Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summertime - Bring It On!

I've been busy, busy, busy these past couple weeks. Last Saturday my dirt/soil arrived (yay!) and it was waiting for us in the driveway when we returned from a picnic. I donned on my garden clothes and started prepping for the physical work to begin and was so thankful and happy when both my boys came outside and started to help. They shoveled and hauled the wheel-barrel into the backyard where it was dumped and I moved it to where it needed to be. It took a couple hours, but it was great to have it all done, with the driveway clean and washed before the sun went down. 
The Boys shoveling Mom's dirt.
"Smile Boys!"
The weather has been increasingly warm. Unfortunately it's been all over the board as the temperature has risen, fluctuating between 82 degrees (F) one day, and 62 degrees the next. Not only does this reek havoc on what to wear when you're heading out the door in the morning, but it causing our plant starts to not. Start that is. Although I do have to say our blueberries appear to be doing fine, thanks to the pruning and love given them last fall. I believe our crop that we're just harvesting is the biggest and tastiest to date. Yum!

This is what was left after my #2 and #3 realized they were ready. My #3 did help, holding the colander and picking some herself.

Almost a full large colander is pretty good off of two bushes. About half the berries are still ripening. I'm looking forward to when we have all seven bushes are producing at this level. That will allow us to enjoy blueberries for several more weeks.
I moved the sign to the main side of the just
seemed more appropriate given  my new garden beds.
You can see in the below picture that I planted three new Chandler Blueberry bushes along the garden area in between our home and Yia-Yia's home. It gets a lot of sun and just enough of a breeze. I expect excellent harvests in the summers to come. They're small, but they have plenty of space to grow...although the angle of this picture makes them look like they're all crammed towards the fence.
There's 3 bushes total. Small now, but they
should grown fast in this spot.
Almost all planted now.
Walking into the back, you can see that I now have more veggies planted in the beds. For fall, I've planted carrots (not visible yet), potatoes (low green leafy plants on the back left of the front bed), head lettuce (same bed and finally growing some bulk), fennel (second bed), along with beets, bok choy (not visible in the picture), and bush green beans (just beginning to get some height on them (under the metal frame in back left bed). I am always amazed at how warm the earth feels as I stick my hands in. I opened a pack of carrot seeds, and smiled as I poured them into the palm of my hand. The weight was slight, but the warmth they held was a surprise. These tiny little seeds felt perceivably heavier since they were warmed. Like the warmth and energy of the sun had added to their mass, just a little bit. Needless to say, I'm excited, and a little apprehensive to see how everything grows as it will impact what I do next spring.


The front of the house looks pretty with my pots all filled out and blooming. The heliotrope is WONDERFUL and fills the air with the most wonderful vanilla scent. Sometimes it borders on smelling like black licorice. Not being a huge fan of licorice, I just move to the next basket. =0)
Our wedding plaque under the one hanging basket.
I love seeing the seasons come into their own, and experiencing all the bounty it has to offer. Odd as it may seem, it gets me excited for the next season! Fall is my favorite time of year...but until then, I'll enjoy the summer days and spend time putzing out in the yard. There's plenty of time yet to ready for the changing seasons. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Got Dirt?

I thought this would be an appropriate title for today's post since I've dug, shoveled and hauled about 52 cubic feet of soil over the past few days. And I've only filled two of my beds - sheesh! But today, my raised beds are officially a I planted by basil in the first bed. YAY! (Now it's a real garden, right?)

Maiden plants - Basil!
It's a little sad looking...all by it's lonesome...but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? This weekend will be busy with hauling more dirt and starting my fall crop. I haven't determined exactly what my final crops will be, but garlic will definitely be on the list!

My #3 came out to check on my (I think to mostly make sure I hadn't passed out somewhere on the side of the house), and she was just in time to see the frog I found hiding in my empty starter pots. He was a good sized frog with BEAUTIFUL markings. If fact, I KNOW I've heard him outside our living room window - CROAK! CROAK! CROAK!

Our backyard resident
We admired his beauty and then let him "escape" to the cooler, moister underbrush by the lavender. It was fun knowing that we had a sweet little frog in our yard. He's the second one I've seen this season.

Summer in Oregon is still playing games...switching between gorgeous sunshine and rain...oh well, it's the price we pay for green! I'm looking forward to this weekend. Time to spend with family, putzing around the house and yard. Soccer season will be upon us soon, so I'm enjoying our "free" weekends while they last.

Blessed be! And I hope your days are filled with sunshine, health and activities that bring you joy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Hard Day of Work Ends In Happiness

This morning started at a leisurely pace around 10:00 a.m. I was excited about what the day held. I headed out to the backyard and began to get ready for the delivery of my NEW RAISED GARDEN BEDS (yay me)! I still needed to clean out and move the Rubbermaid shed...the last piece of the corner "stuff" that needed to be cleaned up. I haven't been through the stuff we've been storing in there for a few years. Okay...maybe several years...and I knew there was probably going to be a couple of crawly I moved very carefully and gingerly. And boy I wasn't disappointed!

I found her...all 3" of her.
I found quite a large hobo spider under and around some of the things we had stored inside. I say under and around, because she moved pretty quickly once she was exposed doing this start-n-stop-crawl-over-everything-creepy-move thing. I say she because I assume that the larger ones are the females...just makes sense to me somehow. 

So what did I do? I, of course, ran and grabbed a canning jar and captured her. I thought it would be a great chance to share this amazing creepy crawly with the kids. I was doing great until I came across four additional specimens. These spiders, I will admit, died a very quick death. It was pure primal reaction on my part--it's amazing how quickly you can stomp your foot when you're startled! There really is no explaining or controlling your reaction to something at that level of "gut reaction!"

You can see the Hobo Hotel in
the picture on the left.
So the beds arrived - thank you Ben from the Chicken Gardner - and went up under an hour. And wow did they smell awesome! Each board is at least 2" thick of beautiful cedar. 

After Ben finished, I leveled out the ground a bit more and began filling the beds with dirt from my other raised beds. Lots of shoveling and hauling, and I filled ONE..even though it was the smallest of the five beds. Oh well...

My beautiful beds!
There's always tomorrow! Not to mention extra Ibuprofen. But now I'm that much closer to having my garden!
I'm a happy mom. =0)