Moving Blog

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This blog is often neglected and mostly random pictures with occasional text thrown in for illumination as required.  Tumblr is a much better platform for the purposes of my gardening blog.  I can upload while outside, relaxing in the sun and beauty that is our garden.  You can follow me on Tumblr here.

Early June

It’s over a hundred here every day now and some days it is easy to forget how beautiful and plentiful the garden is.

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The ever sprawling, ever growing pumpkin has begun to consume the watermelon which is just out of sight in the lower right hand corner.

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When I planted these seeds the packets were marked, concord grapes and blackberries.  Obviously, seeds from Amazon which originate in China are not reliable as to labeling.

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This is supposedly a saffron plant, well that’s what the seed packet from China said anyway.  I need to go some research to verify and learn how to harvest if it truly is saffron.

Tuesday’s Bounty

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The first of the tomatoes from the garden were picked yesterday afternoon, just in time for a lovely dinner of roasted potatoes and Stroganoff.  The green beans were picked and quickly blanched for dinner as well.  Although the beans I picked yesterday were all that lovely plum shade, as soon as they hit the boiling water the plum shade lost it’s luster and returned to the standard green bean green.  However, no matter the color the beans were tasty. 

The tomatoes were a variety of colors and varieties, from that mixed up heirloom seed packet last year.  All of the tomatoes actually had taste, and weren’t just bland, tomato resembling spheres.  The orange tomato was fabulous but the biggest surprise was how tangy and tomato-flavor intensive one of the green/black smaller tomatoes was (it’s the tomato in the dead center of the photo below).  Next batch of tomatoes will undoubtedly go to my mother, question is will she step out of her comfort zone and try the non-standard, non-commercial tomato?  I’m guessing she will, but she will be very hesitant (Love you Mum).

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Garden Delights

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Summer temperatures have arrived here in the desert and as a result my garden has been in full bloom for weeks.  I’ve been lazy and haven’t shared pictures but I’ll make up for that this morning.

The peas and green beans are providing for fresh vegetables on the dinner table about once a week or so.  They are a complete hit with the family, and who can possibly complain about that!  Although, the green beans are also a brilliant deep purple as well.  The carrots planted next to the peas and beans are growing like gangbusters as well.

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The tomatoes are content doing their thing and this weekend I will have quite the tomato harvest to bring in.

There are wildflowers and sunflowers busting out everywhere as well.

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And this morning, I cut two more flowering stems of my favorite flower Gladiola.  I cut some mint to add to the vase since no roses I could reach were blooming or in vase worthy condition this morning.  Now my desk and our office smells beautifully of mint and is graced by long beautiful stems of glads.  There are more glads blooming but not yet ready to be cut.  The deep lavender stem had a double bloom when I cut it this morning and so in a couple of weeks we will be graced with another lovely cutting from the bulb. 

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Hope everyone has a Happy Mother’s Day and may all your gardens provide endless color and beauty and may they be as tasty as these cucumbers will be later this summer!

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Our Yard Smells Amazing

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Roses are in full bloom, all the bushes are heavy with buds and blooms. The backyard smells amazing and thus I’m very reluctant to go out and trim away the older roses. The smell is just to intoxicating.

The remainder of the backyard is in full bloom. The vegetables are doing amazing and quite soon I shall have a bounty of tomatoes.

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The tomatoes have been protected by bird netting for a couple of reasons. The birds will seriously have to work to help themselves to my tomatoes but more importantly the netting has lifted the tomatoes off the cement wall where they were resting. The heat would have killed the tomatoes almost as quickly as the greedy doves and mocking birds that hang out on the back fence.

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Not sure what these blooms are, either peas or green beans but not sure which. I do know that when they mature, they will be delicious. The few rainbow carrots seeds we had left have taken off beautifully immediately left of the bean/pea crop. I will definitely have to get more rainbow carrot seeds, the turtle loves to much on them almost as much as the bird. Hubby isn’t necessarily overly fond of carrots so I’m wondering if he will like these later on in the year.

