Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Asparagus Bed

When someone gifts you 8 crowns of 3 year old Asparagus, you start to see areas of your yard a little differently then before.

Asparagus is willowy and bramble at the same time and is typically located in the back of the garden area. I don't have a "behind the garage" type area in my garden so this spot is as close as it gets. It's behind the Greenhouse but in plain view.

With the dirt poured to establish the desired depth, I start placing boulders to create a second tier to the Sunning Bed. Here you can see the size of the boulders and the finished project. I removed the large boulder in the top of the photo and planted the Asparagus, all 8 of them in this bed. It was moon in Taurus, which is a strong root sign, in the Second Quarter which is good for above ground plants (just shooting from the hip). I did some research to find out how deep to plant them and planted them about 4 inches deep. Even though they are about 3 years old, I read where you are not to harvest them for over a year because they have been transplanted and that they still need the time to establish no matter how old the crowns are. That might be a challenge. I'd like to tell you in April if I agree. I definately cannot wait until the Asparagus start to grow!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Potpourri #9 - Saffron Mix

This special mix took courage to muster, awaiting the combination to arrive like an epiphany, I worked around the Saffron Crocus petals, cleaning the other areas of the table until I could avoid it no longer.

This mix is mint based. It needed something to lighten the base so I went with a pale gray eucalyptus. It contains both Apple mint and Spear mint, Eucalyptus leaves, Saffron petals, Statis Flowers, and a few Hummingbird Bush flowers as dots of orange for a wild note. The last two mixes have been my absolute favorites because of the rich colors that are so pure and stellar!

Thank you Leslie for the Saffron!

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

All Put Up

The holidays are filled with lots of food. It was time to make some room in the refrigerator and get this Harvest thing rolling. I finally got around to slicing all of the Bell Peppers that Leslie gave me, and put them in a large freezer bag and stuffed them into the freezer.
So then it was time to do something with the bags on the table. Diamond, (don't you love her name?) gave out tomatillos at the last Boulder City Community Garden meeting, and I ended up with a bag full. So I went online to find a good tomatillo recipe. I had to get on the scales holding the bag of tomatillos in order to follow the recipe for Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce, so I ended up with apparently about 8 lbs. from the looks of it......Actually 3 lbs. tomatillos, and about 5 lbs. of what we will consider for now "Layers of Extra Clothing in order to stay warm"........ Time to get a food scale. Anyway the sauce was simple. Tomatillos, onions, garlic, salt. I added extra hot New Mexico roasted green chile to spike up the heat. Yum! I am thinking about making Turkey Enchiladas wth the Thanksgiving left overs!

So then there was the Kale that I harvested from Boulder City Community Gardens that was taking up a refrigerator shelf and I again went online and found lots of recipes, but opted for the no vinegar recipe of Kale Chips. Wash, tear, coat with olive oil, spread out on pan, 300° for 10 min (+-) then lightly sprinkle with Sea Salt.

Here they are ready to eat. Dark green and crisp. When they are brown they are burnt. I walked them down to my neighbor Julie who gave me two different varieties of Sea Salt. I really liked the Redman's the best, too btw. Thanks Julie!
I love the Harvest! Don't you love to put it all away!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Potpourri #8

We are having the Christmas Party at my house so I have to clean up the formal dining room table for once and for all! So it is once again time for potpourri. I jump in where the Mint and Bay leaves have been spilled onto the pizza box setting the foundation for Potpourri #8. Atop this mixture goes my favorite Blue Salvia, which I have been savoring for just the perfect blend.

Next come the blue Hawthorn berries, and their sticks are interesting as I ponder the roughness and diverting energy that the pointing sticks create.

I like the contrast of the rosy colored sticks, and the weight of the wood lowers the energy of the blend so it is not so "airy". So it is "shorten the sticks themselves" and see it that improves the overall appearance.

It's difficult to improve on perfection! This is a simple mix of Blue Salvia flowers, Hawthorn berries, Apple Mint, Spearmint, and Bay leaves.
I hope you are enjoying the harvest!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Harvest On and hurry back!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rediculously Abundant

It was time to pull the Armenian Cucumber plants down for the year and what a fantastic year it was for Armenian Cucumbers at Black Mountain Garden.

