Thursday, July 30, 2009

Going Retro

Here are the sides of the bed. It is going to be 17 1/2 feet long.

Contemplating the number of screws to use, I thought of these old books that I bought from the library book sale. They are a cool little set written in 1951.

Retro garden design incorporates ping pong next to the bar, a green room in your breezeway and an adjacent sink next to your tidy gardening area.

The drawings are wonderful. Did you ever take drafting? I didn't find the section I was looking for, but just looking at the photos made me recall board warp and the rings, and that I should use 3 screws to a 6 inch board. Going retro makes a difference.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

95 Degree Posts

Digging post holes at 7:30 this morning and and it is already 95 degrees.

When I bought my first home, it had a wooden fence in the back, and I recall looking at the way the earth had eaten into the wood like lye etchings. The alkalinity is so intense that after you play in the dirt, your hands are raw and you have to slather on lotion for 2 days just to tame the little barbs. Anyway the fence blew over and I got a block wall that could begin it's fresh lye etchings. So here's my retainer bed lumber and with that so goes the cycle of life. Wrangler likes wood for the natural spring, (as does Zen), but decided long ago that the pioneer wagon kept moving on, hence no wagonwheels around here. Also, wood takes up less room than winsor block. The bed is going to be two and a half feet wide and is ok for wheelbarrow passage too.

Yesterday was so hot, that Symba refused to come outside and Winter opened it's mouth wide and braced himself, until the sprinkler came on.

A new camera crosses my mind, as does Scotty from Star Trek and witnessing teleportation.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wild Desert Lush

The main bed is looking fuller with spires of pink zinnia. I like it looking wild.
It's early morning and the sun is hot and the surfaces are behaving like reflectors, even the flowers.
Here is a little Lobelia from a seed broadcast this spring.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Watering Inside the Lines

Do you keep the almost dead, it has no leaves, plant (melon) that was in the little 6 pack and plant it anyway? Me too! I sprayed it with Die Bug, D.E. so that it wouldn't fall like the Caribou, and it's beginning to get it's leaves back.

Melissa, The Empress, writes that Life is Now, and I would like to say that it's like "right now". I was taking this picture of the twins, the cucumbers, there are two, and saw the hose and said to myself that I didn't have to move it, it was fine, it happens. The next moment I'm inside at the computer sharing about how much water I was using so I write about the drippers, and their concentric rings and trying to keep them inside the bed zones.

When I returned outside the hose had blown at what you can possibly make out as the lighter weakened area next to the nozzle. This was a fountain of 60 psi. It had been running for about 10 minutes or so in a lovely spray pattern that had to be stopped because there is no water play around here without the monitor. Then back I go, trying to keep the water inside the lines.

Thank you for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Right Train

The traveling three pots have been relocated to the hottest part of the garden. They are going to be moved again because now there is a raised bed going in against the wall. The base of the raised bed will be the local amended dirt that is being exchanged for black dirt as I go. The top half of the bed will be my new favorite stuff "black dirt",and the bed will be for cool season crops this fall.
I suppose that now that I have my most favorite stuff people will try to talk me out of it, try to convince me that it is just no good, offer me up all kinds of others that are just as good or even better, but I am not going to get off at that stop, I am going to stay on the black dirt train and just look out the window and see what I want to in the glass.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nice Weeds

Here is the main bed with 4 new melons in it. This weed is some type of fodder that I would taunt an animal with if there was a grazer nearby. We could meet at the fence.
Here is a desert bloomer that I have seen in the wild and I like the form.

Here is a closeup. Does anyone know the name?

The cannas have all but stopped flowering. I added a sprinkler and used homemade compost at the base and will watch them for changes.

Same compost here and all I have left is for the tea Leslie and I are going to make. I saw the amount of bugs happily thriving in my batch compost. To make compost is to raise roaches. I am done with raising roaches.

Did you see the movie the other night on PBS about chickens? I couldn't sleep and that's how I saw it. You have to see it. I happened upon John and Lynettes blog and they have listed parts 1 through 6 from youtube and it's available on their blog. (Copying the link is best, so you dont have blog music and video sound competing). Their blog looks like fun too.

Another Leap

Black Dirt is moving in. I just replaced the cannas with the stuff yesterday, and from the way I took the photo I'm lucky I got leaf in the photo. Habit is helpful sometimes.
I just started a new blog "Black Dirt Chronicles." It is located in Great Places to Visit down the sidebar and I am excited to share it with you. I hope you like it.

I promised I'd share the bird water bottle when finished. Clef notes begin with the bottom of, and the lid of a gatorade bottle with a hole in the lid which serves as a spacer to lift the grey water bottle lid up in order to have more water fill the base least it be extremely shallow. (Inhale)

Cut a hole in the lid of your chosen water vessel.

Glue the lids together, get a man to hold it for you, test complete. So now the water flows through and fills the base. (Bottom of grey lid not to exceed height of base wall.)

Then commence with latent jewelry making techniques using landscape wire. Play with it in it's slinky state until you become annoyed or bored then make little straps to make it stop doing that.

Then run out and hang it in a tree and then go play in the dirt....

Thanks for visiting. To all of my crafty gardening friends, Carry On!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Everything About You

When everything about you speaks gardening, even the bracelet you wore to dinner, your new chair, the bucket you carry your gardening books in, you know it really has taken on a life of it's own. You are no longer a gardener, you are now in the garden.

As it is claiming the horizontal spaces of your home, and both the passenger and backseats of your car, you all the while are concentrating on making it bigger. You know who you are. You are my gardening friends. I'd like to finish this thought, but I think there's something that I must attend to outside.

