Sunday, July 18, 2010

Crack for the Soul

I love summer.
There's no doubt about it.

This summer I have made a concerted effort to grow a garden.
It shouldn't be too hard .... after all, I come from a long line of gardeners.

Granny had the ultimate garden.
Truth be told, I didn't enjoy visiting with her nearly as much as I enjoyed visting her garden.
Especially the raspberry patch.

So you can imagine how excited I was this spring to see this.

Granddad Pipe had the best strawberry patch,
so naturally I had to grow strawberries too.

I put them in an old wash tub this year
and the bunnies have yet to find them.

This week we started picking ripe berries.

That has made Mardell very, very happy.

Grandma Hall was best known for flowers.
Didn't matter what kind, she could grow it.

I'm not nearly as prolific a flower grower as Grandma,
but I have enjoyed the ones that I do have.

We dug these up from a roadside patch on our way to Ogallala last summer.

These came from Ingrid's garden last summer.

The butterflies have especially enjoyed the yarrow this summer.

Grandma Lou was well known for her geraniums.

She always grew geraniums to put on grave sites.

Then there was Dad.
He grew everything .... and lots of it.

He gave me a currant bush and it was in full bloom this spring.

I have since split the original bush into three bushes
and the birds have spread them as well.

I often find currants when I'm hiking in the pasture!

But I imagine he was best known for always buying more
even after his garden was already planted.
It's a sickness that I inherited.

Mernard's had a sale this past week
Plants were on sale for a quarter.
I didn't NEED a thing.

I made three separate trips.  

See all of the hanging baskets in front of the house?
All made from quarter plants.
18 baskets cost me about $50.

Two weeks and they'll be lush and full 
and no one will know that we didn't spend $20 on each one.

As for my garden, I started out with a small plot.

 Here the potatoes are just peeking out of the ground.
I've never grown potatoes before and you'll notice I had just gotten started on 
the permanent garden path.

A month makes a lot of difference.

 The path is complete, but you'd never know it because the
potatoes have taken over that portion of the garden.

I decided it was full and needed more space.

 After all, I somehow ended up with 50+ tomato plants.

 So, I rototilled more space to the south and east of the house.

It's a good thing .... made more space for  all of the 
onion sets that I somehow ended up buying and my zucchini plants.

 I didn't go as crazy with pepper plants as I usually do.

I have always subscribed to the theory of companion planting,
but this year I wanted to try companion planting for pest control.

Beets are supposed to deter cabbage moths as is basil.
So I planted beets in between my rows of cabbage and 
basil in between my cabbage.

It has worked well .... for cabbage moths.

It didn't turn out so well for the canteloupe.
The grasshoppers enjoyed it immensely.

That's okay, because they are also enjoying the Sevin right now.

I wasn't about to let them eat my watermelon ....

... especially since I actually have a baby watermelon set on.

The pumpkins are also setting on.

 The one thing that has been all mine and 
not influenced by anyone has been the herb garden. 

We decided to move it up front by the pond this year.

We had it in the back by the pond, but the dogs were hard on it
and since they have so little space to run we gave in and moved it.

 It always looks so puny to start with and yet
I always think that it looks fantastic.

 Now, I'm just overjoyed.
The move was a good decision.

Now, when the dogs wag their tails 
as they come in the house it is very fragrant.

The pond started out looking pretty barren as well.

 Now it's tough to even find the pond ...

... unless you're a frog looking for a cool dip ....

 ... or a cushy place to float ...

 ... or perhaps just a pond edge to wait for a dragonfly snack ....

 .... or you're just meeting a friend.

 If the day gets too hot, simply find a shady place to sit ....

 .... or sun bathe on a rock.

 It didn't bother this guy at all when I laid down on the ground
and started snapping pictures.

 He refused to smile though.

I also have elusive frogs in my garden.

 Why not hang out in a pot of basil?

 This guy is really burrowed under .....

 right underneath my ornamental pepper plant .....

 in my herb planter!

As much as I love my gardens,
I just hate it when I run across this guy.

 I just don't like getting up close and personal with ANY kind of snake!


SisterTwo said...

I usually plant some cilantro and let it go to seed. It helps deter insects also.
I have a big old bull frog living in my pond this summer also..

The grasshoppers have taken most of the yard, including the rhubarb, and nothing kills rhubarb. Good thing I didn't plant a garden this year (first time in 17 years I haven't planted a garden).

Sister One said...

I was working in the garden this morning and watching Chip walk by on his morning rounds. The grasshoppers were just flying --- he was a bit bewildered. It was actually kind of funny.

sister 3 said...

wow!! I can't believe the frogs. they're so cool! What a deal on those hanging baskets. that would look so nice at my house (for three days until they fried from the sun and died.)

Sister One said...

When we got home from Aunt Sue's last night, there were 5 frogs IN the pond --- all croaking away. Of course, by the time Mardell got out there so I could show her, there were only 3. Never fails.

Mardell said...

If the frogs aren't in the pond they are hopping around the front door where I want to walk...especially in the dark. :(