The cucumbers are doing great! No fruit yet, but tons of flowers. I found some wonderful metal obelisks at a local discount store for less than $20 a piece. I've used them for cucumbers, zuchini and pole beans. They have worked out wonderfully and add a decorative touch to the garden.Cinnamon Basil-it truly smells like cinnamon! I grow several varieties of basil-Sweet, Cinnamon and Lime are my favorite. When I find myself out of actual Lime (they are expensive these days) I use Lime Basil in my Corona, it's fantastic! I also grow Sage, Rosemary, French Tarragon, Parsley, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chives, Oregano, Lemon Balm and Cilantro (Coriander).
Welcome to Nanas Petals, a blog created to share my love of Gardening, Home, Grandkids, Craft projects and a variety of other mostly unfounded, nonsensical and trivial information. Come on in and sit a spell, I'm truly happy to have you, please roam about at your leisure and if the mood should strike you- leave a comment or two.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Even before moving into our new home I was planning my vegetable garden. Actually, I have longed for years for a potager/kitchen garden. Last fall my husband was kind enough to build 4 8x4 foot raised beds and thus began my kitchen garden. Just this past April we had a picket fence built to surround the garden and I began the long, tiring job of hauling in better quality soil from various locations of our property. This was done via wheelbarrow and I now harbor an aversion to hauling wheelbarrows full of soil (atleast until next year..LOL). The fence will eventually be stained white to match the trim of our house.Although the soil will take many more seasons of composting to bring it to its' best, I started planting almost immediately. As my vegetable gardening experience has been limited to tomatoes, I have started slowly and cautiously attempting to gain some knowledge and experience before going hog wild. Italian Bush Beans-Having been a "canned" bean eater most of my life I am amazed at just how good fresh beans taste. There will be no more canned beans in this house-unless I can them myself, of course.
About two weeks ago the Japanese Beetles began their yearly devastation of all things I hold dear...Ugh! I have tried the bags..and been told they only bring more beetles. I did find that to be the case and am no longer using them. I have sprayed both insecticidal soap and neem oil to no avail. I have spent numerous hours squishing, squashing and drowning as many beetles as possible. For every one I kill, two more come to my garden. I'm beginning to think they send out signals for help! And so my dear garden friends, I am sending out my signal for help! HELP! Does anyone have any organic suggestions on how to battle these insects from hell?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
A Little Awe
It's a rainy day and since it's been awhile since I posted I thought I'd give everyone an update on the adventures in my garden. The warm weather is in full swing and it has brought a flurry of gardening activity and a continuous change of blooms. It has also brought both welcome and not so welcome visitors to the garden. Before we get to that I want to share this beautiful photo I took during a break in the rain today. I love getting up close with the camera because it allows me to see things that I would usually miss...
How many of us take notice of the raindrops? We see them, but do we really notice them? If you look closely you will see that each little raindrop acts as a tiny gazing ball magnifying life around it...
A Lot of Shock
I'm sorry, but I am about to ruin your moment of blissful awe with this....This is most definitely one of the unwelcome visitors to the garden! He was one of two that I encountered within 15 minutes of each other. The first was attacked by my Great Dane as she was let outside into the fenced area of the yard. As soon as I could get her back into the house my son promptly ended its' life. Shortly afterward Mr. Maximus (see photo to the right) and I began our daily walk through the garden and he spied this lovely critter. I was incredibly grateful as he was tucked up into the corner below the water spigot that I use everyday and was doing a great job of blending in. I again called to my son who rather comically attempted to extract the thing without puncturing a hole in my garden hose. The snake then managed to wrap itself around the base of a holly plant and after several failed attempts we did manage to put an end to its' rampage. I was uncertain as to the type of snakes they were. They looked like rattlers, but had no rattles. All I knew for certain is that they were not the average little garden snakes I was accustomed to. A neighbor has since indicated that they appear to have been chicken snakes. No matter...they scared the crud out of me..and I find that I am much more cautious in the garden.
This little guy, though much smaller and less intimidating, is another of my unwelcome visitors.
He's kinda cute isn't he? He reminds me of those little GloWorms the children play with. Do they still make those? Anyway, as cute as he was you can clearly see the damage he managed to do to my sweet little rosebud. I'm sorry to say that the little fellow is no more.
Okay, that was the bad now here are some very lovely and most welcome visitors to the garden.
And here is some awe in the form of new bloomers in the garden and those who are just on the verge of blooming..
The soft colors of early spring are now beginning to give way to the warmer colors of summer. The daylillies are the first to bring yellow to the garden. I love daylillies and try to tuck them throughout the garden. The brigher shades of yellow are brought in with this wonderful coreopsis....
And the Cosmos are beginning to sprout up throughout the garden...
All through the garden there are promises of blooms to come...Cleome, Coneflower, Phlox and Roses.