Discovering New Things, Or At Least Making My Own Mistakes

I was leary as this garden season progressed.  Everything but the weeds seemed to move so slowly, and the lack of nice orderly rows gave me heebie-jeebies galore.  But the garden is coming on strong, and has become something of a delight to behold.  Production has just truly begun, as the carrots now outpace the peas and cilantro – oh, that crazy productive cilantro!  I’ve scattered seeds along the neighboring lot border to allow it to continue in its claim of the land.

New insects appeared this year by the multitudes.  Squash vine borer was the most obvious, and my vines were not covered.  I identified the entry spots on the main pumpkin vine and applied a plaintain weed poultice at every point after snapping off a few of the leaves and vine branches.  Each hole was covered with plaintain poultice.  That was a month ago and I’ve not seen more than a few yellowed leaves at the primary site.  We’ll see if that was a success.

The plantain grows prolifically in my yard, and I’ve been using it on bites, most recently on a bite that had necrosis (yes, brown recluse spiders are resident here).  The bite healed completely.  My thought was ‘why not’ when I considered its use on the plants.

Below is a sampling of the beauty and diversity I’ve discovered in the garden this season.  I’m making this post my last – as I’ve determined it’s simply time.  Time to use my time elsewhere.

Thanks for being along for the ride!  This blog will stay live, but no longer active.

No Longer Dreamin’

What’s Growing

May is just around the corner.  Time to get down to business in the garden.

Today will be a planting day; the seed starts are stretching and yawing and need to go into the ground.

Here’s an update of what’s growing:

cucumbers and melons and peppers and flowers

tomatoes ready to plant

The first leaky bucket I planted has not impressed me.  The radishes have done very well – I’ve been harvesting them for salads – but the carrots and parsley are puny.

The second leaky bucket has been a big winner.  The main difference between the two buckets is that this second started off outdoors, two weeks after the first bucket was planted.  The carrots in this bucket are giants comparatively!

The self watering container is doing fairly well.  The kale and radishes look good, but the lettuce seems to struggle a bit.  The onions are there, barely.  The jury is still out on how those late seeded onions will fare.

I have two separate oregano beds, one a lighter and more prolific type, and this type which is darker in color and has a more pungent flavor and smell (yes, I lost my labels and cannot recall what I planted).  I like to mix them for a nice blend once the leaves are dried.

Lovely lavender is preparing to bloom.  The bees will be oh, so happy!  I have two lavender shrubs and have allowed them to get too woody, so will attempt lavender propagation this year.

Here’s the first salvia bloom of the season.  Purple is such a wonderful garden color!

Tiny hyssop buds preparing to flower.  I’ve read that hyssop was used a lot as an air freshener in hospitals, but I just don’t “get it”.  Hyssop smells sort of skunky to me.

This is the rag-tag border, with wild violet and plantain.  I see asiatic day flower crowding in as well – I’ll have to put a halt to that!  I allow native invasives (yes, weeds, but beneficial weeds), but those day flowers are not welcome here.

I set the rosemary out a bit early.  We have had cool mornings lately and it’s a bit shocked by the change.  The walking onion container is my “mother plant”, which produced fifteen bulbs last summer.

There’s the start.  Now to get busy so I can get those poor leggy plants into the ground!


Dreamin’ Girl

Name That Plant

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m allowing beneficial wild plants to grow in my gardens.

These plants had previously been labeled “bad weeds” and eliminated as quickly as possible.

Last year, I allowed unidentified plants to grow where they may, then once they were mid sized I attempted to identify them.  The good guys were allowed to remain, while the bad guys were sent to the compost pile.

The winners from last year were pokeweed, amaranth (pigweed), and lambs quarters.

The pokeweed was allowed to stay as a soil beneficial, and to provide food for the birds.  Pokeweed should certainly be monitored closely if you have young children, as the berries are highly poisonous when ingested.

The amaranth was allowed to stay as an edible option, and to provide food for the birds.  Amaranth may be used both as young salad greens, and specially prepared as late greens.  Additionally, the amaranth seed is extremely nutritious and can be ground into flour, or eaten whole or cracked in foods.  The seeds are extremely small, so many are required for flour use. Each plant graciously provides thousands of seeds.

Lambs quarters were allowed to remain as an edible option, and to provide food for insects and birds.  Lambs quarters may be used as young salad greens.

There were also plants that grew that I was not able to identify, so I’m asking for a little extra help with these.  Here are some pictures, see if  you know the plant:

Unidentified plant with flower buds

We’ll call the above, Unidentified Plant Number 1.  Do you recognize UPN1?

Unidentified plant with flowers

The above plant is Unidentified Plant Number 2.  I wondered if it might be stinging nettles?  What’s your take on UPN2?

Unidentified plant

Above is Unidentified Plant Number 3.  Now this one reminds me more of stinging nettles than the previous.  Can you identify UPN3?

Unidentified plants

Above are two plants, the taller is Unidentified Plant Number 4, while the lower is an extremely aggressive Unidentified Plant Number 5.  Are either UPN4 or UPN5 familiar to you?

From past experience, I plan to cull UPN5 whenever I spot it, but if it is beneficial, I might give it a small hold in the rear garden, Garden Two.  It does have some beautiful foliage, and musters up dainty little flowerets that are a filmy greenish-pink color.

Aha!  I’ve found another culprit.  See if you can identify that crazy black interloper below!

Silly cat!  That’s our Hobo kitty hiding in the rusty bucket.

Isn’t he cute?


Dreamin’ Girl