Sunday, October 30, 2011

Almost Halloween

The pumpkin plant at Garden on Sherlock Street barely survived yet alone make any pumpkins.  So, once again I purchased my pumpkins at the grocery store.    I carved ghosts this year.

We have managed to not eat the Halloween candy we purchased for the trick-or-treaters.
Here's wishing you a fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Autumn Garden Clean Up

Autumn has arrived at Garden on Sherlock Street.  While we only got a light frost last week, many of the plants are tucking in for a winter nap.

The locust tree is dropping leaves everyday.

Saturday, I took down the teepee trellises and cut down the sunflowers.  I wanted to get a photo of the tallest sunflower by itself first.  My wonderful husband helped me measure it after we cut it down.  It grew to eleven feet four inches!

Here is the area where the sunflowers and teepee trellises were.  See the teepee trellises leaning against the fence for winter?

This is the view from the alley.  I removed all the plants from the raised vegetable beds.  I set the cold frames in the beds so they're ready for next spring.  I also planted my garlic Saturday and drained the rain barrels.

When I took down the teepee trellises, I harvest the gourds.  This is the gourd harvest.  The gourds just couldn't produce in the heat this year.  These will be decorations on Thanksgiving.

Saturday was a great day to clean up the garden.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cultivating Deeply

since they weren't going to dig in the new fiber lines for our internet and TV?  Well,  apparently, it was deemed necessary to put the new fiber underground for us and a few of our nearby neighbors.  

They bored under everything in our garden to the house where they dug a hole and pulled the fiber up.  Just like our phone company did last year.  However, they dug much bigger holes in the alley this year.  I was surprised to see this parked out back.

This is the boring machine going under the whole garden to the house.

Here is where they drilled the line to.  This is a bigger hole by the house than I was expecting.  The bouncing betties will have to spread to fill in next year.  Tip:  don't plant anything you can't sacrifice or that won't recover beside the place where your utilities come out of the ground.

Fiber line waiting for the box installers.

This process was done over a week's time.

As for the alley, I'm just going to look at it as free cultivation for the seeds I'm collecting to plant out there next spring.  Sigh.  I'm really glad I decided against making a bed for the asparagus in the alley.

The guys working on our fiber were very friendly, let me take photos and talked gardening with me.  One guy in particular told me, "I really like your back yard."  They did all they could to not disrupt anything more than necessary.

Rain Gauge/Barrel Report For 2011

2011 04 10          set up rain barrels
2011 04 16          put out rain gauge
2011 04 25          00.65"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 05 13          00.05"          1 barrel
2011 05 19          00.28"          2 1/4 barrels
2011 05 20          00.40"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 05 21          00.10"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 05 24          00.52"          3 barrels FULL
2011 05 25          01.20"          3 barrels FULL
2011 06 07          ------           barrels are empty
2011 06 12          01.05"          2 barrels
2011 06 18          00.70"          1 1/4 barrels
2011 06 19          00.30"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 06 26           ------           barrels are empty
2011 07 03          00.10'           3/4 barrel
2011 07 04          ------            barrels are empty
2011 07 07          01.15"          3 barrels FULL
2011 07 09          00.08"          3 barrels FULL
2011 07 16          00.28"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 07 20          00.00"          barrels are empty
2011 07 21          00.05"          1/2 barrel
2011 07 23          ------            barrels are empty
2011 07 28          00.20"          1 1/2 barrels
2011 07 31          00.25"          1 3/4 barrels
2011 08 03          00.28"          2 1/2 barrels
2011 08 05          00.50"          3 barrels FULL
2011 08 08          00.18"          3 barrels FULL
2011 08 09          01.50"          3 barrels FULL
2011 08 10          02.00"          3 barrels FULL
2011 08 28          ------            barrels are empty
2011 08 30          00.18            1 1/3 barrels
2011 09 03          00.03           7/8 barrel
2011 09 08          ------            barrels are empty
2011 09 18          00.55"           2 1/4 barrels
2011 10 06          00.10"           3/4 barrel
2011 10 09          01.15"           3 barrels FULL
2011 10 16          disconnected the overflow hoses between barrels
2011 10 18          00.30"           1 barrel
2011 10 22          brought in rain gauge & drained rain barrels

*each rain barrel can hold 75 gallons of water.
**I am continually using water from the rain barrels.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bringing The Garden Inside

While we only got a light frost Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I think I am done bringing in plants for the season.  Most of the plants will live on the plant stand in the family room.  I put the fern from my friend in one of the bathrooms to give it some humidity, and the ice plants are living in a window where they did quite well last year.  Here is the list of plants I will try to overwinter:

