Monday, May 18, 2009

Their Majesties

The girls like dressing up as princesses a lot. Eudora will curtsey to Emmeline and say, "Your Majesty!" Emmeline will curtsey back and say, "I Majesty!" I love it. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Peas and Potatoes

Our sugar snap peas and potatoes are looking great. We have also started to pick a few peas from the back garden over the last few days.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Mother's Day garden fun

I got these on Mother's Day. I had wanted an old fashioned climbing rose but it never even occurred for me to have any hopes of finding a Cecile Bruner. I love them and bought one as a teen. The ONLY old fashioned climbing rose I found was able to find was a Cecile Bruner. We are going to plant this one between the kitchen window and kitchen door and train it to climb over the top of both. 

I also got some lantana. Isaac overheard me saying how much I loved them and put them in my cart and said he wanted to get them for me. He's such a sweet little boy. I also got some lovage, golden marjoram and a giant lamb's ears. The fun stuff is I found a delicious chocolate mint, rose scented geraniums and an apple scented eucalyptus. 

That's the same trip I picked out all the seeds for the fairy garden. You'd think the cashier at a Pike's Nursery wouldn't feel the need to gasp over the amount of seed someone bought! 

There's just something about being a mother. You find that you've changed and that you find yourself thinking about your children all the time even when it's supposed to be "your" time. I can't pick out seeds and plants without constantly thinking about my children and what they would like to look at, pick and taste. 

Our biggest worm ever

The boys had just gone across the street to my parents to dig for worms to go fishing and then their daddy unearthed this in the garden. I promise it was at least 18 in long when it was relaxed. 

Some recent pictures

A fairy garden

That's what we are calling it anyway. I was thinking of a sunflower house for the kids. But those giant sunflowers don't bloom long. I thought I'd just carve a section out of this bed in front of the house but we ended up going with just about the whole thing. There is a separate row of pole limas on the left and a row of tomatoes and tomatillo on the right. But the rest of it will be a kind of hidden garden. Hopefully. 

We are growing morning glories, moonflower, cypress vine and hyacinth beans up the poles. The outside of the garden is planted in a variety of sunflowers, borage and four o'clocks plus hollyhocks that will hopefully bloom next year. With the poles or "gothic arches" as we are calling them covered in vining flowers and the sunflowers filling in around them it should be a wall of flowers to play inside of. And next year the hollyhocks will help fill in even more. Closer to the inside of the garden bed is a mix of: chamomile, nasturtiums, blacked eyes susans, multicolored carrots (why not?), two colors of larkspur, bells of Ireland, russel lupines and bachelor buttons. Isaac's really excited about the chamomile to make tea with. 

Fintan has worked hard to gather all those rocks on his own that he placed in the entryway. He seemed to think we needed them. He's spent a lot of time wandering the yard and woods looking for rocks. I was mostly planning to level out the center of the garden though and put straw on it. We can put some chairs in it too. 

The birds love it so far too. We've noticed that any time we stick something tall out in the middle of the yard they flock to it. We are thinking about putting several bird houses out there in the garden for them. 

So there's the new garden! I am so excited about it. I hope it grows well and is a fun magical place for the kids. I'd like to improve the entrance this fall and put a real arbor over it that we could plant a climbing rose to climb on and maybe have a little door in it. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Independance Days

I first read about Independance Days from Carla Emery's book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Last year after doing some rereading in Carla's book I read through her part on independence days and then the very next day ran across it on Sharon Astyk's blog.  Sharon is inviting everyone to join in and share about their own attempts for Independence Days. I'd highly recommend reading her post on this. I'll be attempting to follow along and note what we accomplish here. I think I probably need separate goals called "weed something" or "water something". There is so much to be done between plant and harvest. 

Sharon's take on it is a little different than Carla's but here are her 7 goals: 

1. Plant something 

2. Harvest something

3. Preserve something

4. Reduce waste

5. Preparation and Storage

6. Build Community Food Systems

7. Eat the Food

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2nd

Let's see. In the vegetable garden we have:

replanted eggplant

two 45ft rows of tomatoes planted

lima poles in and the lima beans are planted

charentais melon planted

super zagross middle eastern cucumber planted- crazy name!

costata romanesca zucchini planted

gentry summer squash planted

In the bed behind the kitchen door I got my stevia plants planted. The kids love to nibble on herbs in the garden and herbs growing wild. Well the super sweet stevia is a huge hit around here!

I also got a bunch of seeds planted in the bed across the front of the chicken coop and run. They are:

blue spire larkspur

mammoth russian sunflowers

indian spring hollyhocks

purple petra basil

anise hyssop

maiden pinks

victoria pink forget-me-nots


Eudora helped me pick out some seeds on my birthday and she went a little crazy. I couldn't tell her no. I have so much that still has to be planted. I am thinking about planting an entire garden row in zinnias. I have a variety of green, lavendar, purple and white zinnias. I need a lot of flowers out there for the children. They pick some every day, always bringing me and their Yaya more bouquets. It's awfully sweet but I was not happy when they nearly wiped out my sweet williams yesterday. You should hear how Eudora pronounces sweet william. It's so cute. 

I am really thrilled with how helpful all the children are in the garden. They are really starting to pull their weight this year. David Benjamin thinks he's awfully grown up wielding a hoe. And I wish I'd had my camera out there this evening when Emmeline rounded the corner of the house following her Daddy in her little lavendar sun dress and her arms full of tomato plants. She looked so sweet. She just wants to help and do what everyone else is doing.