Welcome to My Garden

We may walk on different paths, but we follow the same footprints.

This year I'm focusing on improving my running and overall health by taking the 2017 Mile Challenge and seeing where the journey takes me. I'm also revisiting the Monthly Challenge started by Nephew Jason in 2009.

I'll try to post something every day. It may be a short inspirational quote or a longer narrative. Please join me......

"If you don't try, you won't know you can."


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Columbine




Sunday, May 30, 2010

Menacing Sky

It's that time of year when eyes are focused on the sky. What will be stirred up in that weather cauldron and dumped on unsuspecting victims? Fortunately, these clouds only stirred up some wind and a spit of rain ... no hail, thankfully.


Wall cloud moving in from the south west...................

View to the south - wheat field is looking good, yet so vulnerable to the wrath of hail storms.



Keep your eye on that sky - love that beauty - respect that power of God's Creation.........

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's Blooming in the Garden?

Spring is a beautiful time in the garden - this is what's blooming today.....


Jonny Jump Ups - I don't remember planting them. I think they came in with something else. They seem to find a foothold in the smallest crack or crevase in the rock wall.

Cherries - from the looks of the trees there will be quite a few cherries in July.


Peaches - kinda sparse, looks like the snow last weekend didn't totally destroy this year's crop.


Peony - usually found as double flowers. This variety is single. Too bad they don't last very long.



Crab apple - This tree was loaded with blossoms. Don't remember seeing so many.


Apple Blossoms - this is a Yellow Delicious variety. We also grow Jonathan and Macintosh.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just Passin' Through

This oriole didn't stay very long - just long enough to have a picture taken documenting his brief stop-by. The peach tree is just starting to set blossoms.

Migratory birds pass through the garden on their way to places that are greener, warmer, not as windy......... Wonder what that would be like to be a migratory bird - move with the seasons?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sisters

Eventhough my sisters live miles apart - there is a bond that links us together. It's a bond that can't be seen or heard, but felt inside the heart. It's a bond that reaches deep within the soul.



We walk together through the garden of life ... sisters joined forever by love.

(Very sad that Caroline was unable to join us for our weekend in Madison)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Raining

April rain - there is nothing like it. A free gift from heaven . . . refreshing, rejuvenating, cleansing rain. Rain - the life fluid of Earth. How perfectly made is water - so simple and so complete. I love the rain, the smell, the sound, the memories of childhood it brings to the forefront of my consciousness.

My childhood home had a large attic and on rainy days my sister Caroline and I would spend hours playing dress-up with the treasures we found. Furniture from days long past were strategically placed and we would pretend to be queens and princesses dressed in the most elegant gowns from older sister's proms. Tea was served in tiny porcelain cups and we sipped our tea and ate small cookies as proper-pinkie-out ladies.

And so, on this rainy April day, I'll drink a cup of tea with my pinkie extended and enjoy the gift memories this rain brought today.

Beautiful rain, perfect rain, life giving rain, triggor-of-memories rain..................

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crocus and Daffodils


I love it when the crocus and daffodils bloom - it's a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, crocus don't last very long.


Garden events this first weekend of April included planting potatoes and the first batch of onion sets, removing the burlap coverings from around the roses, and pruning apple trees. I found several good web sites as well as video giving step by step instructions. (thanks again Google) Early spring, before the tree starts budding out, is the best time for pruning any fruit tree.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time to Wake Up The Lawn


With temperatures expected to reach mid 70s this comming week, Gary thought it a good time to start dethatching the lawn before it really starts growing. He prefers to use a dethatcher attachment on a small Honda roto tiller. He runs the dethatcher lengthwise, rakes up the thatch then runs the dethatcher crosswise. The dead grass will be put to good use as mulch in the garden. It takes a bit of time, but the results are worth the effort.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Transplant Time

Transplanted 200 geranium seedlings today... whew!!! A good drink of water and I think they're off to a good start. The petunias are not growing quite as fast as I expected. They are germinated for the most part, but not setting their true leaves yet. Patience ... patience ... patience ...


geranium transplants in their recycled paper pots

Friday, March 19, 2010

Last Hurrah ?

