Saturday, June 29, 2013

Small Garlic Harvest

Some issues with the garlic I saved for seed last year and a dry winter gave me a smaller than average garlic harvest this summer, but it looks good.  I have the garlic on the patio drying.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Creatures In The Garden

Just a few creatures I found in the garden on this hot day.

Two doves sitting on the picnic table.  Aren't they a cute couple?

A skink enjoying the apple core I tossed on the compost pile.

A skipper.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Settling Into Summer

We are officially into summer at Garden on Sherlock Street.  It is sunny, windy and hot most days.

The following are photos I took this afternoon just capturing what caught my eye or documenting something I wanted to share with you.

The bed under the living room window is still welcoming.  The larkspur and yarrow are making a colorful greeting.  The daisies are done and have been trimmed back.

The wave petunia that was suppose to be white is such a pretty shade of red that I think I'm glad the label was wrong.

Here's a garden issue.
The drought we're in has thinned our Bermuda grass lawn.  All the brown you see is a stand of little barley.  It is an annual weed.  The seed heads stick into your socks with the slightest brushing.  Nothing to do about it now.  May try a pre-emergent this fall as that is when it sprouts.

In the alley, the bachelor buttons are making seed as well.
I've removed the bachelor buttons from the main garden so other plants can have the space.

In the vegetable garden, the winter squash plants are looking healthy.  I just can't figure out why the one in the far right cage is so small.  It's the acorn squash plant.  Maybe it just grows waaaay slooower?  The candy roaster squash and spaghetti squash plants are starting to spread.

I removed all the pea plants today as they are done.  Sunny, windy and hot weather--not good for peas.
I planted the cucumbers in the same area and hope they'll use this pea fence now.

I also put a lot of straw mulch around the cucumbers to fill in empty space left by the removed pea plants.  We continue to be in a drought and our city manager is saying that if we don't get some significant rain soon and for a stretch of time, we will have more restrictions on outside watering.  The city is working to educate residents about using water wisely.  I'm mulching as much as I can to hold in any moisture I can get in the garden.  Still utilizing the bath water and the rain barrels have been catching some nice rains lately.  The one thing I'm using our faucet for still is to run some soaker hoses for the trees and shrubs.  Most are established but they need moisture to withstand our drying winds and they would be the hardest plants to replace.

In this vegetable bed, the summer squashes, peppers and tomatoes are looking good.

Near the wild area where the teepee trellises live (purple hyacinth bean vine plants are looking promising under the trellises), I have some tomatoes that came to my garden from a friend.  While they still look small, tomatoes are forming!

As I walked around the garden, a bright color caught my eye near the asparagus.

The first hollyhock of the year.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Amazing Hats

The Mexican hats are starting to bloom!!!  There are many more coming.

Thanks Melanie for sharing these beautiful flowers with me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One In The Lead

I was excited earlier this spring to see the purple poppy seeds I planted sprouting.

The plants have been growing with one plant much taller than the others.

Today, I noticed the tall plant had bloomed!

Can't wait for more of these.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mud On The Carrots

Last night, a thunderstorm woke me up.  It POURED.  There was a lot of lightening too.  Some wind.
1.15" when it was all done on top of the two smaller rains we'd received Friday and Saturday nights.
Feeling really blessed at Garden on Sherlock Street.

The wet soil let these carrots come right out of the ground. 

As I harvested veggies, this swallowtail butterfly teased me.  It would not open its wings for a photo, but I sure enjoyed its company.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

All Things Edible

The vegetable beds are looking good at Garden on Sherlock Street.

As you can see, we are picking peas!

Also enjoying lettuce and radishes.  The strawberries have finished for the year.

We got a nice rain last night and are set to hopefully get some again tonight.  Everything is growing well.

Tomatoes are setting.  Peppers are forming.  Carrots are growing bigger everyday.

Despite being concerned about the onion sets I planted, they came up well and are growing.

We're hunting squash bugs as the many squash plants grow.  No squash blooms yet.

The cantaloupe is still small.  The watermelon looks nice.  Also found a volunteer watermelon near the teepee trellises.  I left some fading bachelor button plants up near the pumpkin to give it a little windbreak as it gets established.

Asparagus was planted just last year.  So, we held off harvesting any this spring.  The stalks have bloomed and sure look healthy.  Hopefully, asparagus next year.

I'm hoping the cucumbers will perk up a bit with the recent rains.  Kohlrabi are slowing increasing in size.

I cut the scapes off the garlic last week.

The basil is still small, but looking healthy.  Found a volunteer tomato plant in the basil.  Not sure how that is going to work out.

This post is property of

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Larkspur In The Landscape

Larkspur self seeds and provides nice color this time of year.

In the front garden under the living room window.

In a corner of the front garden behind some forsythia.

In the back garden around the asparagus.

In the alley as a backdrop to white yarrow.

