Friday, May 28, 2010


May 2010 332 Delphiniums are currently my favorite flower. While I must nurse many of our plants through our extreme seasons, delphiniums seem to thrive on our long cold winters. And they don’t mind our hot summers, as long as I give them a little water each day.

I have really become fond of these hardy, low maintenance perennials!

May 2010 336 They emerge in March and steadily grow throughout the spring and begin flowering in late spring. After the flowers are spent, I cut the stem right below the flowers. It doesn’t take them long to recover and flower again and again.

To view gardens from around the world, visit Flaunt Your Flowers Friday at Tootsie Time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Snow Pellets

I thought I had experienced every weather phenomenon known to North America, but I was wrong.May 2010 303We were showered with snow pellets on Saturday afternoon.

May 2010 300

Since it was a new experience I decided to walk out into the snow pellet storm to record it. Lucky for me snow pellets are less dense that hail, so they do less damage to crops, unprotected heads, and cameras than hail of the same size would have done.  Fortunately, I decided to ignore the forecasts of the blind liars meteorologists, who said we would only have rain and not dip below freezing, and took steps to protect some of the less hardy plants in our garden before the snow pellets arrived:May 2010 305

The snow pellets were followed by a  dry thunder storm and then a light snow shower. Most of America is anxiously awaiting summer and we are still wondering when spring will arrive!  Have you had unusual weather this spring?

To view less depressing pictures of the great outdoors, visit Outdoor Wednesday at a Southern Daydreamer.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It’s Always Winter, but Never Christmas…

We had more snow last night. More snow is expected tonight and tomorrow. My poor children are complaining of living in Narnia and hoping for Aslan’s return. My garden is barely hanging on. I couldn’t bring myself to post last week because there just didn’t seem to be anything, well at least anything positive, going on out side.  Instead of gardening, we have spent our time outside repairing wind damage to our fences. I am trying not to think about how much we were harvesting last year at this time and just be thankful that my plants are still alive!

My strawberries are not at all upset with the weather:May 2010 289I have a 4’ x 6’ raised bed filled with strawberry plants each one covered with flowers. In a months time I am going to be very busy making strawberry jam!

My gooseberries are also doing well:May 2010 152Last year we did not get any gooseberries because the rabbits ate all of the leaves and flowers.   The bushes bounced back and developed thorns.  My raspberries were saved from the rabbits by developing thorns as well. I have become a huge fan of thorns!

My blueberries are developing very slowly:May 2010 149 I think we will be harvesting blueberries several months later than the rest of the country.

My romaine lettuces almost died off, but are fighting their way back. My red lettuces have continued to grow, although quite slowly. May 2010 282 The green lettuce plant in the center is a volunteer. I think it is a butter lettuce plant. I planted some seeds late last summer, but an early snow storm prevented them from developing until now. I wonder what other surprises I will discover.

The spinach is finally taking off:May 2010 284I have been able to pinch enough leaves off the spinach, lettuces, and chard to make a salad and have used some on tacos.  My potatoes are not liking the cold and I am not sure how many more frosts they can take before they give up trying. All of my herbs are doing well except for the basil. I still have the peppers, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon plants in my greenhouse. I have been opening the door in the hopes that the bees will find their way in to pollinate the flowers. It  must be working because this week I made a discovery on one of my cherry tomato plants:May 2010 292

I was hoping to plant the tomatoes in my raised garden bed this weekend. That is not going to happen, but maybe, just maybe next weekend spring will arrive…

To view other vegetable gardens, visit $5 Dinners.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dead Roses Aren’t Much Fun!

Today, I received the latest edition of my free Home Depot Garden Club Newsletter.  I was very excited to discover that this edition includes a buy one get one free coupon for roses.  I lost several rose bushes in our unusually cold winter. In fact, right now only 3 of 8 bushes are showing signs of life. I am going to give the bushes a couple more weeks and hope that more recover, but even being the optimist that I am, I know I am still going to need my Garden Club coupon:May 2010 063Every newsletter I have received has contained either a BOGO and/or high value coupon. The Garden Club Newsletter also contains some gardening advice appropriate to your local area, which I appreciate because gardening in the high desert is very different from gardening in other areas of the country. When you sign up you give them your email address and your zip code and when they email you your newsletter they include tips tailored to your region. If you are interested in receiving this free newsletter, you can click here.

