Monday, December 29, 2014

Garden Gifts for GonSS

Hello!  Hope this finds you well and continuing to feed your gardening soul.

We are good at GonSS.  The holiday season kept us busy, busy.  We enjoyed many gatherings with family and friends.  We ate our share of holiday treats.  We sang Christmas carols (hopefully the people in the pew in front of us in church didn't mind our voices), and we counted our blessings for this past year.  We're also trying to complete a remodeling project.  The end is in sight!

We are looking forward to ringing in 2015 in some relaxing way with just the two of us.  There will likely be a meal out at a favorite local restaurant involved.  We're also going to be huddled indoors for the next week.  An arctic front is dropping our temperature as I type this.  The crazy cold wind chills will be the worst.  We may also get a bit of snow.  Perhaps the January garden tour photos will sport some snow.

Santa delivered many nice gifts to this gardener.  I thought I would share with you the two gardening gifts I received from my wonderful husband's parents.

These two hangers are so cute!  Now to decide where they will go.

There are ten plant labels in each package.  Some of them are going to be used in the vegetable garden.  Maybe next year, I won't have to wait until the summer squash plants make produce to know which plant is which.  :-)

The only gardening gift Santa didn't deliver were hyacinth bulb vases.  This past fall, I bought more bulbs than I have vases for.  My plan is to utilize some other containers this year in various ways and keep my eyes open for hyacinth vases for next year.  The hyacinth bulbs are currently in the refrigerator.  I'll post on their progress.

Happy, happy new year!  Be well my gardening friends.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Garden on Holiday

It is quiet in the garden as we are in the holiday season.  The plants seem asleep with little change, but I know the roots are working below the surface.  The birds continue to be fed and watered. The indoor plants keep reaching for the low sunlight.  Hopes of gardening items dance in this gardener's head as Santa's visit draws near.

Many of the trees and shrubs in our area still have leaves that were freeze dried in place at the beginning of November.  Windy days seem more like autumn with leaves blowing down the street.  We've had very little snow and just a touch of rain.  While not carrying our shower water out at this time of year, we continue to catch the water we run to heat water for the dishes and that goes outside to the bird baths or around some plants.

Holding off on the garden catalogs and plans for next season until the Christmas festivities pass.  The December tour photos are coming soon.  Hope you are well.

This post is property of

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Albino Asparagus Ferns

The asparagus ferns I left in the containers stayed green through a week of freezing temperatures.  Eventually, they succumbed and I now have albino asparagus ferns.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Squash Table

In years past, I've stored winter squash in the guest room on top of a dresser.  
We are currently in the guest room as we sloooooowwwly remodel our bedroom.

Because we actually got rain this year, the squash plants grew quite well.

Where to put the winter squash?

Since the family room has a lot of displaced furniture (and some lumber) due to our bedroom remodel anyway, why not add some colorful winter squash to the scene.

I promised some of the candy roaster squash to a neighbor.
Otherwise, they are decorative until eaten.  

I thought I was unique in storing my winter squash in the family room until I read a post from The Idiot Gardener.  He has a lot more squash in his living room.

Thanksgiving should reduce my squash display.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Feels Like Winter

Our mild autumn came to an end on Veteran's Day.  We had a big front come through and have been below freezing since.  Sometimes with gusty winds.  Brrrr!

We had a little snow on Tuesday and a good covering last night.  We should warm up next week.

The garden should be asleep now.

 I left some asparagus ferns in containers this year since I didn't have room to bring them all into the house.  Despite the cold, they still look good.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And, Done!

The garden beds are clean and ready for winter.
Now to plan for next year!

Looking more and more like autumn here.  I just wish the locust tree would hold its golden leaves a bit more before dropping them everywhere.

I drained the rain barrels and flipped them over for winter.
Still have flowers blooming as we have not had a killing frost and it doesn't look like we will in the near future.  Just enjoying the nice days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Making Progress

It took longer than I thought it would to clear the winter squash and pumpkin plants.  There were a lot of vines.  I did manage to get new soil on the second raised vegetable bed and I planted the garlic.
Still have the rain barrels to store for winter and a few other things outside that need to hibernate for winter in the garage.

This post is property of This post is property of

Monday, October 20, 2014

Still Clearing The Garden

Beautiful warm fall weather is making it nice to do the garden clean up.  One raised bed is complete. 

