Thursday, June 2, 2011

may flowers & {diy} chalkboard garden markers

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this weekend was chock full of seedlings, mulch, weeding, crushing of cutworms and plenty of sun. it is amazing how quickly may's garden takes form after a wet, cold spring bringing with it loads of color, lush green growth and towards the end a perfect planting day for the garden. after months of tending to the start of the garden in the seed house, then to the greenhouse it was time to introduce the kids to the great wide open- or in this case a nice warm raised bed full of organic compost & pro-mix where they will fight for survival against the elements, cutworms, cucumber beetles, raccoon's & skunks- its no easy feat surviving those first few weeks, but with a little help from me & mother nature most of them will make it.




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after months of waiting i finally have my patio set in place- 3 coats of amazon teak oil did wonders for the color and richness of the wood. we cleared the woodpile from the patio and justin gave it a new coat of dry lock on the walls. our original plan was to stone (paver) the patio but we decided to go a different route; swift deck, lockable wooden 12x12 squares made specifically for patios; it is a bit pricey so this project has been moved to 2012; for now the space is more than functional and we can actually enjoy entertaining outside.


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the spirea and honeysuckle are in full bloom and filled in nicely



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in april you will find me whispering sweet nothings to my growing perennials wishing them a healthy start to the new season. in may you will find me obsessively crouching over my seedlings looking for cutworms or crushing cucumber beetles any chance i get. the cucumber beetles seemed to appear from thin air this morning- they definitely were not out and about this weekend- yesterday morning i went to check out the cutworm damage (the little bastards always seem to find a way around my barriers) and who to i find still sleepy with morning dew but 3 cucumber beetles- needless to say their day was cut short. so out came my traps- yellow bowls filled with soapy water. later in the evening when i checked my traps i had about 10 cucumber beetles- lets hope the infestation isn't as bad as last year. i plan on coating each plant with neem oil- it is considered an organic method by most. we will see if that makes a difference. it breaks my heart a little bit at a time when i lose one of my seedlings- i take as many preventative measures as i can and try from each loss, to learn what i can do a bit different to avoid any additional losses.



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hosta, lily and rhododendron line the rock wall- more hosta and violas line the path leading to the garden




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new in the garden is a REAL potting bench- the bench is better in so many ways than i expected. the bench was also treated with the amazon 55 teak oil and it turned out beautiful.
every year i am a slacker on marking my seedlings and plants- this year is no different. i planted several different types of tomatoes and never labeled them- i have no clue who made it and who didn't. it will be a big surprise once the fruit sets. to avoid this i decided to make my own garden markers- i found a great dyi from my cakies; super easy and cheap- they look great in the garden too! step by step directions can be found here. when people ask what i have growing i can actually tell them exactly what's growing in my garden!


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my cat mint has gone crazy wild
the false indigo is a new addition - a gorgeous one at that
my lonely asparagus stalk- well actually 3 lonely stalks. this is the first year of the asparagus, i planted the roots last fall/late summer. they say to get a good harvest you have to wait at least 3 years. i kinda just threw it in the ground, the spot i selected was not well thought out- anna took to laying right where the asparagus patch was planted, which probably didn't help matters. so i created a rock barrier and am keeping my fingers crossed  that i will actually have a harvest in a few years.



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my mom is the best- she surprised me with a stained glass garden sculpture (first photo)
cone flower and phlox are also doing really well
a new addition: columbine, justin calls them dragon lilies



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another new addition- the greenhouse which has been great to transition the seedlings from the grow box to the "sheltered" outdoors


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columbine
jacobs ladder
violas


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this weekend was a very productive one- tons of hard work that will hopefully pay off with loads of veggies


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so what's growing in my garden you ask?
Bed #1
easter egg radish-golden and red ball beets-flamingo swiss chard-rainbow swiss chard- super sweet corn- butterhead lettuce- arrowhead peas-sunflowers
Bed #2
cucumbers-golden bush beans-royal purple bush beans-green bush beans-kaleidoscope carrots-nasturtium
Bed #3
variety of tomatoes-sunflowers-marigolds-borage-basil
Bed #4
sweet peppers-hot peppers-marigolds-basil-danvers carrots
Bed #5
4 varieties of onions-diciccio broccoli
Bed #6
summer squash-zucchini-cucumbers-nasturtium-2 types lettuce
Yum

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