Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The on going saga of the rabbits

For those of you who know we rescued an injured rabbit, we are happy to say it seems that the little one's eye is all healed up, although we are not sure if the rabbit can see much out of the injured eye. We still have the baby inside the house,and will continue to do so until we decide what is best for it.

I know there are some of you who are saying, rabbits are so destructive in the garden, and of course they are. There would not be a video like this one, if all my gardens were not fenced, but they are, so there is not a problem. We just get a kick out of how friendly the rabbits have become, and really, we only have them around for a short time as there are many predators in the neighborhood, namely coyotes, cats and people with guns who like to shoot these guys.
Actually, I think the rabbits are only friendly because they think they have suckered us into feeding them from the vegetable garden, and they are right, who can resist? Oh yes! you who don't like rabbits, can't say I blame you.

As I was sitting outside last evening, trying to cool down in the 100+ degree heat, I was joined by Wabbit and friends.

We call this one Baby, for obvious reasons.

I have started another collection.

I have fallen in love with Clematis.

Underside of Clematis 'Sunset'

Clematis 'Sunset' looks totally different from the top side.

Clematis 'Inspiration'
This one grows 4-6 foot tall, so I have it in a large container.

I have been looking around my garden figuring out where I can grow more of these beauties. One place I think would be nice, is climbing up a very tall lilac.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The tallest I have ever grown.

First gladioli of the season.
I find these gorgeous flowers are very easy to grow here. I don't bother to lift them in the fall, and so far they have come back for three years in a row.

5 foot high and still growing.
I will measure it again when the topmost flower blooms.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A classy snapdragon

I am a snapdragon, named 'Madam Butterfly' and not being a snob or such, I really think I am a cut above those other, ahem! non-double variety of snapdragons.

I will definitely be going to save seeds from this little beauty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A new use for an old ladder

I love to find old things which have outlived their original usefulness, and recycle them in my garden as pieces of garden art.

This old wooden ladder had been lying out in the grass beside the barn for eons, and every time I walked by it, I looked at it considering how I could use it in one of my gardens.

I decided the corner by the front porch would be just the place for the ladder.

After removing some pots containing a Japanese maple and some hellebores, I placed the ladder inside the fence, leveled it and proceeded to place potted plants I had scrounged from other places around the house, on the steps and top of the ladder.

A view of the competed project from below the step to the porch.

A birdhouse and sign I found, to add a little interest.

The hummingbird pot had been sitting on a shelf, waiting for that special place to live. I also had some hen & chicks looking for a place to live, so I paired the two of them and they are now happily occupying a place on one of the ladder's steps.

A pot of impatients and a fuchsia are perched on what was once a shelf of the ladder. A couple of polished stones and a small green lizard add a little pizazz to the vignette.

One of the bird houses, bought from a dollar store, which sit atop the fence posts surrounding the garden.

After returning the potted Japanese maple to one side of the ladder and replacing the pieces of granite around the top of the two pots (the maple in it's pot, is sitting inside a larger decorative pot) I went in search for something to add a little interest. I thought the birdhouse does the trick, don't you?

Looking at my favorite place to sit, either in the early morning while drinking my coffee, if I am not wandering the garden with my camera taking pictures, or out of the heat later in the day. There is also a small water feature in the corner, which lends a soothing sound to this lovely spot.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Winter craft project is on the way

Early this morning I took a picture of the gourd blossoms.

This afternoon, the blossom had faded to reveal a teeny tiny gourd. I hope to successfully dry, decorate, and perhaps make bird houses out of the gourds, during the long cold dreary winter months.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quick, take a picture before I eat them

My very first handful of 'Sunsugar' cherry tomatoes.
Now I am waiting for the Black Russian tomatoes to ripen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Cadillac for Keewee

Well not exactly a Cadillac, but it sure will feel like one, after having to move anything heavy for my garden in a wheel barrow or on a hand truck.

We were given this older lawnmower, which runs but not as well as it should.
After some on the engine, which my honey is very good at, it will be a great little work horse, and will sure save me some leg work, not to mention the back breaking work of hauling stuff for the garden in a wheel barrow. Whoohoo!!!
We will eventually (I hope in the near future) to get a small trailer to tow behind, so I can move rock, bags of manure, compost or whatever else I choose. I can hardly wait to be able to drive around in style. *chuckle*

As I was walking back to the house after having my picture taken on the lawn mower, I caught this little rabbit posing for a picture. Actually, it heard my footsteps on the dry grass and was waiting to see if I was friend or foe. This rabbit is used to me talking to it, so it is semi-tame, and went back to eating as soon as it knew I was the one approaching.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

There is always another way

of viewing things.

