Archive for Gardening

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~ William Shakespeare

This rose is in my little rose garden next to our back patio.  The kids gave me this rose-bush for a Mother’s Day present a few years ago.  It has the loveliest colors, and I thought it would be nice to start off your Tuesday with some loveliness.

I have been trying my hand at photography once again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve taken pictures like this just for fun.  I was shooting with Travel Man’s Canon G12.  Lots of fun to be learning again!

Do you have any hobbies you’ve gotten away from?  what’s keeping you from getting back to them?

 

We Made Garden Markers

The gardening season is in full swing and I have a few projects that I’ve been meaning to share with all of you.  We are already harvesting our zucchini, and had our first grilled zucchini last week.  Oh yum.  And by the way how is it possibly the 6th of August already?  Didn’t we just celebrate the 4th of July?

I had been wanting to make plant markers for the garden so it would be easy for Evan to know what all of the plants are, and just because I thought it would be cute.  Plus I had seen a lot of ideas for the markers on Martha Stewart‘s crafting page, so I was inspired.  And as a bonus to the budget, I wanted to spend as little money as possible on this project. 

There were these dilapidated stakes from a short border fence we had taken apart at one time or another.  Great these will be my new garden markers.  Next I went into the garage and perused my leftover paint shelf.  There was this great green color just calling my name. I call it my lime sherbet paint.

 So off Evan and I went to paint the sticks.  This was of course during one of our “Camp Grandma” days.  Evan loves to paint so I knew he would be a good helper for this project.  We painted one side of the sticks, let them dry, turned them over and then painted the second side.  This took up most of our morning, and then we went for a swim.  I left the sticks to dry overnight, so we could put the lettering on for the plant names.

The next week at Camp Grandma we painted the plant names on the sticks.  I bought some paint pens (the only thing I had to buy!), as I knew this would make it easier for Evan to help me.  I was really glad I got them because he had a lot of fun being creative with his lettering.

These are my favorites of everything we painted.  I love how Evan got the patriotic theme going.  And he did make one marker that says, “Evan is cool”. 

Here’s the rest of the finished markers, and how they look in the garden.

This was a great, inexpensive project.  It was fun collecting all of the supplies from “stuff” on the shelves around the garage and in the garden shed.   Evan and I had a lot of fun together, and the markers look so great in the garden.  A great summertime project.  Of course Evan had more fun making mud pies.  More on that adventure later.  Happy Monday everyone! 

The Tomatoes are Growing

Hello neighbors.  Yes I’m still here and no I haven’t gone anywhere.  You see Travel Man got home from his second international trip last Saturday, and we’ve been spending some much-needed time together.  He’s only been home 8 days in the last 30, and now he’s home all of this week (anxiously keeping my fingers crossed).  We’ve been having some great meals together, and working in the garden together.  Always a lot to do in the garden.

This year I planted 5 tomatoes plants.  The varieties I purchased from Lowe’s and Home Depot were; Roma, Better Boy, Big Boy, and Celebrity.  A pretty ambitious effort for me, because at the end of last summer I had proclaimed I would only plant two tomato plants this year.  I’m crazy like that, sometimes I just like to go for the gusto!  So I had intended to share these pictures with all of you about a month ago, and somehow they got lost in the “Camp Grandma” menagerie of pictures.

This little contraption is what I am using to water the tomatoes this summer.  Of course in Southern California we have some extreme heat in the summer.  Travel Man found these for me at one of his favorite hardware stores, and I was readily willing to try them.  The spike holds a two liter soda bottle.  It has little holes down each side of the spike to allow the water to flow through to the roots.  With the heat we are having right now I am filling the bottles up twice a day.  In the morning and again in the early evening.  So far so good as the tomatoes are thriving.

This picture of the Roma tomato plant is from a month ago.

 

And this is the same plant today.  I finally added the cages and staking to all of the tomato plants last weekend.  Now it’s just keeping up with the watering and weeding, and waiting for the arrival of the first tomato!!  I cannot wait to have my first BLT with a garden tomato!