Do you already subscribe to the Garden Club Newsletter? Have you found other garden centers that are offering a similar service?

Square Foot Garden Update

groweatsave I wish I had more to report. However, the tomatoes, peppers, and squash are still living in my temporary green house.  I moved them from the garage to the greenhouse, so that I could roll up the door and hopefully the bees would discover their flowers.  I am hoping to plant them next weekend after the next storm system passes.

My garden still looks pretty bare:May 2010 057 The trellises were blown over in the last wind storm.

The lettuces, spinach, and chard  are still alive, but have not really taken off yet:May 2010 050 After our long, harsh winter, I am content with alive!

I am delighted to report that the peas have finally sprouted:May 2010 053 Our apple trees are in bloom:

May 2010 059 We used the last jar of homemade applesauce last week, so the trees cannot produce fast enough for my family!

How is your garden growing?  I hope it is growing faster than mine!  To view other square foot gardens across the country, visit $5 Dinners.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Summer Comes Earlier to my Front Yard

fertilizer Friday I live in zone 4, but the microclimate in my front yard is almost zone 5. Which means that I can plant the same varieties in my front yard and back yard and they will flower earlier in the front yard. It also means that autumn comes later to my front yard. Why do I tell share this? Because  every time I saw lilacs last week, I lamented that mine were weeks away from flowering. I was, of course, referring to the bushes in the backyard that I walk past every day on the way to the garden and pasture. I completely forgot about the bushes in the front yard:May 2010 023 Here is a close up of the flowers:May 2010 034

This is what the flowers look like in the backyard:May 2010 041It will be a while before they open. However, I promise to stop whining about it. I think I am going to spend more time in my front yard, focusing on all the flowers that are in bloom, rather than impatiently waiting for the ones that aren’t!

Do you have microclimates on your property? Do you notice a difference in how plants of the same variety grow in different locations on your property?

To view flowers in different zones, some on the same property, visit Flaunt Your Flowers Friday at Tootsie Time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When are Flowers Unwelcome?

BloomingTuesday_Button My husband and I have different answers to this question. My husband does not like flowers in his lawn, though I believe a great lawn should contain a few dandelions and a small patch of clover. Well, it should if children ever play on it. My husband wants our lawn to look like my Dad’s:April 2010 154 But I (not so) secretly hope that our lawn  never looks this nice! I don’t even mind that it looks like this:May 2010 016 In defense of our lawn. It just warmed up enough to begin running sprinklers. It will green up, I just hope that when it does my husband is not successful in his attempt to eradicate the pretty dandelion and clover flowers!

I, on the other hand, find some flowers unwelcome in my raised bed gardens. I would prefer not to see flowers on my rhubarb, greens, or onions, especially this early in the year. Alas, one of my rhubarb plants has begun to bloom:April 2010 457 I will do an emergency harvest of this plant and freeze the stalks. I will wait until the other rhubarb is ready before I start baking with it.

There are some flowers that we are both happy to see. The first flower on our crabapple tree:May 2010 017
Our first viola flower:May 2010 012

And the snapdragons, which  are beginning to bloom, just as the tulips are fading:May 2010 007
Do you have any flowers that are unwelcome in your yard? 

To viewing beautiful, wanted flowers around the country, visit Bloomin’  Tuesday.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Progress is Slow in the Vegetable Garden

groweatsaveWe have not had any more losses, but we haven’t had much growth in the vegetable garden either. Since we have had two different snow storms blow through in the last week, I am content with survival!

April 2010 454 The spinach is roughly the same size it was last week, but it is being nibbled on. Time to look into organic pest control!

April 2010 455 The potatoes did not like the freezing temperatures at all! The leaves that had emerged blackened and died. I was really worried, but with in a day of the last storm, new green leaves started pushing up through the dirt.

April 2010 371The pear tree is in full bloom and has weathered the storms quite well!

I have tomatoes blooming as well, but they are in the garage, so I do not think that the bees are going to find them:April 2010 365

The strawberries continue to bloom. Look at all of the flowers on a single plant:April 2010 369

How are your fruits and vegetables coming along? Have you been able to harvest anything yet? 

To view other square foot gardens, visit $5 Dinners.