Saturday, June 11, 2011

The June Garden

June is all about the garden. Check out my gardening partner! My little friend Lucas spent a morning with me while I was planting tomatoes. Part of the time he watched from his comfy chair, part of the time he blew bubbles and part of the time helped weed. We had fun!
Helping weed and stack twigs
This week my new friends from the Nebraska Master Gardeners course visited our ranch. We had a great time touring the garden and yard flower beds while comparing notes and learning from one another. We are visiting each others gardens which is a lovely way to get to know each other. After our time on the ranch, we went to a fun local restaurant, House of Memories. It is the childhood home of the proprietor which she and her husband turned into a successful restaurant and gift shop that just celebrated its 10 year anniversary this week.

The Master Gardener Interns, Me, Pat S., Jo Ann L., and
Kaye M. enjoying coffee and cookies in my dining room
before we toured my garden
Check out my beautiful heirloom tomatoes from Laurel's Heirloom Tomatoes ( When they arrived in the mail, they were spectacularly healthy and packed so well. So, all in a row are Anna Russian, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Beefsteak, Goldman's Italian-American, Sunset's Red Horizon, Big Beef, Giant Belgium, Marianna's Peace and Paul Robeson along with my little cherry, plum and purple cherokee plants that I started as seeds a few weeks ago. So in all, we have 23 heirloom tomato plants with tomatoes of all sizes ripening from early to late season. It will be a busy season of caretaking and putting up tomatoes.
My tomato seedlings finally in the ground
Looking north at part of the tomato bed which this year is in
the ground; check out the cages Mark built which should hold
the large plants when they are full of tomatoes! The rhubarb
is spectacular this year
Seeding tomatoes and peppers was quite easy and I never did get a grow light. The egg cartons worked very well to start the seeds and then I transplanted to 4" pots into which they quickly established strong roots & stems. The setup in my laundry room was perfect for the seedlings which grew healthily and quickly. The thing is though, after being cozy and protected indoors, moving outside to the garden can be quite traumatic. You have to "harden off" meaning that the tender little plants need to be exposed to the outside sometimes cruel world of changing temps, hot sun, rain, maybe hail and wind. My seedlings have been hardening off for several days so were ready to plant today. We'll see how they compare to Laurel's during the season.
This is the finished asparagus bed. If you look closely
you'll see the small skinny asparagus plant ferns - there are
five from last year and 6 new ones I planted this year. It'll be
a couple years before we start enjoying the spears.
As I've mentioned to you before, the yard is my gym. Mowing the lawn & yard around the barn, Dot House and driveway easily gives me 10,000 steps a day for two days which is my typical routine. Sometimes based on schedule, I will break that up more. Well this week, I got into the 'zone' and mowed the ENTIRE yard in one day and I have the proof on my pedometer...22022 steps! OMG! I wasn't as sore the next day as I thought I'd be. Advil was definitely my friend that night in helping me get to sleep. It showed me that I've made progress with movement & strength. Call me crazy but I actually enjoy pushing that mower around the yard. It makes more sense than joining a gym and paying to exercise & then sitting on a rider mower.
My compost pile that should help make the garden
soil richer next spring. We're going to expand it so I
have 2 bins to fill since I have so many beds to enrich.
As you can see, Mark made it from pallets. Works great.
The first iris bloomed which was a gift from friend Connie. I love iris, isn't the picture logo beautiful?  The roses are blooming, but no peony blooms yet...this season - so sad. I just planted them last fall so that could be the reason since they need to get established. I was careful not to plant them too deep as they are very picky about planting depth. But once established, they will grow for years. Friends around here have told me their plants are 35 to 40 years old! Peony's are my favorite flower so I'm disappointed with my lack of blooms since I had great visions of what my peony bed would look like from my kitchen window but will be patient until next year. Boy, they better bloom then. I had a couple daylilies in the peony bed which was a huge mistake. Those plants really proliferate and there are too many lilies so I'll be transplanting them to an area of the yard where they can grow and reproduce to their lily hearts delight. Then we'll all be happy.

Highly fragrant David Austin Rose 
Ambridge Rose

Here are a few of the blooms we are enjoying right now! The fragrance of all my roses is wonderful.

The baby chicks are no longer babies and now equivalent to teenagers. They are living with the old Dots and both are struggling living with each other. The older hens are bossy and not so sure they like the young'ns around. So the young pullets move around the yard in a group more for protection than company I believe. It's getting better every day however.
The 'baby' chicks are big, huh? They are buddies

The black/white pullets are French Marans &
the light colored brownish pullets are Easter Eggers

Here they are up and eating, even the leaves
on the trees

We had special friends from South Dakota, Sandy and Rick, stop by for a visit this afternoon on their way home. We had lunch and a wonderful visit. We had such fun touring the ranch and visiting that I didn't think to take a picture. Well, I have the memories which are even better.

Hope you had a lovely day,

P.S. Today is my late Mother's birthday. Interesting how that date never leaves the consciousness. I am having lovely thoughts about her today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe I can smell the David Austin Rose from here. I wasn't aware of what the name was, but the lavender roses are my absolute favorite. This photo reminds me of the bush around the corner from my old place in Los Angeles. It produced so many blooms and had the most intoxicating smell. I used to walk the long way sometimes, just to stop and admire it and inhale it's perfume. I nearly fainted when I came around the corner one afternoon in late July or early August of last year and found it uprooted and cut into pieces and bagged. Who would get rid of just lovely roses in California??? Please enjoy them for me! :)