I decided to keep a list of the fruits and vegetables harvested from the garden, and this variety was quite impressive. Talleying the fruits as I entered the kitchen, the final count was 77 cucumbers from 6 plants. (Planted in the First Quarter, Cancer in late Spring.)

This plant is a chosen favorite and will go on the list of of Fabulous Fruits and Vegetables for our Desert Climate.

In order to qualify for the list, the fruits and vegetables will have to produce a rediculously abundant amount, because that is what we are going for around here!

Here is one for the list!

Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, Garden on!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Potpourri #3

I'm still cleaning off the formal dining room table which is where all of the potpourri materials are strewn about. It is a lovely sight. Today's concoction is a potpourri and tea! It consists of Chocolate Mint, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Hybiscus and Calendula flowers.

Of all of the potpourris so far, this one is the most fragrant and it is because of the mint and Tulsi.

I adore Tulsi. I have contemplated becoming a Tulsi farmer, possibly growing nothing else. That is how much I adore the stuff. It is addicting. I make everyone Tulsi tea when they come over to visit, and gift Tulsi cuttings to them when they leave. One visitor later asked if the tea had euphoric properties, and I would say that it obviously does, considering that I would like to forsake all my other favorites in the garden and grow it exclusively! It's some pretty cool stuff. If you need any, come on over, seems like I'll have plenty.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hail Damage

I must have planted about 70 lettuce, a mixture of Red Romaine, and an unknown variety that I saved the seeds from, which is pictured above. I had hoped that it was Forellenschuss. I also planted about a dozen coles, broccoli, cauliflower, asian greens, a speckle of spinach and cilantro. I had waited for weeks for the proper planting time, Moon is Pisces, 2nd Quarter, all was a go. It was overcast outside with a 30% chance of rain and it rained. Apparently it hailed as well. Husband and I went out on the town and were oblivious to the plummeting of hail that was taking place back home.
It must have been a nice storm. The kind that you open the doors, call in the cat and stand out on the covered patio and revel at. Too bad we missed it.

Too bad the vegetables didn't. Needless to say, I lost about all of the what could have been Forellenschuss lettuce, and a number of the Red Breen COS, but it showed me how tender the Forellenschuss were, they just don't stand up at Black Mountain Garden. And as I ended up with just enough plants to let one go to seed, I might just let that one roll.....
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jalapeno~ Jelly

After a visit with the Tomato Lady, I got to bring home some of the peppers and jalapenos that were growing in her garden. She had zillions, and I was thinking about Jalapeno Jelly!

So I looked up the recipe and was astonished to discover that the body of the jelly is comprised of cider vinegar. Curious, I continued with the recipe and it turned out fabulous! One batch which made 7 jars of jelly only took 4 bell peppers and 10 Jalapenos. That means I will be able to make 21 jars!

That is a lot of Jalapeno Jelly. I hope Michael changes his mind about the idea of it, and finally decides to taste some. Seems like everyone I know will be getting Jalapeno Jelly for Christmas! Now if only I can get a hold of some Pomegranates.....
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Potpourri #2

I had to clean up the tabletops around here and get a handle on the place. I was getting pretty spread out with all of the potpourri material, the herbs drying, and the seeds that I've harvested for use for next year. (I did decide to start hanging things from the ceiling in the garage, btw).

I am thankful that I married a patient man. He hasn't said anything about nature completely taking over the house.

So I grabbed a coffee can and decided that the potpourris can be stored in coffee cans and if they pick up the scent of coffee that is okay, because I love coffee. So there I am looking at the materials again and decided to put together another blend.

The one pictured above is Eggplant leaf, Apple slices and Orange and Pink Zinna flowers. (The Apples are from my tree and they are Red Delicious hastened to the earth in an unripened state by the wind.) So I contemplated the blend and decided that it needed a bit more refinement.

So I added Lavender leaf to the mix and it quieted the need to do anything else to it. I think this one is ready to receive a "note" of coffee.
Enough cleaning, don't you think?
Thanks for visiting. To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Potpourri #1

Here is my first potpourri mix and I definately need to dry some more Eggplant leaves because I ran out already, and they do curl nicely in the mix. Here are the ingredients for this blend. It contains Eggplant leaf, Pineapple Quava leaf, Echanacea flowers, and Chase Tree berry clusters.