In the alley as a backdrop to vinca vine.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunny Windy Hot

Monday, June 10
     Sunny, windy and hot.
     Watered and hunted squash bugs.
     Gave the retired teacher who lives in the rental next door a tour of the garden.  We've talked over the fence, but she had never seen the garden up close.  She was amazed that there is no lawn in the back garden.

Tuesday, June 11
     Sunny, windier and hotter.
     Watered and hunted squash bugs.  I was more generous with the water this evening.  Going from nice mild temperatures to a hair dryer these past two days has been rough on the plants.  All their new leaves look horrible.  My clematis had lovely little buds that I don't think will open now.  We were well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday and today with winds up to 25 mph and gusts 40 mph.  When I went to work this morning at 5:30 am, it was still 80 degrees.  We should go back down to the 90s for our high tomorrow.  What a relief.
     As I was watering the lettuce, this fellow jumped out of the cold frame box.  Then, I jumped.  Then, I grabbed my camera.  He was the highlight of today's gardening experience.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bunny Nest Location 3

Earlier this spring, we chased a bunny off the front lawn who was making a nest.
First of all, we don't need a hole in the front lawn.
Secondly, a previous bunny nest in the front lawn had disastrous results for one of the young bunnies because we didn't know it was there when mowing.

We thought the bunny was making a nest in our wild area amoung the sunflowers and bachelor buttons.
We thought that was a great place for it.
Then, it seemed the nest building was abandoned.

Now, the bunny (yes, we believe it is the same one) is building a nest in the vegetable garden between two tomato cages.

Just behind the onions.

We're going to see how this works out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Time On The Wabash Trace

My wonderful husband and I recently took a little trip to bike ride on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Iowa.  It used to be a train track.  It's a rails to trails project.

Much of the Wabash Trace looks like this.

The green was almost overwhelming for us as we've been in such a drought.
There are many bridges.  Birds fly across the trail constantly and SING!
We also saw squirrels and deer.  We heard a lot of frogs.

Since we visited during a week when numerous thunderstorms were in the area, we encountered some downed trees.  Most were dead branches or trunks that we could easily lift out of the way.  Others were more challenging.

We were able to make a cleared area on the right hand side to go around this one pushing our bikes.

About three miles into our first trek on the trail, I blew a tube.
We were standing on a bridge looking at a river while our bikes where parked when my back tire went BAM!  Scared us.  No problem as we have extra tubes along.  However, when the tube blew, a piece of tube actually cut through the side of my tire.
WH did put a tube back into the tire so we could push it back easier.  Riding on it would likely have worn a hole in the new tube where the tire was damaged.

Before heading back on foot, WH got this photo of me on the bridge where the tube blew.  He thought the sepia tone gave it that 'old west' look.

We walked our bikes back together until the last mile of trail.  Then, WH rode ahead and back to where we were staying, got our truck with the bike rack and met me at the end of the trail.  We called a bike shop in Council Bluffs, IA and made a trip into the city to get the tire replaced.

Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha, NE have many bike paths.  There is a new pedestrian/bike bridge which crosses the Missouri River connecting the bike trails.  We took the opportunity to try out my new tire on the trails and crossed the curving bridge.

The second day of our biking adventure was our 20th wedding anniversary--May 29.
The trail was kind of soft from all the rain.  We also encountered these (multiple) downed trees at the end of a bridge.  WH held branches apart and I carried each bike through the tangle of limbs.

As we headed down the trail farther, it started to rain.  A stop to put on a little rain gear and on we went to Imogene, IA where we arrived as the local bar and grill was opening for lunch.  We ordered a little food and watched the radar as a thunderstorm came through.

Once the storm cleared, we biked up to St. Patrick Catholic Church which is on the national register of historic places.

We decided to head back to where we were staying via the blacktop roads rather than the now muddier trail.  As we made our way up a hill, we heard the rumble of thunder and could see another shower moving toward us.  We pulled off at a cross road as a pickup came up the hill.  It pulled over too and the man said, "get in, I don't want you out here in a storm."  He was one of the locals back at the bar and grill who we'd talked to briefly.  The bikes went into the bed of the truck, we climbed into the cab and just a bit down the road, it POURED rain.  So, we have now 'hitched a ride with a stranger' and were very glad we did.

We spent the rest of the afternoon inside listening to the thunder and rain.

Our last day biking was perfect weather wise and on the trail.  The trail wasn't as soft and we only had to move a couple of small branches out of our way.  WH took this photo of me over his shoulder while biking.

We returned to our cabin that afternoon and relaxed while watching this wren dart in and out of a gourd birdhouse.

Here's to the next 20 years!

While the area we were in had a lot of rain swelling the rivers flooding some places, Garden on Sherlock Street received just enough rain to keep the garden watered nicely and a little wind but nothing bad.  Severe weather did some damage in counties near us.  Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the recent storms especially in Oklahoma.

Be well and be safe where ever you are.

I hope to be over to visit your blog soon.