planted against my house. 


It is raining hard here today in Northern California, but I will have more pictures next week hopefully, now that DH is well (more or less) and my lupus drugs are working fairly well. 

Check out everyone else’s progress at http://www.anoregoncottage.com/2011/05/tuesday-garden-party-some-highlights.html

I get lots of inspiration there!

Tuesday Garden Party-Thursday May 5, 2011

Whoever said “A woman’s work is never done” should have said, “A gardener’s work is never done”.  I have been working so hard and I swear it is never going to look like some of the beautiful gardens I see at www.anoregoncottage.com Tuesday Garden Party. 

Since my fibromyalgia has been renamed immune disorder and I am on some drugs that are working, I am finding I am back to my old self….sort of….I also have to remember I am 53, not 33 or even 43 anymore.  Okay having said all that, if you are not a regular reader of my blog…and let’s face it who is??, you will have missed the most exciting news of the past week which is our new patio!

We have waited over 10 years for something to go here:

 which now looks like this:

Why did we wait so long?  Well DH and I argued about whether to replace the deck (what he wanted) or have a patio (what I wanted).  Along with that was raising 3 daughters, the youngest who had us away from home so much with all her sporting activities.  Seriously we traveled so much with her, I could retire on the money we spent….only for her to up and get married a year out of high school….So then there was the new roof, the new car (paid for with cash), the wedding, and then of course the granddaughter…..and all the money we spent the six weeks I spent in North Carolina…..

Any excuse to show this favorite picture of me and my girls…..(Oprah I know your show is ending, can I please have a makeover so I am as beautiful as my daughters?)….

As usual I digress from the topic at hand.  Okay I have been working hard this week and just came in from planting the impatients that DH brought home from his trip to the bay area:

I also planted some sunflowers and bachelor buttons today and weeded our strawberries in one of our raised beds.  DH also brought home from Home Depot (we don’t have one in Humboldt County, nor a Walmart for that matter), tomato cages for our  tomatoes that I am feeling very hopeful about:

The strawberry patch area is in the far back that you can see in this picture.  I have weeded the closer bed and pulled out the overgrown arugula along with a huge flower that I thought DH was going to kill me for getting rid of.  It just took up too much of the raised bed.  I stuck a piece into the pot to the right of the far right tomato pot.  I hope it will grow, it was a nice flower, but had gotten completely out of hand:

My Lily of the Valley plants are reproducing.  I started with two from my elderly neighbor (who I miss so much), who moved to Minneapolis to be closer to her son and DIL after her DH passed away in November of 2009.  She was such an inspiration to me as is my own 81-year-old mother who spends her days in her yard, happily passing away the time.  I need to decide on an area for the Lily of the Valley plants soon, probably by next year:

This plant popped up in the area I planned to plant my sunflowers, but have no idea what it is or where it came from.   I did plant the gladiolas that you can see, but am curious as to what this is.  My DH thinks it is a weed!

My last picture is an Iris that I bought at http://www.sunvalleyfloral.com/thesunvalleygroup/index.cfm

Each year Sun Valley has a sale and plant show.  I did not go last year, but bought several bulbs over the years. 

I also planted impatients in my hanging baskets in the front yard, and a flower mixture my neighbor gave me along with my new gardening shoes.  I gotta take a picture of them!

I find all the posts very inspiring and even though I am not even close to some of the beautiful gardens, it is something I am striving for…I figure I have at least another 30 years to garden right??

Tuesday Garden Party-Slug, Snails and Rolly-Pollys oh my!

I feel Jamie’s pain over at www.anoregoncottage.com, because here in Humboldt County they are ridiculously prolific!  They also hide in overgrown arugula and swiss chard all day long because of all the lovely shade such an overgrown garden provides.  I started cleaning out our raised bed and probably found 15 snails and 10 slugs.  I have been using Sluggo this year with some success, but did not think to put it out in the back, just mostly in the front yard where I had planted some flowers.

I went to a growing tomatoes in Humboldt County seminar at Pierson’s Building and Gardening Center in Eureka on Saturday morning.  I figured it would be about 1 hour, well no it was actually 2 hours, but those 2 hours flew by!  Steve Goto from www.gotomato.us.com was fascinating, funny and full of great information!  Being on the Northern Coast where temperatures rarely even reach into the 70s in the summer makes growing tomatoes a real challenge.  We tried 2 years ago and did not have much success.  Last year we didn’t even try, but both my husband and I, after seeing the article about the seminar decided we would like to try again.

