How Does My Garden Grow?

 

My beans before, two weeks ago
Beans after, blossoming and soon we’ll have green beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really coming along! After a month and a half of being in the soil, major changes are happening.My beans are flowering and reaching up. I intended to attach them to the garden fence but they’re not close enough. The row of green lettuce is ready to pick and neighboring baby spinach is as well. Herbs dot the garden here and there, sweet basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon thyme all contribute rich aromas in the aisle. My tomatoes are doing well and I actually have a few green ones growing here and there.

 

Left to right tomatoes, my carrots, beets, broccoli

 

Love the corn! It’s not as tall as I would like….but it’s coming.

I figured out a few years ago that eggplant likes to be dry. Whenever I watered it, it wouldn’t do as well. Now I’m watering it sparingly and it’s thriving. A blossom is growing too!

If you’ve followed my blog you know that I planted sunflowers for my son’s wedding. Here they are…reaching up and almost taller than I am! I do hope they’re ready in a month!

Purple Coneflowers, what beauties! Everyday I sit among these gems and have my lunch. I can’t imagine a better place in my yard to sit and enjoy the warm sun. My kitties talk to me through the screened window and I watch butterflies and bees dance around the blossoms.

 

 

Now you all know how my plants are doing. It’s very dry here in New Hampshire, even though we had a full day of rain the other day. It wasn’t enough. I’m getting pretty chummy with the garden hose but some days everything is okay and I can just weed.

 

How are your  gardens doing where you are? What is your favorite plant? All my plants are my favorite, they are my peace and I’m beyond grateful for them all.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

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Jubilant July

Here we are already in July! It’s been scorching hot weather here for days. Temperatures have reached in the 90’s and it’s apparent most people welcome it! I know I sure do, but worry about Tom who has to work in it. Cars roll by with windows all the way down, people walk around in shorts and sunglasses and head for a cool drink. Children dash back and forth in sprinklers or immerse in cool pools.

 

The beautiful heat wave has launched my flowers a bloom. A splash  of rainbow colors dot my front yard. Several times a day I walk barefoot the plush grass and with a jubilant feeling. It’s July and all my flowers are growing as well as my vegetable garden. Opposite the white glow of winter, July brings in bright yellows, rich reds, dainty purples and verdant greens. 

Wouldn’t you love to stroll this corner and take in all the magic?

My latest find is this Sombrero Salsa red Cone-flower! I’m planting it after the heat wave next to my newest plant that has gone by. I already have wine purple Cone-flowers interspersed between my Coreopsis but now will have another color to add to the mix. They are not bloomed yet and it may be a few weeks until they do.

Here’s a street side view of our little house. God bless “her” as she keeps us cool in the heat. The foundation is of rock and years ago they actually had a root cellar in the basement. 

Yesterday I mulched my shady garden a bit more and I love the eye-popping red mulch with the greens!

Many of you already know that I’m growing sunflowers for an important purpose: my son’s wedding. Back before the heat arrived we had a drenching rain for a whole day and a half and these beauties are the result! How incredible they are….I do hope with a shot of Miracle Gro every week, they will bloom before August 18th.

Well, friends that’s it for now! As you can see I’ve been quite busy gardening and indulging in my yard. That’s why I really love summer and the nice temperatures to enjoy its gifts.

Happy July Fourth to you all, if you are an American. God bless the U.S.A.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Blue Bellflowers

My favorite gardening activity right now is making new beds and creating beautiful spaces around our home. The first summer we were here we planted Hostas in the front that bloom in August. The following year we added two Spirea bushes, gifts from my friend and co-worker Laura. Our niece Michele gifted us a cool shady tropical looking plant and I bought a few Astilbe plants for the shady side of the house. Last year I had so much fun adding a new garden with yellow Coreopsis and deep purple  Echinacea Coneflowers.

My new little garden is on under the window next to the door. This full picture of our renovated house shows how small the space is.

All winter I dreamed of designing a new small space about two feet wide to the left of our door, our only real entrance that we use frequently. First I thought of daisies but they need spaces to flow, like a field for the area behind my vegetable garden. Next I wished for a Hydrangea bush but that would be too big for this space. Finally I decided on a whim to search for random flowers that may speak to me.

