Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Treasure to Behold

During the holidays, it is nice to visit with old friends. One particular friend of mine is a Holy Man with a penchant for collections. He has a nutcracker collection,

And a collection of christmas village houses, which in it's amazement, can only be trumped by the manificence of his studio that he dug by hand,

and he poured each block and placed them one by one, over time until his studio resonated with the richness,
that only this particular Artisan could impress upon the place that he had seen so clearly in his mind, even at that first shovelful. (You see his studio is underground.)

The walls are comprised with his collections. It is remarkable, that each block has a story, and each rock it's significance by person, place or time.
Richness exemplified and resonate.

Each block is numbered and logged in a directory listing it's collection.

And in addition to stones, there were other items added to the molds.

And as you look, it keeps unfolding with more and more treasure,

And then you must find your favorite collection as this happens to be mine, with it's clear quartz, lapis lazuli, shells and fossils.

But then those huge chucks of colored glass and rich vermillion are so enticing,

So for this holiday season, I wish for you to be surrounded with old friends and family, and rich tradition, and delightful memories and may your holidays be joyous and may you be surrounded with simple treasure! Merry Christmas!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's a Toss Up

Here is the inside of the greenhouse. The lettuce and peas against the wall like the increased heat. I'll bring the tomato back into the house at night if there is sign that it will freeze. I haven't been in the greenhouse at night yet with a flashlight to check the thermometer, but my guess is that it may only be a few degrees difference from outside. No room inside here for black 55 gal. water barrels as a source of heat storage.

The starter pots sit on the raised tubs, and they contain the Asian Greens. Seems like all I do is talk about Asian Greens.

The temperature can get to a balmy 88 degrees with 60 percent humidity. I rather like it and the plants do too.

Outside their are signs of how windy it can get up here on Black Mountain. The wind blew over the wheelbarrow, and blew the marbles off of the bamboo poles and so I gathered them up into a little pile until I re-glue them. Just seeing them clustered together is a nice surprise in the garden walk about.

This is what hungry birds think is delightful to happen upon. These are Lantana berries.

A California Poppy seedling has appeared after the rain, and I wonder if this is early or if they just stagger their sprouting, sprouting here and there for a big show in February-March. I have more seed to scatter, and I thought I would wait until early January so that the rains would water them in, and they could get settled, so I find this curious that a few have started already.

Finding this Garlic Chive sprayed out and showing it's color of orange and yellow is a curious site, too.

I chopped down the Eucalyptus and this will be the home of a new fruit tree. I can't decide if it will be an apple, apricot or the next changing whim, but I have a few weeks until I have to decide. This will also be the location of a new vegetable bed, too. It will be triangular shaped, so I am excited to see how this will evolve. I am tossing around triangular shaped wooden bed frames in addition to circular fruit.

The greenhouse changes the dynamics of the sunning bed. Before it was quiet, and now it is screaming for attention. Toss that up as well. The air is full around here.
Thanks for visiting. To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Delve In

Tomato Blossoms are delightful, but I am going to stop with all of the diversions. It is time to open the box of plastic for the greenhouse and get it ready for installation.

I ordered 18 linear feet from ACF Greenhouses but the company shipped 14 ft. instead. Oh great, that's totally blows. I'll let Wrangler call them and square it up tomorrow.
I had ordered extra footage so that I would have a safety net, maybe use the extra to make cold frames, whatever. The idea of fitting the plastic onto the frame has been somewhat daunting, and I have been preparating myself, contemplating the folds and the way the pieces would be cut and with the least cuts possible.
But something about today was different. It crossed my mind a little after 10:00 that hey, it was a perfect idea. I felt confident that whatever happened with the design and the way the folds would fall, it would all work out and that today was the day to delve in.
And it came together nicely. The batten is a nice product and I would highly recommend it. The quality of the 6 mil greenhouse plastic is nice and strong. I had made a few buffer strips from the batten to soften a few of the sharp edges in the wood at the angles. Once I got the door plastic secured, I had to go inside and check it out. Something about a greenhouse is so nurishing. It is like an overflowing pantry. It is a sweet, whispered promise of abundance, waiting to be filled with possibilities. I am happy the way this has come together, and altogether the experience has been alot of fun. I will prop open the door when it's sunny during the day as I am still working on the venting system, but I have moved the Asian Greens seedlings into the greenhouse so that they can get to growing.

