When spring came and we dedicated ourselves to a daily walk, we expected to have a day or two each week when the weather was uncooperative. We have walked 28 out of the past 30 days. Only one of those days did we cut the walk a bit short, only doing 2 miles, when we could see a thunderstorm bearing down on us. We thought today was going to be a washout. There was no rain in the forecast, but gloomy gray. Yesterday, I purchased replacement tomato and pepper plants for granddaughter’s garden as something ate every pepper plant to the ground and most of the tomato starts I gave them didn’t take. Today, we planned to take them to daughter’s house after lunch and after picking her up from the car servicing center and helping daughter and granddaughter plant them in their garden. I took two of the flexible poles and bird net to cover the peppers, T posts and the pounder to create the Florida trellis for the tomatoes. On our way to pick daughter up, it started raining, continued to rain while we waited for her to get her car checked in, and part of the way back to her house. Then it stopped. The garden is replanted, the tomatoes a bit larger than the ones I started, the peppers now protected (we hope) by a dome of bird netting. And the only picture I managed to take while the three of us gardened was the variety of lichens on the neighbor’s fence that provides one side of daughter’s garden too.
The picture was accompanied by a lesson for the 9 year old on symbiosis, which her mom said was a refresher from last year.
Our walk followed the garden session, still cloudy, but no more rain. Each week our miles for the week are recorded and shared with a virtual walking group in our community and each week we get a cummulative report with photos. A fun way to keep up with neighbors.
Night before last, we decided to go have dinner at our favorite Local restaurant which has a large outside patio shaded partially by a canopy, partially by trees, and nearby buildings. When we arrived, surprised that there was no one on the patio, we noticed a sign on the two doors stating that they were closed for two days for upgrades. There are two other nearby restaurants with patios, one of them a new micro brewery so we decided to try it instead, though neither of drinks anymore. It was a huge mistake as far as I was concerned. They had no shade, no umbrellas, and it was in the 80’s in the hot sun around 5 p.m. I didn’t care for their menu and ended up with a small spinach salad that was ok, but nothing special. Hubby got a burger that he liked, but thought there fries were just so so. At any rate, I ended up hot, headachy inspite of consuming two large glasses of ice water, and getting too much sun for my first day in short sleeves and a skirt.
Yesterday, we met our daughter and granddaughter at the local nursery to pick out peppers for both of us, perennials for the walled garden, and flowers for the front of her house. They must have had a dozen varieties of pepper starts, some already in 4″ pots, some still in the 4 cell starters. They picked out their varieties, I added Seranos, Cayennes, and one of the Red Bells she bought, that came in a 4 pack and she only had room for 3. Daughter picked Tubrous Begonias and Impatiens for the front of her house. I got a Shasta Daisy, Sneezeweed, Yellow Sedum, and a purple Button Flower for the walled perennial garden. They will bloom at different times and are all perennials. After digging them in, the chicken challenge was faced again as I found them in there yesterday morning and daffodils dug up. There were 5 unused tall fake bamboo poles that were placed around the perimeter and the mesh cut in half lengthwise so it is about 3.5′ wide. The mesh was fastened at the upper edge with tomato tie tape and anchored at the bottom with rocks, and now surrounds the walled garden. The edge along the rocks in the lower left corner of the photo was fastened to a couple step in posts with one that I can lift out to get in the garden and to fill bird feeders. Though the poles are visible, the mesh you can barely see.
The new flowers were well watered in while we went to the pond for our daily walk before dinner. After dinner, since the long range forecast looks mild, I planted the tomatoes and peppers, put a thin layer of straw around the tomatoes and ran the first row of string trellis. As they grow, more straw will be added and additional runs of the string trellis. The garden got a couple hours of water too, to soak the peas, potatoes, and newly planted tomatoes and peppers. The row cover over the lettuce and brassicas isn’t allowing enough water into that bed. And yet again, I got overheated and too much sun. Though not to sunburn level, it is time to get new sunscreen and move my gardening to early morning and after dinner.
At the nursery today, I looked for a fig. That is where I got the one planted in the ground that doesn’t stay warm enough in the winter regardless of how I wrap it. They didn’t have any, so I will monitor the planted one, last year it put out leaves when I thought it was dead. If it does again, I will try to transplant it to the half barrel that can be moved into the garage during the winter months.
This evening, I need to begin the string trellis for the peas which seem to be recovering from the freeze and will likely improve more now that they were well watered last evening. I’m not sure I have enough cotton string to make their trellis. That should go on my shopping list.
The Tomatillos and Ground cherries are in peat starter pots, but not yet germinated. Soon I will start the cucumbers and the winter squash. The popcorn can’t be planted for at least a few weeks to a month, so I don’t want the winter squash to get too large as the corn needs some size before the squash starts it’s runners. They are a short runner variety, but I still don’t want them to crowd out the popcorn. Bush beans need to wait for another month before they go in the ground as well. The garden is coming along, though I still see no growth from the potatoes and the lettuce and brassica area needs to be uncovered and weeded, there is a lot of spinach coming up. A nice vegetable for baby spinach salad.
I do love this time of year. We have another day in the 80’s but cloudy then tomorrow a return to the mid 60’s for a day or two but the nights stay mild, so the garden is good to grow.
The beautiful day was not wasted. A walk along the river was enjoyed, followed by a trip to the Nursery and home with 2 Coral Bells for the front, a nice perennial so those pots will just need pruning and feeding for years to come. There was a smaller one in the back that got too much sun, and one in the daylily bed that got no sun, so they were put in the front in pots as well.
They are shade lovers and should do quite well there. A matching set of pots is on the other side of the stoop.
Two pots of red and candy cane petunias came home and since they were in nice pots, they didn’t get transplanted, just put in place to compliment the red Geraniums. This morning while enjoying my coffee and egg, the Hummingbird was checking out the red flowers.
A six pack of full sun sedum and a Ruby Hen and chicks were added to the cart and they were planted in the terra cotta strawberry pot and added to the back steps as well.
There is one pot on the bottom step on the right that I don’t know what was planted in it before and I’m waiting to see if anything emerges from the tuber in it before it is dumped and replanted with something else.
As it appears that my fig either didn’t survive the winter or at least burned to the ground again, I will get a new one and plant it in a half barrel that can be brought into the garage or basement during the winter. Rather than buy another larger half barrel, a smaller one was purchased and the buried pots of mint and lemon balm were transferred to it and buried to their rims.
I had wondered why the daily quota of eggs had been so low, thinking that the hens were just aging out, but when I went to remove the mint and lemon balm from the barrel, I noticed in the small space between it and the house, was a cache of 8 eggs. They can’t be more than a week old because the hens have only had free range for a week.
The smaller half barrel is now in that spot but I left their depression, at least I know where to look now. Those eggs will be kept separate and cracked in a bowl one at a time, to make sure they are okay before using. The first one used this morning was fine. Silly hens, I don’t want daily egg hunts.
The littles, not so little anymore, even though they are in the pen during the day and back in the coop at night, still come running for treats.
This flock is so pretty with the variety. The eggs will be so interesting with 5 breeds. And two of the pretty all black Marans with black legs and beaks. Three have feathered legs, the other two do not.
This morning, the bed for the tomatoes and peppers was remeasured and drawn out on graph paper to see if it will all fit and it looks like I’m in good shape. I need to go pound in the posts for the Florida trellis for the tomatoes. More volunteer raspberries have been dug and pulled, I guess that will be an on going challenge for a year of so, but if they are removed often enough, eventually they will give up.
Today is another beautiful day in store, so I will go get to work and take a walk to enjoy it.