Tag Archives: vegetable garden


On July 27th, we packed the pups off to doggie camp, loaded the car with suitcases, guitar and amp, bike, ball gloves and a cooler and headed south.  Grandson and I in the car, Jim on his motorcycle for his first major road trip.  We headed off for a weeklong visit with our daughter and her family.  We haven’t seen them since last Christmas and grandson hasn’t seen his cousins since last August.  We had booked a hotel room about halfway there, a bit over 400 miles.  It took us longer to make those miles than when it is just the two of us in the car as we stopped every 110-120 miles to reconnect with each other and for Jim to have a chance to get a drink and walk around for a bit to give his sore parts a rest.  Once at the hotel, the guys took a dip in the pool, we found a Mexican restaurant catering to the Mexican population and had a good dinner, then back to let grandson ride his bike around the parking lot to let off some steam.


As the temperature reached 100ºf that day, I’m not sure if he was letting off steam or making steam.

Visiting was active for the three grands, with biking, Lego building, Light saber battles, reading, soccer and baseball, a beach visit, a day at Busch Gardens in Tampa.  The Busch Gardens day was hot and humid, but everyone from the 2 1/2 year old to the 70 somethings found rides to ride, shows to see, snacks to eat.



Riding a camel on the carousel.  We rode it about 5 times and she never would get on a horse that went up and down.

Sunday we started our return journey home, leaving early to try to miss the afternoon rain showers.  Again stopping every couple of hours to reconnect and spending a night in a hotel a bit more than half way home.  The afternoon arrival was greeted with a delightfully cool house that had been closed up with no A/C on, temps in the upper 70’s, a deliciously chilly night in our own bed.

My stop at the neighbor who chicken sits for us, revealed that she didn’t get a single egg, I’m glad I took her two dozen on our way out and brought her a pound of Orange Blossom honey from Florida.  My visit to the coop, I found a still broody hen on one fragile egg that she broke when she puffed up and tried to prevent me from moving her off the nest.


This morning, she got a surprise as I removed her from the nest and put re-freezable ice packs in her nest and the next one over.  She is nearing 22 days of broodiness on an empty nest.

Later this week, a delivery of 15 Rainbow Ranger meat chicks will be delivered and we will begin raising them for 11 weeks.

The heavy straw mulch on the garden has kept the weeds down.  There were a few over developed squash and cucumbers that got fed to the chickens, more harvested for us.  Lots of peppers that I need to process today.  Basil that needs to be pulled and dried. Yellow wax beans pulled and dumped in the chicken pen.  Bunnies or deer got in the garden and ate most of the new green beans down.  I will cover them today and see if there is any recovery.  There are three beds that need some fall crops planted before it is too late.

This morning, grandson and I went to pick up the pups.  They seem to be glad to be home.

We have one more week and a half with grandson and I will return him home.  The weeks have gone by so quickly, but it has been a delight having him with us.

Retired Means

Tired again, and that is what I am.  Bright and early this morning, Jim left to ride to Charlottesville avoiding the Interstates to meet our youngest son and his family who drove there from Virginia Beach.  The ride took him more than 3 hours, but he got to have lunch and a visit with them prior to starting his ride back on a different route, still avoiding the Interstates.  I drove his monster SUV into town and had breakfast with him then we went our separate ways for the day.  My first stop of the day was to Lowes to stock up on a few plants and a lot of bags of mulch, though not nearly enough.  Three years ago, once the final grading was completed at our house, we set about to landscape.  One of our shrub purchases was one that we later found out, should not even be sold in this planting zone and it did not survive the first winter.  The others were Pygmy Barberry and Dwarf Nandina and they did fine the first winter.  To do this landscaping, I first had to move all of the grape iris that I had been given in a trade and the English Daisies that I bought from a local friend and had planted on the front of the house.  They had multiplied and were divided into beds on the east side of the garage and in the bed created by the east side of the house and west side of the garage, bounded on the south by the breezeway.  That bed has been planted with shade loving perennials  toward the breezeway and daylilies, iris, and daisies toward the front where they get more light.  When we did the landscaping, we put down weed mat and heavily mulched that area, but the ground cherries, plantain, dandelions, wild geranium and chickweed thrive in there.

This past winter after a cool wet summer last year, nearly did the Nandinas in.  I was ready to dig them all up when I noticed that though they really look scraggly, they are putting out new growth.  The dead shrubs were well spaced to add 3 new Pygmy Barberry shrubs.  When I got home with the car full of goodies, the short handled digging tool was brought out and I sat down and inched my way across the full front of the house, weeding and digging out all of the misplaced wildflowers, planting the three new shrubs, and mulching the entire bed.


With potted flowers at each end of the two beds, a fresh hanging plant on the shepherds crook, the spider plants hanging from the porch, the front looks presentable again.  Though some weeding was done in the breezeway bed, it was sprayed with a vinegar/Epsom Salt/Dawn detergent mixture to hopefully kill back the tender weeds then more mulch will be added to that bed as well.

The tomatoes and some of the peppers finally made it into the garden today.  While I was at Lowe’s, I picked up a few heirloom peppers that already had some size on them to get things going.  Some of the exotic heirlooms that are starts will be added as soon as they are more than an inch tall.  A row of heirloom Tomatillos was also planted and the entire veggie garden was soaked down with the sprinkler since we aren’t getting rain for a few more days.


After a late lunch, the same treatment was given to the east side of the garage bed, and a shrub was divided and planted on the front corner of the garage.  I hope it survives the move.  Tomorrow, more mulch will be purchased and that bed will be given a new layer as well.  It appears that the Iris need to be divided again.  I don’t like to throw them away, but everyone up here has beds and beds of them in their  yards.


My final task for the day was to put the American Flag on the banner pole between the garage doors.  It seems only fitting since it is Memorial Day.  After a dinner prep of a slow cooking pot roast with vegetables, a long hot shower and scrub, I’m sitting on the porch with a glass of iced tea, resting and waiting for the wayward traveler to get home and see my efforts from the past two days.  I love it when my labors show and everything is neat and tidy.