 I should have dug my holes deeper though.  It's going to be close to have a place to bury everything.
I smoothed out the mounds.  It looks less like a graveyard now.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still Clearing The Garden

Wednesday was another warm afternoon.  Perfect weather to be outside.  I did a little weeding in other parts of the garden before returning to the vegetable beds.
I cleared out the tomatoes and summer squash plants.
The rest will have to wait a bit as I won't have my afternoons free the rest of this week.  
There are some carrots in there to harvest and all the winter squash.  Peppers too, but they've slowed a lot since it's gotten colder at night.  We've been in the high 30s each morning this week.

I hope I have enough space to bury everything well.  These composting holes are working well for me.  Much better than the pile I tried that just dried out all the time.  I think our winds dry it too much and until recently, we haven't had the water to use on it much.

I still have a whole rain barrel full of water but we aren't suppose to get below freezing in the next week that I've seen.

All this digging is a workout!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Limestone And White Gourds

Tuesday afternoon was another beautiful autumn day.  I got a lot more clean up done in the garden.

I hope those mounds of dirt don't look too suspicious.  I'm just burying plant material, really.

Look, a pile of limestone!

The vines in the wild area produced these gourds/squash.
All are white except two.  They are yellow.

I don't know if my patty pan squash crossed with something last year or what caused these.  Only my patty pan squash has been white, but these are shaped wrong.

We won't eat them,  They'll be cute decorations for autumn/Halloween/Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teepee Trellises Stored

Monday afternoon, I managed to free the teepee trellises from the jungle and tie them to the fence in the background of this photo for the winter.  I also scavenged a few gourds from the vines to sit out by the front door.  Well see if we can find the pile of limestone this week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's a Jungle

This is what we call the wild area.  Somewhere in there is a stack of limestone my wonderful husband acquired for free this spring, a moon flower plant that couldn't compete but bloomed well anyway and a hole I dug to toss my composting material into.  Otherwise, you're seeing a lot of volunteer plants; mostly squash and gourds from the seeds I tossed out last year, morning glories and sunflowers.

This is the vegetable garden.  With regular rains this year, the squash, pumpkins and tomatoes really grew--maybe too well. 

We have not yet had a killing frost.  October 12 is our average frost date so I shouldn't be surprised.  With so much plant material to work with this year, I feel like I need to start the clean up even if the plants are still growing.  The tomatoes and peppers have slowed down.  I've been waiting for the winter squash and pumpkins to finish ripening, but they can do that off the vine.  I will tackle the morning glories when they're not blooming so I don't feel as bad.  It is time to take it all down.  

Here's the plan:  cut the teepee trellises free and remove them, dig a hole using the soil to fill the current composting hole, fill the new hole with plant material from the vegetable garden and wild area, repeat previous two steps until soil from a hole can be used to top off the vegetable garden, end the process with a composting hole ready to use through the winter.  This may take a while.  

The wild area is kind of my soil factory.  By burying plant material there, it breaks down faster and the soil left behind is so wonderful that I use it everywhere to fill in beds and even put some in my containers.  It also means I spread morning glories around the garden a bit, but I just pull out the ones I don't want.    I'll report back on the progress.

Have a good week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Rain Chased Me Inside

I did some more garden clean up Wednesday afternoon.  Nothing too exciting to take photos of though.  Mostly, I cleaned a lot of trash out of our "forest" and cut back some plants in our side garden.

Today, I did as much as possible when I got home from work until the rain chased me in.  We are getting the nicest autumn rain right now.  Makes you want to curl up inside with a book while cookies bake.  But, 'our baker' didn't start any while I was working in the garden.  Ha!

My main goal was to plant some tulip bulbs in this bed.
It still has cosmos blooming.

I cleared out the plants that were around the armillary sphere which included cutting some morning glories off of the sphere.  That gave me enough room to plant the tulips without losing all the flowers.

I cleaned up few other places, planted some crocus bulbs along the patio and put some garden decorations away into the garage while the clouds darkened and it started to lightly rain.  Eventually, it started raining very steady so I retreated to the patio.

The rain is going into our rain barrels still.
I need to empty them soon and flip them over for winter.

But, today, I hooked garden hoses up to two of the barrels.  Rain will go in the first barrel, overflow to the second barrel and if it is fast enough overflow to the third barrel.  I'm going to leave the hoses attached until they drain the second and third barrels.  I'll probably hand carry the rain out of the first barrel later to areas that need more water.

I put the hoses into garden beds (that they would reach) so extra rain water will help those plants.

Amazing that we're getting all this rain and haven't frosted yet.  Once I get the flower beds ready for winter, I have to decide if I end the vegetable garden plants or wait for Mother Nature.