2 aloe vera

1 amaryllis

3 asparagus ferns

2 bacopa cuttings

1 cacti

1 fern

10 geraniums

hornwort in bucket

2 ice plants

4 impatien cuttings

1 Jacob's coat

2 Jacob's coat cuttings

1 mother-in-law's tongue

1 rosemary

snails in bucket

8 sweet potato vine cuttings

2 vinca cuttings

This post is property of

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Edibles 2011

   planted 5/7/11
purple plant from Mel
   planted 5/7/11

snap: contender (bush)
   planted 5/7/11

broccoli raab
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/2/11

red cored chantenay
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 8/11/11
   planted 8/25/11
scarlet nantes
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 7/23/11

   planted 5/7/11

slicers: marketmore 76
   planted 5/7/11
slicers: white wonder
   planted 5/7/11

   planted 10/22/11

early white vienna
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/2/11
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 8/25/11
purple vienna
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 8/11/11

leaf: grand rapids tipburn resistant
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/2/11
leaf: salad bowl [Saved from 2010]
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 8/13/11
   planted 8/25/11
leaf: black seeded simpson
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/2/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 9/19/11
leaf: red salad bowl
   planted 3/12/11
romaine: parris island cos
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/2/11
   planted 4/28/11

melon, muskmelon
hales best jumbo
   planted 5/7/11
   planted 5/21/11

melon, watermelon
[from Mom and Dad]
   planted 5/7/11
   planted 5/21/11

evergreen bunching
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/18/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 7/23/11
red burgundy
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/3/11
sweet spanish yellow utah jumbo
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/3/11

aromatico a costa rossa
   planted 5/7/11

edible pod: sugar bon
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/17/11
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/9/11
   planted 4/17/11
snow peas: melting sugar
   planted 3/20/11
   planted 4/9/11

bell: buy starter plants
   planted 5/7/11
jalapeno: buy starter plant
   planted 5/7/11

large: jack-o-lantern
   planted 5/7/11

multi-colored: french breakfast
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 9/4/11
red: cherry belle
   planted 3/12/11
   planted 4/28/11
   planted 5/17/11
   planted 9/4/11
   planted 9/19/11

   planted 5/7/11
   planted 6/9/11
   planted 6/20/11

squash, summer
early prolific straightneck
   planted 5/7/11
   planted 5/21/11
black beauty (zucchini)
   planted 5/7/11

squash, winter
early acorn hybrid
   planted 5/7/11
small wonder hybrid
   planted 5/7/11
   planted 5/21/11

grape/cherry type: sweet baby plant from Mel #1
   planted 5/7/11
grape/cherry type: chocolate cherry plant from Mel #2
   planted 5/7/11
standard slicers: brandywine heirloom plant from Mel #3
   planted 5/7/11
standard slicers: mater sandwich plant from Mel #4
   planted 5/7/11
plum/roma type: volunteer in back 4
   found 5/29/11

***** Perrenials*****



***** Extras *****

   planted 4/3/11

white: icicle, short top
   planted 4/3/11
   planted 5/7/11

bloomsdale long standing
   planted 4/3/11

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Safety In Numbers

The weather forecast this week has "the f word."  Frost!!!

Since we are past our average frost date, I'm not really surprised.  In anticipation of frost, I have moved all the remaining container plants together along the edge of the patio where they will get some protection if it's not a hard frost.  They look really good.  I hope to hang on to them for a little while longer.  I have already moved in all the plants I wanted to overwinter.

I also took some cuttings of the sweet potato vine, bacopa, vinca and Jacob's coat.

I harvested the remaining peppers too, and chopped them before putting them in the freezer.

It was a long, hard growing season with the extreme heat and drought.  Autumn has been mild and given us some rain.  I'm not ready to go to winter, but the change of seasons has been welcome.

Adding To The Plant Collection

Earlier this year, my aloe vera plant gave it up.  Don't know why.  It didn't transition well from the house to the garden.

My mom gave me some starts from her aloe vera plants.

Yes, the pot on the left has a crack.  I can't seem to let a pot go until it just won't hold soil anymore.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Milkweed Find

My wonderful husband and I have been bike riding as often as possible enjoying the beautiful autumn weather.  On Friday, we were on a county sand road.  As we passed milo fields and cattle herds, I was checking out the plants along the road.  Along one particular mile, there were a lot of milk weed plants with seed pods already opened the fluffy seeds gone in the wind.  Then, I spotted a plant right in the edge of the road whose seed pods were ready to explode, but still intact.  I carefully collected one pod and tucked it into my pocket.

The promise of native milk weed plants next year.

I want to support monarch butterflies more next year.  They need the milk weed plants for the caterpillars.

I haven't seen any monarch butterflies here since I posted about the asters.  I think they've moved on south for the winter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Put Up 2011

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

onion, red burgundy
whole, 6

onion, sweet spanish yellow utah jumbo
whole, 17

squash, small wonder hybrid
12-4 whose seeds sprouted

In The Freezer

basil, sweet,
pureed, 14 cubes

parsley, aromatico a costa rossa
2 quart logs

pea, edible pod: sugar bon
1/3 gallon bag

pea, shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
1 1/4 cups in Tupperware

pea, snow peas: melting sugar
1/3 gallon bag

pepper-green/red, chopped
12 pint bags

pepper-jalepeno, chopped
1 cup

pepper-jalepeno, rings
1 cup

tomato, diced
10 pint bag

vegetable stock
13 cups

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

This post is property of

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's Black And Orange With Glitter?