As I sat on the porch enjoying a cool drink, I glanced down at a pot of pansies. Instead of looking at all their happy faces, I was looking at the back of some of the flowers, and it was then I realized how interesting flowers look from the back or underside.

If we take the time to really look around us, most times, there is always something we have not noticed before, to interest us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally, show & tell time

Today It was time to pick peas and whatever else was ready in the veggie garden.

51/2 lbs of sugar snap peas.
Some we ate for dinner, and the rest are now in the freezer.

I was wondering if the shallots were going to produce, so today I dug down a little, and there they were. This is the only bunch I have dug up so far, the others I will get to in a day or two.

The lettuce is producing plenty for salads.

Much to my surprise, the celery is growing faster than I can eat it. Never having planted celery before, I wasn't sure what to expect, so I am delighted with the abundance.

Now I am waiting for all the good things to come.

Scarlet runner beans are just starting form. I really like the flavor of these beans.

Every day I take a look at the rubine Brussels sprouts, in the hope that I will see the start of the heads, but nothing so far. The plant in the background is now two feet tall, and I was sure I would see something by now.

The mini cabbages are starting to form.

I am happy to report, this year we will have corn. Last year, the summer season was short and not as hot as usual, and I think I was a little late in getting the corn planted, so the crop was a dismal failure.

I also had bad luck with cucumbers last year, can't say the same for this crop. There are plenty of flowers so I am hoping for a bumper crop.

Kohlrabi will be ready to pick soon. Glad the bugs left some for me.

Parsnips are flourishing.

There is a huge crop of plums this year. I see many jars of plum jam in the cupboard.

Jars of blackberry jelly will also be keeping company with the plum jam.

The two large plants, growing up the garden fence, in the center of the picture, are bird's house gourds. I have grown these to dry, and decorate during the long winter months. there are quite a few flower buds on the plants already. These are some more plants I haven't grown before, so I don't know what to expect from them.

This is a very exciting time for me, starting to harvest veggies from the garden, and watching everything else grow to where it will be ready to grace our dinner table, or frozen for meals throughout the coming winter months.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Soggy Monday

Unless the rain lets up , there will not be too much done outdoors today. We really, really needed the rain as it was so dry here. We are now happy to see our pasture which was bone dry, dampened down and no longer in danger of being set on fire by a cigarette thrown from a passing vehicle. It never fails to surprise me how stupid some people are when it comes to throwing a cigarette out the window of a vehicle, when the terrain around them is tinder dry, and ripe for a fire.

I am hoping for a break in the rain so I can pick all the peas which are full and sweet. I also need to cut some broccoli, cabbage and other greens for the baby bunny, who is doing well and growing fast.

The front flower garden is getting a good soaking this morning. At 5am I woke up to the sound of rain on the roof, and remembered the automatic sprinkler system was due to come on at 6am, so I slipped on my robe and slippers and went out to shut it off, before returning to snuggle back in my warm bed for another couple of hours.

The clematis is benefiting from a wash in the rain.

This day lily has been in this spot for years, so I do not know it's name.

Japanese blood grass has lovely color and when it fill this pot, I will divide it and plant it in different parts of the garden for a little splash of interest and color.

A pretty vignette.

First dahlia of the season.
I bought a six pack of dahlias three years ago, and have left them in the ground over the winters. The dahlias have come back each spring, and have rewarded me with larger and more blooms each time.

So now I know all the gardens are getting a good soaking today, I can catch up on some of my housework *groan* I am a typical gardener who prefers gardening to housework.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jewels for your garden

If you are looking for an unusual flower to make a statement in a corner of your garden, then this is the flower for you. They come in plain colors, and also with fabulous distinctive marking on the petals.

Salpiglossis, Painted tongue, was a favorite of the Victorians who loved its rich, jewel tones in gold, red, pink, blue and many other colors and patterns, even herringbone. This annual reaches up to 3-feet tall and, makes a good cut flower

A new color this year, and there are are a couple of other which have not opened their blooms yet.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New shade garden

I have cleared all of the English ivy which had overtaken this side of the house, and now I am working on constructing a terraced garden.

The job is going along slowly, as it is back breaking work moving and stacking all those stones, as well as clearing the land as I move on down the incline. I haven't any plans on how I want it to look when it is finished. It is one of those projects which is just kinda' evolving as it goes along.

I had these hellebores still in pots, so sat them here to see if the rabbits would eat them, and so far they have shown no interest in nibbling on the plants.

As well as hellebores, I think ferns will also be nice, and I will also do some research on shade loving plants which are not tasty to rabbits, although in my experience, rabbits will nibble on almost any plant at least once.

I have yet to fill in the terraced garden with some well rotted manure, topsoil and compost. As this area is under two large trees and is sheltered a little from the rain, the soil I put in here is going to have to hold some moisture.