I haven't dabbled in the fixatives or the essential oils yet to embellish the potpourri. I did read where it is important to use a chopped root fixative and not a powder because the powders will trash the appearance of your potpourri, definately not the look I am going for. The idea of using essential oils is vexing too. I know myself and I end up getting overwhelmed smelling all of the fragrances and dabbing a few of them on, waving them about in the air (you are not supposed to drink them btw.) Anyway, I'm tampering with the balance of my Vata Dosha, so right before that goes completely out of whack I finally end up leaving smelling like a garden and affirming my love of vanilla.

My first instinct is to have everything smell like vanilla, and I also love myrrh. Vanilla, myrrh, but not everything can smell like vanilla and myrrh, and I don't even know if those two fragrances even go together. Oh this is going to be interesting! I will keep you posted!

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have been collecting everything that I can think of from my garden for potpourri. It's spread out across the table and I am sure it is going to start taking over my house.

Today I gathered Cucumber leaves, Lantana flowers, a tiny peach rosebud, Echanacea flowers and seedheads, Sunflower seedheads,

Yellow Purky Sue flowers, Chaste Tree Berries, Crape Murtle Blossoms, pink Lambs Ear leaves, Penstemmon blossoms, Garlic Chive seedheads, Butterfly Bush seedheads, Chocolate Mint, Calendula Petals, Eucalyptus, Zinna flowers, Blue Salvia flowers,

The items on the glass plate will fit right in, they are interesting seedheads from a tree during a walk in the park, Blue Hawthorn berries, Statice from a bouquet from hubby and a dried Zinna flower. The California Poppy seed hulls might be a stretch but we will see, there's dried Catnip seedheads, and Catnip leaf bundles which should work pretty nicely as a base.

On the kitchen table there are materials that can be used for the base. There is Tulsi, Sage, and Lemon-Lime (mixed) Basil.

The grow shelves have been repurposed as drying shelves and they contain Genovese Basil, and Lemon-Lime Basil.

The available horizontal surfaces are all taken, so in the garage are Apple slices with fresh and dried Zinnas. Once everything is dry I am going to start assembling combinations and maybe consider adding essential oils to the mix.
I enjoy collecting items for potpourri. It is just another way to be surrounded by the colors and textures of your garden.
Thanks for visiting! Garden on!

Circle Bed

It was time for another garden bed to be added to the garden. In this photo you can see the design when it was just beginning to take form. This one is called the Circle Bed. I have wanted a garden bed right in this particular spot for some time. I have been contemplating all of the different building materials that could be used for the wall support, wood, rock, a large ceramic pot, but none of those materials inspired me to action. I have just enought wood element, and just enough rock element in the garden already, and I didn't want to disturb the balance.

Then I saw this flagstone brick product and it adds just a touch of refinement to my wild, nature inspired garden.
Using the pickaxe I removed about 3 to 4 inches of dirt and rock out of the base of the design so that I have a depth of at least 6 inches of Tomato Lady Soil when I am done.

This bed will be irrigated using the same valve as all of the vegetables. I decided to tie it into the Bevel Bed line which was tricky because it had been planted with root vegetables already and I had to find the irrigation line and tie into it. I was able to remove 3 of the plants, set them aside, tie into the irrigation, then replant them and it worked out perfectly.

This bed is now planted with 25 cloves of Ichelium Red Garlic from my garden that I grew last year.

And here is the new Circle Bed from the patio!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Black Eyed Susans

I pulled out the Zucchini a few weeks ago along with the Sunflowers, and hauled in a load of Tomato Lady Soil and was working it into the edges of the paths (which are typically neglected because the center of the beds have always been the center of attention), so I thought I would work in reverse and take care of some of the details. It is nice to have lots of rich black dirt on hand because then you feel you can garden with it generously.

While cleaning up I was intrigued by the Black Eyed Susans and their post flowering form. I have not had Black Eyed Susans before, they have always grown wild along the roadways in Missouri where I grew up. I don't recall if they will eventually explode into a tuft ball of seed fluff but until something like that happens they provide some rather interesting form in the garden.

