I need to clean my cabinets because we trimmed our trees. That may seem like weird logic but proves to be entirely true. Remember that issue I mentioned in a former post concerning too much shade over the garden because of the overgrown tree? Well, tree trimmer Jim visited and took drastic measures. Drastic as in my yard looks completely different and there is more light than I ever imagined possible. So much light that my kitchen and bathroom, both of which have windows at the rear of the house, are now bathed in light. While I appreciate the extra light it drew my attention to the fact that my white cabinets are not nearly as white as I had thought. Three kids living in the house means that I wipe the cabinets down often but apparently not well enough. It's kind of like when you only realize how dusty your house is once unexpected visitors show up. Maybe I should have garden baby wash them since she sure loves bubbles!
Now back to the trees - the root of my sudden need to clean. The canopy of leaves that shadowed my itty bitty backyard is 100% gone. Gone as well are the cute arches over the pallet garden which took a hit from a falling tree limb. Luckily, however, the fall plant babies survived. The husband promises an even better design to replace the arches using...can you guess? Branches from the tree of course! I think it will look quite charming when all is said and done. As for the state of things now...far from charming. The yard looks much like a person rudely awakened by someone throwing back the blinds - kind of shocked and confused.
Admittedly I was upset by the shocking transformation but now I see the good that will come from this. One, tree trimmer Jim promised that my trees will come back stronger, more evenly shaped, and probably faster than expected. Second, I see a perfect spot for a chicken coop! Garden baby and big sister Bella will absolutely love having their own chickens. Third, Tom and I have come up with some really great ideas on how to expand the garden and make it more productive. All will be well. Our backyard oasis has a bright future ahead of it...literally!
The bucket tomatoes did really well so next year I will grow them again. To renourish the soil I have chosen to compost directly in the buckets in hopes that it will become beautiful soil by spring. Wouldn't a time lapse video be interesting?
Please, no more photos!
Alas it is that tricky time of year when summer is not yet over but the back-to-school hustle and bustle makes you realize that fall is right around the corner. Plus, we have pumpkins turning orange in the garden - a brilliant color that screams fall in my eyes. In anticipation of the new season I have also planted new seeds in the pallet garden after freshening up the soil with a store bought organic mix. This is something new for me since I usually throw in the gardening towel by this time of year. New seedlings are already popping up! How excited am I about these new plant babies? Probably far more excited than any nongardener could possibly understand.
Seeds for Fall
My Very Favorite Fall Flower - Mums!!!
Oh Garden Baby...wait a bit for that wooly hat!
Just last week when my dad brought me beautiful cucumbers grown from the plants I gave him I complained that my garden had grown none. Well, I was wrong. While searching for pumpkin babies to photograph, I discovered some not so little cucumbers hidden between the vines and under the large leaves. A look back to my planting map shows a Marketmore Cucumber in the back corner of the bed. I forgot! This my friends is one of my favorite parts of gardening - the surprises! Sometimes, for instance, a plant looks like it isn't going to make it but comes back and does very well like the tomato plants in my borrowed bed. They looked so poorly for a while that I planted new plants directly next to them which explains the overcrowding, lack of fruit problem I now face.
In other garden news, the Tavera Beans provided a lovely side for dinner one evening. Garden baby wasn't all over them in raw form as you can see. She preferred them much better cooked lightly and dressed with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of coarse salt. We are also picking raspberries everyday and have gotten a few ripe tomatoes here and there. The peppers are doing pretty well also. The large amount of rain this season has brought us has me a bit worried about the bucket tomatoes. The soil is constantly wet and the plants are looking yellowish. I'm thinking that I should have drilled more drainage holes and placed the buckets on a frame of some sort that would allow the water to flow out easier. Always something to learn when gardening!
Scenes from the Garden
During certain events in life it is easy to imagine that the world is on pause because you can’t imagine that anything more important is going on than what you are experiencing at that moment. Garden baby, as I mentioned in my last post, picked up a nasty bug. When writing that last post I believed she was on the road to health but instead she landed herself in the hospital for another surgery and a few days on IV antibiotics. She seems to be doing much better and the world did not stop as evidenced by my garden…or should I say jungle.
The tomato plants are huge and overgrown, the compost pumpkins have grown into large plants that are threatening to take over, and the pole beans are a tangled mess. The tomato plants in my borrowed plot of land are more foliage than fruit so I believe some pruning is in order. I have no idea how to prune a tomato plant so luckily LDSPrepper posted a great video on how to do just that. Guess I will give his tips a whirl sometime this week or else we will have to experiment with tomato leaf salad rather than actual tomatoes.
As for the rest of the jungle, some heavy duty weeding will have to take place and possibly the installation of something taller for the tangled pole beans …possibly a pole. Since my zucchini and yellow squash plants have perished for mysterious reasons (Kidnapping? Assassin?), the pumpkin intruders in that plot will stay. Some of the others will have to go or else my garden will turn into a pumpkin patch. I do love pumpkins but I was really hoping for a more diversified garden!
The sign pictured above sits to the left of our back door and it just seems fitting at the moment. Garden baby picked up a real stinker of an illness and we have been battling it for a couple of weeks now. With getting her well as my top priority, chores in and around my home have settled onto the back burner. Luckily for the garden our area has received rain here and there so the plants (most of them anyway) are still chugging along. The beans and peppers do show signs of a pest intrusion though and my zucchini and yellow squash plants have all disappeared except for one. The health of a couple cucumber plants may be in peril also . What should this frazzled gardener do to save her precious plants? I am hoping that a little research this week leads me to an organic solution for my green friends and that garden baby feels well enough to work her magic with them as well.
Soon to Harvest
The Scenic View
Welcome to The Green Brick Road. My name is Valerie, and I invite you to join me and my family on our gardening adventure. We hope that you will learn with us and grow with us. Pun intended!