How My Garden Grows

How My Garden Grows

Mary had asked about my garden, so I thought I would share with you what works for us… or what we hope works for us! I do not have ground that would give me what Bonny has in her yard. The soil here is very poor and extremely rocky – as in there are more rocks than dirt.

So, we first started out with cedar 4×4 beds and this year we moved those beds and replaced them with Smart Pots. We have 2 sizes: 2 – Big Bag Bed which is 50″ across and 5 – 7 gallon pots. These are working extremely well, thus far.

The raspberries have all but taken over the back bed and they don’t seem to mind the poor soil quality. We planted peppers in a third of this bed (the only remaining original bed from our first year of gardening. I replenish the soil each spring, but the peppers are not doing well at all this year. I am hoping the boost of nitrogen we gave them over the weekend, a measured bit of watering, and a bit of shade to allow them to recover without having to bake all day in this heat wave we are having will help them perk up a bit soon! We have 3 different kinds of peppers – Poblano, Jalapeno, and Cubanelle.

I have 4 zucchini plants in the smaller bags and 1 bush cucumber. Both are thriving in the bags, and I have LOTS of baby zucchini growing!

Tomatoes and beans share the larger bag beds, and I have an incredible variety this year. My neighbor gave us a variety of plants he seeded: Romanescos, Striped Germans, and Bumble Bees which I planted in one of the bag beds. He also gave us San Marzanos and Beefsteaks (which I planted in the old cedar beds which are now outside the “deer-free zone”). We also have a trio of Cherry Sweet 100s that share a bed with a Mortgage Lifter, an Oxheart, and a Sun Gold. I interspersed beans in between the tomatoes in the large bag beds.

Surprisingly, I found several tomato plants growing under the rose bush that must have seeded from last year’s cherry tomatoes. I have transplanted them into the “outside” beds and they are doing quite well!

An offspring of last years crop!

I also have a dozen each of red and yellow onions – I have yet to have success with onions, but they are growing well in the “outside” beds and the deer have thus have touched nothing in those beds, fingers crossed that continues!

The rhubarb seems to have done well in moving, and I got one new rhubarb plant this spring.

If you think you don’t have space – I highly recommend the 7 gallon pots! They are sturdy, and the zucchini and cucumber are happy as can be in them! The big beds take more dirt than you imagine they will, but in a tight space it is nice to have a round object versus a 4×4 square. This bed holds just as much as the square, but it is much easier to move around!

There you have a little view at my garden.

Weekend Recovery

Weekend Recovery

Do you ever wish you could just skip something? Or have a do-over? Yeah, me too although I am not sure if I would rather skip the weekend or have a do-over.

It started off nicely with the close out of Negroni Week. But, Saturday morning I had a nasty fall in Mt. Lebanon… downhill, hard. Yeah, so perhaps skipping the weekend is a much better idea for me. With my luck, I’d fall again in the “do-over” version! Maybe I just need to plan some recovery time for a day or two more.

I am hobbling around a bit better today and one good thing about being “laid up” over the weekend is that I spent some guilt free time just sitting and reading! I managed to fill in some squares on my Bingo Card, but more on that on Wednesday!

I also, made some changes to a sweater I was unhappily knitting. And, with a bit of gauge help from Mary I frogged Daelyn and have started knitting Stillwater… I am far enough to know that I like the fabric, especially knowing that it will bloom a bit and soften significantly when I wash it. Sometimes, changing things up is the best idea ever.

Today, my big task will be to do laundry accompanied by Marie Antoinette (who I hope to finish today) and some knitting. (and really, hauling laundry down 2 flights of stairs counts as a big task in my book!)

That was my weekend, I hope yours was much less eventful!

Resisting Monday

Resisting Monday

It was a fly by weekend here, and the proof of that is that it is Monday already!

Saturday morning, we scored a flat of strawberries which made for lots of berry cleaning, macerating, cooking and finally roasting to make some jam! Pro-tip – you do not need perfect berries for jam, go for the seconds! The price is much more attractive and these berries are well, the berries for jam!

This made for some excellent listening time and I made some good progress on my “biography of a royal” bingo square. I am listening to Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser and I am finding it fascinating. What I know about Marie Antoinette can be summed up with cake and guillotine’s – but there is so much more to her than that!

During the “macerating” of the berries, I also managed to sit under the pergola and read a bit of The Likeness. I like how Tana French writes and I hope to have this book done today, which is a good thing because I have another book bingo read waiting in the wings. There was a waiting list for some items and I managed to somehow move up on the list! Go figure, right? I might need to dust off my junior high “speed reading” class skills.

I have a couple of links for your Monday – first up a huge thanks to Mary for reminding me that today kicks off Negroni Week! One of the best drinks of the summer, imo! I even made some “pre-Negroni Week” Negroni’s…which were so delicious!

Up next is something that I think will warm your heart. I love the Come Together Blanket! I think this is the perfect idea and will be participating! Thank you, Kat Coyle for continuing to inspire us in positive ways!

There you go, Gentle Readers – a beverage to sip while you plan your “Welcome to the United States” blanket. It just proves that love trumps hate. Every.single.time!

Have a fantastic Monday!

P.S. If you, like me, do not have any bulky yarn in your stash… there are some options here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Weekend Monday’s

Weekend Monday’s

A Monday that is still the weekend is all kinds of awesome in my book!

So far, my weekend has been practically perfect in every way: the annuals have been planted into the various containers, there has been lots of grilling (i.e. I have not been doing much cooking), and yesterday morning we headed out for a long-ass walk which we are repeating again this morning, and while there has been the threat of rain it did not materialize until late last night – all in all it has been a glorious weekend.

