Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank You

During the month of November, I find myself reflecting on the past year.  My birthday and the Thanksgiving holiday are responsible for the reflecting.  I like to send thank you notes to people who were especially kind to or supportive of myself or loved ones. 

Thank you for visiting Garden on Sherlock Street.  Your comments to my posts have been most appreciated.  You have been so nice and helpful.  I really enjoy sharing the garden with you, and visiting your garden as well.  I have learned so much from you.  Thank you again for your generosity and friendship.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Put Up From The 2010 Garden

There is a link in the pages section on the right hand side of this blog called "Put Up."  As I froze or cured produce from the garden, I added it to a list which is posted below.  I've never tracked how much produce I've prepared for future use before. Some seasons, I would have way too much of something in the freezer.  The year of the anaheim peppers comes to mind.  They were prolific!  Other seasons, I'd hardly get anything saved.  This year, I kept on top of extra produce and put up as much as I could.  I'm curious to see how much we use before it is time to put up produce again.  I have a list to start with and we'll see how it pans over the next year.

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Put Up 2010

Put Up

Produce consumed while standing in the garden, eaten soon after harvest, given to family and friends (unless it is given to them after it's "put up") or saved as seed is not included in this list.

In The Cupboard or Root Cellar*

garlic, bulbs
65-12 given to a friend

onion-yellow, whole

squash-acorn, whole

squash-spaghetti, whole

In The Freezer

basil, in olive oil
12 cubes

onion-yellow, chopped
20 pint bags

pepper-green, chopped
13 pint bags

pepper-jalepeno, diced
1 1/2 cups in Tupperware

pepper-jalepeno, rings
3 cups in Tupperware

squash-yellow, chunks
4 three cup containers
2 two cup containers
3 quart bags

squash-zucchini, chunks
2 two cup containers
4 quart bags

strawberry, whole
7 cups

tomato, diced
19 pint bags

tomato, liquified
6 quart bags

tomato sauce
18 freezer cups

*Root Cellar: a tray lined with newspapers in the guest room

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Got Frosted

Wednesday, we received about .34" of rain and had a brief snow shower with the biggest snow flakes I've ever seen.  They were huge.  It looked like it was snowing feathers.  I was at work at the time so I don't have any photos of the huge snowflakes. 

A little bit of moisture and 27 degrees this morning gave us frost.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where The Tools Live

We gave the garage a good cleaning earlier this fall.  So, I'm being brave sharing a photo of the corner where I store most of my garden tools.  There are some long handled rakes and such on another wall where we keep the snow shovels and brooms, but most everything else is here.  The mower is hiding under a Christmas decoration.  I pulled the decoration out of the far corner so it's ready to go in December.  There is a table saw in there and some automotive items on the back shelves, but the rest is for the garden.  Shovels, pruners, pots, a wheel barrel, a bin for potting soil, a bin for bird seed, watering cans, etc.  I have a few more containers on the back patio that need to come in when those plants freeze.  Otherwise, everything is tucked away for winter!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking Forward To The 2011 Growing Season

While activity in the garden has greatly decreased, dreaming of gardening has greatly increased.  I'm making a list for 2011.  I have put the list in the pages section on the right hand side of this blog.  It will be edited and added to until I can return to active gardening next spring.  Watch the list grow before the garden grows again.

I have sections in the garden.  Some are obvious.  For instance, the front lawn is one section (front #2).  Other sections include all the areas watered by a continuous soaker hose.  A section may wind along the fence to the back shrub border as an example (back #15.)  I tell you this to explain the list a bit.  I'm using my sections to note where I want to do something.

sec 1: add to soaker hose
sec 7: put birthday mum cuttings beside tulips
sec 8: add sand

sec 1: expand wildflower area
sec 1: create no mow "unloading zone"
sec 3: move out artemisia
sec 3: add decorative border pieces
sec 4: remove net
sec 4: build bed with concrete pieces and compost, need soaker hose for bed
sec 6: move out geranium (no plan yet on where it's going)
sec 6: move out mums
sec 7: move in creeping thyme
sec 10: divide creeping thyme
sec 10: divide soapwort and spread
sec 10: move out geranium (no plan yet on where it's going)
sec 15: move out geranium (no plan yet on where it's going)
sec 15: move in artemisia
sec 15: move in mums
sec 15: plant more snow-in-summer
sec 16: spread out "the pile" and level wild area
sec 16: build structure for gourds

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Monday, November 15, 2010

An Unusual Visitor

While squirrels are quite common for many gardens, they're rare at Garden on Sherlock Street.  I recall seeing only one earlier this summer on the neighbor's fence.  This squirrel has discovered that we moved our old bird feeder to a post close to the locust tree.  He got a few sunflower seeds off the ground after his acrobatics.  I have a feeling we may see him again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pretty Plumbago

Our amazing gardening neighbor gave me a small start of plumbago from her garden in 2009.  I like the lovely blue flowers it produces, but I love how the foliage turns burgundy and purple in the fall. 

I have twice as much plumbago now as I did in 2009.  I'm hoping it will fill in the space around our locust tree.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Than Two

Doves are often seen in our garden.  Obviously, they like to eat below the bird feeders.  Sometimes, I see them napping on the mulch.  I took this first photo from an upstairs bedroom window.

