Monday, June 22, 2009

Guest editor

Nikki and the kids took a road trip with friends this week, so it's my turn to post something. Unfortunately for you, the reader, it's like getting a brick of cheddar cheese when you were expecting warm brie. Or getting a 150cc scooter when you were hoping for the new 1,300cc Honda Fury. You get the idea. Nikki is the one who researches, finds, plants, and feeds everything growing at our house. She's well versed on pH levels, hours of sunlight required, and zones. I mow the lawn. Occasionally I'll put some weed and feed out there, but that's about it. Here's my contribution to the picture gallery - the edge of the lawn along the front curb. Based on the detail, I apparently need to sharpen the edger blade.

My wife is very special and I'm not sure how I convinced her to marry me, but I'm glad she agreed. I think I can safely say we'll all be happy when she gets back home next week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chicken Update

Wow, are the chicks getting big! They will be four weeks old tomorrow and they are definitely not little chicks anymore. Here they are sitting on my husband's arm.
Henrietta's close up

Daisy's close up

The chicks and their favorite activity...sneaking into the garden and nestling into the dust by the tomato plants. They are half asleep in this picture and totally soaking up the warm sun.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The happy ending...

After much weeding and sweating the garden is looking lovelier than ever. We got all of the weeds out, my husband rearranged the sprinkler system and added a new line, and veggies are growing. Ahhhhh. We still may lay down weed paper and then cover it with bark so that things look a little nicer, but I really am relieved that it is looking so good for now. All those nights of weeding have resulted in a nice little garden spot for us...and just as things are starting to bloom, too! I intended to share a picture of my Mother's Day gift a while ago. Here it is in the middle of the garden -a beautiful new trellis for the Thompson Seedless grape! I've always loved these and I'm so pleased that I now have one of my own. I've been inspired to really plan out the garden next year, and it is going to be centered on this grape vine. I'll plant rows of veggies and herbs in a star burst pattern with the trellis at the center. I really want the garden to look like something next year...whether it is a pattern of boxes or circles or whatever. The tomatoes, as enormous as they get, won't be able to participate in the pattern, but I'm thinking I can use them in the corners to anchor the natural square shape of the garden. So many fun things to consider!
I'm rushing to get a few things read this morning and commented on because my darling son Noah asked me this morning if it is a cleaning day or a shopping day or a school day...all no. So he said, "Mommy, can it be a play with Noah day?" I'm limiting myself to all computer work and showering during Sesame Street and then the rest of the day will be with the kids. Hope you are having a great play with your kids day, too!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where has Nikki been?

Weeding, that's where. Remember when I posted about my love for weed paper? Well, phooey, says I. A few weeks ago, I walked into the garden and noticed the distinct feeling of walking on pillows. Pillows? My husband and I pulled back the weed paper and and found this...

BEFORE pulling back the paper

After pulling back the paper

More of the weedy interlopers

For the next few weeks, our precious evening hour with light went to weeding the garden. You know the hour I'm talking about...the one from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. That hour when the kids are in bed and there is still just enough light left to do something outside. So rather than enjoy it and pick some veggies, we spent it elbow deep in wretched weeds.

The pictures aren't really doing it justice. I was too disgusted with the whole thing to take enough pictures, but you get the idea. Our 20 x 20 foot garden was truly carpeted with weeds wherever there was weed paper.
Of course there is a happy ending. But you'll have to tune in tomorrow for that story...

Look who did our pictures...

My sweet friend Adrea took the chick pictures of the kids that I posted and I totally forgot to include a link to her blog where she publishes all of her work. You have to check it out! Her pictures are so great and I love that I get to have her around to take my kids' pictures. Adrea can be found at Bright Waters Photography and right now it is totally plastered with my little darlings. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The chicks are growing!

Oh, the little chicks aren't so little anymore. Their fuzz has turned into feathers and they are now big enough to live in the coop! The kids have been loving having them to play with and the chicks seem to be just as in love with the kids. We still haven't totally figured out the composting thing, but all in good time. Daisy and Henrietta will be with us for a long time, so we'll figure it all out eventually.

Noah with Henrietta and Daisy
Sarah with Henrietta
Me with Daisy and Henrietta

Friday, May 15, 2009

May Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

I haven't posted much lately because of a weed situation in the garden that I'll be going into more detail about soon. Weeds - the scourge of the garden! But my son and I went around the yard today taking some pictures to share what we have blooming today. Thank you to May Dreams Gardens for hosting this! Things are really starting to grow quickly in the vegetable garden so many of the pictures are edibles...I can't wait for summer salads!
First up is the lovely purple flower of an eggplant

Our first beefsteak tomato
Yellow Pear tomato blooms Pumpkin Blossoms
Cucumber blossoms...

and our first cucumber

Strawberry flower

The nasturtiums are blooming, which I was so happy to see. I expected them not to do much since they are in very fertile soil, having just been given a dose of manure and worm gold at the beginning of the year. Looking forward to adding these to salads!

The zucchini has the prettiest blossoms right now

Scarlet runner bean flowers
And finally - a bee we found on a growing strawberry - yay bees!