Monday, May 31, 2010

Rain Gauge Report 2010 05 31

.10" of rain in the gauge.

Rain Barrel Status
1st rain barrel is full.
2nd rain barrel is full.
3rd rain barrel is full.

Everything got a nice watering after two days of heat and wind.  The rain barrels were topped off but I had barely used any water from them since the last rain.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Trashy Place

Between the first raised vegetable bed and the concrete pad we park the trash bin on is a little strip of garden that has been taken over by dill.  Occassionally, a larkspur, four o'clock or bachelor button will grow there.  Various weeds are pulled from the space; but mostly, it is filled with dill.  I grow dill for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.  And, it smells nice.

Out past the concrete pad we park the trash bin on is a patch of mint.  It is contained by the concrete pad, and the alley road mostly.  I have to do a little digging to keep it from creeping to far the other directions.  With the mint, we also have bachelor buttons and a very nice stand of daisies.  Daisies are doing great this year at Garden on Sherlock Street.  I usually mow the mint once during the summer to keep it from getting too tall and bushy.  It makes my mower (and the garage) smell nice for weeks.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Waves Of Love

I've mentioned before that I have love-in-a mist self seeding in my garden.  It grows thickly around the corner of the patio with strays sprinkled out into the path and beyond.  I also have quite a bit getting established in the alley where I'm encouraging self seeding flowers.

The flowers are opening!  There will be more, but I've already have the most love-in-a-mist blooms I've ever had at one time.  I couldn't even get them all in one photo.

I love photographing love-in-a-mist.  I'll get the seed pods later this summer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

If We Have To

We put it off as long as we could, but it is time. Time to mow. We don't like mowing.

Shortly after we got married, we rented a small house with a large yard. There was a place to plant vegetables and a couple of flower beds, but most of the yard was grass. There were some nice trees, but mostly grass. The landlord left a riding mower for us to use (the place used to be his mother's), but the riding mower died about half way through the first time we tried to mow with it. A nice neighbor mowed for us until we bought a basic gas powered push mower.

Nothing fancy. Not self propelled. It has the big back wheels which were the new thing at the time for easier manuvering. This is the only mower we've ever owned. It's a trooper. That large yard took two hours to mow allowing one little break. We didn't have to mow at the next place we rented. Then, we bought our house. There was a lot more grass when we moved in. We've been removing sod at a regular clip. Basically, this little patch is the entire lawn since I'm removing the lawn from the back yard and alley.

It has a nice shape and is low maintenance. Bermuda grass is very durable. It only grows when it's warm. We only mow from sometime in May to sometime in September. Here's what we do to the lawn: 1. pull weeds. 2. mow. We don't feed it, water it, rake it, aerate it, spray it. Nothing else. We have some dead spots. We are not concerned. The grass will fill back in. Here's what we use the lawn for: 1. Nothing. When we want to throw frisbees or something like that, we go to the city park a block away. Someday, the lawn will be gone completely. While I have a few ideas of what to do with the space, I haven't settled on anything. So, until then, we pull weeds and mow. I timed it and it takes 7 minutes to get out the mower, start it, mow the front lawn and return with mower to the garage.  It then takes 7 more minutes to push the mower out to the alley, start it, mow the grass patch by the alley and return with mower to the garage. We go as long between mowings as possible. We refuse to mow more than once a week. Here's the lawn after being mowed.

Wasn't that an exciting transformation. I tease.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Kohlrabi

In March, I planted kohlrabi.  At the time, I asked if anyone else planted kohlrabi because other than my family, I've never found anyone who does.  Catherine and tina both commented that thay might try kohlrabi.  Did you ladies plant some?

Wednesday night, I spotted the first kohlrabi of the season.

I pulled it out.

I pulled all the leaves off.

Then, I cut off the root and the top.

I peeled all around it like peeling an apple to get the outside tough skin off.  You can see where it's "woody" while you're peeling it.

Then, before I realized that my photo was a little blurry, my wonderful husband and I ate it!  We love the first organic kohlrabi of the season.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blooms And Berries

All the buds have opened on my peony bush.  I took this photo and then brought one in to put in a vase on the dining table.  When I was looking for the tag of another plant in this post, I found the stake from the peony.  It is called "Karl Rosenfield."