Already the humidity is noticable inside. I also purchased a thermometer with a humidity guage so it will be fun to see what the temperature and humidity are in the morning.
Thanks for visiting. To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Freeze Passing Through

We took off to Phoenix to see Bret Favre play Minnesota Vikings vs the Phoenix Cardinals and before we left I brought the self-sowed tomato that was growing in homemade compost into the house. So here it is with blossoms, looking for some 60 degree weather.

Well it's not going to find it outside, because we got back and it is winter now at Black Mountain Garden. There is ice in the birdbath leftover from the rain last weekend. And with all of the rain and overcast skies, it froze the last few nights.

So lets walkabout and see the effect of freeze on the winter garden. Here are the Mesclun Lettuces. They all look fine, with the addition of yellow leaves from the apple tree.

The Basil bit the dust due to the freeze. The tree stake pole segments are chunky mulch/feline guard, (my own invention) and quite effective I might say. They are temporary, and some things are just temporary.

I commandeered the unused trash bin from the garage and it's a new rain barrel and it is over half full from the rain from the weekend. This picture qualifies as ugly but it is okay, it is educational.
Here is another ugly picture, but with the addition of rainwater being captured in a clay vessel it is elevated to "ugliness transcended".
Here is frozen water on the leaves of the "Mother of all Hens and Chickens" (for lack of it's true name) and this can't possibly be good.

The spinach are getting bigger. They have taken a long time to get to this size but the freeze passing through didn't bother them a bit.

Against the south side of the north facing wall is where the Green Beans are located and they did not get hit by the freeze. This is the location where Leslie the garden expert suggests planting Lemon Trees because the reflected heat from the wall is retained well into the night.

The freeze whacked the Purple Heart Wandering Jew located in the Cactus Bed.
There are a few unusual things to mention, like this Penstemmon with flower buds forming,
And this California Poppy hiding out under the Penstemmon leaves which will be the first to flower, long before the others that haven't even started germinating yet.

The New Zealand Spinach bit the dust, got whacked, met it's frozen demise, you choose.

But the chard looks like no frost here.

So here is a panorama of the garden in early December after the first freeze. All of the salts that consolidate on the surface of the soil in the fall, (seems more predominate) have been washed away.

Hose art is provided by Laura who now recuperating from a cold, thought the idea of carrying around a frozen hose to get it out of the picture didn't seem too appealing, so she left it there. Watch for more hose art in upcoming posts! Can you see the color in the leaves of the Eucalyptus?
Now this is what Heavenly Bamboo is all about! There are alot more garden pots gathered around then there have been in previous updates. It's a sign, spring is going to be amazing!

There's a sign of freeze on the Peach Tree and the Lantana in the sunning bed, freeze that was just passing through.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No You Didn't

Help me now, I have started gardening in black poly pots. This is what it has come to, but once I describe the contents to you, you will understand. In the center we have cabbage, except the center of the center pot, it is a califlower. There are beets in the end pots and they are called Bulls Blood, whoa. There are turnips and they are all white, and one lone gourmet fancy lettuce, unknown. They were from the University, they were going to get chucked, so hey, I planted all that I could, gave some away, and although Husband said we have enough raised beds, I kind of recall the last time something like this happened, dirt started to accumulate and it became another raised bed. I can see it all too clearly I guess is my point.

The Nandina are ablaze with color.

Here is another angle of the array.

The patio rabbit is from a garage sale. I used to have a white lopped earred rabbit so for a dollar I couldn't resist him. I told my Husband that they had the mate, a rabbit that was standing up on it's hind legs, and it was really cute, except it's ear was broken off, just needed a dab of glue. He said "Great now you are bringing broken stuff home from garage sales," and I assured him that I drew the line at broken stuff. Broken stuff is bad Feng Shui don't you know.

Rocks look good in the bonsai pot, but don't get too attached, it's too soon, we are not out of the woods yet.

Some of the Asian Greens were potted up in 6 packs. I am taking the cookie box to a friend's house and we are having a 6 pack potting party tomorrow, so the rest of the seedlings in the cookie box will be give aways. Can you see the Red Winter Kale in the top center?

Here is a lovely Peacock Purple Broccoli, with an excellent leaf form.

And here is a bronze and rose lettuce from the mesclun mix planted inside the greenhouse. Sometimes I feel like a color junkie, just like today.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!