Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pixie Perspective: Garden Close ups

Imagine being three inches tall and wandering through a vegetable garden.  Well, today you can.  I took my camera into the garden this morning for a bunch of gardening close ups. 

I love to get down on my hands and knees in the morning and look through my plants to see what's growing and what's blooming.

There's a lot of hope in this garden, and that's the whole idea.
Green Thumb Out

Friday, April 25, 2014

They're cute, they're furry...

(Ok, maybe not really)


While drinking my herbal tea this morning, I was gazing out the slider at my garden, as I so often do, and I noticed that something was amiss with my first garden bed.  I also noticed that I left the hose out, which pushes down the plastic fencing, allowing entrance to The Trampler, and the Fuzzy Digger. 

Just yesterday, I planted some squash seeds at the top of this bed.  Nearer to the bottom, were the cantaloupe seedlings.  Were is the important word there. 

Here are the culprits. 

#1:  The Trampler
Previous offenses:
Pepper Garden of 2013, The Trampler was captured within the fencing of the pepper garden, having let himself in and then being unable to turn around, thereby finding himself stuck and requiring assistance. 
Please notice the decapitated "Pink Pig" toy belonging not to him, but to the other canine suspect.

#2:  The Fuzzy Digger
Previous offenses:
The Fuzzy Digger has been observed on numerous occasions with her face and front paws in the tomato buckets, digging in or eating the chicken manure.  Ewwwww!!!
The Fuzzy Digger's prints were all over the 2014 pepper garden this morning.  What do these dogs have against the peppers? 

So which one was it?

This print says that it was probably The Trampler...
...and these feet pretty much prove it. 

But, in case you need a confession, I happen to have one right here:

This kind of sing-song happens whenever I go into the yard and start tinkering around.  The Trampler always barks in excitement.  This morning, though, The Fuzzy Digger decided to chime in.
In case you're wondering, The Trampler is not, and has never been aggressive toward her.  He pokes at her to get her to play with him.  He has never hurt her intentionally, although he did injure her one when they were running and she stopped and he stepped on her.  They are not snuggly-lovey to each other, but they are great friends.  So, please, don't think that she is afraid in this video.  This girl rules the roost for sure. 
Well, after the drama, I straightened the bed back up, and lookie lookie what popped back up!!! 
Those are my cantaloupe seedlings, alive and well. 
I have no idea where my squash seeds ended up, I guess I'll just keep watering and see.
The dogs are pretty cute, and they make me laugh, so I guess I'll keep them.
Green Thumb Out
(Stay tuned for my next post - - it's a bunch of garden close up photos.  I think they came out fantastic!)




Friday, April 18, 2014

L is for Ladybug!

My dear friend, Liz, is an avid gardener, and she brought me a present last night.  A bunch of ladybugs!!!  Her real job is working as a TK teacher, and she and the kids collect ladybugs from the school field, and place them in the kids' flower garden. My little garden pipsqueak is one of her students. Yesterday's collection made it's way to my house, and I'm so excited to show you some of the pictures I took.  I'm not sure how many ladybugs and ladybug larvae she brought me, but it was A LOT.  Probably about fifty.  I let them go last night just before sunset, and when I came out to check on them this morning, it was like playing hide-and-seek.  It was great finding the little spots of red intermingled with all of the other colors in the garden. 
This is my favorite picture.  I found several ladybugs nestled along the row of marigolds in the center of the bean bed. 
In case you're wondering why I'm so excited, ladybugs are beneficial garden insects.  They eat aphids, mites, gnats, anything that they can find that's gnawing away at your garden.  I'm hoping they stick around a while, and that the friendly praying mantises that come around leave them alone and find their own meals, instead of making them a meal!!!
Here are a few more of the good shots I took. 


Thanks for visiting!  I hope you like the pictures!
Green Thumb Out.  :)

April 18- Step in to my Garden

Hey!  How are you?  Lovely to see you!   What's that?  You'd like a garden tour?  Well, sure! 

Here we are just before Easter. Today is April 18th, and the garden is growing up nicely.  I love having so much more room than last year!!! 

