Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day hike

We spent Memorial Day hiking up in the mountains.  There was fresh snow and it was beautiful but a lot of work.  We didn't make it all the way to White Pine but the view of the mountains and the snow was pretty enough. 

Just before we reached this spot we came around the corner and spotted a couple hugging and kissing and she was crying.  And then I spotted a beautiful shiny new diamond ring on her hand. The guy asked us if we'd take a photo of them for him.  She was a beautiful girl and he was athletic and outdoorsy.  My daughter thought it was the coolest thing ever and even prayed that they would be happy. We walked farther down the trail and around the next bend to give them some privacy.  I hope the photos turned out nice.

Here we are taking a break.  It took one and a half hours to get to the big rock and a half hour to get back.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flowers and fruit trees

My rose columbine is probably my favorite flower.  It is compact for a columbine.  And there are plenty of flowers in this beautiful mauve color. Mauve. Do people even use that word anymore?  I just remember towels and wallpaper with mauve on it in the 80's.

My chives handled the transplant okay and the blooms are so pretty.  I might have to grow more of it and add it to other parts of my garden.  There is plenty of room!

Yellow columbine

A few tulips and purple alliums are hanging on.  

And I have one last daffodil. Must be the coldest part of the yard.

Globe Master allium - smaller than last year. hmmm 

The purple columbine is taking off.  I love it. 

And my little helped in the garden.  He is watering the Braeburn Apple tree.

And then the Gala Apple Tree.

Yesterday I shared a photo from the South East corner of my lot where my 16x40 foot garden is.  This photo is from the South West corner of the lot. 

And the peach tree is looking good.  I'm going to have to cut a bunch of branches off the top and the left side next spring.  I just didn't want to kill it. And as you can see, I must have done just the right amount of pruning. I am going to add some bushes, perennials, and the river rock around this tree. 

You know one of the things that has impressed me with this valley coming from the view that I grew up in a military home, is that most people here have fruit trees, grape vines, and vegetable gardens.  Those who don't grow a few veggies mixed in with their flower beds.  But for the most part people here grow and store a lot of their own food.  It's been a great lesson on PROVIDENT LIVING.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Harvest Monday

Kiwi helped my in the garden tonight. We took off the walls of water and placed them under the drip line for quick access if needed.

And he kept me going.  Not a great photo of me but the scenery and Kiwi are great.  We spent Memorial Day hiking up to White Pine Lake in 6 inches of new snow with both kids in tow.  No makeup, man t-shirt on, ponytail, and then covered in dirt from working in the yard.  Well, you understand.  I feel it's okay to be very real when I blog about my garden. And this was just what I looked like tonight - I didn't even retouch the photo or enhance the colors.

We finally got the mix for the square foot garden.  It's call the Garden Box Mix from Millers in Hyrum. Buy it in bulk not the bags. On Saturday's in the spring it's on sale for $80 a yard otherwise it's about $105 which is still a bargain because you don't have to mix anything - it's already done for you.  The pH is checked and all the nutrients and micronutrients. This was half full and it took a yard to fill it the rest of the way.  It is 4 feet by 16 feet by 10 inches.  

It has coconut husk instead of peat moss (Utah peat moss is full of salt because of old Lake Bonneville). And it has pearlite to increase the water holding capacity since we live in the desert instead of vermiculite which helps with drainage. It rained yesterday which brought the perlite to the top and I smoothed out part of it today which is the darker part.

You can see my other square foot garden here:

I love the rock around it and plan to add it to all of my flower beds. It's $59 a yard and so that is probably going to be a fall thing and only part of the flower beds at that. Slowly but surely things are taking shape. Need to edge again. 

My Summertime lettuce which is a head lettuce is taking shape.  I can't wait to try it.  And my romaine lettuce is starting to look good too.  

And my spinach is starting to grow.  I need to harvest some of it soon. Maybe I'll put some on my homemade gluten free pizza with alfredo sauce, chicken,  and chopped tomatoes.

See that weed at the very bottom of the photo below.  It's called Morning Glory by most people in Utah except this is really Bind Weed.  Terrible stuff and it will kill anything it gets its tendrils on. It's gone now, sort of, stinkin' rhizomes. 

My Big Daddy onions are doing well, and those in the back are from last year and are going to seed - which is what I want. It is pretty and it will give me plenty of seeds to share.

This is my hard neck and soft neck garlic row.  

I planted a row of Jade Bush green beans.  Hands down my favorite green bean ever.  I will be planting some in the big square foot garden along with yellow wax beans.

My tomato plants are starting to get a little bigger.  I have 2 Cherokee Purple, a few pink brandywine and red beefsteak, and 6 early girls, oh and not pictured are the 3 romas next to the house -they do much better on the hot side of the house. I need 4 more cages - still ...

And my snow peas.  I can hardly wait.

Another view of the Early Girls.  I did buy the plants. I just had a terrible time trying to grow them from seed this year.  I am going to throw out the seeds and start over with something new next year. I put collars on a few.  They help keep out the tomato horn worms.  I just cut two toilet paper rolls and put them around the base of the plant and put a little dirt around them.

You can see here that last year I planting the garlic and the onions before I knew where the NEW drip line would go.  These are the only two rows that are off.  I am going to have to move the onions next to the line - just the small ones.

My Spirit Bush pumpkins have all sprouted.  

Here is a view of the garden from the back south east corner of our 1/2 acre lot.

As you can see we are surrounded by alfalfa.