How about some Literary Links for a Monday?

Book Riot shared this most disturbing news yesterday. Perhaps all you can take a few moments to send off a little love letter to your elected officials and let them know that you think it is a very bad idea to give any powers at all the illiterate dolt in the White House.

Need some help filling squares for your Summer Book Bingo card? Goodreads to the rescue with this list of the most popular books for the past 100 years.

For the total bibliophile: 8 Literary Shower Curtains to Make Your Bathroom Look Like a Library

There you go, Gentle Readers! Have an awesome extended weekend and, spend a few moments reflecting today.

My World, Currently

My World, Currently

Reading: After being on the wait list for eons at the library for the second Tana French book, I got the loveliest email late yesterday that it is now available. So, I downloaded it this morning and will start reading it today! I also was stunned to get an email this morning that a book suggestion from Mary for my Book Bingo list came in also. Gah! I have not downloaded it yet… But I did add a few more books to my summer book bingo list. I basically have mapped out my summer reading and I could not be happier. I shared Book Bingo with some friends at church on Sunday and I was thrilled to get an email yesterday filled with excitement about book choices!

Watching: Not much, really. I finally caught up with Call the Midwife and Homefires on PBS. There are things I want to watch, but have no burning desire to sit down and watch them. I had been an avid watcher of The Leftovers on HBO, but this final season has been a huge disappointment. So much so, I am not certain I will finish watching it. Perhaps a plan of 60 minutes in the morning riding the stationary bike and watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime will accomplish two things at once? Stay tuned!

Listening: My audible book library is chocked full of good things to listen to and all of them are on my summer reading list. I am slowing down on Moby Dick to finish it on Memorial Weekend (and thus giving me my first square!)

Knitting: It seems like every year about this time, Knitting Ennui strikes. I am restless and not much interested in any of the projects I have going. It is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, last night I might have found the cure…I got some yarn to sample from Love Knitting – a lovely cotton from Sweden “MillaMia” and they sent three colors. Hmmm, a method to their madness? I have never knit any creatures so I was unsure how much I would like it. But, I cast on Alex the Mouse to test out the yarn and the pattern last night. So far, so good! I also have finally (almost) finished half of a pair of socks for Steve. I will be finalizing my summer knitting projects today and will share my list tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Eating: All the asparagus, really – all of it! Janoski’s shared yesterday that this is about the end of it. Will there be more next week? I do not know, but they can keep these amazing strawberries coming, please! They also had the most gorgeous Swiss Chard yesterday. The eating is so good in my neighborhood right now!

Loving: So many things!

  • To start out – the weather, although we had a couple of days in the 90’s, for the most part it has been the perfect spring.
  • Next up, the variety in my garden this year – we have 10 different varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of peppers, beans, some kind of squash (thanks to no plant labeling but they are either zucchini or summer squash) cucumbers (thanks to a happy accident at the greenhouse) and we added in a new variety of rhubarb this year! In the perennial beds, we added in some new plants this year as well; all of the deer resistant variety. So far, so good! Although the bunnies are making quick work of the cone flowers and they also love the leaves on the lilies! All this gardening makes me so happy!
  • Last, but certainly not least: my stitching! I could not be happier than I am in the few moments I spend each day stitching. I have also been watching Vicki and Kym stitch such beautiful Alabama Chanin garments. I am absolutely intrigued. Perhaps over the summer I will stitch up one of these and see how it turns out and I bet Steve has an old tee shirt I can use!

And, finally: Selling LipSense… and loving it. If there is something you’d like, message me and I will be glad to help you! (Also, I have been using their skin care for over a month now and if you want to hear about the changes it has made, I would be thrilled to share with you!)

That is what is currently my world. What’s in your world right now?

Monday Rewind

Monday Rewind

I would love to be able to push a button and go back to Friday. This weekend was one of those weekends that you just don’t want to end. The weather was perfect, including the slow, soaking rains on Sunday! The only “gardening” I have left to do is to fill the containers for the porches and the patio. It would have been nice to get that done over the weekend, but time ran out.

By Saturday morning, the poppies were in full bloom. Their cheery red catches my eye every time I go to the kitchen, and stopping to look at them is the best detour of the day. And, the perfect contrast of petals and the purple center is so stunningly beautiful. As Kym says, flowers are indeed magical.

I worked more on my Book Bingo list, invited a couple more people to join, and then began to work on my “Summer Knitting List” of things I need to finish, and things I want to knit. Both lists will take some dedication to make headway on so, I spent some time looking for audio book options on my Bingo list. I was quite successful at the library which I hope means that my summer knitting and reading will be successful!

I did hit a bump in the road on the KAL knitting project. Pro-tip… dropping a stitch with super slippery yarn (read not wool) is a very bad thing. Not noticing the dropped stitch for half a dozen rows is devastating to the knitting. I tried, unsuccessfully, to pick the stitch up but in the grey light of Sunday afternoon reality spoke clearly in my ear – rip back and start over. Reality is right – this is gift knitting and so I ripped back and will start again today. For the record, I am blaming this incident entirely on the fog that is brought on by allergy medicine. Thanks, Zyrtek… NOT!

I know this should be an “unraveled” story for Wednesday, but I am hoping by Wednesday I am as far as I was pre-mistake-discovery. So, if I could rewind this, I would have not knit this on Saturday and worked on simpler projects with wooly yarn!

And that is all I have for today! How was your weekend?

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