So much interesting information and an organic method to try in our pots.  We put the pots on the south side of our home, which is the warmest since it is also about 9 feet from a fence between us and our neighbors.  However, since we are having a new patio poured today (yippee, yippee, yippee!), we are also going to lay black ground cover fabric and get a new truckload of gravel to make our side yard once again look presentable without all the weeds, etc that grows after 23 years of doing nothing over there.   Plus that is where the bobcat came in to grade the patio area and where the cement truck thing will be going:

 Here is the set up patio area:

Okay back to tomato growing, Steve recommends Joe and Bob’s organic products and introduced us to grafted tomatoes.  So we are trying grafted tomatoes grown organically and see how it goes.  I admit I have used Miracle Grow for years and have had beautiful flowers with it and may continue until I have used up the large box from Costco purchased last year, but I am going to start moving towards organic and see how it goes.

For the pots (even though I have used Miracle Grow in them previously) you start with 1 oz of Optimize, follow with 1 cup of Maximize and 1 cup of Biosomix.  Add your soil admendments (in my case composted chicken manure and some composted garden and grass clippings that has been growing and composting for 23 years (we use it every year though, we just don’t have formal composting bins…just a huge pile on the side of our yard that is hidden really from the back yard view, you have to go around the side of the house to see it…., anyhoo then plant your grafted tomato up to the graft line.  If you are using regular tomato plants purchased from a nursery you can take off the side stems and any flowers and plant it with just a bit of the tomato plant sticking out.  He says that no plant is really any better than another if your soil is prepared correctly, they should all do well.  In other words if all that is left are plants with yellow leaves, etc.  Not to worry, buy it anyway, pull off the leaves and flowers, put it in your prepared soil and there you go!

Here are my pots and the products:

The Optmizer you use just a little.  This is how much I used for all 3 pots:

This is a container from ricotta cheese that I measured the 3 oz into:

Here is a prepared pot with all 3 products:

Here are the grafted tomato plants:

They were on sale for $9.99 for the seminar.  They will be well worth it if we actually get some tomatoes off of them!  I am so looking forward to my first garden season where I don’t have a job and can spend as much time as I want in the garden.  I will have to be careful not to overdo too much though!

Tuesday Garden Party April 12, 2011

I feel a bit behind everyone.  However, we did get some repotting done over the weekend after DH got home from his business trip.  We also bought 2 more blueberry plants. 

This weekend DH is going to a San Jose Sharks game; will leave Saturday morning, meet our daughter somewhere (she drives from Reno) in the Bay Area and onto the game Saturday night.  I am considering going, staying in the hotel room and knitting, but then again, I have things to plant!  So I am torn.  I will decide after I see how the rest of my week goes.

I am finding when I have something planned, like today’s MRI of my neck, I have a hard time getting anything accomplished before appointments.  Tomorrow is my new pain group at 2:00, so theoretically I should get a lot done in the morning.  I got NOTHING done this morning. 

I put a roast and veges in the oven on 300 degrees, so I am going outside to get to work. 

Here are some highlights from yesterday:

The begonia is starting to grow.

The pink Columbine is repotted and looks good.

This is a plant from my elderly neighbor.  I am not sure what it is, but it is starting to bloom.

The geraniums will stay here until we rip up that area and put down new black stuff and cover with new chips.  Hoping to do that in the next few weeks.

I repotted my peony.  I wonder if it will actually bloom this year?  Thanks to Jamie at www.anoregoncottage.com  and the other participants, who keep me motivated!

Tuesday Garden Party-Happy Homecoming 4/5/2011

Today is a wonderful day!  My dear son-in-law is expected home tonight from Afghanistan.  I should have been in San Diego, but due to slides on both highways running out of Humboldt, I decided to put my daughter and granddaughter on a flight Sunday instead of taking a chance on highway conditions.  Woohoo just got the e-mail and auto phone call confirming his arrival tonight at Camp Pendleton.  He has no idea that he will be greeted by his own little mini-me:

Who looks more like this now:

Yesterday was a beautiful day after 10 days straight of rain and I took advantage of it.  I am still feeling really good after the prednisone taper and tried really hard not to overdo it.  Pacing is a mainstay in treatment of fibromyalgia, and I am still getting the hang of it.  I have always been a work hard until you are done type of person, but have had to change my ways….and it is really hard to do, let me tell you!

