Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Green Beans

Remember when I shared my healthy green bean plants which I planted in July?
I am harvesting green beans!  I think I'll wait to plant green beans in July every year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plant Rescue #5

Who would have thought trying to grow dragon's blood stone crop in a strawberry pot during a extremely hot, dry summer would have been so hard.  Doesn't it love it hot and dry? I guess the strawberry pot made it too easy to get dry as I swear most of it went crunchy.  Which is why this is a plant rescue.  I'm bringing it inside to a sunny window while I still have three tiny plants surviving.  Don't strain your eyes trying to find them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Bedroom Done, Two To Do

While the summer was too hot to want to be outside in the garden, my wonderful husband and I tackled a bedroom remodel inside the house.
We are slowly working our way through the house giving every surface some attention.  The bathrooms are done.  It is time for the bedrooms.

In April, we moved everything out of this bedroom and I took "before" photos.  It then took us a while to decide on things like the wall color, the door handles, the crown moulding, etc.  Throw in a busy May, a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park, a hot summer which just made us tired and we finished in August!

The walls had a funky painting finish that we had a blast doing several years ago, but it didn't fit with the more 'upscale' finish we're wanting to give the house.  We're also adding crown molding throughout our home.  I sanded paint from previous sloppy paint jobs off the stained woodwork and fixed the finish on those surfaces.  We did not change the flooring.  Our plan is to have all the carpeted areas redone at the same time once we finish with the mess of demolition in some rooms, sanding, staining, painting, etc.

Here are the 'after' photos.

We had a contractor replace the bifold closet doors with French doors and trim them to finish the openings.  They have new brushed nickle handles which match the door to the room (we bought enough to do the WHOLE house and will change them out as we do each room).  The ceiling fan stayed the same, but we did paint the textured ceiling.  That was an experience as we sealed off everything that was not suppose to get painted and used a paint sprayer.  It goes fast.  You spend more time cleaning the sprayer out when you're done.  We also discovered it was difficult to spray in small spaces like inside the closet where we had a lot of drips form when we tried to prime the walls.  We decided to roll the color on the walls and leave spraying for the ceiling only.

Now to move everything back into this room including the assembled Christmas tree which has been living in our bedroom (not decorated, just the tree with lights under a sheet to keep the dust off).  We had a big white blob by our bed.  It was kind of spooky at first.
We'll do another extra bedroom before tackling our bedroom.  Don't hold your breath.  It may be awhile.  Thanks for checking out our 'before' and 'after' photos.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Short, But I'm Here

With the heat and drought this year, I had given up on the Purple Majesty Millet making any heads.  I had weak looking leaves at best hiding in the somewhat crisped zinnias.

Then, we got .60" of rain a week ago and the millet sprouted heads.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Leaves

In early June, the red twig dogwood and vinca vine looked like this.

Now, in mid August, the red twig dogwood and vinca vine look like this.

I have been very concerned about the red twig dogwood.  I have been carefully watering the area.  I think some slightly cooler temperatures lately have helped everything in the garden; but most importantly, the red twig dogwood is sprouting new leaves.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Containers

Thank goodness for the container plantings to keep a little life out in the garden.  All of these will stay out until frost or lack of water.

yellow pursalane and white angelonia
The angelonia is awesome.  This is one plant.  My favorite greenhouse owner encouraged me to try it this year.  Next year, I will get many more!  The pursalane is a great fill in and does get small blooms, but they aren't showy.

green sweet potato vine and dichondra silver falls

yellow pursalane, jacob's coat and purple and white verbena

purple sweet potato vine

yellow pursalane and dichondra silver falls

green sweet potato vine and begonia
There was an elephant ears bulb in here too but it never resprouted.  I tried saving it from last year with no luck.

asparagus fern and yellow wave petunia
The wave petunia plants are nice but the asparagus fern is awesome.  I'm taking this photo from out in the garden looking back onto the patio so you can see how thick it has grown.  The asparagus fern plants will be dug out of here and overwintered in the house.  The heat is not bothering them at all.

variegated sweet potato vine


Many of the above plants are easy to start with cuttings.  I have a little collection already gathered and rooting.  I'll maintain these or start new ones eventually bringing them inside to overwinter hopefully.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Plant Rescue #4

This container of wandering Jew is now in the house.  Mostly because the wind has been rough on it.

I have some wandering Jew in this container with white and purple osteospemum.  The osteospemum doesn't seem to want to flower much in the heat.  This container will stay out until frost or it dies from thirst.  Since I have the wandering Jew plant inside now and will let the other one go, it could get cut from the watering plan earlier rather than later.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Beautiful Green Bean Plants

I've been trying to grow green beans for the last two summers.  In 2011, the spider mites and the heat did them in.  In 2012. the spider mites and the heat did them in.  Seeing a pattern?

On a recommended planting schedule for our area, I read a note to do a second planting of green beans in mid July.  Really?  Mid-July?  When it is almost always near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees in 2012), and can be dry unless we get a thunderstorm (very dry in 2012.)   I had more seed so I gave it a try.  I have watered this area everyday since putting in the seeds.  Look at the beautiful green bean plants.

A hot spell caused some burn on the earlier leaves, but all have been good lately.

No blooms yet, so no green beans yet; but also no spider mites yet.  I'm optimistic about a green bean crop.  If this works, I'll just wait to plant green beans in July and forget about the "first sowing" in the spring.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flowering To Frost

As I continue my plant rescue mission, I thought I should document a few more containers which will stay outside completely until it frosts.  Each of these is loving the heat and doing well.

This peach rose moss is great.  It gets watered about every other day.

These hanging baskets of spider plant and vinca (ok, not much vinca, see only a couple of tiny blooms) get watered everyday and have filled in beautifully.

I have two containers of purple fountain grass in the back garden.

The smaller one has been moved around a bit and is currently on the patio.  It gets watered about every other day because it gets some shade.

The larger one gets watered every day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012