 

The other day  I set out for Lowe’s and Home Depot. I wished for something that would look beautiful and fit that area just right. I found these Taikon Blue Bellflowers on the clearance rack at Lowe’s for $3.00, half price. I’m not sure why they were marked off other than a few blossoms gone by. My son’s friend works there and helped me tag it. It was a good feeling to find something and at a perfect thrifty price!

After digging a hole with Tom’s trusty shovel and planting it, I mulched and lined it with rocks we have around the property. I call it my “Love Garden” as it hosts my heart-shaped rocks and upon entering our door you can feel the love in this house. It’s sappy but I know it’s true.

Most of the flower photos I share will be outside ones. I have never been able to keep cut flowers nor plants inside because of our cats. They eat all the leaves and blossoms and dig trenches in the dirt. Not pretty for a beige living room carpet! There is one special place I keep my picked posies, on my little mantle on our chimney. I like to change them every week or two with local pickings. Today I have wild daisies and another wild purple flower as well as picked roses. They truly make my day happy, it’s the little things that I find joy in. Do you find peace and joy in gardening flowers?

I’m wondering if anyone else has made a new flower bed recently? If so, what did you plant and what companion plants do you have?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

A Garden Update

It has been very hot and dry here in New Hampshire. With just a one day of rainfall until yesterday, I was becoming good friends with our new garden hose (Thanks so much to Tom and Dylan for setting up the outside faucet and hose for me). I’ve been trying to save my frail cucumber plants. Have you ever had trouble getting yours growing? I have…even with a daily watering habit the cucumbers are floppy and the stems are white. This happens to my tender plants early in the season if the weather is hot.

 

Thankfully the day before yesterday we had a deluge of rain, perking up my green plants and moistening the garden soil. It’s amazing how a significant rainfall can make a difference with their well-being. With a blink of the eye, the growth is unbelievable!

Here is our little corn patch, four meager rows. Tom and Branden love corn and I enjoy it too. I made the decision to rotate its placement.  Last year the corn rested on the East side facing, where the sun comes up and this growing season it’s on the West side.

My green beans have sprouted nicely forming an L shape in the East corner. I hope they are close enough to the fence to intertwine the vine on it. It would be cool to pick beans off the fence.

As most of you may know, I planted a bed of sunflowers for my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding in August. Here is a recent photo of one and even now, with the rainstorm, it’s a few inches taller. Next Tom and I plan to fence it in to protect it from deer and woodchucks. I’m grateful that I can do this and really hope they will be ready to pick by the 18th.

How are your gardens doing? Have you spent much time nurturing and talking to your plants as I have? I think that’s my mother-in-law’s success with growing flowers is simple, talk to them everyday and love them. You can’t go wrong with love, don’t you agree?

I hope you all are having a pleasant week. I plan to catch up and read many of your blog posts.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

First Day of Summer Vacation

Hello All,

This was my first day of summer vacation and my 49th birthday! I woke to no alarm…just sun glinting in my windows and my sleeping cat Smokey at my feet. I think he thought something was wrong as it was a little later than usual. It was grand taking my time as I sipped my cup of coffee and had toast with honey and butter.

 

I spent the morning walking around our yard and weeding and working with my flowers. It took a little time clipping off gone by lilac flowers but it was great satisfaction to take care of it. My dad told me you should clip them off every year.

 

Here is my favorite bird bath my niece Michele made from re-purposed dishes and cups. The bottom piece fell and broke but we managed to re-glue it so hopefully it will be strong in the summer winds. I have yet to spy a bird land in its beautiful bath dish but look forward to that!

 

June is amazing here! Flowers have emerged everywhere, with bursting colors to brighten yards and decks. Out back we have pink and white wildflowers growing in patches here and there. Tom said that the state plants them on roadsides and so on our little country drives we get to see them.

A stand of maples shade our back yard, where soon our deck will be. Wind chimes flutter in the breeze and I hear the tinkling little music that blends in with chirping robins.

Tom and his friend Mike worked with Mike’s tractor to smooth our back yard and get rid of a huge clump of dirt. Soon we will plant grass and put up a little fence bordering the dirt road. That way we will have a little needed privacy on our deck.

That’s all for now! Summer officially begins! I look forward to waking without an alarm and to my own rhythm. My time will be spent catching up with a few household chores, working in my veggie garden and outside flower beds. I truly hope to read all of your posts and catch up as much as I can. Thanks for stopping by and check in now and then for summer posts!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Building a Strong Fence

 

I’ve gardened many years without a fence. Through the years I took my chances and shared my lot with deer, raccoon and skunks to name a few. Then when we moved our garden to our house lot, I received an early sign that a fence probably was priority. The first time we tilled the garden, within hours we had a deer investigate just a few feet away. I think he/she smelled the pungent fresh soil from the nearby woods and wished to see what all this was about…maybe hoping for fresh veggies that early.