Winter is breaking its icy grasp but not without a fight. Tomorrow is the first day of spring - you wouldn't know it by looking at the 3" of fresh snow. The geraniums are starting to put out their 2nd set of true leaves - big enough to transplant into their paper pots.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Started Peppers Today

What a beautiful day. We're about 8 weeks from planting outdoors so thought it was a good time to start pepper seeds. Planted about 2 seeds per cell and will thin to the strongest plant after they start growing their first set of true leaves. Planted some jalapeno, sweet banana, a giant red and an orange pepper. Should be a colorful mix.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Used Office Paper Makes Good Seed Starting Pot

We are in the process of making paper planting pots out of used office paper. So far, we've made about 300 pots. We experimented with several plans and came up with this one. Once you get the hang of it, the process goes pretty fast. We found several postings on youtube, but decided to do our own.


video

In case the video doesn't work, here are the directions:

Take 2 pieces of used office paper and fold them together length wise


On the open end, take two of the sheets and fold them up about 1". Turn over and repeat




Roll the folded paper on the edge of the table to make it easier to bend






Bring the ends together and tuck the 1 " folds into each other.







Staple the 1" fold on the outside - make sure you DO NOT CATCH the inside 1 " fold or it will be difficult to form the bottom.



Fold out the inside 1 " fold and place the cylinder over a plastic cup











Form the bottom of the pot by folding the 1" flap over the cup.

You can staple the top to help keep it together.



You now have a paper pot ready for use!!!

Fill the pot with your favorite seed starting medium and start growing.
We mix shredded cardboard with potting soil. Adding the cardboard reduces the amount of potting soil we need (reduce $$) and helps maintain critical soil moisture. We did performed several unscientific experiments to see if the cardboard had any ill effects on growing plants. No ill effects were noted. We decided to use about a 50-50 shredded cardboard to potting soil mixture.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Raining

I love days like this!!! There is nothing like rain to wash off the dirt that accumulated over the winter. Clean...fresh...renewing...joyous rain

Today would be a good day to take stock of seeds I have. I need to find a much better method of storing and organizing seeds rather than in an empty coffee can. I tried envelopes, they get damp and fall apart (bad idea). I tried ziplock baggies which kept the seeds dry, but didn't help much with organization. Sounds like a great project for a rainy day - which today just happens to be.

Red-Wing Blackbirds and more

Red-wing blackbirds are back. This morning is the first time I hear their gurgling o-ka-leeeee songs filling the air. I found a great sight that has an audio list and explanation about what different calls mean Red-Wing Blackbird

After further exploration of the site, I discovered it was just a small link to a much larger project sponsored by Annenberg media. The Journey North a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Definitely worth exploring. Especially great for teachers!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

First Robin

Saw my first robin this morning. Ice is melting off the trees. Life is good!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tomorrow is the First Day of March

Tomorrow is the first day of March. This past week, temperatures were hovering in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Doesn't look like it will get much above 30 today. Looking at the garden on this foggy, frosty morning I can't imagine that anything would venture to peek out.



Yet, there amoung the dead leaves of last summer's glory is the beginning of life in the garden.


Daffodils venture out, braving icy wind and snow. Undaunted by possibilities of frosted leaves, they push upward from still partially frozen ground.


Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings. They are a signal of spring. To me they represent hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.

For more information about daffodils check out The American Daffodil Society's website: www.daffodilusa.org

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Repurosed Iron

What can you do with that pile of scrap iron? Repurpose it into garden furniture!!!



Gary, like most farmers, has a pile of scap iron. He thought about doing an iron scupture, and decided to build some furniture for around the fire pit. He wanted something that you don't have to take in during the winter and won't blow away. Don't think that iron rocker is going anywhere.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Class Plant Project

For the past couple years my students grew wave petunias for sale as a money making project. This year they are also growing geraniums, double petunias, tomatoes and peppers.

Geraniums are just starting to peek through the soil.


Tiny petunia plant


Keeping the tiny plants watered and happy. A growlight on a track provides adequate light for the growing seedlings. Light is a germination requirement for petunias.


Started petunias and geranium seeds February 9th. They are just starting to germinate. The petunias need light for germination so the challenge is to keep the soil moist. A clear plastic cover does the trick and still allows light to get through. Right now, the seedlings look like tiny leaves perched on hairs. Amazing that in just another month they will actually look like plants and by mid summer, they will spread to a diameter of about 3-4 feet.

Spring is Just Around the Corner?

Thought I smelled a hint of spring in the air last week, but had about a foot of snow over the weekend. So far it's staying in place - a beautiful crystal blanket covering the garden. Temps are still dropping into the teens, day temps are hovering in the upper 30s to lower 40s.






Last fall I mulched the roses using shredded cardboard and wrapped them in burlap. I can't wait to find out if this helps with cane dessication that occurs due to temperature fluctuations and extreme cold winds.