And here is our lonely little trex deck that is not shoveled in the winter and in the dead of summer it is just too hot to step on.  One day it will have a pergola that will be beautiful and shade the south side of my house.  In the meantime I am pinning every cool pergola on Pinterest that I can possibly find. It's under my Landscape Architecture board if you want to see what I've pinned so far.

And let me tell you I love Natural Guard.  Anderson's Seed and Garden recommended it because this upper tier was so dry all of the time and looked awful.  One treatment along with a serious dose of fertilizer made all the difference. 

See, gorgeous green - oh and that lonely ash tree will get some friends eventually.  We need to put in about 6 more trees along the upper side of the rocks. Which will also help shade the south side of the house.

Can you see why we finally got trees on the west side of our house? Shade.  And that got the ball rolling for us.  Thankfully.  The bushes you see here are Honey Suckle compact bush and Dwarf Burning Bush which will turn bright red in the fall. They are growing quickly and it's already helping a little. The trees on the west side of the yard are Improved Canadian Choke Cherry and the branches are already starting to grow after 1 year. 
So thankful.  Do you see that massive air conditioner? 4200 square feet of house is expensive to cool.  Although I must say that it's a good thing that 2600 of it is in the basement. 

I remember my landscape architect teacher telling me that one well placed tree can take reduce the need for air conditioning by 1 hour a day. So I hope that 3 well placed trees will make a big dent in the air conditioning bill in a few years when they get big enough.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I love Columbine and Clematis

I purchased two of these last year and they didn't look like they'd make it. They look fabulous this year!

And this Rose colored Columbine is looking spectacular. 

The yellow columbine my neighbor gave me will bloom later this summer.

And my gorgeous Clematis has over 90 blooms on it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I love Alliums

The purple alliums on the west side of the house are starting to go to seed. They are actually really cool to look at with the bright green against the purple.

This is my Globe Master allium - I have 3 and they were almost $6 each.  They weren't worth it.  The 65 cent allium bulbs are actually prettier. 

 This one is just starting to open.

And I loved this view from above.

And with the boulders in the background this one really stands out.

And yes, I still have tulips.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Harvest Monday- Tilling up the Garden

It looks like the warmer temperatures this year mean that my drip line timer can go outside already.  It will crack if it freezes. I have it on every other day.  Best product I even purchased for my garden! I could attach another hose to it but that side is manual only and I mostly only use it to mix the fertilizer with water in a pail.

So as you can see I spent the morning tilling up my row garden.  I love my Honda mini-tiller.  A friend said she has a Mantis and can only use it part of the season and then it's too hard too use.  While I admit even my Honda has a hard time with rock hard soil baked by the sun, it has no problem with weeds or grass and when there is a little moisture in the soil.  The tines are bent inward in an L shape and this allows them to cut off the roots and dig down deeper.  Love that little tool.  

So last year I started doing these trenches around the drip line. The emitters are 12" apart.  And some plants don't have to be spaced that far apart.  This allows the water to get where it needs to be without watering everything.  And that helps control weeds.  The last thing I want is more to do than I have the strength for.  With the ground all tilled up it was super easy to rake in place.  Only a few drip lines are on right now thanks to the new ball valves.  Even more weed control! I'll be adding the rest of the seeds soon. It looks like tomorrow is the last cool day.  It's 87 today and tomorrow it will be 60 and windy.  After that I'll be able to plant anything I want.

I dumped the water out of the walls of water so they don't burn up my tomatoes.  After the wind tomorrow I will remove them all together.

I need 4 more tomato cages. 

I love how pretty and full they are starting to look.

This is the Cherokee Purple that I started from seed.

And I really must start my Early Girls earlier next year.  I don't know why I had such a hard time with them this year.  

The ball valve on OFF.

My garlic is looking good.  It will be ready the end of July. 

The green bunching onions on the side of the house are going to seed.  And there is a little ant visitor on it.  If you want some seeds in a few months, please let me know.  There will be plenty to share. 

My basil had a rough start but most of it survived and it will eventually be planted between the tomatoes.  I hear that it wards off tomato horn worms.  Last year I only had 1 surviving basil plant and it was right next to my heirloom tomatoes which had no pest problems while my romas on the other side of the yard with no basil plants had the biggest horn worm ever.  Yuck.

I need to get this square foot garden filled up.  My mom and dad gave it to me last year and it's 4x16 feet.  The voles have already been underneath the weed mat.  I may still put wire mesh down. Chicken wire isn't strong enough for voles. Hopefully this coming weekend will be a chance to get all that done.

The snow peas are looking okay.  I need to get the other trellis back over here but right now it's protecting my new Gala apple tree from the deer. I need about 8 feet of fence to finish it all off around that tree.

And this cattle panel piece is for my lemon cucumbers.  I'll be planting those seeds today and taking my kids to the lake.

My spirit bush pumpkins have all sprouted now.  I really need to get the rest of my pumpkin seeds planted out front.

And the strawberries are looking good.  We have a tiny patch.  And something has already eaten a few and left parts of them in the grass.  

And finally my grape vines are starting to grow.  I was seriously starting to wonder. I have 3 seedless red grapes next to my propane tank.  It looks like maybe this year we'll be able to trellis them. Which means I need to get two 8 foot 4x4s and watch this video again. They've been in the ground 3 years - this will be their 4th summer here.  They were bare root as well.  

Check out all the other garden links at Daphne's Dandelions!