Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zucchini!

Not many Z words in the garden, so I'm going with the one I love the most.  I have a couple varieties of zucchini this year - a regular dark green one, a round one, and this pale green variety called Alexandria.  Can't wait for the first taste of our home grown zucchini!

I've had a lot of fun with the A-Z Challenge this year and want to thank those hard working people who administer this every year!  I've only been a part of it for two years, but they've been doing it for seven. Whew! Lots of work.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yellow Onions

I try and try and try again with the onions.  This year I planted three varieties --- white, red and yellow.  They're looking pretty good, but I've been told that they need to be fed in order to get big like the ones you buy in the store.  I'm giving them lots of attention this year.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Trip to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens

I've been trying to get to the Botanical Gardens of San Antonio since I read about the Mexican Consulate's exhibit of Wings of the City by artist Jorge Marin.  We all tried to go last week, but it rained cats and dogs (and hail), so our trip got cancelled.  So yesterday Mari and I went on our own (both Johns were busy doing something else)  Thankfully the day was beautiful!  Here are a few of the 9 statues that were on the grounds:
 This first one was "interactive" -- here I am interacting with it! Ha! Don't I look angelic?

I have to say, I enjoyed the Storybook Houses very much! These playhouses were built to represent specific children's books. They were quite whimsical! 
 This one represents a cloud brought down by Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk.  I would have never known - I'm glad they had some signs there to let us know.
 Next was Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss! Those are all hula hoops wired together. I'm guessing it was a hot air balloon?
 A mine shaft, I guess.  It looks like it was made from pallet wood.  It was a book called Diary of a Worm, which I'm not familiar with.  Will have to look that one up this summer.
 This represented the book The Little House.  Another one I've not seen yet.  There's Mari looking it over - those are all long re-bar painted in different colors.  There was a castle representing Sleeping Beauty but I didn't get a photo of it.
The amphitheater area was tricked out in huge over-sized outdoor furniture for the kids, and there was a super-sized chess set on the lawn.  There were lots of kids all over the place from schools in San Antonio.

I really enjoyed the children's vegetable garden, too.  They are months ahead of my garden which tells you how great San Antonio's weather has been this year.

The whole place was beautiful, and I highly recommend it.  We'll be going back this summer during Mimi's Summer Day Camp during Bug Week for their Winged Wonders exhibit.  It begins on June 4th and runs until late fall.

X is for X-Rated Comment!

Yesterday I went out to water and check on my potted garden....
I went to see if the Tango lettuce needed water.  Last time I saw it, it looked like a beautiful tray of thriving lettuce.  Now it looks like this:

All that beautiful lettuce just stripped down to the stems. (@#$%!^!&&&XXX!!!) What dirty, rotten animal or insect did this?
Sigh.... life is always interesting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Wine!

I'm so hoping this year will turn out to be the Year of the Wine at our place - the grapes are just popping out all over in the vineyard, the elderberries are abundant, and there might be enough blackberries to try a small batch of that type of wine.  We're keeping out fingers crossed!  I was thinking of trying peach wine, too, but we won't be getting a good crop of peaches this year.
 Tiny grapes
 The vineyard
Blackberry flowers
Elderberries reaching for the sky!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Veggies

I thought I'd just post a view of each of our vegetable beds for the letter "V".  We have 5 beds and a potted garden that are mostly all vegetables. Most everything is growing well and we're starting to see little veggies on some of the plants!
 Bed #1
 Bed #2
 The Squash House is Bed #3
 Bed #4
 Bed #5
The Potted Garden!

U is for Re-USE

Or if you like the recent catch phrase, re-purpose! We do a lot of that around here.  From starting little seedlings in yogurt cups, paper egg cartons, or re-used nursery bought trays, we like to use what we have if we can.  All of these things work - and they work very well.  I know they don't look real pretty or uniform to those with an eye for symmetry, but I'm not one of those. They may be ugly to some, but I don't really mind.

I have an old tire in the chicken play yard for them to jump up and down on in the shade, and a half tire planted in the potted garden with some squash.

Once melons start to show up on the ground, I use Dollar Store colanders to keep them off the dirt while they grow. And I often will put a juice jug that's been washed out and punched with a small hole or two near a plant that needs more water, so that it will be released slowly over time.  This gets even more important as our hot Texas summer gets going.

Think before you throw anything away -- it may be very "U"seful in your garden!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Garden Notes - April 24, 2016

We've got lettuce! I'm using some as micro-greens from the potted garden, and harvesting big leaves from the regular garden already.  This is the Jericho lettuce here. Delicious!

Some of the summer squash are starting to show up, here are some very small Alexandria Squash.
I think there may be more volunteer magenta lamb's quarter plants in the beans then there are actual bean plants. Sigh....  I'll leave a few to grow because the chickens really love lamb's quarter.
We have little peppers, too!
This is the gypsy pepper that I started from seed.  Just getting started!
Today John picked our first snow peas.  Love these!
The winter squash on the Squash House are starting to really grow after our recent rain storms. This one is Sweet Meat.
and these grey mottled leaves are the Japanese Pie Squash.  Very pretty.  I'm waiting for these to start sending out their tendrils and will train them towards the wiring.
Here is the Table Dainty squash, it's already starting to shoot up, and has sent out those tendrils to attach itself.  I use these plastic clips to encourage them to grow the right way.
The cucumbers have been kind of hit and miss this year - I'm really disappointed in the Dragon's Egg seeds - only two plants from the entire packet of seeds.  Pretty sad percentage of germination.  I have planted some Market-More cucumbers in their place, so they will be a few weeks behind the others.
Today I planted the Long Ex Snake Melon plants by the fencing in front of my potting shed garden.  I'm looking forward to seeing how these do.  I ended up with 7 nice plants there.
 The "All Blue" potatoes are looking very healthy.
We've been amazed how big our elderberry plants have gotten this year...whew! We're gonna have plenty of elderberries.
John's vineyard is continuing to look amazing too.  I hope we can keep these growing and not sacrifice too many of them to the birds.  *fingers crossed*

 Sadly we won't be getting very many peaches this year.  Here's one of about 6 that are on our oldest peach tree.  Not going to be a good peach year.
The rhubarb continues to grow -- all three are still alive and doing great.
We had another 1-1/2" of rain this past week, which really helps the garden grow.  I'm just trying to keep up with the weeds now - they like the rain too!