Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 10

Not much to say. Working on a giant pile of tree trimmings. Cutting the trimmings into little pieces burning them in the cheminea. Can almost walk through the back yard again.

The caterpillars are doing fine.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I Didn't Spend an Hour in the Garden Today

Instead, I finished this quilt top. That pattern is HARD.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 9

I've reached the point in this garden cleanup where things start to become obvious. I mean really, really bad things become obvious. Things like giant poison ivy vines, fire ant infestations, a gazillion "saved yet cracked and useless" 6 and 9 inch flats and trumpet vine invading the potting bench. There is also a weed I know as colts foot. It is four to six feet tall this time of year and looks like a smallish tree. It is easy to take care of, cut it off and compost it - TADA.

This year, my massive passion vine has grown over and around these large woody weeds. Not a problem, that passion vine needs a haircut anyway. But wait, it is full on Gulf Frittilary butterfly mating season. There is a lot of butterfly action going on out there and the caterpillars are all over that passion vine.

Today's work went slow. Clip a section of woody weed, detangle passion vine from weed, repeat. One cat actually made it to the compost pile, but i saw him and put him back on the vine.

I wish you could see how pretty the garden looks with all those butterflies floating around.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Days 7 & 8

The month of gardening marches on. Worked out there yesterday and today again a little more than an hour each time. The pathways are almost completely weeded and neat. Only one more section needs my attention . Just so you know, Oklahoma sandstone is heavy and sort of sinks into garden soil and doesn't like to be pried up. I am absolutely sure those flagstones were fighting against me.

Tonight I used the leaf blower and cleaned off the deck and the garden paths. What a huge difference that made. I should do it every week. We should declare Tuesday "Leaf Blower Day." No?

The warm weather plants are doing great. The peppers are beginning to ripen. We will never eat all of those hot peppers, so I need to find someone to take most of them off my hands. Anybody? All twelve tomato plants have fruit on them. Hopefully they will get big enough to ripen in the kitchen after the first freeze, otherwise, I'm going to need some more green tomato recipes.

The difference in the garden in just over a week is wonderful. I am almost ready to for someone to ask to see it. Usually, I find myself apologizing and making excuses for all of the work that needs to be done. If someone were to come to the garden gate tomorrow and ask to look around, I would be happy to show them and, of course, sneak some peppers into their pockets.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Days 3 - 6.

I worked in the garden for an hour a day for six days straight. The garden is looking great. The Armenia cucumbers love the extra attention and have rewarded me with foot long cucurbits everyday.

I did miss working in the garden over the weekend. Thunderstorms kept me inside on Saturday and family activities filled up Sunday. No problem. I will get right back out there today, no guilt - no worries.

The really important thing is that I kept working out there everyday after receiving terrible news about my husband's medical condition. In the past, when life went left, I went with it. Not this time. I stayed out there pulling weeds and spreading compost. One day I cried my way through it. The activity of gardening gave me a quiet place with simple chores where I could think and mourn a little.

I know there will be questions about Manly's health and here is the short answer. All of the blood clots in the superficial veins have resolved . He has two remaining DVTs in his femoral vein, one of which runs from his mid thigh to his mid calf. It is huge. We are thankful that there has been improvement, but disappointed that the larger clot does not appear to be any better. He continues to take his medications and take safety precautions.

Thanks for all the prayers, care and concern.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 2 Hour 2

I woke up with a seriously sore back and hamstring muscles due to all the gardening activity yesterday. Did I wimp out? No. I got up, got dressed, put on my gardening shoes and gloves and went right back out there. I did stretch out a little first, which helped a lot.

Today I started in the backside of the garden. This is the area where perennial veggies and herbs grow. Things like asparagus, Mexican mint marigold, chili pequin, comfrey and spider wort. Sounds wild, doesn't it? Those are the good guys. The bad guys are trumpet vines, hack berry suckers and Bermuda grass. Why does Bermuda grass grow in my garden where I don't want it and die in my lawn where I do?

I weeded this area and cut out all the nasties I could see. I spread fresh screened compost and watered the whole thing. I will have to revisit that section tomorrow. An hour was not long enough to completely clean it out. Much better though, much.

I have decided to get rid of a bunch of gardening tools and paraphernalia. I roll of chicken wire, a roll of edging, a short soaker hose and three 1 gallon perennials are being thrown into the back of the truck and taken away to find new homes.

Day 2 Hour 2
1. Weeded
2. Screened compost
3. Spread compost
4. Picked up scattered containers and tools.
5. Planted more nasturtium.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Garden Challenge Day 1

I have about a month before our average first freeze here in North Texas. We never really get the frozen earth that happens in colder areas, just a freeze that kills tender plants. This means I have about thirty days to get the most out of my tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, warm weather beans and okra. Well, the okra has pretty much given up the ghost, but I still have a little hope for it.

This is also the time of year that I have to get my winter garden planted. I already have well established cabbage, broccoli, collard, mustard and lettuce plants. These plants generally survive our gentle freezes. Today I planted radishes, beets and nasturtium. I still have to plant garlic, onions, Swiss chard and kale.

Since my good gardening weather is coming to a close, I am going to challenge myself to work in the garden an hour a day for the next thirty days. Look for a daily post, I am going to keep myself accountable.

Today was day 1.
Planted beets, radishes and nasturtium
Screened and spread compost
Built up a new compost pile
Got really dirty feet.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pieced Strips for a Baby Quilt

Took this at a weird angle so the surprise quilt hanging next to it on the color wall wouldn't show up. This one is for baby Mark.
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