From this angle, you can see all of the raised beds we put in this year.  That's the Fuzzy Digger, in the foreground.  Even though that fence is only about 2 feet tall, she doesn't seem to have any interest in going in there.  This garden runs the width of my yard.  On one side is concrete, on the other side is fence, but it only takes up about 1/5 of the grass area, so there's still plenty of room for the kids to run, for the pool, and for the doggles to bound and play.  I think it's not too bad for a city yard. 

Here's a closer look at some of the stuff growing in there:

Oooh, isn't this exciting?  It's an empty bed!!!!  Ha ha...  if you look closely, you can see that there are some little baby sproutlings in there.  They are cantaloupe seedlings.  I'm pretty excited about trying to grow cantaloupe.  The research I've done said they need lots of sun and heat.  Well, if there's anything that I can guarantee they'll get, it's sun and heat.  The Inland Empire is great for that. 

This bed has several different onion varieties, and lots of beans.  I have the bean rows planted in 3's, but once I see which ones are strongest, I'll have to break down and thin them out.  I might be able to squeeze two in each row, but definitely not three.  They'll just be too crowded, and competing for space and water. 

I had a lot of luck with beans, last year.  (See my post on Fridge Dilly Beans here)  I had about eight plants last year and once we got to July and August, I was pulling about a half pound of beans a week.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to double or triple that this year.  I'm going to make lots of dilly beans, and also stock up the chest freezer.  What chest freezer, you ask?  The one I'm hoping to buy very, very soon.  I'll have to lean on The Guy a little for that.... 

Here is the tomato bed.  It's a little crowded, I know.  I'm going to put in a support system for these few tomatoes in here, so that they don't crowd and take each other over.  I've had them in this tight before, and they did ok, as long as they had good support.  They are still small at this point, but very, very soon, I'm going to have to get on the ball there.

Here are some close up views that I thought were totally nifty.  (Yep, I said nifty!)

Lookie, lookie!!!  That's my first "Lady of Shalott" David Austin Rose of the year.  It's this lovely salmon color on the front of the petal, and the back is yellow.  And the smell.... oh man, it's so fragrant it could just knock you over.  Love, love, love!!!  I think I might go pick out another one for Mother's Day this year.
 I was so frustrated with my blackberry bushes last year.  They. Did. Nothing.  I got thousands of flowers, and no fruit.  Hopefully they will perk up and produce much more this year.  The strawberries have been producing lots of fruit this year, so hopefully these guys will follow suit. 
 I told myself I wasn't going to grow squash this year, because nobody eats it except me, but then the seeds came in my Seeds of The Month Membership package (*, and I planted them anyway.  Squash blossoms are so gorgeous, and they really are (supposedly) so easy to grow, although mine succumbed to blossom rot last year (boo).  What the heck, right?  It's just one pot!!!  So there they are.  There are lots of buds, but no blossoms just yet. 

 Cucumbers.  Didn't I say I wasn't going to grow cucumbers again?  Yeah, I did.  I lost them to powdery mildew last year and I was so frustrated.  But I am a determined gardener.  I'm not going to give up.  I'm also going to try to stay ahead of it, because I know it's coming!!! 
 This is a new plant for me.  I've never grown it, but I love to eat it!!! OKRA!!  Roll it in cornmeal and pan fry it... yum!  Add it to soups and stews and it's oh so yummy.  I planted about 20 seeds in this pot, after soaking them all night, as directed, an only this one little sprout came up.  It's okay though, it only takes one!!!  I'm going to be keeping my eye on this one.  I'm very excited.
These little babies are in the garden bed next to the tomatoes.  More cucumbers.  I know, I know... but LOOK!  There are already little babies on there.  All the frustration from last year just fades away when I see that.  They are so cute... tiny little babies that are just waiting to grow so I can make them into PICKLES!  Yep, that's the plan. 

Canning is definitely on my agenda this year.  Real canning. 
Wish me luck.  I'm hoping to find someone at church who can help me learn.  Yes, I can learn from a book, but I'd much rather have a teacher. 

Well, that's the update and garden tour for today.  Stay tuned. 

Green Thumb Out.
* If you're interested in purchasing a membership to the Seeds of the Month Club (, please use this referral code. CAU4IB0AZ3  If you do, I get a free subscription equal to whatever length of membership you purchase, which will help me keep this blog going next year, at a reduced cost. Then once you become a member, you'll be able to pass these savings along to your gardening friends! Thank you so much!