Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Educational

I planted peas between the green beans in the greenhouse bed and they are about 3 inches tall now. The plastic for the greenhouse is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, which is exciting, and now I have to devise the venting system. It is getting down to low 40's and the tomato that self sowed is targeted to go into the plastic covered greenhouse all things considering.

I have had these Euonymus for over 2 years and they did not like the early morning sun where they were located, and they were just not happy. So I dug them up and placed them in these bonsai pots and discovered that they were planted way too deep, which is possibly why they weren't happy. I cut the roots to place them in the bonsai pots, and they probably won't like that either, it is a gamble. Seems just like Wrangler. It must be this vest that I made, It's kind of heavy duty and western. I decided about a month ago to make a vest and I purchased the fabric and sorted over patterns, and finally as the Master Gardener Graduation is coming up, I made one, and decided it will be fitting to wear the new vest to the event. I scored 98 on the test, and I am pleased with the score.
So I have started salad greens that like the cold. Botanical Interests has an Asian Salad Greens Mix (link is located on the sidebar) which contains Tatsoi, along with Arugula, Chinese Cabbage, Japanese Spinach, Mizuna, Mustard Green, Mustard Red, Mustard Ruby Streaks, represented as 4 rows, and I planted 2 rows of Red Winter Kale in the clear cookie box. The 6 packs contain COS Breen Lettuce (less fond of cold) that was started in the cookie box, and they did get too leggy, so I planted them deeper in the 6 pack containers, and they do not like to have their stems buried deep and I have lost some of them as a result. I am going to breakdown and get the shelving unit and the shop lights eventually so that the starts won't get leggy when I grow them in the house. The Tatsoi, along with the rest of the Asian Mix has been growing outside all along and seems to like the temperature.

I planted a 6 pack of pansies and they are next to the rosemary that is flowering, and the lobelia. It is a study of blue. Blue flowers are stellar.

And there are some yellow leaves in the garden now, and one plant with yellow leaves is the Rose of Sharon Hybiscus seen in the photo above. I can't take a picture of it without capturing the salts that are ever abundant in our Nevada soil. All you can do is scrape the crystal-ish powder up and discard it. It is Calcium Carbonate I believe. It is the reason we cannot use Miracle-Grow here in Nevada, as Miracle-Grow is comprised of salts, and salt on salt is just wrong. So as a fellow blogger stated, you are not supposed to share ugly pictures, but it is ok, it's educational.

Here is the apple tree, and I am going to prune it this year for the first time, so it is being mentioned as I am in my preparatory pruning meditative stage and this will last until early January at which time I will actually prune the tree. It is like a metamorphosis of a really great apple tree pruner, like a butterfly type thing.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Boss of Your Garden

This is my Yoga post. I have a friend who started Yoga about a year ago and she is absolutely beautiful. I know I needed to exercise more, so I started doing Chi Gong again, and added Yoga, so I am doing them both, and they meld beautifully and I like the results. I mention this because I bend incorrectly. I guess I always have. I bend at my mid back and my back hurts. I lift incorrectly too. My husband yells at me to correct me all of the time. So as we must not overlook the lovely faint violet cast to the petal's tips, we must not overlook to bend properly even though we are hard core gardeners.
Here is a lovely form of as rose with violet cast, as we continue the subject. Consider placing your hands on your hips when you are crouched over and you are preparing to lift yourself up. Just by placing your hands on your hips you rise from the hips and your mid back is not used like a fulcrum. Then walk around with your hands on your hips because you are the boss of your garden!
And stand upright and breath deeply and when you bend over exhale, and when you come back up, hands on hips, inhale. I would recommend one week of yoga just for gardeners. You can continue with it if it suits you, but your back would greatly benefit, and the impression of how to bend and breath correctly is invaluable to us because gardening is back breaking work they say.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Rosy Sunshine

I saw this amazing salvia, and prior to it's dying back for the winter I took a couple of sprigs to try to root in my kitchen. Try is the appropriate word, as this is not the time of year to start cuttings, and especially if you don't use a starting powder, which I never have. But there is the slightest green leaf in the middle of the stem on the right that I am watching, and life at the base by the soil that is promising so I offer this to you for your prayers and let's hope that it survives. The result, I promise will be amazing!

For the kitchen I picked up this Devil's Wing Begonia, and although it looks rough and tattered by the wind at the nursery, it has nice form and replaces the orchid that now lives by the sink, so that I can remember to water it almost every other day. Let's take a moment to respect orchid enthusiasts because their watering tasks are relentless.

I purchased this inexpensive juicer and thought I had better juice up the limes that Beverly gave me from her tree, now that someone gave me a new bag of lemons. Lemons are in season now, but limes don't do well here in Las Vegas, and that fact that she had a lime tree is amazing, but I wouldn't run out and get one. She has hers backed up to a fireplace chimney and mentioned it as a strong argument as to how it has survived the winters here. But back to the juicer, you can see that the unit can also be used as a mortar using the piece at the left as the pestle.

Which is how I juiced the pomegranates to make pomegranate jelly. I removed all of the bitter pith, juiced the fruit and then started making jelly right away. If you let it sit over night, it will separate and become clear but then that portion with the solids is tossed and that decreases the quantity by roughly a third or so.

Here is the color and the clarity of the jelly without it being separated, and although getting the juice from pomegranates is a lot of work, it is delicious and well worth it, it's Rosy Sunshine!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cat Scratches

Once I posted about sowing mesclun lettuce in a clear plastic "To Go" box, and here is a photograph of the next step which is to transfer the seedlings from the box by gently lifting them out of the soil-less starter medium (butter knife is perfect) and transfering them into 6 packs that can then grow until they are ready to be placed into the soil.