 

Even though I knew that I needed a fence, I put it off. The last straw was when I simply left the plot to go inside to make supper. An hour and a half later upon approaching the garden, I discovered that a woodchuck had destroyed and eaten my whole row of broccoli. All that remained were forlorn roots and a green stem sadly bent beyond shape.

 

A couple of summers ago we were fortunate to have my dad give us some simple fencing and we put it up. We attached sturdy sticks to hold up the frame and believe it or not, it held up pretty well even through the rough winter weather. Last fall the wind and elements tore down some of the fence and snapped the sticks we had in place.

 

Yesterday Tom and I put the fence back up with grade stakes I bought at a local Agway farming store. I think they’ll be sturdy and last a few years. The only regret I have is that they should be a little taller, about five feet. They will do and serve the purpose but next time when I replace them I’ll be sure to buy taller stakes.

Many of you know we are renovating our house one bit at a time. Every summer we do a little bit more and eventually it will be finished to our liking. You can see Tom’s summer project in the background, the side of our house that we will continue to put cedar siding on.

This winter I bought this old post office box from Ebay pretty cheap. At first I had inside for decor, then hung it on our front door but finally I’ve decided on its true placement.  Here it hangs on my garden fence, holding all my little shovels and trowels and dowels for the plants. I’m happy with it and its rustic mint green finish. I’m always trying to incorporate antiques and unique things in my inside and outside spaces.

A sturdy fence keeps our planted veggies safe and ready for our family to eat. In these woodsy mountainous parts, a fence is essential! When we go on our local drives in the warm sun, we notice many neighbors have a sturdy fence. Must be that they don’t want to share with the deer either!

 

Do you have a fence around your home or garden? Sometimes fences serve as barriers to keep animals out. Other times they are beautiful works of art, a part of the landscape design.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

The First Step of a Garden

 

The first step of the 2018 garden

It’s Memorial Day weekend, in other words crunch time for gardeners in the north. For weeks we’ve looked at seeds, planned the annual map of where everything will be planted and waited for warmer weather and promising temperatures. Yesterday Tom tilled our lot, just the beginning of another gardening year.

 

Unfortunately swarms of pesky black flies hovered in our faces and bit our necks. The damp air signaled rain and the stirred up  soil thrust them into overdrive and there was no way to get away from them! Thankfully they are out just a few weeks and then mosquitoes will replace them.

 

I’m grateful that Tom tills our lot every year. He methodically walked up and down the space over and over to rid it of grass and already shot up weeds. The loud machine hummed and whirred as nature’s bird calls and creatures played in the background.

 

 

It’s satisfying for Tom and I to see the results of his work in a few minutes. Fresh soil awaits the seeds and plants and then the gardening season will commence for us! We both decided we would hold off on planting until next weekend, being early June. We’ve always planted then to avoid May frosts and give it a warm boost.

My future daughter-in-law Lexy asked me to plant sunflowers for her and my son’s wedding in August. Tom tilled the small bed yesterday and I planted seeds in three rows. We hope we won’t have to fence it away from the woodchucks but time will certainly tell.

 

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for luck to grow her beautiful sunflowers for the wedding and that they will be ready to pick in mid-August. It means very much to me, to be able to help Lexy and Dylan for their wedding day. I pray that they will grow strong and beautiful, like my daughter-in-law.

 

 

 

Here is a shot of Lexy from our little beach get away in April. She and I went to Ogunquit Maine overnight for a little adventure. I thought it was sweet that she wanted to go with me. Although the beach was freezing and we only stayed minutes, we had a fabulous time at the resort hotel in the hot tub. After we  bought a bottle of wine and sat on our deck talking and then went to a fine dinner in an Italian restaurant. I’m thankful Dylan has chosen this special young woman and our family has accepted her with open arms. We all love her and are thrilled that she will be a part of our family!

 

 

To conclude this post, I ask you what are you growing this year? Are you gardening vegetables or flowers or both?What is your favorite? Mine is growing veggies, as they feed my family and that gives me satisfaction that I”m helping Tom feed our family.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Mary