Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week 1

I'm not sure what amazing sights I thought I would be photographing in my garden this week. In the end I just could not post a picture of the entire back with its dead grass and scattered straw. I didn't have much success with anything I planted in the fall - not even the radishes came through. I am blaming it on slugs and already have a new battle plan to deal with the rubbery vandals as it gets warm.

Gets warm? It was 2 degrees Fahrenheit this morning! Louisiana Man and Buttercup did fill the bird feeders a few days ago to help our feathered friends.
I tried to capture Big Red, but he is on to me and will not come near the feeder while I am hiding on the porch. Here he is in a Bradford pear at a safe distance from all but the telephoto lens.
I have one very welcome surprise in the raised beds rights now. I had planted several Brassicas in the fall, but only one made it - early purple sprouting broccoli. I have never grown it before, and I had quite forgotten I was growing it now. I picked off many insect-chewed leaves in the autumn, so it resembles a tiny palm tree now.
 Look closely to see the little purple shoots forming. I am amazed that there are vegetables that overwinter!

Besides the purple broccoli, my plants are slumbering, and my garden lives mostly in my mind and on the kitchen table, aka Planning Central.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Kiwi Berry Seeds

My grandparents say they could live off what the rest of our family throws away. I think about that often and feel a pang of regret. It is not that I want to waste or think it is negligible; I just get busy and lose track of my pantry and fridge.

Once again, I am resolving to cut down on waste in our household. I was dismayed as I did an in-depth post-holidays purge of the fridge - especially when I spied a little clamshell of shriveled kiwi berries.

I remember devouring several containers from our weekly produce bin back in October. How in the world did we let a pack get lost in the back of the fridge? What a tragic waste!

I have been drooling over hardy kiwi/kiwi berry plants on several gardening sites. I think I may have talked myself into ordering this collection or maybe this

In the meantime, I decided to try and salvage the seeds from the berry mummies I had on hand. I pressed them into a strainer and rinsed the flesh away - much easier if you peel the skin off first, by the way.  Then I planted them in some soil in a covered container and placed the container in my African Violet/Streptocarpus window. 
I didn't find much information on covering or not covering the seeds or even if they would germinate after their months in the fridge. Maybe I just entertained myself for 20 minutes or assuaged my food-waste guilt, but maybe, just maybe I'll get some seedlings. And maybe, just maybe I'll get a kiwi berry or two in - 4-8 years. 

ETA: I just added Issai to an existing fruit order. How did I miss that it is self-fertile? That might be a better foray into kiwi berries than a large collection. Although some sites say it performs better with a male pollinator. I guess we will see. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


January 1. Day of Resolutions and Good Intentions. For me this is always the beginning of of the new gardening season. I have had a rest from the heat and the work, and now it is time to dream and plan and prepare for the next season.
Gardening is about seasons: periods of rest and labor and reward. There is no time for regrets about tasks left unaccomplished because there is always the next season, the next opportunity.
Outside it is cold and wet, the garden beds and compost piles are sleeping, but I see new buds on my overwintering early sprouting purple broccoli and the raspberries planted last year in 2013. Even in the Bleak Midwinter, even in the dark and the sleep, promises are becoming.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cucurbita Jungle

I persuaded my husband to drag out the old dog kennel. (The dog kennel that the dog CLIMBED out of every time!!) I wanted to try my hand at vertical growing. I planted cucumbers, melons, and various winter squash around the inside. I got a pretty late start, but I do have quite a few "babies" which I hope will be ready before frost.
I planted both Musquee de Provence and Jarrahdale pumpkins. I think they both have these silver-veined leaves.

I was very surprised to see this fuzzy little watermelon. It is so cute!

This is Musquee de Provence. I am not quite sure why she is growing with her blossom end up, but she looks very regal!
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally! The Sun!

The girls were so happy to see the sun today! It has been raining or foggy for weeks! The girls and I walked around and observed different forms of moss and the birds at the feeder. The girls were so excited, they went in to have a beach party and lemonade stand!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Front Porch

I'm a Southern Girl. You can have your deck, but I'm all about my porch. Here are some shots from this afternoon.

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