Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Last Harvest of Season

I haven't posted for awhile, and wanted to wish you God's blessings as we celebrate Christmas and the New Year.  When I was looking for something on my desktop, I noticed I had exported photos of the last vegetable harvest October 20th, that I never got posted.  I'll share some of those photos here.

The peppers were late producing, but gave me enough to chop several bags worth for the freezer.  I have been enjoying them in soups and chili.  Some of these, I ended up freezing whole.  I forgot about that until I came across them today.  I almost tossed them, but decided I would try to get them used.  I'll have to partially thaw them before trying to cut them.

My onion harvest was not as good as usual this year.  A number of them bolted before getting a decent size.  These were purchased from a farmer's market.

Oh, these were from the farmer's market, too.  I didn't even grow any potatoes this year because I wanted to give the soil a break.

The sweet potatoes were from my garden!  We still have a few of them.  I cut the small ones into strips, put them in a bowl with a little olive oil and I think, Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning, and roasted them in the oven.  They were pretty good.  Guess where I got the squash?  I can't grow squash, because of vine borers.

 Some of the tomatoes spoiled before we got them eaten.  I ate the last one just a couple weeks ago, though.

When we had our kitchen remodeled to make it more functional a year and a half ago, we had this cupboard put in.  I sure am enjoying it!

This is the open shelving that I requested above the cupboard.  I must have brought the houseplants in the same day I got the last harvest.

I enjoyed eating pole beans this year.  I don't recall growing them successfully before.  I got enough for a few meals from just 2 or 3 plants.

For some reason, I didn't get the photos of the carrots exported.  Grandson and I picked some from across the street around this time.  Oh, and I got a very nice harvest of garlic that we have been using in our cooking.  There should be a good harvest next year, too, as I got some cloves replanted at the right time.

I hope to get some blogs visited over the next couple of weeks.  I also need to get some organizing done around here.  I think I'm almost over the bug that caused me to not have much energy over the last week.  I hope all is well with all you bloggers out there. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Foliage Follow-up and a bit of a Rant on Rabbits

There is still some foliage to show for Pam's Foliage Follow-up.  I see she posted some pretty leaves, since theirs in Texas are now at their peak.

This is the honeysuckle a neighbor lady gave me when we first moved here.

The painters palette still has leaves, even though they are shriveled.

I'm liking the little bluestem, and the gray headed coneflower foliage.

I am looking forward to all of the prairie smoke geums that I transplanted here and there growing next year.

I'm not remembering now what the name of this annual is, but I'm wondering if it's a perennial in warmer zones, since it is still green so far.

This persicaria is still looking pretty in and under the leaves.

Here's the snapdragon foliage I said I was going to include here.

Here is one of the foods the rabbits seem to be enjoying this time of year, a daylily plant.

The amsonia hubrichtii and liatris plants still look OK, but are losing more and more foliage.

This isn't the best focus on one of the hellebores, but I included it because I am pleased that they are doing OK in my garden, even though they don't get as much water as they would prefer.

I try to garden in a nature friendly way, but am thinking about taking out the deck in our back yard, because we have seen rabbits, mice, and opossums go under there.  We won't be able to any time soon, though, because the yard is not level, and we can't afford to do much right now.  In the past, I did not mind sharing with the rabbits.  I even plant extra romaine lettuce for them, because they seem to really like it.  We lived peacefully together, except they tended to eat pea plants clear to the ground.   Then, they started eating bean plants down the same way.  They also started eating the flowers clear down to the stubs.  I don't mind some chewed leaves, but please, rabbits, let my plants grow!  I don't know why they are causing more damage than they used to.

This area seems to be one of their favorite spots to be.  How do I know?  Look at the photo that's after this one.

Should I be thankful for the fertilizer?

I do seem to be growing some of their favorite plants now, so I hope to get more of the young plants caged this spring, and hope that as they get bigger, they will be able to withstand the feeding of the rabbits.  If you want to share your experiences or advice on dealing with these critters please let me know.  I do realize taking the deck out will not eliminate the problem, but it takes up too much space anyway, and is getting up there in years.  Larry said his dad built it in 3 stages.

As for the mice, our next door neighbor lady thinks feeding the birds attracts mice, and then they go into houses.  Do you have experience with this? 

