Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today, in the Garden

I got out and watered this morning...I know the water restrictions are coming, so I'm getting the plants used to twice a week waterings...now.  Across from my fruit trees in the West Greens Garden, I have a rose, artemisia, a few firecracker ferns and the rest is dedicated to butterflies and hummingbirds.  

 Ms. Monarch on Butterfly Weed
 Gulf Fritillary on the Passion Flower Vine 
 more Monarch!  
 This wasn't such a great discovery...the rest of the tree seems fine, but I've got ants all over this year...mild winter?  They're all over my artichoke today as well...hmmm.
 Sweet baby persimmon...the symmetry is so lovely, it could be  James Avery creation.
 Hubby got out in the garden this morning to snatch up the blackberries...but he missed this one!  Ha!
 It's almost time to dig up the onions...they're laying down.  We plant 300 every winter and it almost gets us through the year!  
 The tomatoes I planted in the ground this year are doing much better than the ones in pots...I'm not expecting the fabulous harvest we had last year, but it's been a learning lesson that I will adjust next year.
 Last year I filled the bottom of the pots with my own compost, then filled the bulk of the pot with an organic potting soil...mulched several inches at the top.  I planted them in the A&M trusted "trough method" along with organic plant food and fed them once a month and every other week with Alaska Fish Emulsion, foliage spray.  We ate tomatoes every day for almost 6 weeks.  That's what worked.
 Randy's Rose...until someone can identify her for me.
 Here's something that used to come up all over my yard.  It disappeared and I forgot all about it, then it's back this year...Lambs Quarter.  It's great finely chopped in soups and stir fries and is an excellent source of B vitamins.  It's got a tart, lemony taste...not great raw.
Lambs quater
 The single blackberry above is one of several plants that were given to me from my friend Sabrina.  We transplanted them from her garden, the 6 inch root method.  This year I chopped down about 6 inches from my stalks to get some more root sections to spread...everywhere I chopped the roots, stalks came up!  I love it when you get a surprise like that!  This blackberry, the one that's pale and tiny is one that I bought.  It was labeled "thornless" and isn't as vibrant and rich green...we'll see how that goes.
Here's one of my potted tomatoes.  It looks okay, but the leaves are puny and here's what I've learned this year.  I thought that I would mix some potting soil with compost, a little of last years dirt and some new garden soil from the Natural Gardener.  I did the trough method, added the organic food and laid on a thick layer of Sylvan mulch.  Well...none of the potted tomatoes are thriving...all have tiny leaves and most of the flowers have just dried up.  I have been gone 17 days in the past 2 months since planting them, so the watering has not been consistent...that may be part of the problem, but really...it's the soil.  It's too solid, I don't think the roots are able to stretch and grow abundantly because of the density...I'll have to check this at the end of the season in the fall...live and learn.  
Canna
Roses and blackberries...I planted them together thinking that I'd keep the birds out of the thorns!
Our lovely Texas native columbine
Citronella flowers!  Because of the mild winter, we've been blessed with a boon of fruit...and also a hoard of bugs...so I have been propagating my citronella like crazy...using every pot in the yard!  Scat mosquitoes!
The buds on the Peruvian Lily
And here is one, opening...the hummingbirds and bees love the nectar!  It's a beautiful blustery day and I've got a lot of work ahead...pulling up the arugula, making room for the okra, mowing what's left of my tiny yard and having a glass or two of hibiscus sun tea!

Cheers and Happy Gardening!

10 comments:

Dana Brunson said...

Lovely! I'm very curious to learn more of the blackberry propagation you mentioned.

ConsciousGardener said...

You take the shovel straight down about a foot from a mature plant, then again about 6 inches away and dig up the root section. Plant that horizontal section about an inch below the ground and water. A new stalk will come up where you cut the root on the mother plant, and then two new plants will come up where you plant the root! It's easy and works everytime...well, as long as you keep the root wet for a bit :)

trelotrick said...

lookN good...

Lancashire rose said...

How do you store onions for so long? Mine go soft just in a few weeks. I have them in a terra cotta lidded container. Do share your secret. I think ants on plants usually mean one thing. Aphids.

ConsciousGardener said...

Hey Jenny, I pull them up and lay them out on my metal table outside and leave them there for a few days so the skins on the outside dry out (in the shade.) Then I store them in hanging metal baskets and open wooden bowls. They seem to do okay, and when they get old, they just start sprouting new greens. Funny thing about the aphids...they are on the butterfly weed across the way...thick, the ants must be picking up the scent from the wind...

SomeLikeItHot said...

How do you keep your onions all year without them sprouting or spoiling? I'd love to try that this fall.

Laura

Kris said...

It looks ever so lovely! About the only thing I'm harvesting now are tulips. The pear trees are done blossoming, so hopes for pears in the fall!

catmint said...

Hi Cheryl, I haven't visited for ages! You soundso busy and energetic, and the photos show the results. That spiky caterpillar doesn't need a sign saying don't touch. I'm intrigued how many loquats you got. I've got loquats trees that seeded themselves and they do fruit but maybe because they self seeded they don't fruit so heavily? cheers, catmint

Lawn Mower Best Deals said...

Your recipes sound amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

Xericstyle said...

I really enjoy your blog! The picture of the Canna....HOLY CANNA!
And your onions ....how cooool that you can store them that long. I am soooooo going to try this in the fall! thanks!