It took this photo through the patio door in the kitchen.  You can see we have a variety of doves.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wet Autumn Garden

The rain gauge is no longer in the garden.  I took it down so it wouldn't fill with water, freeze and break this winter.  So, there won't be any rain gauge reports or rain barrel status.  The rain barrels are upside down until spring so they won't fill with water, freeze and break this winter either.

It has been a dry autumn.  Yesterday and last night, we finally received some rain.  About .54" 

I like how the autumn garden looks when it is wet.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trying To Stay Warm

After reading that tina at In The Garden insulated her entire greenhouse with bubble wrap, I started thinking that my tiny cold frame could benefit from a little insulation too.

There are little radish and lettuce sprouts in there.

This wasn't a high tech installation.  I took some quick measurements, cut some bubble wrap I had saved from packages and put it along the walls of the cold frame.  I used a little tape in the corners.

It rubs a little where it meets the sliding lids.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Putting The Garden To Bed

I leave most of the perennials through the winter to add some interest to the garden, and to catch snow to hold more of the moisture.  However, I do cut down the salvia along the driveway because there are daffodils planted in the same space.  I want the area clear to see the daffodils in the spring.

The flower tower has been dismantled.  The three smaller pots on the stake still have some flowers blooming so I tucked them in with the other containers on the patio.

The tomatoes and basil which froze last week have been cleared from the raised vegetable beds.  After digging in most of the straw, I put the tomato cages on top to hold the straw when it's windy and to help dissuade the neighborhood cats from using the beds as litter boxes.  I have lettuce and radishes planted in the cold frame on the bed closest in the photo.  They are sprouting.  I just sat the other cold frame on the bed farthest in the photo so it will be ready to go later.

This is the pile holding the plants cleaned up in the garden.  Next spring, we plan to use the concrete pieces to make another flower bed and spread out the pile.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking Good All Year

Beauty from one season to the next.

The red twig dogwood looked so pretty this spring with its new leaves against the red bark.
It still looks pretty with burgundy leaves against the red bark.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday Mums

The first year we lived here, my mom gave me some hens and chicks from her garden.  She didn't realize that she also gave me some chrysanthemums.  One of her mum plants had started creeping into her hens and chicks.  As I separated the hens and chicks, I discovered the mums.  I planted them in the corner where our driveway meets the city sidewalk.  They've done well there.

The salvia along the driveway was planted later.  It is starting to crowd out the mums.  Earlier this year, I moved some of the mums to a place in the back yard because I many need to let the salvia have the corner where the mums started. 

I don't have any idea about the variety. I just know that they bloom last of all the mums I see each fall. They bloom without fail even if it gets cold. Only serious snow or ice stops them from blooming.

In addition to the lovely lavender color of the blooms...

I like the lavender color of some of the leaves.
This happens when our nights dip down to freezing.

What I love about these mums is that they bloom for my birthday.
Today is my birthday!
Today is also my mom's birthday.
Yes, I was born on my mom's birthday.
My mom says I'm the best birthday present she's ever received.

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

24 Degrees

We got down to 24 degrees Fahrenheit at Garden on Sherlock Street.
I knew the sweet potato vine in the bed under the living room window was gone when I left for work.

The flower tower between the garage doors seems to be fine.

The tomato plants I took a photo of last night are done.  Why there is one sprig of green basil sticking out I don't understand.

The volunteer four o'clocks by the trash area are gone. 

The patio creates a micro climate and almost everything there looks good still.

Everything except the variegated sweet potato vine on the end.

This nasturtium bloom is new.  I didn't know it would do two tone blooms.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Will You Be Here In The Morning?

This jungle consists of four tomato plants and some basil.
They've produced well.

Tonight:  Freeze Warning Issued!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Tour With A Taste Of Autumn

The November tour of Garden on Sherlock Street shows the colors of autumn taking over all corners of the garden. There are still annuals blooming in the flower tower by the garage doors and on the patio. I took these photos around 8:30 am Tuesday. There was a hint of frost on the rooftops in the neighborhood but all the plants are still good. It was also the first morning that I noticed my breath as I walked around the garden.

To take the tour, either go back one post or go to the page in the right hand column.

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Tour November 2010

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden



Monday, November 1, 2010

Basil Cuttings

We have a frost advisory for the area again tonight.  As I was picking tomatoes with any color, I looked at the large basil plants and decided to try rooting some cuttings as I'd read about on Melanies' blog.  As I carried the tomatoes into the house, my wonderful husband came home, the washing machine sang that it was done and supper came to mind.  Well, after supper and another load in the washing machine and a bathroom floor moped, I remembered that I was going to take some basil cuttings.  Pruners in hand, I headed out to the garden as the last glints of sunlight showed on the horizon and got the cuttings in semi-darkness.  I potted them in the garage and brought them into the kitchen for a drink from the sprayer hose by the sink.  After the pot drained, I grabbed a plant saucer and nestled the pot on the top shelf of the plant stand with some geraniums.  I hope the basil cuttings get enough light there.