Archive for April, 2009

>Zucchini Everywhere!


I’ve heard that zucchini grows like crazy, but I really had no idea. I don’t think you can understand until you witness it yourself. I’ve been checking the squash plants every morning and everything looks fine, then I check again in the evening and the each zucchini is twice the size and suddenly there are huge ones that I swear weren’t there that morning. Needless to say, our friends should be well stocked with zucchini this year.
The rest of the garden is also doing well. The peppers have finally taken off. I really think it was just to cold for them. I don’t have peppers yet, but the plants have doubled in size this last week and I can see the makings of blooms.
 The first tomatoes appeared this week as well, sun gold variety. The rest of the tomato plants all have blooms, so things are moving along nicely. 
I spent some time looking through the garden and found aphids on many of the pepper leaves. The ants had already beat me to them and were chomping away. I was able to smash and brush away the rest of them. Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into a bigger problem. I’m glad I spotted them early.
I also replanted zinnias. I planted them several weeks ago, but that late cold spell took them out. The new ones are much prettier anyway.


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>Bloom Day 4/15


With the way my garden was looking last month, I wasn’t sure when my garden would ever be worthy of bloom day photos, but here they are…

“Jethro Tull” Coreopsis


“Graffiti White” Penta



Four O’Clock

Mexican Lime Bud 

Texas Yellow Star

Black Foot Daisies


Sun Gold Tomato Blossoms

Marigolds and Nasturtiums for bug control

Squash Blossoms


The first mums

Last, but far from least … Knockout Roses

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>Garden Fun with Mom


My mother-in-law came in for the weekend and the theme of our visit was gardening. She was a master gardener in Indiana, but has lived in Phoenix for the past 7 years. She’s been doing her best to garden in the desert, but misses the gardening she was accustomed to. 
We started out our visit with a trip to the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. It also happened to be the annual plant sale, so we had a great time. 
Sculptures from the current exhibit.
Aspen and her Nana atop the tower
View from the tower
Cave on meadow trail
After shopping Friday, Saturday it was time to plant. We started bright and early in the front yard. We increased the size of the bluebonnet and daylily bed and transplanted the coneflowers from the back yard, and planted black-foot daisies, and texas yellow stars.
Then we moved to the back yard. I gave mom a plot of land that had been previously donated to Aspen and then quickly abandoned. Mom had her run of plants and yard art. She planted lamb’s ears, coreopsis (Jethro Tull), pentas (graffiti white), and rock rose.
Nana’s Garden
Welcome Sign
Nana with her Garden
While Nana was working on her garden I planted elsewhere in the back yard. In the corner where I had recently planted a yellow and yellow/purple columbine, I added a turk’s cap and two red/yellow columbines. 
I also planted a dwarf palmetto and two heart-leaf skullcaps along the side fence.
I planted this white honeysuckle right outside the kitchen window. It should make dishes more pleasant in the coming years.
I haven’t taken pictures yet, but we also added some yard art in the form of a ceramic owl, a flamingo w/ a pink gazing ball body, a trellis for the beans, a bright yellow pot for my new manfredo, and of course all of the pieces for Nana’s garden. 
Just when you thought the weekend couldn’t get any better we woke this morning to the sound of rain, just what our transplants needed. Thanks mom for a wonderful visit!

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>Back Yard Before Pics


Before pictures are usually followed by after pictures. That’s not really going to happen in this case. I took a few pictures of the backyard so my progression will have some place to start from.
Currently the my backyard is a small plot w/ a creek flowing diagonally through the middle. Due to all of the trees in and along the creek bed, the yard is very shaded. This will create a challenge when planting, but makes it a wonderful place to relax. 
I have planted a few trees (kumquat, lemon, lime, fig, banana) and planted a few passion flower vines, but other than that it is a blank slate.
Here’s a few pictures.
Full yard view
Future location of stone patio
Creek view along the fence

View of the creek bed

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>Argh! Austin Weather!

>I have to say I am a little irritated this morning. It felt a little chilly so I checked the weather. There is a change of a light freeze tonight. It is April 6th. This just isn’t right. Yesterday I cleaned up all of my garden stuff. Put my row cover neatly away, along with all of the skewers I use to stake it down and clothespins I use to attach it to the tomato cages. Now I have to get everything out again. Also, my plant are much taller now, so I had to buy some larger skewers (last time I used short bamboo ones) to prop the row cover above the plants. Luckily, Central Market had them on clearance so I bought a bunch. I hope my newly planted melons survive the night.

Alright, enough whining. At least it’s not snowing, like it has been in Seattle for the past week.
Things could always be worse 🙂

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Once of the second type of tulips ( which I didn’t write down ) is up. This is the one I’ve been waiting for, with the yellows and red. It’s just beautiful. It is much smaller than the other variety though.

Here is a picture of the soon-to-be melon garden. It is twice the size that it was last year. Two nights ago I removed the old winter veggies that had already flowered and gone to seed. All I have left is carrots and a few herbs. The 3×3 herb garden is pretty full, so I’ll have to relocate these to one of the other beds. We’ll plan on eating the last of the carrots this week. I have 2 cantaloupe, 2 watermelon and 2 cucumber seedlings that I picked up last weekend, awaiting their new home. The natural gardener only had 1 variety of each, which is why I got so few. I plan on going again this week to see if their selection has improved.

Herb garden with society garlic taking center stage.

Dewberry. I found it interesting how bushy this plant is compared to the blackberry, which is one long stick. 

I love the instant gratification of beans. As soon as they pop up from the ground they are instant plants, no tiny delicate leaves. In a day or two they’ll be double the size of my peppers. I planted both green beans and butter beans. Mmmm! 
I also have two tomato plants in this bed from a swap I made with my neighbor. I gave her 1 roma and 1 sun gold. I have no idea what she gave me, I’ll have to ask her again. I’m noticing a trend here of me having no idea what’s planted  in my garden 🙂

The okra took quite a beating from the cold. I covered everything with row cover, but the leaves still haven’t quite recovered. It appears the flowers don’t care though. They plan on blooming anyway. 

Thai Basil. Added this because I thought it was pretty.

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