I had most of this post ready last night, the official foliage follow-up day, but got sidetracked and forgot to finish it.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and if I don't post again this week, a Merry Christmas.

Added 10/17:  I have not gotten any photos of frost yet.  There was still some left around 10 this morning. I was able to go out and take a few photos.  I found some without frost that I decided to include.

I am holding grandson #2, so will label these later.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December Bloom Day

Well, we've had freezes and snow, but the last few days have gotten above 32, so the snow is almost all melted.  It was warm enough after work on the 13th, that I was able to take a few photos of bits of color and seed heads for Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

I can't remember what this is, but I just went out in the dark and looked at the plant, and it was about 3 feet tall.  I looked at photos of the area from October, but I still couldn't figure out what it is.

This is an annual salvia.

This is the mountain mint in the front garden that is either a volunteer, or one I forgot I planted.  It is smaller than the one in the side yard, and hasn't had any stems rooting on the ground in its two years here.

This is the 'Black Jack' Sedum Judy, from Through my Garden Window gave me a stem of this spring.  It sure grew well, and the seed head is pretty, too.

There is still lots of verbena bonariensis around, which means there will be plenty, and probably too many coming up in the spring.


I have a photo of the green leaves of a snapdragon plant for my foliage follow-up post.  They sure don't want to give up the fight to keep growing and blooming.

This is a dianthus of some kind.

Aster seed heads:

Even though the hibiscus flowers are huge, the seed heads are not, but they are still pretty cool looking.

These aren't as dry yet.

Here are the 3 indoor plants I have blooming.  Each of them is a different kind of holiday cactus.  There are two photos of each.  The first one is Naomi, but I can't remember the names of the other two, which I haven't had as long.

The first two are in the garden window in the bedroom which we use as a dining room.  The last one is in the toy room, also in an east facing window.

I wonder what others will show for their December blooms.  I am ready to see some from warmer places without having a pity party.   Oh, and I've already had several dreams about gardening.  Usually, they don't start this early in the winter.  In one of the dreams, I had a nice sized area where I had planted flowering plants in a straight line, with quite a lot of space between them.  I remember thinking, "They look nice, but wait a minute, that's not how I plant things!  Should I leave them alone, or replant them?" LOL

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Day After

There were different amounts of snow reported from yesterday's event.  The news station a couple blocks away measured 4 inches, so that's what I'll report for our corner.  On my way to and from church this morning, I kept looking at the snow on all of the trees and such.  Hey, I just remembered I took some photos with my phone camera.  I'll put them in here.

This is one of the two flower beds I try to keep up with at church.  Normally, the snow gets piled clear over it.  I thought it was cute the way it was lined up around the edge this time.  I'm sure it appreciates the moisture, since it gets very little watering in the summer.

As I was driving out of the parking lot, I was in awe of the trees on the acreage across the street.  My camera phone takes fairly good pictures.

I drove a ways, then stopped to take a photo, then drove forward a little more to take another.

You can't tell, but on the left, just beyond the last tree, is a busy 4 lane street.

When I got home from church, it was so sunny, that I didn't go out to take photos until mid afternoon.  It was still sunny, but I saw that the snow was melting, and I wanted to pictures of what it looked like before it melted even more.

The critters have made tracks all over the yard.  I was surprised to see how much snow had melted.  I hope we don't get water in this part of the basement. 

I will need to move the two hellebores that I didn't get moved this spring.  I was waiting to see if the others survived.  Now, I'll have to wait until spring.

Look how beautiful and blue the sky was today!  Can you see the drop from the icicle?

I felt sorry for the honeysuckle vine.  I forgot to look up to see whether one should knock icicles off of plants.

 Here's a closer view.

All of these tracks were made by critters, including cats, rabbits, and squirrels.

It's still pretty out, but it doesn't look like it will last a long time.

The strawflowers look sadly pretty in the snow.

Next year, I'll be careful not to accidentally cut down all but one of the wild quinine stems.

Snapdragons have a strong will to live and bloom.

I love the look of echinaceas with hats of snow.

I just noticed while taking photos that the yellow repeat blooming iris had planned on a longer fall.

Larry put out more corn for the squirrels today.  I wonder how many of them live in this nest.

This weekend sure flew by!   I hope it was a good one for you.