Monday, March 29, 2010

Oriental Poppies

I've had a couple of friends comment on how they can't get poppies to grow where they are.  Just to make sure we are talking about the same plant, this is the orange poppy that is invasive in this area

These plants are very pretty but they spread like crazy - I guess they like the hot summers.  Last summer I dug out (or at least tried to) all the plants that were encroaching in my vegetable garden.  This year they are back with a vengeance.  It's like they have been rejuvenated.  I will let them bloom but then will once again try to dig them out.  I don't want them taking over the whole vegetable garden.  The little flower plot I'm maintaining also has them and I've given a first pass to digging them out.  It's going to be a multiyear process to get rid of them.

What's Blooming in My Yard - Part 3

More things blooming in the front yard.  Yesterday I replaced the small trellises with large ones so the clematis will be nice and high.


Tall phlox

Lamb's Ear

Skimmia - one of them has died, need to replace

Viburnum - will be gorgeous white blooms in a couple of weeks

Cold Frame - Chervil is the crazy green on the right

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's Blooming in My Yard - Part 2

There are many spring plants blooming

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Fuzzy photo of a Korean Spice Viburnum blossom

Mophead Hydrangea

Sweet Woodruff



Front Yard Daffodils


What's Blooming in My Yard - Part 1

March 28

Here is what is blooming or coming up in my front and back yard

Quince branches - blooms will be orange soon

Mahonia Berries

Daffodil with Gnome

Sedum, Autumn Joy




More Hellebores
Creeping Jenny

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The greens are growing

Sunny but cold today.  A perfect day to be in the garden.  I've taken over the little flower garden adjacent to mine and it needed some work.  The daffodils are starting to bloom and the rest of the plot is overrun with oriental poppies.  The poppies are very pretty when in bloom but they are invasive so they had to go.  I dug those out along with the weeds and some mint.  The plot has potential for being a nice little space.  I think I will transplant some coneflowers and maybe some russian sage from my yard.    Throw in some sunflowers and cosmos and the bees and birds will be happy.  For part of the time while weeding, there was a robin not a couple of feet away from me, happily digging into the dug up dirt.

The greens are sprouting!!


Mustard on the left, Spinach on the right


Broccoli Raab

Dark Days Challenge - Week 19

This is the end of the Dark Days Challenge.  For the most part, it wasn't too difficult to do although I have learned that I need to try and preserve a wider variety of food.  My dehydrator can be used to do more things such as vegetable flakes for soup.  I grow lots and lots of greens along with getting some from my CSA so one thing I will try to do this year is figure out a way to better preserve the kale, mustard greens and such.

The meal this week was a repeat - Broccoli quiche.  The broccoli came from my winter CSA, eggs and milk from dairy (cheddar cheese was not local).   The salad was the best part - spinach, mustard, chervil, sorrel and lettuce all from the cold frame in the backyard.  I opened the last jar of dilly beans for a side dish.  For dessert, there was some pie crust leftover, so Sean improvised an apple tart (apples from my CSA).  Everything was delicious.

Sean making the crust

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mysterious plant or weed

There is a plant that has cropped up in my front yard garden.  I don't recognize it nor could I find it in my plant books.  I have the University of Maryland's Master Gardener Handbook and checked the plant against the weed pictures and it wasn't there.  I think this is a weed but it could be something I planted last year and forgot about.  I'm hoping some of my garden pals will recognize it.  It seems to be spreading by runners - it's in quite a few places which leads me to think it's a weed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Planting in the garden, week 2

This past weekend the weather was absolutely gorgeous and in the 70's.   I met my garden neighbor on Sunday and we went to work spreading chips all around our paths.  I have also taken over the care of a little flower garden adjacent to my plot so we spread out a path with wood chips along side the flowers.

Sunday morning I planted Royal Chantenay carrots from John Scheepers, Wild Garden Mustard from Territorial Seeds and Butterhead lettuce from Abundant Seeds.

My fava beans are on backorder with Territorial Seeds and now is the time to plant them, so I visited my local nursery (American Plant) and found some fava along with the Oregon Snow pea pods that I forgot to order.  I also wanted more carrot seeds but the nursery was all sold out.  Brian came in with me and picked out some herb seeds (Basil and Cilantro) so I told him we would start them inside.  A project for next week while on Spring Break.

Later in the day, I went back to plant the favas and snow peas.  Next week it will be time to put in the beets.

I have one more gallon bag of hot peppers from last summer so I decided to dehydrate them and then grind them.  They are dehydrating right now as I watch the first episode of Dancing with the Stars!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Garden 2010

I'm in awe of my friend over at Nyack Backyard.  She graded her garden from last year.  I order my seeds, plant them and then forget what they are!

This year will be different and I hope this blog will help me keep track of how my plants do this year.

Today was a gorgeous day and  it was time to plant.  Last fall, my garden mentor and I redid my garden and built lovely raised beds with dug out paths.  Today it was very easy to start planting since all the work was done last fall.  I'll try to keep track of everything planted.

Leeks, planted last fall.

Peas.  Dakota and Canoe.  From Territorial Seeds.  The empty row will be for snow peas (that I forgot to buy!  I'll check my local nurseries_

These are shorts rows of greens.  From left to right:

Radishes: Gourmet Rainbow Mix, John Scheepers
Chard: Five Colored Silverbeet, Abundant Life Seeds
Mustard: Kyoto Mizuna, Territorial Seeds
Spinach: Bordeaux Red-Stemmed, John Scheepers
Spinach: Regal, Territorial Seeds
Lettuce: London Springs Lettuce Mix, Territorial Seeds
Lettuce: Yugoslavian Red, Abundant Life
Arugula: Seeds bought at local Italian market, forgot which brand

Kale, wintered over
on the left of kale:  Broccoli Raab, Cima di Rapa, John Scheepers
on the right of kale: Broccoli, DiCicco, Abundant Life Seeds

Garlic, planted last October

Dark Days Challenge Week 18

When you don't know what to do with the vegetables, juice them.

Sean had a juicer that he didn't want so he gave it to me.  When I went online to find an owner's manual for it, I discovered that it had been recalled.  The result of the recall was that I got a brand new juicer!

Juicing is for the times that  you just can't possibly eat anymore of that vegetable that is going crazy in the garden.  There is a lot of waste with juicing and it takes a bushel of produce to make a decent amount of juice.

I had golden beets from my winter CSA and parsnips that I dug from my garden.  I decided to see what they would all taste like as juice.  It was pretty good but needed something sweeter like apple juice to temper the flavor.

Golden Beets - from Winter CSA

Parsnips from garden.  Dug the rest of them up today

Pulp leftover from juicing
Glass of juice