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The wildflower seeds that were planted under the palm tree have really taken off. The first bloom has appeared and there are many more on the plants that are thriving in the desert heat. If I’m lucky the trend will continue and I will have cutting flowers for the house throughout the spring and summer.

One last glimpse of the beautiful roses and then I’m off to write and putter.

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What kind of gardener are you?

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So, the darling husband and I were having an impassioned gardening discussion yesterday and it brings up an interesting question.  What kind of gardener are you? 

Hubby is the technical, precision, everything has to be just so kind of gardener.  No risks, no room for error, he gardens precisely like what he does professionally.  He engineers his gardens with the order and measured path of an engineer.

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Me?  I’m the exact opposite.  I don’t care what the alleged professional gardeners say, I’ll try anything.  If I want to plant lettuce, I’ll plant lettuce.  I’ll grow the flowers I like.  The worst thing that could happen is that something doesn’t make it.  But when those gardening experiments pay off, they pay off in tasty vegetables, sweet fruits, and fabulous flowers.

I’ll take wild and unexpected growth over the advice of some unknown gardening professional that doesn’t live in my house or know my soil.  I’d rather take the chance of something not growing, then always wishing I lived somewhere else so I could grow this or that.  I’m not normally adventurous but give me dirt and something to grow and I’ll try just about anything. 

After all, with this adorable dog

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guarding the garden, how can I possible fail to want to be out back enjoying the sunshine? 

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go water my chocolate mint which is hanging out on the front porch.

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Wednesday Wonders

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This is one of the glorious Gila Woodpeckers that has taken up residence in our Saguaro cactus in the front yard.  This morning he was casually hanging out on the newest palm frond in the backyard with me, the dogs, and the cat while I gardened.  He has been around on and off all morning and he was busy talking to himself as he hung out.

My darling husband rototilled another patch of our wonderful clay soil for me late yesterday afternoon.  He then raked in some manure and a bag of composting soil.  I now have two wonderful patches of growing soil where once was just hard packed clay that grew nothing and refused to even absorb water.  Now I have this:

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Yep, doesn’t look like much when I start does it?  But I quickly planted the bell peppers that were started in the bathtub months ago, some of the seeds sowed less than two weeks ago have sprouted, and I planted a tomato and some spicy chilies that I picked up yesterday afternoon.  So that sad, brown patch looks like this after working in the yard this morning:

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I am confident that in a couple of weeks both these “plots” will be brimming with edible goodness springing forth from formerly dead earth.  A variety of things were planted there this morning, concord grape seeds, blackberry seeds, a Poblano chili plant, A New Mexico chili, four transplanted bell peppers (one already bearing fruit, pictured below), a solar fire tomato plant, saffron seeds that arrived with the Mexican watermelon seeds, the rest of the parsley seeds and some cucumber seeds.  An eclectic mix, some of the seeds will sprout and do well, others may not, which is ok.  After all, you never know what will and won’t grow no matter what the experts says until you try it yourself.

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My helpers for the morning, although I must say they were more interested in sunning themselves and barking at golfers.

The backyard is beginning to just flourish and new growth is visible every where you look.

And amidst all this new growth is our favorite palm tree who decided to take root an flourish amongst the roses.

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Of all the amazing things growing in the backyard this spring, I think I might be most excited about the palm tree I had nothing to do with planting.  I’ve nicknamed him Thomas because it is determined to grow in an environment that wouldn’t be considered ideal for palm trees.  Thomas is growing quickly and at this rate will be providing decent shade next year.  The rose bushes don’t seem to mind at all and so I’m considering this gardening perfection that I had no hand in but will love nonetheless.

I have more planting to do this afternoon.  I need to get the front garden pots planted and situated.  If I’m lucky maybe I’ll catch the woodpeckers flying in and out of the cactus while I’m out there after lunch. 

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