I am used to finding tomato horn worms.  They turn into hawk moths.  Usually, they are green making them hard to find on tomato plants.

This is a horn worm too, but I've never seen one this color before.  The spots on the black body 'glittered,' and it's head and horn are orange.  It was busy eating four o'clock leaves.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bulbs To Plant

Each year, I try to add some flowering bulbs to the garden.  This year's list is smaller than some.

I picked up some different red tulips for the bed by the remaining red bud tree.

A few daffodils to add to the front shrub bed.

I don't let the garlic flower, but here are the bulbs I saved to plant for next year's crop.

I also got a large purple allium bulb to replace one that apparently disappeared from the bed under the living room window, and some allium moly bulbs to plant along the patio in the back garden.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Lawn Gives A Gift

Since we had such a nice soaking rain last weekend, I scanned our small front lawn for weeds.  Imagine my surprise when I found small white flowers.

They're in there.  In the bermuda grass that is going to sleep.  See them?

Here's a closer view.

They look like some type of aster.

I don't know how they found their way to the lawn, but I rescued them.

It was easy to dig them out of the rain soaked soil.

I found them new homes.  Some in the front shrub bed and others in the alley where I'm hoping to get a mix of wildflowers growing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Late Asters

Ever since I planted the asters in the garden, they have bloomed by mid September.  Always.

When we returned from our vacation, I expected to find the asters blooming their little hearts out.  No.

The asters finally started blooming last week.  In October.  Odd.

I guess they waited to give these butterflies some flowers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainy October Tour

The October tour photos were taken while it was raining.  A light rain.  Very unusual to take them in the rain.  We usually get our moisture during thunderstorms or blizzards.  A day of light rain is not common.  As I finished the photos, the rain started coming down harder making it was a great day to sit inside at the computer working the photos while listening to the rain.  I took these Saturday morning.  It continued to rain off and on through most of Sunday.  We received 1.15" of rain.  To get that much in a slow soaking manner is such a gift.  Just what we needed after a hot week with wind.

You'll notice in the back garden that we have flags marking our phone and gas lines again this fall.  Not having work done like last fall, but a local phone/internet company is working in town so the utilities are marking every line they have access to.  Apparently, not having a back fence made our garden accessible because while they marked a neighbor's yard where they have no fence, all the fenced yards down the alley were spared the markers on their properties.  

The vegetable garden is really waning.  I am harvesting peppers on a regular basis and some tomatoes still, but it's time to start putting it to bed.

All of the plants I plan to overwinter have been brought indoors.  I will take some cuttings before we frost this fall of the sweet potato vines and impatiens.  In the mean time, the patio containers are looking good with the cooler days.

I want to mulch our "unloading area" in the alley.  Then next year, I hope to get a lot of wildflowers going out there.  That will really make it look better.

The tour is one post back or you can find it in the pages in the right hand column.  Hope you enjoy the rainy tour.

October Tour 2011

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden

Vegetable Garden



Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Wren?

I need help identifying this little bird.  He is so cute.  We have a handful of them in the garden.  They're busy, busy eating bugs.  This one came up on the patio a lot while it was raining this morning.  It looks like a wren but I don't know more than that.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Have A Fern

A friend of mine was given a fern by a friend of hers.  She planted it in the ground and it grew huge over the summer.  She was told it would not survive outside during the winter.  Since she wasn't going to bring it her house for the winter, she offered it to me.  This is a small piece of the fern.  Like one twentieth of the original plant.

I put it in a pot and brought it inside.  I have no idea what type of fern it is, what kind of light it prefers, does it need to stay moist or let dry out, etc.

Here's a close up of the leaves.

Any advice?????

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two Became Six

We have six solar lights at Garden on Sherlock Street.  Three along the front walkway and three at different points off the back patio.  They've been here for a number of years and are holding up pretty well.  I leave them out all year in all weather.

Recently, one of the back solar lights died.  I did all the tricks--replaced the AA rechargeable battery, cleaned out the spider webs, made sure it was making contact, made sure it was getting sun during the day, etc.  Since I was also wanting another solar light by the stepping stones off the back patio, I headed to the store to purchase two solar lights.

The solar lights you can buy individually are inexpensive but do not use replaceable AA rechargeable batteries.

The boxed sets of four solar lights are $29.99.  The boxed sets of six solar lights are $19.99.  Each boxed set uses replaceable AA rechargeable batteries.  Eventually, rechargeable batteries stop taking a charge.  They stop taking a charge long before the charger stops working.

Four in the sleek new style and finish that cost more or six in the basic old style and finish that cost less?

That is how two became six.

I put together the lights and did a little rearranging.


I took out the three old solar lights by the front walkway and put in five new solar lights.

The other new solar light went at the end of the sidewalk to our trash container area.  The remaining five old solar lights took their places off the patio.

We now have more solar lights at GonSS.