Thank you for visiting, Carry On!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Catalyst

This is the beginning of the Black Dirt Chronicles. The catalyst has arrived. It's Black Dirt.
Not just any chipped wood mind you. This is the stuff.
When you live in a place that does not have black dirt, you secretly pine for it, accepting it as part of your roots, the place you must return to.
I grew up in Missouri, a member of that black dirt clan and I remember telling Michael before we got married that I needed to move back to a place where I could put dirt in a coffee can and leave it at the edge of my big covered patio and it would look like dark roast, and I would smile and know that I was home. He said ok, but we have to live here for at least 10 years. Yes, he really said that, and yes, he really is that awesome, so I agreed. (He also countered with a few demands of his own like lakes everywhere and fishing, and all was good.)
So I am plugging along, literally, amending the soil with every bag of compost, every potted thing, adding more mulch and using the small compost I generate... all in a suspended garden mediocrity kind of way. Oh look! The dirt has changed from pale tan to the lightest brown. How somewhat eventful. But let's also remember patience! (do we use her to amend the soil?)
When you find your black dirt, it is time for the dance of joy, albeit even if it requires trucks and wheel barrows. Ah, this is the beginning...
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Building a Labyrinth

You don't have to build a labyrinth, just throw down the hose and walk it when you are half awake.

There was rain in the rain catchers this morning!
I headed out to Leslie's to train as a garden coach for the Sweet Tomato Test Garden. She asked if I wanted to pick a few tomatoes. Doe's she know me or what?
Everywhere you looked there were tomatoes accompanied by tomatoe glee.

I tried some new "Twister" moves, having not played since I was 8.
This is what we picked and Leslie said she would pick the other half of the bed later in the evening.
These were like amethyst pods. (The colony would like these.)

And here is a yellow sweet pepper and she has this in purple, too.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Morning Stretches

A morning zen moment when the sun peaks over the cinderblock horizon.

In my morning walkabout, I check the iris (the Plant Wrangler had to plant at the hottest time of the year) for continued signs of life. That little peek of green is encouraging. Next spring this will be a lovely White Fox. The dismayed look on the rooster is fitting.

The new garden bling from Ladybug Nursery sparkles in the sunlight! It is bedazzling. Say hi to Janet if you happen there....
Inside, out of the heat I imagined clouds in the sky would be nice, and then added some reflected heat too.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Carry On!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tomato Still Life

Leslie Doyle the Tomato Lady is generous. She gifts tomatoes and creates Tomato Still Lifes on countertops all across the valley. She is akin to Johnny Appleseed to me. This image calls to me like my next painting. I'll try to ignore it as long as possible and just wave for now.

Here is an update on the rescued Tropicana canna. It has a new place in front of the patio and seems to have relaxed a bit. I think this is a job for the "Amazing Kelp" that Leslie Doyle refers to in her book. I will mix up a batch and give it a try. I will let you know when I do. I have to get the pump sprayer first and that will take a few days. We are also going to be making some compost tea next week and this is a good candidate for that as well.

Here is a hummingbird update. The hummingbirds sit on the coated landscape wire that I used to hang a mist system across an arched patio opening. He has his little beak open because he is so hot. They always sit there, so they prefer the wire diameter and proximity to their little feeder. The other birds like little finches, see the nectar in the feeder and try to get a drink from the flowers to no avail, so I am making a water feeder to hang high off of the ground because of Cat Face. I am a glue gun away from being finished with that little project. So till then, ....

Thanks for visiting! On behalf of Gardening, Carry On!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raining Diamonds

It rained briefly yesterday, and the sky looked full of glittering diamonds. Big cold drops...

We waited out the passing rain clouds from the patio. Both of them were a nice reprieve.
Earlier, a friend had commented about the pretty catch all garden pot that I keep by the edge of the patio. It is where I keep my everyday gardening tools. I thought I would share this little idea with you, as I like finding out how other gardeners finese their lives and thought it might stir some idea sharing.

This morning I added some mulch to Lily Hill. I picked up Margaret's painting book and read a little bit, to wear like a protective vest as I headed in between the leaves. I bought some more mulch yesterday that I might apply to some of the beds in the real world later today.

Thanks for visiting! To all my gardening friends, Carry On!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Old Lady with a Cane

This zinna flower is a couple of days old. She reminds me of an old broadway star now her 80's, perfectly coiffed, with bright pink messy lipstick. Hey, do you think they do that on purpose? I might do that when I get old.

The last couple of days have been great. I've had a bit of an awakening, or I should say that I've learned to see things a bit differently. The first thing I realized is that plants have cycles. I mean, I knew that plants have cycles, don't get me wrong, but I suppose I expected lily leaves to stay green and perfect all summer long and iris leaves to be green and perfect too, all summer long, that kind of thing. The last two days I have been spending time with Leslie Doyle, the "Tomato Lady", and she reminded me that, "Plants have cycles." "... and after they bloom, if they look kind of ragged, just cut them back." Wham. I needed to correct that garden faeiry notion that plants look great from the moment spring arrives until frost kills them dead. Ok. And the second thing I learned is to ramp up my watering schedule. I pulled the mulch aside next to my heavenly bamboo and expected to find the dirt slightly moist and it was bone dry! This can happen right under your feet! If you read the last post, It was happening right before my eyes and I even commented about it! Ok? So increase your water. (And if you did, maybe it's not enough!) Why not drink plenty of water, and reset your sprinklers! Oh, and another thing. I promise I will not get the leaves wet anymore, they don't like it and there is always damage to show for it! But it was fun water play......
Which leads me to Water Vessels.
And the innocent little gardener who sees colors and is enchanted by form, said, "Silly me, I thought they plants. You know, lovely plants that you just had to water. I didn't think they were Water Vessels! Water vessels with a vascular system and ..........", to be continued.