We (meaning Travel Man and I) are having an ongoing discussion about the best way to let the tomatoes grow.  My mindset has always been to just put the cages up and let them go to town.  Travel Man’s theory is we should keep them pruned inside of the cages to get a better crop of tomatoes.  I am trying it Travel Man’s way this summer, so I can see how the plants to in the raised bed they are growing in.  And I have to give his idea a chance too.  I like to try to see things from all sides, and not be the “fathead”.  So that being said it brings me to my question for all of you who garden or have gardened in the past.  “To prune the tomatoes, or not prune the tomatoes?”   That is my question to all of you.  Looking forward to hearing some great gardening opinions.  Happy Wednesday to everyone!

Find a Container and Garden

One of my favorite ways to dress up my patios in the summertime is with containers of plants and flowers.  Big pots, small pots, any size at all pots.  I love to have the flowers all around on the patios.  Last week before the 4th holiday I was replanting all of my big flower pots on the patio.  I thought I would share my process as it’s really simple, and a great way to spruce up your patio for summer time, spring time, fall time, or anytime at all time.

I had two big red planter pots that were on my front patio.  And they had been empty for a while, so I decided this was the week to replant.  These are plastic pots so they’re very lightweight.  It’s very easy to find the lightweight pots these days.  All of the home improvement stores carry them, and at Wal-Mart the bigger pots are especially budget friendly.

 

So, take your big empty pot, and add some empty water, or soda bottles, and fill the pot about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full.  I saw  this trick on one of the home improvement shows, and filed it in my list of things to remember.  This makes the big pot so much lighter when you are finished.  If your twenty-somethings aren’t around you can lift this one by yourself.   And with this method you save some money on potting soil too.

Next cut a piece of weed cloth and lay it on top of the layer of bottles. This  will contain the potting soil.  Then add your potting soil and fill the pot to the top.

Now it’s time to select your plants.  For this pot I chose the tall spiky plant in the middle first.  This is called a Cordyline.   I picked this one for the great color on the leaves.  Just the color I was looking for.  Then I found the flowers to surround them.  This plant is a Celosia.  It will get yellow and red flowers.  I choose this one for the colors in the leaves too.  Just love the vibrant greens.   I set the plants on top of the dirt first to get my arrangement just right.

Now it’s time to get everything planted in the pot, and water generously to get all of the plants settled in the dirt. Move the beautiful pot to its new home and enjoy!!  I like to use annuals in all of my pots so I can change them out for each season.  It’s a great way to add color to your patio.

Have you tried any container gardening lately?

 

Zucchini Bandit

My 2012 garden is coming along nicely, except for my poor little zucchini plants that I started from seeds.  I had two little baby zucchini plants, got them in the ground, and then a couple of days later I went out in the morning to water the garden, and BOOM, there was a plant pulled up out of the ground.  I’m thinking this was either the work of a lizard or a fatty black crow.

I put the poor little thing back in the ground, as I will not be defeated by a lizard or a crow.  Then I gave it a nice drink of water, and the next morning it perked back up and was staying green.  That evening I go back out to water all my little seedlings, and my poor little zucchini had been munched to pieces.  Here’s how it looked.

Then a few days later the same thing happened to the other baby zucchini.  and I put it back in the ground, watered it hoping it will spring back to life.  I will not be defeated.

As of this writing I have given in to the zucchini bandits, and will be heading to Home Depot to buy two new plants.  The pesky varmints got a hold of the zucchini’s and they were never to be seen again.  Poor little zucchini plants. They were my little babies. I started them from seeds.  

But the garden must go on and I want to have a nice crop of zucchini.  Grilled zucchini, zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini in stir fry.  The possibilities are endless.

This is just a small sneak peek of my garden adventures.  I have been spending a lot of time tending the garden while Travel Man’s away.  Lots of plantings and things going on out back.  He hasn’t seen the whole garden yet, so I’m not posting too many pictures of it until after he is home next week.  There has to be some surprises!

So for all of you who are gardening this summer, how does your garden grow so far?

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