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jonesin' for Yellow

I have been making Garden Tool Belts lately. Here modeling their Garden Tool Belts are my lovely niece Tallie, and sister-in-law Stacia. Garden on Girls!

I have made 6 Garden Tool Belts in the last two weeks. Some of the fabric patterns are so awesome that I have to tell myself that I cannot start the poppie floral fabric until I make 4 of the striped rose patterns just so that I finish with the ones that I've started, otherwise I would make a poppy one, then that purple floral one and then I'd be jonesin' for something yellow I am sure. I will post the poppy one the minute I get one finished!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Toxic Green Melon and the Flavor Bland

The Melon was ripe and friends came over for a garden walk and then we sat down to eat and it was time to break into the Melon. So I cut into it and I had no idea that it was going to be green inside. (Yes, it was the gift pack of seeds in the seed order that came in the mail and I planted it without knowing what to expect, beautiful vines all over the yard, huge melons, like about 7 still on the vine, all good.)

There is nothing like expecting a Cantelope Orange and finding Lime Green. So for a second I doubted everything. Am I awake? Is this the right city? Is this thing Toxic? Needless to say the color reminded me of Toxic Green, but I tasted it, and my friends were up for it, so they ate some, and maybe it wasn't "Toxic Green" that I was thinking of but instead it was "It Doesn't Really Taste That Sweet Green".
This brings me to the subject of bland. I recently read where bland falls under the classification of sweet, and that there are organs in our system that are nourished or supported or assisted by things that are bland. This crossed my mind while I sauteed Patty Pan Squash and ate it with leftover meatloaf for lunch today. Sauteed Patty Pan Squash with olive oil and sprinkled garlic and herb spices tastes pretty good, but not too much spices as to not overwhelm the flavor of it's blandness, for blandness' sake.
Green Machine Melon is subtle like the flavor of Patty Pan Squash. It must be appreciated for it's subtleties in order to be enjoyed. I would go on, but I hear the wind calling.......
Thanks for visiting, To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Visiting Leslie

This post is for my good friend Leslie Doyle who is traveling about Wyoming with her husband Bill. She is the one who gave me the Melons, Peppers, and Watermelon in this photo.

I have told the Watermelon story a few times, how Leslie gave me half a Watermelon, that her husband loaded it into the car and I didn't think anything about it, until I had to unload the thing, but this thing was huge and I struggled to get it into the house. I couldn't believe it, this is half of a 40 lb. watermelon! She is an amazing gardener and a true inspiration.

I love to go to Leslie's house because I come home with lots of great things to eat. Thank you Leslie, enjoy your trip, hurry home!

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

Friday, August 27, 2010

Squash Invasion

In the dark stormy sky, I look up at what looks like a flying saucer overhead.

Then another one flies in and now there are two.

This is amazing!

thanks Honey!

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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day in August

I've wanted to make a calendar with each day's harvest representing it's calendar day. I would bring the items in, early in the morning, lay them out on the cutting board and snap a photo to represent that day. The following photos are days in August and they are somewhat out of order , it's an upload thing. I started working on the draft around the 26th. The photo above is from August 27th. It consists of Armenian Cucumbers, Ornamental Squash (2 varieties) and a Patty Pan Squash.

The harvest for August 28th is Armenian Cucumbers and Long Purple Eggplant.

August 30th's harvest is more Armenian Cucumbers. Now the month is fully represented. The 1st through the 26th photos follow.

This photo represents the harvest from August 7th, those are Peruvian Peppers. (No those are not my hands!)

More Peruvian Peppers with Bell Peppers starting to change color, August 15th.

August 16th, Armenian Cucumbers and a slightly overripe Pickling Cucumber (whoops.)

August 17th, Armenian Cucumbers and a slight blur on the focus (note to self).

August 18th, Apples are starting to fall from the tree and this Cherry Tomato was all alone so I brought him in.

August 20th, more Armenian Cucumbers, and another Cherry Tomato.

August 26th, Armenian Cucumber and Patty Pan Squash.
August's temperatures where up around 108 degrees for most of the month. When it is so hot outside, it can be discouraging because you see the potential, then you ponder "that" possibility that was side railed because of the heat. I remember feeling a little discouraged, which is why I decided to make the calendar. In looking back, August was actually better then I remembered, and I am really look forward to September!
Thanks for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!