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.