I finally managed to get my new geraniums planted and added soil to some pots, did a little cleanup and watered everything well (plants covered by overhang). 

With no appointments this week, since I was anticipating being in San Diego, I finally experienced a feeling of possibilities.  All the possibilities of being a stay-at-home wife .  In some ways I feel like I missed my true calling (damn women’s lib), but am going to treasure it now.  Too bad it took fibromyalgia and disability for me to figure it out.

Here are a few highlights.  This is my front door area.  I do a lot of planting for the front here.  I did hose it off after I was done yesterday. The blue pots are from Costco as are the white and red geraniums.

These are my hydrangeas, a white one and a pink one.  I need a blue one!

I had an extra white geranium that I planted along with an older red one that I tried trimming back, it was root bound in a hanging basket.

These are blue columbines that are really hardy:

I added soil to my small assorted colored calla lillies in the wine barrel:

Forget me nots are like weeds!

I hope to get my roses fed this week and some vegetables planted in my raised beds.  But it all depends on the weather….springtime on the North Coast……

Meanwhile I am hopping over to http://www.anoregoncottage.com/ to see what everyone else’s garden is doing.

Tuesday March 8th

I am behind, really behind.  However, 2 quilts down, 1 to go… well not quite…5 down, 6 to go, but I have all year to finish up the 6 since 11 in 2011 is my goal.

Onward to gardening!  Not sure how my year will go since I may be driving cross country with middle daughter in April and staying awhile since YD’s family also lives on the East Coast.

I can do a little inside gardening though:

Yes I regrow commercial green onions! 

Just stick the ends in some water and they grow.  This morning I took one and chopped it:

For the first time, I stuck it back in water.  I want to see if it will grow a second time, but I made this for breakfast:

DH called yesterday to whine about his restaurant lunch.  No, it didn’t take long for us to fall into traditional male/female roles after having “equal” household chores for most of our marriage. His was all the shopping and cooking for over 30 years!  So I am like a new cook and I am always kind of excited when something I make actually turns out, like this morning’s frittata. 

My favorites:  Batchelor buttons, Cosmos, dianthus, roses, hydrangeas and geraniums!  I am starting to like my calla lillies, now that I know how popular they are!

And Jamie, my roses have black spots too.  I hate them!

Now tonight, while watching TV with DH, I need to boot up the laptop and catch up with all the challenges I am following!

Tuesday March 1st Garden Party

The cold weather is gone, but the wind has arrived.  Sunday was a beautiful day and I weeded an area in my backyard that needed it bad, before all those little weeds went to seed and produced even more!  I should not have pushed myself quite as hard as I did, but I am recovering.

Last year my husband did not want me to buy any geraniums.  He says they smell.  Well they may, but nothing blooms longer or is easier to care for in my humble opnion.  So when I spotted these at Costco, I went and grabbed them while DH talked to one of the Costco employees (he is on a first name basis with practically every employee, even the demo people, or should I say especially the demo people!).    I am looking forward to planting in the nice deep blue pots we bought last spring at Costco, which held the red and white tulips that barely produced last year and did not produce at all this year!  That is why I am never buying bulbs at Costco again (this is not the first time the bulbs disappointed). 

However, these old daffodil bulbs, I cannot even guess how old they are started blooming yesterday:

Mom planted them a few years ago after dividing them up from her property (where she has lived for the last 25 years).  Here is my 81-year-old mother, me and my granddaughter at Halloween.  My mother spends as much time as she can in her yard and garden.  She puts me to shame!

My calla lillies make a lovely entryway  bouquet.  There is something about flowers on the entryway table that encourages me to get rid of the crap we usually pile there.

DH also aerated our lawn and our friends who live around the corner.  They were gone for the weekend and were happy when the came home to find their lawns aerated too.  It took DH 2 solid hours of work. 

Those are dirt plugs.  I carefully clean up after my little dog!

I need to start spending more time in the yard, but it has been hard to tear myelf away from sewing!

I finally told myself I must do house chores in the morning and can start sewing after lunch, otherwise I would sew all day!

Happy gardening….and any other creative activity you find yourself enjoying!