This is the plant tag I was looking for.  This sweet blooming yellow perrenial is "Dwarf Sundrops," Calylophus Serrulatus.  I have a couple of them in the garden.  They have seeded a few new plants but don't spread too quickly.  They are very drought tolerant.  More flowers are coming.

After the all the rain Monday night, I went out Tuesday morning to find this single poppy blooming in the middle of the love-in-a-mist buds.  I never know where the poppies will reseed themselves.  They stay in a couple of areas but move around from year to year tucking themselves in amongst the thicker growing flowers.

I think we'll be picking organic strawberries each evening for awhile.  Man they are sweet!  Better than you'll find at the grocery store.  I don't think I'll get a big enough crop this year to freeze any but we sure will enjoy them in our lunches.

I planted some snow-in-summer in another area of the back shrub border this spring, but this is my established plant.  It is looking good!

Rain Gauge Report 2010 05 26

1.00" of rain in the gauge.

Rain Barrel Status
1st rain barrel is full.
2nd rain barrel is full.
3rd rain barrel is full.

The garden is soaked.  I have some flowers laying over but they should perk back up once they dry a bit.  I had to pick up the tree branches that were laid on my new flower beds and return them to duty.  We got some gusty winds, but thankfully not the possible hail and tornados that could have happened.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rose Deficiency

There are no roses at Garden on Sherlock Street. 

Take a deep breath.
It's ok.
I didn't mean to shock you.

There is no declaration that there will be no roses at Garden on Sherlock Street.  It just hasn't happened.  I did have a lovely group of miniature red tea roses.  They were a gift and did great for quite a while.  I think they started to decline when the locust tree started shading their space.  I should have moved them but other things got my attention.  This spring, it became obvious that the one remaining miniature red tea rose, wasn't coming back.  I have let other flowers have the space.  As I continue to remove sod from the garden, I may find a place to put some roses again in the future.  In the mean time, I am enjoying all the rose photos on everyone else's blogs.  This past weekend, my wonderful husband and I found time to walk through the Reinisch Rose Garden at Gage Park in Topeka, KS

There are tons of buds waiting to open so I'm sure there will be roses blooming there for weeks to come.  Here's a tiny sample of the amazing roses.

There is a water garden in the center and the lilies were blooming.

We also stopped to admire the beautiful peonies.

We threw some water on some plants when we returned home Sunday evening but nothing else got done this past weekend at Garden on Sherlock Street.  Too many family gatherings and too many miles to drive.

Rain Gauge Report 2010 05 25

.45" of rain in the gauge.

Rain Barrel Status
1st rain barrel is full.
2nd rain barrel is full.
3rd rain barrel is more than three quarters full.

A thunderstorm came through Monday evening and then a downpour occured in the middle of the night. The rain barrels should all be full, but the little blooms from the locust tree washed down onto the screen where the water pours into the first rain barrel and blocked a lot of the opening.  I'm guessing water poured over the first rain barrel without going in.  We had used most of the water from the 3rd rain barrel before this rain.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pining For Peonies

I'm not sure what year I planted my peony bush.  It was tiny when I planted it.  I knew it wouldn't bloom for a few years.  A couple of years ago, it had one bloom.  Last year, it had three blooms.  This year, I count at least eight!

Some of them are starting to open.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Counting The Strawberries

There are a lot of strawberries safely tucked under a mesh net in our garden.  We love strawberries.  Hoping for a big crop this year.  The recent rains have been very good for the strawberries.  They are much improved from a previous post.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This, That And The Other

Isn't this a glorious color combination?  Dame's Rocket (purple) in the background, wild snap dragon (yellow) in the middle and irises (peach) from our amazing gardening neighbor in front.
Here are the wild snap dragons up close.

I got this plant from a local garden club during its annual plant giveaway. I was told it is wild snap dragon but don't know for sure. If you know it as another name, please let me know. It is shallow rooted and spreads a bit.  It is very drought tolerant.
Here are some of the daisies along our front walk way.

I have three hardy geraniums.  One hasn't bloomed yet.
This one is "Ballerina."

This one is "Patricia." It has the sweetest blooms.

The Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn is blooming.  We just call it Hawthorn like it's a person.  "Come on Hawthorn, grow.  We want some more shade."  It makes a small red fruit in the fall.

Here are my zuchinni seeds just sprouting.

And look who sprouted in the kitchen...spinach.