Archive for the ‘garden’ Category


April 7, 2009
To Hell with the snow! The Hellebores are blooming. In witchcraft legend it is believed that Hellebores have ties to summoning demons. Great! After the last eight years of demons in the White House we do not need to be summoning more. Oh well, the flowers are a joy to look at – even in today’s snow.



Caging the Apple Trees

March 22, 2009
Christopher bought and planted a couple of apple trees that we decided needed caging. The cages were not meant to keep the trees from running away, but to keep the deer away. The first cages were simple chicken wire that constricted the tree branches. Those are now replaced with these roomier cages that we obtained from a family member. Hopefully, there are some apples in our near future.

caging the apple trees

Cool, Cool, Water

September 11, 2008
Ever since we put in our raised beds we have had a problem with keeping the crops watered whenever we were out of town. In the last few weeks I ran a buried 3/4″ copper line from the house down to the raised beds. Each of the four raised beds now has a hose spigot as shown here. There is also a tap ready for the potting sink we will be putting in next spring. I ran water in the line today and found no leaks – that was a relief. The drains worked well assuring us that the lines can be emptied for winter. Next spring we will add a watering timer to each spigot and soaker hoses or sprinklers will provide the produce with cool, cool, water.

Squash Invasion

July 29, 2008
Without fail, whenever we go on vacation in the summer we come home to an invasion of monster squash. We had picked all of the squash from the plants before we left for 12 days of family reunion, Maine, and Longwood Gardens. These are the monsters that took over our yellow squash plant. Yellow squash casserole anyone?

Who Stacked Those Pots

May 29, 2008
We found the idea for these pots in Gardengate magazine. It was fun to build and plant. We are anticipating a vegetative masterpiece by the end of the summer. 

Spring Buds

March 31, 2008

It is past the equinox and the days are getting longer. However, I have a rule that one does not consider that spring has arrived until May 15th. That rule is hard to follow when plants start budding and the robins are back in town. The following three pictures show our lilac budding and the trout lily emerging from its sleep. We are quite excited that the forsythia is ready to explode into a mass of yellow. Yay for late winter!


Spring is Springing

March 23, 2008

Planting kale, spring 2008

We welcomed the coming of spring by planting some kale in the raised beds. We planted Siberian Dwarf kale and it was christened with new snow during its first night. Seems to still be doing well though. We decided it was time to start planting the cold weather stuff (spinach and lettuce seed too) when we noticed the daffodils popping up in the new bed on the low side of the grape arbor. Now, if spring can just get some hair to sprout on my balding spot!

Daffodils at the grape arbor

Stupid Deer

October 29, 2007

We have spent the past couple of years fighting the deer from eating all the plants in our yard and gardens. We erected some barriers of pvc pipe and deer netting around our raised beds this year. They worked great all summer. Yesterday I took the barrier off of one end of the bed with peppers so I could pick them before the frost. I left that end off and leaning against one side of the bed with the intention of removing and storing all of the barriers this week. Today I found quite a mess – broken pvc pipe and deer netting wadded up and scattered. I can only surmise that one or more deer got tangled in it last night. Stupid Deer!

Hooray for (some) Parasites

August 29, 2007

Went out to harvest an armload of tomatoes today and found this Hornworm on one of the plants. I took the branch off along with the critter and took it to the back porch where Susan photographed it. It was about 2 to 3 inches long and had all those strange looking white things all over it. Once I figured out it was a Tomato Hornworm – notice the red horn-shaped appendage on the right end – I was glad I had removed it. I then found out that the white things are small cocoons of a parasitic wasp munched on the insides of the caterpillar and they will soon be emerging as wasps where they will go out and start the reproduction and munching cycle over again on more caterpillars – yumm and yea! I am beginning to appreciate certain parasitic relationships that do not directly involve me as the victim.

Porch Pots Are Looking Good

June 27, 2007

The porch pots seem to be doing better than usual this year. The porch is also getting some nice character compliments of the Virginia Creeper that is finally winding its way up the pole. The porch surface will soon be replaced with composite decking. The new decking should be more maintenance free giving us more time to spend with our gardening.