Vegetable Garden – Grandchildren – June 14, 2004 Garden Journal entry

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June 14, 2004
It has rained all week here and actually, I got a lot done in the yard (see previous posts). Saturday, and I tackled another section of the yard, edging and shovelling out another flower bed. My daughter came to my rescue and helped me with the heavy manual work of hauling off the sod.

I planted the rest of last year’s iris bulbs and maybe they will take and maybe not as they sat in a black garbage bag through the winter. I saw green on the bulbs though, so planted those…we’ll see what we get. I had made a row of iris last fall from donations and they bloomed nicely this spring. I did not have beds enough to plant all the donations, so hopefully, I “wintered” them to salvage…as I said we will see.
I’m excited about planting my new Calla Lilly (discounted plant in container that I planted in the ground) and hope it will grow well. The local hardware store had bulbs on sale 1/2 price, so I bought 2 more Calla Lillies, in pink and yellow. I was too fearful of planting them directly in the ground, so put them in pots to see if they will grow.
I also got 4 varieties of gladiola bulbs, which I did plant directly in the ground, and have my fingers crossed they will grow, looking forward to seeing gladiolas in the yard.
I put the cosmos flowers in a grouping and tossed out some baby’s breath seeds. Forming a little beginning of a flower bed which I hope to expand. The foundation will be the gladiolas, then will gradually add differing heights of flowers. I realized though, I didn’t know what was an annual, what was a perennial, so I went to google on internet and created a list of perennials. I want to scout for them at the nurseries around here (not too many, maybe 3 within 50 mile radius). I hope to plant perennials and create a kind of wildflower garden.
I’m staying small here and keeping with the green grassed yard, don’t want to overwhelm my husband (or me for the that matter) but in years to come I’m looking forward to gradually claiming more to the beds I am creating and growing this project to have larger and larger beds of wildflowers and perennials.
The grandchildren (ages 3 and 4) helped me to plant all the vegetable seeds so we have little pots now all lined up with vegetables waiting to grow.We have:

green peppers
tomatoes full size
cherry tomatoes
cauliflower
wax beans
watermelon
squash
lettuce
pumpkins
radishes
corn
cucumbers
oh, I’ve forgotten the rest.My daughter gave me several packages of seeds this year and we made a grandmother, grandchildren project out of planting them all.

That about wraps up this week in the yard. Got so much done this year. I’m taking a break from the garden and yard for a bit. This week we will be doing some errands and driving around for my daughter’s family trying to get to Germany to be with her husband. Now that is another very long story of a different topic altogether.

The Harvest – August 2004.

The harvest in August. Now it’s September and the chill is in the morning air. Not sure how much more of my garden is going to grow to maturation…but, hey, the pumpkins are growing, and the cucumbers are producing, and some late squash are growing.


Ahhh, more produce from the garden. Look at that, I’ve got corn, eh! Not so easy to get a full season to grow corn where I live.

Pruning and Trimming, Yard and Vegetable garden

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Giving the Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree a much-needed trim and setting out some of those early spring primroses and pansies launched us into our spring clean-up. After the winds and rains of winter, our yard looks strewn with debris and left-over projects undone from the end of last fall.

So, getting the planting station in the carport ready for a new spring workout, we got the area cleaned out. Since we tore out the carpet in the main floor of the house, it had been taken outside to the temporary place under the carport. Husband got it all hauled out and loaded into his little pick-up to go to the local landfill. Swept out the winter leaves, and tidied up the area. Found grandchildren’s toys from last August when the family stayed with us….ahhhh, miss them all so much.

Pruned up the wild fushia bush and took down it’s height. That and a hefty pruning of the Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree and we have some serious burn-barrel fires in store. Maybe our neighbor will be as accomodating as last year and haul it to his burn pile for disposal. First spring lawn mowing done. General clean up in the yard and it is already looking much better – ready for spring and new projects.

The kitchen vegetable garden needs tilling and new plantings and I’d like to expand the vegetable garden this year. My vision of it requires more back-breaking labor than either of us really want to expend, so looking for some easy short cuts to make more raised beds for growing more vegetables. I’d like to try the upside down tomatoes this year. I also thought of getting several half whiskey barrels and planting in them.

I’ve taken on gardening as a leisurely hobby, outdoor exercise and that great feeling of being connected to nature. But I’ve wanted to get serious about my kitchen vegetable garden as a means of producing some of our food. I’ll NEVER want to learn how to do canning thought, but I’m receptive to the art of ‘freezing’ what I can of the harvest.

We had a small windfall of a bit of extra $$, so I went out to the garden store where I spent 4 hours just looking at every item; envisioning my entire spring and summer and what I could do; then did a reality check and made a list of what I most wanted right now that would fit the small bonus $$ amount. In my mind I spent several hundred $$ but my reality was quite different than my mental shopping spree. In my mind I had lined up to buy 3 trees, 4 bushes, a new wrought iron with canopy outside room, redwood patio set, water fountain gardens for several places in the yard, trellises, wheelbarrow, electric roto-tiller, red lava rock, mulching, mini-greenhouses in several sizes, several more whiskey barrel planters and hundreds of packets of seeds, bulbs and tubers. WoW – had a great time imagining all I could buy….but the few 20 dollar bills in my wallet just wouldn’t stretch that far.

With carefully pruning away my mental shopping, I made a list of what I could buy with my real available dollars. I bought pruning shears (boring), potting soil (boring), seed packets (fun – but I had to put about 50 packets back – over my budget), a new tree = Mt Fuji white cherry, the usual assortment of primroses, pansies, and a few other 2′ starter flowers, and I found 3 summer tops at price I couldn’t resist so I treated myself.

It was time to refer back to my Wee Garden website and update it some, and I learned something about the climate zone where I live in Pacific coastal area. It’s not zone 8 like the gardening books and USDA climate zone tell me; it’s zone 5 because of the Pacific winds and climate zone. Well, the good news is that with zone 5, the last frost is later than zone 8, so the planting season is later. Might explain why all the seeds I’ve started for the last 3 years don’t seem to germinate. I need to start them later and actually create a greenhouse environment for them of heat, light and moisture. Forget tomatoes, no way in the climate zone I’m in with short, short hot season can I grow them from seed. Sounds like my instincts to buy starter vegetable plants from the nursery is well-founded.

Now where’s those grand-darlings to help me with my yard. They really were very helpful and willing workers with the taskings of the yard. Emily hauling off sod to the back, Drew using the big person shovel to dig a hole, their fascination with the worms when we turned the soil…..ahhhhh, I need my families to live closer. All this training them towards their own independence and they are all making their own lives their own way in different parts of the country. I miss them all. I always wanted to own acerage that would allow for building several homes in one place and having family close by but I’m also wanting mostly that they flourish in their own lives.

Deersong

Craft Project; For Ashley – Make Emo Kid gloves from socks

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My Emo Kid granddaughter spent a couple weeks with us and taught me a bit about the nuances of dressing Emo which is apparantly a distinction among many styles of fashion, not to be confused with Gothic.
Tutorial to show how to step by step is here at Cut Out + Keep

Find a pair of socks

Cut a straight line across where the foot part of the sock begins.

Fold inside out and place on your hand. Spread out your thumb and pin out where the edge of your index finger and thumb begin.

Sew along this v-shaped line, removing the pins as you go.

Place this on your hand again and cut a line down the middle of the v-shape.

Fold over, about 1cm, at the top of the glove and thumb hole.

Take a needle and thread and sew around the glove and thumb holes. To sew it correctly start with a hemming stitch, turn this in to a running stitch for 1cm and then make another hemming stitch and so on.

Deersong