And while doing just that this striking Blue Lobelia caught my eye a couple of times from across the garden and don't you just love granite?

In fall, the Purple Iceplant started as cuttings placed directly into the soil a few months ago takes on colors of magenta and pink with it's new green growth.

The days are chilly now and Symba is growing his winter coat. He has taken to sleeping on the Grape Hyacinth in the sun and there is nothing we can do but wait and hope for the best. Once when the wind was trecherous, a child's play surface foam square about 2 foot square resembling a puzzle piece flew into our backyard, and the neighbor denied it was theirs. Symba liked to sharpen his claws on it, and eventually I tossed it because it was always in the way and was puzzling. So I bought him a gardener's knee pad 2 7 inches and he has been tearing into that with delight all summer, I catch the handle under the patio chair leg to secure it least it get in the way. Well, two days ago, I brought home a lovely new yoga pad and laid it out on the floor upstairs in the studio and went off carrying about, and later discovered that it too is perfect for a cat scratch pad, regretably. But then it is the color of his eyes and it still looks almost as good as new except where he scratched the hell out of it! So when you take up yoga again, (tickle, tickle) and purchase your new yoga mat (one week is enough time, don't you think?) please consider your pets and store it when not in use.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jiggy with It

I find myself spotting flower seeds while I am out and about, and then concocting a seed holder contraption out of tissue, a folded business card, anything that I can use to last until I can get back home. I've watched asparagus seeds tumble from my shirt pocket into the rock mulch below and had to go after them. A friend of mine glues the sides of long rectangles and makes cute little envelopes. I have used regular envelopes in a pinch and they are way too big. So here is the modified version using payment return envelopes provided by the utility companies. (Yeah utility companies, and the fact that I love running water and the heater, as it is cold outside now, 42 degrees at night.) You can cut them to the size that you wish and glue one end using a glue stick. Test the results as glue sticks vary, and see if it holds and then you can clip the tab to match the other finished end and really get meticulously jiggy with it. There is some satisfaction in cutting the utility envelops, (Where did this come from?) But most of all, have fun, collect seeds, and share with friends. And if they are your friends seeds, ask first!

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Having That Space

I've had something on my mind for awhile, how to keep cedar bark from traveling via the wind, or as a result of the cat two stepping while batting at winged things or sometimes he gets filled with the dickens and high tails it around the place, and rocks and things go flying. He's a pretty big cat. So I had alot of the left over ends of tree stake poles from the green house and was tossing around the idea of using them as edging.'s too busy....

Looking further back, I recall thinking that I would like to weight the Blue Salvia stems to the earth so that they will sprout and multiply, and the flowers have all but dwindled. So why not now, while I need some space away from the edging to work out the details.

Coat hangers are perfect to press into rocky soil and hold the stems in place against newly placed black compost rich soil. A snow load would bend the stems down to touch the soil naturally and allow it to occur of it's own, possibly one fateful spring, if this were such a place.
You can see the new soil that has been placed atop the now secured stems.

Looking at the bed where the work was just completed, the energy created by the new edging is frenetic and that is what I was feeling when I was working out the pattern, so I still need some space as the resolution is conjured.
Planting an Aloe in another part of the garden, I know that I am not really working on the pathway per se. I am working on the green house plastic and venting system. I am having That Space.
Then back to the task at hand, and laying the tree stake pole pieces on their side end to end takes care of that frenetic energy, and it is alot quieter now and more in keeping with the overall feel of Black Mountain Garden's theme, Western Zen. This project away from the greenhouse plastic is a nice distraction.

So the cat dancing can resume, and just in time. It seems like he did most of it after dark anyway.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What's Going On

The pots in the greenhouse are really flourishing.

The four brocolli are growing larger, and eventually the turnips will be harvested. There are recently planted lettuce and peas hidden beneath the leaves so the appearance of this planter will change soon enough.

Here is the New Zealand Spinach. It is growing in complete shade and seems to be happy.

I've pulled off the cricket cloches, and they will be stored in the garage. The carrots don't seem to mind the reduced light, and additional carrots were planted today for a later harvest.

In the herb garden, the Purple Basil has changed to green with purple splashes.

The hottentot is flowing over the edges of the bed and tempts me to let it take over.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my garden friends, carry on and hurry back!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Day was Different

The colors of fall are subtle at Black Mountain Garden. The Hawthorn berries in shades of purple have fattened up and rise above the leaves to be noticed.

And the red tips on the leaves of the Eucalyptus just hint of fall.
I potted up about a dozen Aloe pups to share with friends, and captured this vantage of the garden.

There have been many times that I have missed great butterfly photos, because the camera was inside and after rushing in and retrieving it, they are flitting over the wall when I return. But this day was different.
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Matchy Matchy

The melon vine perished so it was time to see what the melon was like inside. It is small and it also matches the kitchen.

It is a melon for one.

The door is installed on the greenhouse. I found this wonderful door handle, and I am so thankful that I did. None of this can't get your fingers in the handle nonsense, I looked at the cabinet pulls, at the leaves and such, but it was a limited assortment, and they all have pinky oversight. This one is glove friendly, and looks ole timely too, in a glisteny galvanized way.

The interior of the door shares it's construction. It will need a diagonal board or something so that it doesn't skew.

The crystal is out of this world! I love crystals and I think everyone should go out and get crystals and hang them about.

The Iceberg Rose is blooming and it is head bowing gorgeous.

With subtle pink in the buds.

We can learn coy and demure from roses.

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!